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February 2000


Feature: Headed for the top

Prospecting Is Like Fishing - Richard Davey

At 33, Richard Davey was already 15 years into a 30-year police career. As a London bobby, he worked in one of the rougher areas of the city. "It wasn't really brought home to me how frustrated and unhappy I was in my job until my best man rang me up, out of the blue, and said he was looking at a business," Richard recalls. He peppered his friend with questions. "Looking back now, it shows how desperate I was for something else -- talk about being in the right place at the right time for Network Marketing!"

Some people might have thought it wouldn't be good timing for me, because we'd just had our first son -- he was six weeks old -- and I was in a solid career. That's a good lesson to learn in this business: Don't prejudge people. A few weeks after my friend called, he invited me to a meeting at a bank manager's house. He "spun the circles," as they say, and everything he said made absolute sense to me. It just seemed so obvious. Before the presentation was finished, I put six names in the circles and went home to my wife, really excited. I told her this was the answer to everything and that night I couldn't sleep. I'd sort of fallen into being a policeman, and I knew I wasn't really fulfilling my potential or being given a chance to use some of my skills.

I joined that company and spent four years building the business. Even though I worked the program very hard, I didn't reach the goals I'd set, but the support system that was in place kept me in the business, kept me focused, and I learned the fundamentals of our industry. When I went to that first presentation, though, they told me it was a five year plan to achieve your goals, and my goal was to get out of the police service and take control of my life -- if you look at my Network Marketing career, I spent four years with my first company, then I joined LifePlus and when the two were added together, it was nearly five years to the day that I actually retired from the police service. So the plan I was shown did come true, it just involved a change of company.

My biggest challenge in my first company was being taught to give little or no information on the phone, especially about the company. I always felt uncomfortable with that technique. I am much more comfortable being able to tell people about it honestly, and because I'm more comfortable, I've been more effective. I've used my entrepreneurial flair to create things I thought would be good for the UK market, rather than using an American system that wasn't a real fit. I knew what I needed, I produced what I needed, and as a result my group members have tools that make them more effective, too. It's one of my fortes to create tools to help people keep it simple and duplicate even though they may not have the skills themselves.

One of the hard lessons I learned when I first started with LifePlus was about cold market prospecting. I purchased a mailing list with a few other people to create some momentum -- my first foray into cold market activity -- only to have so many people getting back to us that we just couldn't physically handle the inquiries. I wasted a lot of the opportunity it created -- people who could have come in and been good slipped through the net because follow-up wasn't done as well as it could have been. Looking back, I should have mailed to smaller numbers at a time to make it more manageable.

The way I like to look at prospecting is like fishing. I'm sitting in a fishing boat and I've got 50 reels in the water, and one of them's fliers, one of them's one-on-ones, one of them's the Internet, one of them's cold market, one of them is friends and family, and they're all in the water and you get nibbles. Every now and then you reel in a big fish, sometimes a little fish, sometimes it jumps back in the water, but the more reels you have out, the more chance you have for success.

And what a difference three-way calling has made to my business in follow-up! It's only been over here for three years, and I've been using it in the last two years. By being on a call together, you can multiply the skill of a new member and increase their success rate. You are also training the new member while building both your businesses.

One of the most important skills I've developed is being patient with people. I expected people to get it straight away as I had, and I was frustrated when people didn't see it or wouldn't even take the time to find out the information and make what I thought was a sensible decision. Since then I've learned not to second guess people -- just sift and sort, supply them with information, and then be patient with them.

The other thing I've learned is to focus my time with the people who really want it. In the past, one of the big mistakes I made was wanting success for everyone in my business and sometimes more than they wanted it themselves. What I've learned to do now is to be there to help and support everyone, but I ask them to do simple tasks. That shows me who the people are who are teachable and really serious about what they want. I don't drop anyone, but if I suggest someone do ten things and get back to me and they do, that's the kind of person I want to work with. If I'm going to put my time and effort into their business, then I want them to be working alongside me.

I'm spurred on now to make my business secure. That means developing leadership in depth. I have some great leaders now, and I'm starting to work in a few different legs as well to bring them to the same level of success.

My specific goal when I got into Network Marketing was to get out of work, and I've achieved that. Some of my goals for the future are to put my son through private education and move out to the country. We'd like to be able to do even more traveling -- we've been to Hawaii and to Barbados, and we love America, especially American football.

The best thing about Network Marketing is control of your life and not having a boss. It gives you choices to do what you want to do, and with finances behind them, those choices become bigger. Freedom is what's driven me from that first meeting to where I am now. I'm interested in money, but there's only so much that you need. In the morning I can take my six-year-old to school, and it's all mums there, there's hardly any dads. When he finishes, I go to pick him up or I'm here when he comes home. He will never remember me being away. It's the lifestyle that matters.

Richard Davey is a One Star Diamond with LifePlus, Network Marketers of nutritional products. He's been in LifePlus for three years. Richard lives with his wife Tracey and six-year-old son, Lewis, in London, England.

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Reprinted with permission from Upline, Headed for the Top - February 2000, 888-UPLINE-1,