31/05/2009

The Office is Finished!

If you've read my profile, you'll know that I am bricks & mortar business owner as well as being a network marketer. The last couple of weeks has really highlighted some of the differences to me.

First of all, there are the physical premises. I run an estate agent & letting agency business with two offices. One of our offices housed a building society who have recently been closing some of its agencies (the economic downturn at work again). Our office was one of the ones it has pulled out of. I decided to take this as a positive move for us rather than negative, which meant a complete refurbishment of the office when the building society's technology/desks etc were taken out.

The result is fantastic. Modern fresh decor to match our desks, computers etc, much more space to move around in, and a very professional look. But at what cost? Apart from the monetary cost of refurbishment, there has been the time spent in manually doing all the decorating and any other jobs possible to save costs which has meant roping in staff and family.

Then there was the operating time lost whilst the refurbishment was being carried out; in my business we're expected to be on call pretty much every minute of the day so we've had a bit of soothing to do, although most tenants and landlords were reasonably understanding; they did after all only miss two days of our service whilst my family and I had to work all over bank holiday weekend plus those couple of days.

So all in all, a happy result. But when I compare it to my networking business where I can work from home; no holiday charts to juggle, repairs to organise, and the million-and-one other things that take up time in a 'traditional' business, it made me realize that network marketing has a serious edge for anyone considering starting a business.

Add to this the very real option of building up a monthy residual income - something that no 9-5 job will ever do for you, and it's even more attractive!

So take a tip from me. Don't dismiss network marketing. What does it cost to try out your belief in yourself? With Telecom Plus, less than £200, and you get to be part of my team, and most other network marketing opportunities will be similarly priced.

Very small risk indeed if you have any measure of self-belief.

Don't Blame the Circumstances

I just came across this quote by George Bernard Shaw, and it's simplicity impressed me.

"People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them."

I guess he's really saying what we already know - that if you want to make a success of your business, then you have to be prepared to put in some time. It won't happen overnight, it won't be handed to you on a plate and the only reason your business won't succeed is if you don't make it.

Keywords and Search Engine Optimization


There is a lot of material on the internet about keywords, but much of it is very confusing to the new internet and network marketer; a bit like the foreign language that I'm trying to learn at the moment (Spanish).

So we've created an article that we've posted to our Squidoo page; just click this link to see it in full and let us know whether it's helpful in demystifying keywords a little.

One of the industry's recognized keywords masters is Perry Marshall. You can download a free google adwords checklist by clicking on the link on the right in the 'useful stuff' folder. We have his course, and have created a pay-per-click campaign that daily brings in between 2-10 people into our opportunity autoresponder.

Pay-per-click is another very powerful lead generation tool, and we will be creating an article, or a series of articles with 'how to' information. However, as it is one method of lead generation that is going to cost you money, it is important to go into it with as much help as possible, because although many can create successful campaigns, there are also many more who spend lots of money for very little result.

30/05/2009

Objections: How Much?


If someone asks you 'how much is this going to cost me?' before you've had a chance to present your opportunity to them properly, you should ask yourself whether or not this person is going to be right for your business.

Don't forget that you're not mindlessly signing everyone up for your opportunity; you're looking for the right kind of people to work with and form a business relationship with. If you're doing your job properly, you're going to be investing a lot of your own time, knowledge and expertise in helping this person succeed in their business, and if they haven't got the right mindset from day one, then you could well be wasting your time.
Ask yourself if the only money you've spent on your business is the initial cost of the opportunity itself? We doubt it, because you will understand that in order to run a business successfully there are always extra costs, whether it's books and courses to help further develop your own knowledge and training, or whether it's to buy business cards or place advertisements.

Our suggested response to this question? Be honest and say straight up that:
'It's not about how much money it's going to cost you, it's about how much money you can make!"
If your prospect takes this on the chin and understands this simple concept, then give them the chance to listen to your opportunity. If not, then they clearly don't understand how network marketing can change their lives. Wish them all the best, but perhaps now is not the right time for them, and move on to someone who genuinely wants to work with you.
Don't be needy, be a leader!

28/05/2009

Magnetic Sponsoring Review


We recently bought Mike Dillard's Magnetic Sponsoring Course as, having watched his free Magnetic Sponsoring videos and received regular e-mails from his autoresponder series, we were impressed by his material and by his marketing ethics and style.

Now having read his material and utilised some of his ideas, we have written an article review that you can read by clicking the link. It may be useful if you are trying to decide whose material to buy, or whose affiliate links to promote in your business. We will never promote affilite links in our blog that we have not used or bought/paid for ourselves.

We have now bought another of Mike's products called 'Black Belt Recruiting' - a set of cd's that we have listened to over and over again and found to be extremely useful for anyone interested in network marketing.

26/05/2009

Telecom Plus Year End Results



Fantastic year end results have been announced by Telecom Plus plc; even more so given the current economic climate where businesses are struggling to meet their financial commitments, and staff are either losing their jobs or having hours cut. Brief highlights are as follows:



Financial Highlights:
  • Turnover up 49% to £278.3m (2008: £186.5m)
  • Profit before tax up 34% to £22.5m (2008: £16.8m)
  • Year-end net cash balance of £25.4m (2008: £30.3m)
  • EPS up 37% to 24.2p (2008: 17.7p)
  • Final dividend of 12.5p per share (2008: 10p) making a total for the year of
    17.5p per share (2008: 14p); this represents an increase in the total
    payment of 25% compared with last year.
Operating Highlights:
  • Accelerating organic growth
  • Customer base now exceeds 281,000 (2008: 217,857)
  • 34% increase in the number of services being supplied
  • Business Club has grown by 69% to 16,163 members (2008: 9,537)
  • Over 27,000 distributors at year end (2008: 19,600)
  • Successful launch of new CashBack card
  • New office headquarters - first phase refurbishment complete

These results are significant, but not surprising, given the Which? Best Buy awards and Customer of The Year award earlier this year, and represent increasing confidence as highlighted in this extract from Chairman Charles Wigoder's Statement:

“We are still the UK’s only fully integrated multi-utility provider, offering customers
consistent value across a wide range of services with the added convenience of
receiving just a single clear and concise bill each month. Our distribution channel has
demonstrated its continuing ability to gather high quality new customers, cost effectively and in increasing volumes; this gives us a considerable competitive advantage in the residential market.”

It is well known that in times of economic hardship we see a resurgence of small businesses as people look for alternative ways of creating an income. It would seem that people are beginning to realise, like us, that for a very small outlay of less than £200, unlimited free training, the support of an award winning customer service team and enlightened, forward thinking management, Telecom Plus offers everyone the chance for people to build their own residual income - something that working for someone else will never do - without costly overheads and whilst allowing us to work at our own pace, part-time or full-time.

21/05/2009

Success Sabateurs!


Are you the victim of a success sabateur? Have you joined a work-from-home network marketing business full of enthusiasm and bright hopes for the future, only to have your friends, family & colleagues predict that it won't work, that network marketing 'never' works? Do they roll out the never-ending negative objections when you try to discuss your product or opportunity with them?

If so, and you're serious about wanting to change your life, you need to develop a specific mindset when speaking to people such as this.

First of all, ask yourself 'why' they're being so negative (and I'm sorry to say that it's usually those closest to you that will reject your offer, which hurts when you're just starting out and expecting everyone to be as enthusiastic as you). Ask yourself what qualifies them to speak to you so authoritatively about what 'will' and 'won't' work. Are they experts? Are they successful business entrepreneurs in their own right and giving balanced advice to truly help you? Are they stuck in a boring job that just pays enough to make a reasonable living? Are they rich? Do they have lots of free time to do anything they please and lots of income to allow them to do just that? Are they always this negative .. or just, perhaps, a teeny bit jealous of the fact that you're taking action.

I think you already know the answers to those questions. So why listen? and why let it disillusion you and shatter your dreams?

The answer? If you listen to these people, if you believe what they say, then you will NOT succeed in your new business. You will lose your motivation and you will join their ranks. You've just let the success sabateurs win!

The solution? Listen to them, thank them for their input and make it quite clear that you see it as an opportunity that will allow you to change your life forever - hey, if it doesn't work it doesn't work right? But how will you ever know if you don't try? If it's not for them, so be it. It doesn't cost much to join, it's a great product, so where's the harm? A small up-front investment and a chance to retire early - not a bad reason for giving it a go! Thanks for listening to me. I appreciate your time and all the best to you.

See what you've done? You certainly haven't walked away with your head down and your heart disillusioned. Instead, you've positioned yourself already as a leader. You're not desperate for their business. You're simply offering them something that, if they don't want it, you've no problem with. Good luck, thanks very much, on to the next. Influence them with your posture and your attitude, rather than be influenced by them with their negativity.

People in this business are just people. Some are confident, some are shy, some are impressionable. But the fact is that everyone has the same chance of success if they're prepared to put in some time and invest in themselves. Invest in training, invest in self-development, invest in your future. It's up to you. If you don't make it big, you will know that you gave it your best shot. If you realise your dream you'll have realised your potential. If you make just enough to have a couple of holidays a year, or buy a new car, or pay off the mortage, you're definitely a winner.

But, whatever you do, don't let the success sabateurs rob you of that dream

20/05/2009

Objections: Feel, Felt, Found

A tried and tested method of overcoming objections is by using the Feel, Felt, Found method. Always accept that objections are valid, and not necessarily a 'no' signal, and acknowledge the objection. So, for example, let's assume the prospect has given the objection "I don't think that I can afford it", by using Feel, Felt, Found, you answer might be:

I understand how you feel about that.
Many others have felt the same way. And what they have found is that....

In other words, empathise with your prospect (genuinely, not falsely). This builds rapport and creates harmony. If you have truly listened to your prospect's reasons for thinking about going into business, you could add that you feel that they can't afford not to join your business as they have already said that they need more income/want to spend more time with family/are fed up with their job etc etc.

The truth is that if someone really wants to change their life then they will usually be able to find the money to join you. Very few network marketing opportunities are asking high joining fees, and a lot of people spend money every month on Sky tv, take-aways etc that they can cut down on if they really want to.

However, be sensible. If your prospect really can't afford the opportunity, then don't be afraid to suggest that it's probably not the right time for them just now and wish them well.

19/05/2009

Signature Banner In Microsoft Outloook

For those of you who use Microsoft Outlook as your email account handler instead of Outlook Express, and want to add a Telecom Plus (for example French & Saunders) signature banner, here are a few tips - note that this will apply to any signature banner that you wish to create using Microsoft Outlook 2000 - if you have a different version and this doesn't work, please let us know and we will try to help.
  1. Follow our video on this page showing how to add a signature banner in Outlook Express to the stage where you have created the .html folder and given it a name. (let's call it 'testsignature' for the purposes of these tips)
  2. Open the new 'testsignature' file (by double clicking) in your Explorer browser and position your mouse in the Url box (http:// etc), press Ctrl-A, then Ctrl-C (hold down the Ctrl key then tap A, release then same again and tap C)
  3. Now open your Microsoft Outlook and Click Tools
  4. Click Options
  5. Click Mail Format
  6. From the drop down box, select 'send in message format' HTML
  7. Click Signature Picker
  8. Click New
  9. Enter a name for your signature (we're calling it 'testsignature' but you choose a more appropriate name)
  10. Click in the box for 'use this file as template'
  11. position your cursor in the box (left click in the box)
  12. Press Ctrl-V
  13. Click Next
  14. You should now see your banner in the screen. If it ok, Click 'Finish'
  15. Click OK
  16. Check that the name (testsignature) appears in the signature box. If so,
  17. Click Apply
  18. Click OK

Open your Outlook email and click 'new' to start a new message. Your signature should appear on the message.

Good luck with this, and with your e-mail marketing. Please let us know if you have any problems. Leave us a comment to let us know whether it has been successful as it will help others.

Articles are Big Business

If you're serious about wanting to increase your profile on the internet, and stand a chance of getting on those first few pages of google or other search engines in the 'organic' or 'free' listings, then you need to consider article marketing as part of your strategy.

Contrary to many people's fears, you don't need to be a pullitzer prize-winning writer to be able to write an article. In fact, many of us have an area of expertise that we can quite happily write about. However, you need to be a little disciplined in the way you structure your articles for maximum impact with search engines. Check out our article on the subject, and the two step-by-step videos on our blog that show you how to set up an e-zine articles account, and make your first article submission.

18/05/2009

Web Page v. Landing page

Are you confused by the difference between a Web Page and a Landing Page and when to use them? If so, have a look at our Article that gives an overview of both what they are and what purpose they best serve in your internet marketing.

17/05/2009

Enthusiasm


Enthusiasm is more important than any other commodity.
It will find solutions when none are apparent,
and it will achieve success where none is thought
possible.

Contribute To Happiness

It was Bertrand Russell who said the "Anything you’re good at contributes to happiness"

To be good at something generally takes knowledge and experience. If you invest in your education of network marketing - really invest, by taking courses, reading books etc, you will grow and quickly become an expert whose opinion will be sought by others.

When you achieve this, when you become good at what you do, your enjoyment of it will increase exponentially, so our advice is to Go Out and Get Good.

Humour and Advertising

Dawn French & Jennifer Saunders, the great British comediennes, have partnered with Telecom Plus to produce a series of hilarious 3-minute sketches, that can by used by Telecom Plus distributors as a marketing aid.

But how successful is humour in advertising? Read our article and let us have your thoughts.

French, Saunders & Telecom Plus


Famous British Comediennes Dawn French & Jennifer Saunders have partnered with Telecom Plus to create a series of short 3 minute sketches to highlight the benefits of being a Utility Warehouse customer from the point of view of the sceptic and the converted. Truly hilarious and absolutely reflective of the kinds of comments made by 'real' people when discussing the benefits of Utility Warehouse membership.


We recommend that you add a banner signature to your outgoing emails so that your friends, family & colleagues can click the link to your own French & Saunders videos. If you're not sure how to do this, follow the step-by-step instructions in our training videos along the right hand side of our Blog.

15/05/2009

Inspirational Wayman Tisdale

Inspirational people can be found in all walks of life, and serve as a constant reminder to us that we should never give up.

To many, Wayman Tisdale was one of those people. NBA basketball and Jazz musician, he had his leg amputated in 2008 after being diagnosed with bone cancer. Yet he will be remembered by many as a man with an infectious smile and an incurable optimism.

"Wayman Tisdale is one of the best people I have ever had the privilege of knowing," said current Oklahoma head coach Jeff Capel. "He had an incredible gift of making the people who came in contact with him feel incredibly special. His basketball talent and accomplishments pale in comparison to the impact he had on the lives that he influenced by the way he lived his life, and the tremendous character he displayed in his fight with cancer."Throughout it all, he always had that infectious smile. This is an incredibly sad day as we have lost not only one of the greatest Sooners ever, but one of the all-time best people to walk the face of this earth."

Underwear is Big Business

Every now and then, amidst the doom and gloom of the economic climate, it's important to remember that profits and business can come from the most unlikely source as this article in the Guardian shows. We women are clearly more vain than it would appear!

The Tried and Tested Way

With so much emphasis these days on using the internet to grow your business, some of the tried and tested methods have been left out of some training programmes. We believe that everyone should take advantage of every method of lead generation that they can, including the non-internet methods. For anyone just starting out we suggest the following:

  • Start writing a list of potential customers. Aim for at least 200 names and keep expanding. (yes, it's a lot, but not everyone says yes, you know).
  • Write out postcards to your friends & family and post them out.
  • Make sure you take advantage of all available training.
  • Contact friends and family and 'practice' on them. (don't forget that even friends and family sometimes say no - don't fall out with them, but simply pass on to the next one).
  • Find out when the open evenings are being held near you - For our Telecom Plus team these are called COP's (career opportunity presentations) and take a guest or guests along. They're a great way of letting your potential new distributor find out a bit more about your business opportunity in a non-threatening environment.
  • Be your own customer! This is not mandatory of course, but you might as well be your own first customer if the product suits you.
  • Hand out presentation DVD's. These are often a good ice-breaker and often make a better job of presenting your business opportunity than most new marketers could. Ask them to have a look at it and let you have their opinion. What bits about it did they like best?

Most importantly, remember that some people will say NO. Yes, it happens! - don't dwell on it, just move onto the next person.

Business on a Budget?

Most people when starting a home business find it difficult to raise enough funds to cover any advertising or marketing costs. Our article gives some ideas how it is possible to build your business on a budget.

Overcoming Objections

Every now and then we come across objections. Don't approach these in a negative way - in fact quite the opposite. It is entirely natural for people to want to know more about the business they might want to be involved with. So answer the objections honestly and fully.

We'll be posting some objections, and possible responses, from time to time. If you've got any good suggestions, post them in the comments box for everyone to share.

We'll start off with this one: "How much do you make?"

This is a great question, and one suggested answer would be:

"Great question, but it's the wrong question to ask. Instead, you should be asking how much you can make, because everyone works at a different pace, and for a different reason. However, what I can promise you is that I will be doing everything I can to help you grow your business successfully."

Only Women Work from Home!

Many people still believe that working from home is a part-time job for a woman. Something that can bring in a little bit of extra pocket money to pay for the little luxuries such as holidays or the payments on a new car.

If this is you, take a look at our article that explains the power of money, and what you can do with it. It just might make you think again about the importance of the home job. It might even make you wonder why you're working long hours to make someone else rich!

Why Network Marketing?

The phrase 'network marketing' conjures up different things to different people. Are you a sceptic who doesn't believe that working from home can earn you a 'serious' income, or perhaps someone who simply shrugs off the concept as 'one of those pyramid schemes'? If so, you're not alone.

See our article if you want to know more about the concept of network marketing.

But we recommend that, in the current economic climate especially, you open yourself to different avenues of wealth generation. It is well known that in times of economic downturn we see a rise in the number of small businesses. So what's different to having a bricks & mortar business, a small lockup or working from home? In our opinion, it's only a matter of attitude and, if you treat your work-from-home opportunity as a business from the outset, you'll have a much better chance of succeeding.

14/05/2009

Telecom Plus - Who are they?


If you live in the UK and you've never heard of Telecom Plus Utility Warehouse, take a look at an Article that we've written giving a bit more information. If you're interested in finding out a bit more of their business opportunity, click on the title link.