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February 1999


Ideas of the Month

Where Do You Live - John Milton Fogg

John Milton Fogg Ever since Richard Brooke first taught me this great question, I've been teaching it in trainings and writing about it. RB and I both agree, if all you ever did was to get into relationship with one new person a day (or reignite an old cold one), at the end of a year or three, you'd have a sizable Network Marketing organization and the check to go with it.

Here, from my current favorite work-in-progress, Conversations with The Greatest Networker in the World, is how you can use the question to build your business.

"So, Vince, where do you live?"

Vince took a deep breath and dove right in.

"Out by the university," he said.

"What's it like there?" The Greatest Networker asked, and his focused attention on Vince was tangible.

"I like it," Vince replied, matter-of-factly. "It's close enough to work so I can even walk on really nice days. It's neat and clean. Safe. And the kids really keep it happening."

"What do you mean `the kids keep it happening'?" The Greatest Networker asked him.

"Well," he said, "it's alive. It's fun. Keeps me young," Vince laughed. "There are tennis courts and I can almost always get a game with somebody-- and it's a great place to meet people. In the bars and restaurants and clubs, it's easy to strike up a conversation. The kids are so open, simple to talk to. And the music, there's always music. New bands, even great classical stuff over at the auditorium. There's always something to do, something new nearly every night."

The entire time Vince was speaking, the Greatest Networker's eyes were glued to his face. His expression was, well, expressionless, but you could see he was intently interested in what Vince was saying. And that he was interested in Vince.

"You're an active guy, aren't you, Vince?" he asked.

"Yeah, I'm single. I like being busy. I like people-- meeting new people, women especially," Vince replied.

"And why's that?" The Greatest Networker asked with a laugh, and he put his hand out on Vince's shoulder, saying, "I know this is personal, so don't answer if you don't want to: Are you up for something serious, looking for a relationship or just exploring?"

Vince looked down for a moment, blushing, then answered thoughtfully, "I'd have to say I'm exploring," he said, and took a deep breath. "I came out of a five-year relationship a number of months ago, and I've gotta' say, I really liked being with someone. I'm afraid my bachelor days are numbered. It's the right time. I'm the right guy. I'm just being open to the best right woman in the world to show up."

"The best right woman in the world," the greatest Networker spoke Vince's words back to him. "That's pretty cool, Vince. So, you know what you want-- yes?"

"Yes, sir, I do," Vince stated.

"And some pretty high standards, too." The Greatest Networker declared as much as asked.

"Yes, sir. That, too," Vince replied with a laugh. "I guess I want a girl . . . just like the girl that married dear old dad," and he sang as much as spoke the last words of the old song.

"Only younger?" The Greatest Networker asked, and Vince nodded, adding, "And definitely Italian."

"How did I know you would say that," the Greatest Networker said with a laugh. He extended his hand for Vince to shake saying, "We're going to stop here. Vince," he said turning to the young man, "You're a pleasure. Thanks for speaking with me. And thanks for your honesty. I really enjoy how clear you are about what you like and want.

"Vince, you're someone I'd like to get to know. I have to go now-- I have this group of people out there I have to talk to. Do you have a business card, and would you be willing to meet me for lunch, coffee or dinner sometime-- or, hey, you said you played tennis, right?"

"Yeah," Vince said.

"Any good?" The Greatest Networker asked.

"Some days," said Vince.

"Well look, on the days you're off a bit, I'd love to give you a reasonable game," he laughed and Vince laughed with him. "Would you be up for a couple of sets with a 50-year-old guy who's only been playing for about a year and loves it?"

"No problem," Vince replied. "I'd like that."

"So would I, Vince. So would I. That's exciting. I'm really glad I talked to you today, Vince. I'd like us to be friends."

Vince was reaching into his pocket for his card before the Greatest Networker finished speaking.

"And that, my friends, is how it goes. I will see Vince again. You can take that to the bank. Probably a couple of times. I'm guessing Vince is a much better tennis player than I am-- but hey. That's one. I also would love to get out more and hear some new music. Left to my own devices, I'll stay home listening to what I already know and love. So Vince gives me the possibility of learning something new, get an update on the music my kids are listening to. And from his response, I'd say Vince is happy and open to our beginning a relationship.

"Is that true, Vince?"

"Yes, sir," said the ever-polite Vince.

"You see," he said leaning forward to us, "I didn't say a word about my products. I didn't mention my company. I didn't bring up my incredible opportunity. I don't have to . . . because the next time we're together, or the time after that, or the one after that, Vince will ask me!

"And what, my friends," he asked us earnestly with his eyes and arms open wide, "do you imagine will happen then...?"

My guess is, he'll sponsor the guy!

By the time you read this, Conversations with The Greatest Networker in the World will be out or just about. I'm learning a lot in the process of writing it, though, like this for example:

"Every day you choose to go to work, you should have your attention focused on building relationships," he continued. "That's what we do in this business. We speak and listen to create relationships that we grow into friendships, which we make into partnerships and develop through leadership," he said. "Network Marketing is relationshipping . . . friendshipping . . . partnershipping . . . and leadershipping."

"My word," he leaned back in surprise. "We really are in the distribution business. Shipping and receiving-- that's what we do: Relationship, friendship, partnership, leadership . . . and then we receive checks in the mail. Shipping and receiving," he laughed another of his booming laughs.

"What a country!" He said, shaking his head with a laugh.

Indeed. Enjoy the book. --JMF

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Reprinted with permission from Upline, The First Word-February 1999, 888-UPLINE-1,