Ok, so I think I’ve found my new hobby.
I was checking my PageRank today (somehow I suspect ACN will become the new Meegos – no bad thing) and stumbled on a site listing the marketing techniques used to create a successful MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) organisation. Straight from the horse’s mouth.
ACN’s internal marketing advice includes the following insightful snippet:
2. Don’t Sell to Everyone
Don’t launch your presentation at EVERYONE like a dog licking strangers!
Describe your ideal prospect carefully and specifically. What kind of problem are they trying to solve? What job/business background do they have?
Once you know the problem that really frustrates your prospect, position yourself as the person who has those solutions. For example, my ideal prospect is someone who has owned a business in the past or owns one right now. My prospect is frustrated because he/she can’t find customers easily and really wants to find out how to create more customers.
Great. Now where are they looking for solutions?
They’re buying books and cds on marketing and attending marketing seminars. Now I know where my prospect hides and what I can offer as a solution to bring him/her out of hiding.
Now, where did I meet Francis? At a marketing/small business seminar. He heard me asking a question about exports (it was: “Given that most stuff is manufactured in China, and they still don’t seem too fussed about protecting your ideas, is it worth the cost of legally protecting intellectual property?”) and asked if I ran an export business.
I suspect he wasn’t at that meeting to learn anything. He was there to expand his reseller network by latching on to people who have yet to learn about how to run a business. At the very moment that it all seems pretty hard (“Wow, that’s a lot of stuff I have to learn in order to launch my business”) he’s offering them the cardboard-cutout alternative in the hope that they bite.
That, and he completely misrepresented himself (“I’m in video conferencing” != “I’m creating a reseller network for Optus Mobile”).
I’m sure glad I wasted his time, but I’m still pretty annoyed that he wasted mine.
This catharsis seems to be working though.