113) Merrill

Merrill was an ex-marine, who was one of the better salespeople I ever met. Standing 6 feet 2 inches tall with head shaved and twinkling blue eyes he knew how to use his physical presence to either intimidate or make you feel welcome. And if you were part of Merrill’s team – as Nadine and I were – he had a way of making you feel special and privileged. By the time we joined, in December of 2007, then met Merrill at a conference in Dallas in June of 2008, his downline numbered in the hundreds.

In the last post you read about our little home business company, Ocean View Marketing, a limited liability corporation and the way we were beginning to sign up a few members for our own downline (team of commissioned sales people). However, like other start-up network marketing companies, we had two serious problems; cash flow and lead conversion. In this post you will read how Merrill’s proposal offered a solution for the latter and how that proposal changed the direction of our life for the next several years.

The Bait

“Dude,” Merrill told me over the phone as he was making his pitch to me. “a couple of my top people are sending leads to me, and I am closing them.” “We split the commissions 50/50.” ” You would need a few thousand to get my campaigns started on pay-per-click, drive the leads to MY site and me and my sales team take over.”

“How much are we talking about?” I asked.

“We typically set the budget limit at $250 per day in adwords (pay-per-click),” Merrill said, “so this gives us coverage in all the time zones 24/7 without hitting our daily limit.” he explained.

“Oh man, that’s a lot of money,” I said. “Let me talk it over with Nadine.”

“Sure, I understand,” Merrill continued, “You would have full access to my back office sales page, where you could see for yourself that each lead you generate would contain a code, so that when we close the sale there would be no question that it be 50/50 split.” he concluded.

After I got off the phone with Merrill, my sponsor, I remember being so excited I could hardly think of anything else; not my new house, not Stevie’s drug addiction, not sex, not even the stock market.

But taking pride in being accountable, I also realized there was something I wasn’t doing that was dragging Ocean View Marketing down. Nobody was telling me this but nevertheless it is something, as a new network marketer, I knew I should be doing. But I wasn’t.

I wasn’t calling folks that had signed up on our website to get more information about joining our team. I wasn’t following up with them on the phone. This was one of the guiding principles of network marketing. A principle I had learned in every book I had read by master MLM practitioners.

This was an “automated marketing system”, I reasoned. No selling, telling or showing. Prospects found the opportunity on the internet, watched a video, then signed-up. This was the theory behind the automated marketing system and it was one of the big reasons I chose this network marketing opportunity.

What had become clear to Nadine and I in early 2008, was that the system wasn’t working the way we expected it to work. We were near our spending limit on Google driving traffic to our website and producing leads but the people were not signing up for the program.

If we could teach others to do what we were doing, the theory went, we could create residual income.

Something was broken.

Since I had no intention of calling people to sell them on a marketing concept I now knew was badly broken, I began to realize we had wasted thousands of dollars driving traffic to our sales funnel that was anything but automated and required someone to call them and sell them.

There was one way out.

If I accepted Merrill’s offer and funded several large pay-per-click campaigns to drive folks to his website, he would then follow-up with them on the phone – an activity I later learned he relished – and give Ocean View Marketing 50% of the commissions.

Since he was closing about 50% of the folks he personally spoke with over the phone, we couldn’t lose!

It was a rescue plan that would cost me about $7,500 per month for at least 3 months.

Inside of Wealth Miners/Carbon Copy Pro Merrill was a superstar. Still ascending in sales during January of 2008, he was one of the top three highest paid sponsors in the opportunity, was winning awards for having the highest volume month and had chosen me to work closely with him and his team to make us both a lot of money.

In one of the biggest decisions of my life, and after hardly sleeping the night before, I left Merrill a voice mail the next day.

“Hey Merrill, lets get started.”

Next – Setting the Hook

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