Building a Big Business … One Step at a Time

The title of this blog comes from an article by Master Networker, Randy Gage and which appeared as a feature in a 1998 edition of Upline magazine. It’s still a good idea.

Randy had an interesting strategy which he applied to build a huge network:

He maintained that network marketing is not a difficult business and only has 4 basic steps: contacting, inviting, presenting and follow up. He states that all the skills needed to build a million dollar business using these 4 steps could be learned in about 12 hours.

So why don’t more people do it?

Recruiting leaders

Randy explained that it is not a matter of skill but belief or more correctly, the maintenance of excitement that got the business owner to enrol in the first place. Somewhere along the way they lose their faith and the goal of significant wealth just slips away. It doesn’t need to.

One neat system he describes is to work on PV circles in order to focus on getting to the top.

This is easiest to explain with an example and I’ll use my primary opportunity for the details. First, get a commitment from the new marketer to a 100PV or $200 a month purchase which is four bottles on a freight-free auto-ship deal.  They will consume at least one bottle of our fine product over the month and possibly 2 with a partner. Secondly, they commit to selling the other 2 bottles at full retail pricing of $85 a bottle bringing in $70 profit.

Lastly, get the commitment and work with them to achieve the 3rd step. This is 100PV in wholesale sales which means a sign up of one new person a month on a 100PV auto-ship or at worst, 2 people on 50PV each.

And what has this accomplished?

Your new marketer has learned the skills of selling at retail AND enrolling a marketer themselves, probably from their warm market or circle of influence. You have begun to build by duplicating and the next step is to ask your first marketer if they could find 3 people to do exactly as they have done? Naturally, you also commit to getting 3 new sign ups.

This achieves some volume, excitement, momentum and starts building a team that works and grows together. It also build belief in the product and the system.

And what does it take to get three people into the business? The numbers are probably like this: Talk to 12, have 9 begin the process of learning the system to get your 3.

In my primary opportunity, beginning the process means getting people onto a website which explains the industry, the company, the product and the opportunity. Additionally, using online marketing methods finding 12 leads is easy so the numbers can stack up easily enough. And retail sales are a breeze with a high quality product which has a strong retention rate month on month. Another added feature of my primary opportunity is that we have Business Packs which can really add to the bonus dollars earned from a sale.

Now it’s just a process of building that Big Business.

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Make love, not war – Is prospecting offering solutions or preparing for battle?

Mobile officeI recently read a post by a network marketer who described their system of training prospects. They advised their downline to arm themselves to the teeth with an arsenal of literature and promotional tools and to go forth and make their brand known by shear force of impact.

Respectfully, I don’t agree with this approach at all. It reeks of being desperate and needy. Moving around with cards, flyers, samples, brochures is almost like the old days of the cold calling salesperson jamming his foot in the door and laying siege to a household that has better things to do than listen to a sales pitch.

I agree with Mike Dillard and Mark Weisser in their Black Belt Recruiting system where they switch the whole approach 180 degrees. You need to simply be aware when you meet new people that you are looking for a particular type of person; someone who YOU would want in your business. It is NOT a matter of jumping on all and sundry begging them to “PLEASE be in my business – I’ll swamp you with paraphernalia and then you’ll have to join me and you can do the same”. No thanks.

If someone delivers great service; or is friendly and outwardly inviting; or is someone who is well connected and a maven to whom others are attracted – they are the ones that might graduate to your next step. Make contact. Compliment them on the characteristics that attract you eg “Firstname, thanks for that awesome service. You are really wasted here as a …………. I run a business in the area and perhaps you’d consider an opportunity that could be great for both you and me. Are you open to a side project if it didn’t interfere with what you are doing now?”

Don’t leave cards/flyers/brochures/booklets/samples/thekitchensink. Forget any sales pitch. Hold back on anything that will have the person ducking for cover — Ahhh! it’s AmWaaay!! Run everybody! Save your children! Head for the hills!

Only kidding (sort of).

You are building a relationship and subtly interviewing the person for their suitability to work with you. There’s a lot more to know before even broaching the subject of product and in fact, the product couldn’t matter less at this stage. This might be the right time to end the conversation, let them know that you are busy at the moment and promise to get back to them at a specific time and day. Set a meeting or phone call and record the arrangement so it happens. Leave them with a sense of curiosity and anticipation for your next encounter. By appearing to be cool and laid back, unhurried yet busy in what you do, you add a dimension of ease, success and confidence. This is very attractive.

Most deals between someone with something of value and those who could benefit most from that thing are killed because there’s too much said before the information is gathered by the deal maker to ascertain just how to show the other party the best solution to their problems. And nearly everyone has problems. Not enough money, time, freedom, future options, quality lifestyle or choice. When looking for business associates, you need to know which of their problems are most acute and present. Where is the pain most real and is it intense enough that they are prepared to act to embrace a solution and how soon?

When you meet next, delve deep. If they say yes, they are open to a side project you might use the Ray Higdon strategy and ask where are they in life, what is the reason that they are open to a project at this particular time. Clarify that their answer is the truth – are they just saying they are open or are they really feeling the challenge they have described? Push a little to paint the scene of where they are now and how they’ll be in the same, if not a worse place, if they do nothing. How many of their friends are in the same position? What are their long term options and how much of their life have they extravagantly spent in this situation? Is change a priority now? Are they really committed?

From this point, it becomes a matter of degree. If they are interested in a better life but not willing to change because …….(any reason is as poor as the next) … then help them learn more about the network marketing industry and at least get them into MLSP or Magnetic Sponsoring or The Renegade Marketing System or even Unittus– anything to help self educate and earn a few bucks (for them and you) in the process.

If they are clearly challenged by health issues, I would refer them to a unique nutritional which is my primary business opportunity as a customer and I’d stay in touch over the next few months to gauge the benefits to them of upgrading to a distributor. This might still be a process of education sending articles, links to interviews and videos as part of this sub-system. If appropriate, The Wild Weightloss Way™ might provide the impetus for them to get on the product and see what happens over the next 90 days.

But if they are ready to make the significant moves to make a difference in their lives then they enter your funnel that takes them from prospect to Independent Business Operator with the minimum of fuss. Making use of a pre-qualifying tool here is a valuable step as it simultaneously educates, edifies, engages and empowers your prospect in understanding the industry, the company, the product and the opportunity.

sales pitch-free zoneVoilà. From brief encounter to qualified distributor without any blood spilled (yours or theirs) nor using any flyers, brochures, samples or hard selling. Networking in the  21st Century.

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Six core values for your business

I read a number of e-zines each day and Craig Ballantyne’s  Early To Rise is one of these.

Craig recently wrote about six core values that drive his company and I’m borrowing them for my own enterprise.

Have a look and see if these core values suit or can be adapted to your business too:

#1 – Improve the Lives of Others

I teach valuable skills and foster the application of these skills so that my team members can improve their lives. Never forget who we are trying to help and what we are trying to accomplish. It is all about helping my colleagues and clients transform their lives.

#2 – Encourage Self-Reliance and Personal Responsibility

While Your Online Business teaches and preaches the need for and benefits of finding positive social support, networking with like-minded people, and attending educational seminars, at the end of the day it’s still your decision to follow through on all of this. It is up to YOU and you only.

#3 – Live by Example

I and my team rise early, manage our time and energy to maximize our results and we are dedicated to a life well lived. We are, of course, not “all work and no play”. Time is made for the finer things in life, enjoyed responsibly.

#4 – Concentrate on What Counts

We focus on what matters. Ignore the noise and concentrate on the big items that move the needle in your life towards your goals.

#5 – Deliver the Truth

We tell the truth and we expect others to tell the truth to us. The only way to build strong relationships among team members, with joint venture partners and with our growing network of distributors is to always be truthful.

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Speed networking – dating for business people

I am continuing my report on the recent business forum I attended and which focused on speed networking.

The speed networking exercise was run by Natalie Moutia from Success Women’s Network. This gave me other insights too. Few of us really had our elevator pitch designed with the other person’s needs in mind. People spoke of their services, not necessarily the outcomes or any emotional results for the recipient of that service. Lots of people pitched concepts such as ‘I will help you make money’, ‘get more sales’ or ‘invest money more wisely’ but vague outcomes are impossible to emotionalize and so we do not buy into them. What made it even less plausible was that those pitching were at the function straight from work and none was dressed as though they could do for themselves what they promised for others. They seemed if not desperate (and dateless?) then at least needy.

Perhaps more personal outcomes may have been more convincing. Here is my 30 second elevator pitch:

‘I can show you how to pay off your home, go on vacations often and to more exotic destinations, buy a new luxury car or contribute to environmental or social organizations to help them do the things you feel are important.

My business revolves around a nutritionally dense, whole food product based on Australian wild foods in a blend with over a dozen global superfoods.

This means that we can help you get healthy, help others do the same and really make a difference in the lives of all those we reach, both physically and financially.

Are you open to a side project that won’t interfere with what you are doing now and that you can do part-time to achieve these goals?’

That’s the crux of what I do. However, I realize that networking, like dating, needs a relationship developed first before you get into bed together (for business or pleasure).

In the flesh, I approach leads like this:

Step 1. Ask what it is that they do and if they really enjoy their work now. Ask if they have free time and are living their best life. Get a little philosophic and ask about their future. Really try to pull out their current workload, future plans and family situation. It’s a date so get to know them first. I take my time (never do more than kiss on the first date) because I look to build trust and rapport and I need to know if I want to have them on my team as much, if not more than finding out if they see a fit.

Step 2. Ask; “[Name], would you be open to a side project if I can show you a way that it would not interfere with what you are currently doing now?”

Step 3. Use their answer to ask why are they interested, ask more questions about challenging areas in their life now and in the short term that might be causing stress and concern. Is time or money lacking? Is life slipping away or the economy having undue negative influence? Are they working harder now than they were 5, 10 or 20 years ago? Do they have a plan for the future or are they just wishing it will get better?

Step 4. Ask about their health. Are they at their ideal nutrition, weight and fitness? Is there room for improvement?

Step 5. Ask; “Do you realize that modern foods are moving away from the real nutrition we need for our ideal health? What if I could show you a way to get really healthy, lose weight easily if you need to and make a healthy income helping others to do the same? Imagine what it would be like to wind back the clock on your age and help others to regain their years too. What would it be like to also be rewarded for helping us expand our ability to benefit people who may be suffering from nutritional diseases like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, organ diseases, chronic fatigue, mental conditions … the list goes on. My question is do you want to get into a business that makes a difference in your own and in other people’s lives?

Step 6. Imagine if you could discover a business training process that really worked for you and the team you build. What if you could run this global business from anywhere in the world and traveling domestically or internationally became a tax deductible pleasure for you?

What would you do with a few thousand dollars a month from your part-time referral network or even if you take it more seriously and go on to 5 figures or more each month. How would this change your life?

Imagine being debt-free and having the money you now pay your landlord for rent or pay the banks for your mortgage, personal loans and car finance all staying yours to spend as you wish. Picture how you would spend your days living a quality life with your significant other or family with plenty of free time and money to spend.

We were conned that it is necessary to enslave ourselves working so hard to get nowhere. Most of us spend full time with borrowed funds demanding interest be paid 24/7 while we only work part time. Most of us work 3 to 4 days just to pay the bills and a day or less for ourselves. We battle to get ahead and often there’s too much month at the end of the money.

What if I could begin to change this and improve your lifestyle even by helping you earn just 10% of what if would take to make you debt-free? That’s more out of your income for you and I help to get this for you while making a positive contribution to those with whom we come in contact. This is why my team is excited to work with me and why you should join us.

From here I simply hand over my card with my prospect qualifying website, explain what they’ll discover on that site and ask when they’ll have time to visit so I can follow up.

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Better Communication for Business

I recently went to an interesting business forum looking for leads and came away with some great tools and insights and an idea to train my own team in my primary opportunity.

Firstly, there was Jane Winter from who presented some useful aspects of NLP and how we often de-program people with our words. We can instil behaviour and outcomes that we really don’t want.

Have you ever said to your prospects “Let’s get started then and see how you go.” or “Just try it for 30 days and decide later.” or “Use it for a while, a bottle lasts a month and get your own testimonial from the results” or any introduction that suggests the short-term, delaying a decision or not making a real commitment.

Better you should say: “Assuming we go ahead and work together …” Or “My team sticks with me for years because of the training I do.” Or “Whilst you may want to start working with me straight away, let’s go through the value I provide.” Or “Imagine working in my team where we each support one another to succeed in achieving health outcomes or financial ones.”

Jane went on the describe a few other power words we all need to use to future-pace our presentations: notice, imagine, realize, discover.

Eg. Imagine if you could discover a training process that really worked – for you and the team you will build. How would this change your life?”

And some more influential words: your prospect’s name (used with positive comments only); please and thank you; because; now; new; and when.

We then went on to an extremely enriching bout of speed dating – no, wait up – I mean speed networking. It’s the same thing in a way but you can be more calculating. We had a drink in our hands, the aim of creating a relationship and we each spoke about ourselves to see if there was a fit.

I worked at incorporating the power words above into my pitch and we formed a large parallel horseshoe shape of people with one line the shakers (they stayed in their positions) and movers who took one step to the next person on every minute. We pitched our stories for 30 seconds, someone called ‘SWAP’ and the other person in each pair gave their pitch. The call ‘MOVE’ meant that the line of movers moved on and the last mover on the end walked around to the beginning of the line.

There were lots of cards handed across which was a learning exercise in itself.

So many people either didn’t have cards (obviously they weren’t serious networkers); some had stylish cards with lots of design elements but little information so they had to explain who they were and what they did; some had their websites on the cards but you knew that you’d never go there as I forgot what they did even by the following morning. The best networkers had their key deliverable on their cards or a way to effectively find more information in the shortest possible time.

To use my own card as an example, I state my association with my primary opportunity brand and describe it as the antidote to modern foods. I have a high-lighted URL to my own pre-qualification website which describes the industry, the company, our products and the opportunity in several ways (written and audio/visual) before a survey ties up the prospect’s information with their most desired outcomes from my opportunity.

I realized that I needed more information on my own cards and which I’ll add to the back of the card asap. This will be more on the why of the product and the business in a simple, sticky, bullet point list.

To give you an idea of my meaning here, what I am thinking is the following:

Kakadu – the antidote to modern foods.

  • healing, anti-ageing, peak performance
  • healthy, easy, permanent weight loss system
  • build on-going wealth and free time
  • live a high quality life – you only have one

Let me know what you think by leaving your comments below.

I’ll write more on the speed networking exercise in a following blog.

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What’s the biggest challenge for any business?

If you think about it, unless a business bleeds from overheads and expenses, everything comes down to sales. If your sales are strong, predictable and grow month on month, then your business is bulletproof.

On the other hand, if costs spiral relative to sales volumes then the profitability of your business not only suffers but risks running while insolvent and all the stress of the possibility of bankruptcy.

So how do we insulate ourselves from disaster? Sure. We can wield the knife and cut costs to the bone but this can often impact negatively on sales because we stop promoting and marketing and building next month’s revenues.

Marketing is the lifeblood of any business.

So with all the ways to get your offer out there for an online business, what do we do as the highest and best use of our time, effort and resources? If you look what the gurus are saying it is an overwhelming list of becoming an expert in ads on FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn or writing blogs (after you’ve built a website that is) or working on SEO on an information site rather than a blog. Then there’s video and whether to also upload what you produce on Vidler or YouTube or to feed your your own site using Amazon S3, Bluehost or another platform, each with their learning curve. Then there are product launches,  joint ventures or affiliate programs to develop and create, manage, promote. And let’s not forget the ebooks, white papers, Kindle publications, special reports, CDs and audio collections, how-to packages and every other product pushing any or all of the above to position yourself as an authority. And let’s not forget the strategies of promoting the assets your create on the ‘Walmarts of the Internet’ – Amazon, Google, Youtube and Facebook in addition to just having a presence there.


Just creating a website and blogging regularly is work enough even though software such as WordPress and SBI makes it somewhat easier. Then there’s capture pages, SEO and website promotion. Database management is on-going work as your list grows. You’ll need autoresponders and more reports and the skills of a master juggler to keep all these balls in the air.

Then there are the skills we need to actually run the business of networking.

We need to create our target prospect lists and whether we use a priority based multi-list method where we have our A’s, B’s and C lists (hot, warm and cold respectively) or just a random list of likely prospects is a choice we need to make. How do we approach our warm market? How will we build our off-line lists?

What actual questions will we ask prospects?

I really like the training Ray Higdon and Marcin Marczak offer on sponsoring, both are available via My Lead System Pro which I highly recommend.

Ray (and also Mike Filsaime and his Little Fish Blueprint) suggests that as network marketing is all about creating relationships it is essential to ask questions to see where your prospect meets what you have to offer. If you can’t help them achieve their goals then so be it but most people are after the Holy Trinity; more free time and choice, financial independence and to lead a high quality life. In a word – LIFESTYLE.

So how do we make sense of it?

I’ll come back to sponsoring approaches later and review Ray and Mike’s methods specifically in later blogs on this site (subscribe to my RSS feed or get my newsletter by registering on this site). For now, let me come back to the topic of my title:

What’s the biggest challenge for any business?

My vote is promotions and marketing and telling the difference between them. Over the years, I have had lots of promotion: Radio interviews, magazine articles, newspaper stories and even television coverage. None of the media want to let you market yourself and while you might get away with a soft reference to a website or your new book, you are really there for the entertainment of THEIR audience, not your own. Promotion solves the media’s problem. It doesn’t necessarily get you sales.

I’ve often said, all the promotion I’ve had and 3 bucks will get me a cup of coffee.

It all depends on your approach. I did an interview with well known Australian radio personality, Margaret Throsby on ABC Radio Classic FM last week and had a huge response. If you wish, listen to the segment and see if you can work out why it led to huge sales. My take on it is that health is becoming a real issue for many Baby Boomers and they form the bulk of the audience on this station. I never once mentioned my brand as I could not do this in public radio yet the interview precipitated an avalanche of orders after listeners who understood the message, Googled my name and found my offering.

Marketing on the other hand, is a whole lot more targeted, or should be. It stems from customer experience in ordering through to product delivery, from customer service and support to how the product arrives with regard to packaging and presentation. Obviously, the product also has to perform as promised or it all falls down like a house of cards.

So exposure is essential. It includes media coverage, website SEO to rank in the search engines, referrals from satisfied clients and other websites, off-line promotion.

Where do you start?

A key approach is to analyse your strengths. If you can write well, consider article marketing and blogging. If you have a design flair and I mean online then look to banners and graphs being your vehicle to attract attention of other people’s sites (affiliate promotion) or on ad sites. If you can create videos then focus on these – it is not necessary to get too fancy as some of the most effective videos are animated Powerpoint slides with a voice-over.

This website will continue to address the various marketing strategies for on-line businesses so please subscribe to my blog for more on the topic of building your online business. Additionally, please consider my primary opportunity if you wish to work with me.

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What are the numbers needed to earn a reasonable (extra) income?

John Fogg from the Conversations with networkers associated with his book, 21 Greatest Networkers in the World reports some interesting stats on the numbers behind successful networkers.

You might consider these as a way to understand what commitment you need to have to be in this class of individuals – the home business gurus.

Randy Gauge ball-parked the following: 60% of those you enroll will be product users who just want to buy at the wholesale discount from the RRP. The next 30% are opportunistic social recruiters, people who will recommend the product and possibly the business opportunity but only when the time is right. They are not pro-active nor do they see the (small) income as a high priority for themselves.

The remaining 10% are the professional networkers and who produce most of your volume and make you the most money. To subdivide this group, there will be a much smaller number who are way out in front of the pack and it is these people who will make you a millionaire.

Mike Dillard, in his excellent ebook, Magnetic Sponsoring, defines networkers into 3 groups too. He calls them betas, pre-alphas and alphas.

Betas are essentially the same as the 60% described above and the pre-alphas might be the 30% and also the lower producing portion of the 10% of performers. The smaller part of the 10% are the alpha males and females who are the true pro networkers.

If you decide to grow your business in the shortest possible time, you need to sort your  leads for the alphas and let the rest take care of themselves.

The next interesting  discovery are the low numbers of networkers it takes to drive the big incomes. Many networking gurus of the ilk of Dillard, Misser, Higdon and most in Fogg’s book mentioned above, state that less than 8 people were at the core of their respective businesses and usually this was less than 4. It was just a few people that took the gurus from rags to riches simply because of their ability to bring thousands of others with them.

The challenge remains that in order to find these key networkers, it is necessary for you to bring on hundreds into your primary opportunity yourself and these numbers are usually the betas or the 60 percenters.

What this tells us is that we need to perfect the skills of introducing or inviting, recruiting and training to build substantial incomes while waiting for the key people to discover you.

I strongly recommend listening to this audio by David Woods on this topic and also getting this tool from Mike Dillard’s Magnetic Sponsoring organization. It is an essential package for anyone planning to succeed in MLM.

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