Wednesday, 5 January 2011

What I Learnt from Kleeneze in 2010

It's the start of a new year, and I'm finally back to my normal levels of energy after the bug-ridden weeks of December 2010. I'm fired with enthusiasm, I have a couple of dozen leads to follow up and I have already put out 400 books since Sunday afternoon.

And of course, there's the Kleeneze conference to look forward to on Saturday 8 January, 2011.

It seems a perfect time to look back at 2010, work out what I've learnt so far in my first five months as a Kleeneze apprentice and put in place my targets for 2011.

Personal discoveries:
  1.  I can go the extra mile when I push myself to; I've done that on several occasions, including last night, when I walked non-stop in the dark and cold night for three hours, despite having painful feet, to collect and deliver catalogues.
  2. I really enjoy walking for hours, even dragging an overloaded catapuller trolley, regardless of the weather.
  3. I'm happy and comfortable talking to strangers whilst out delivering catalogues.
  4. I love meeting dogs and their owners.
  5. Dogs love meeting me. I've made friends with collies, staffies, labradors, alsatians, boxers, various terriers and a completely mental saluki crossbreed. Most think my catapuller is a toy for them to play with.
  6. I'm not so good at phoning leads. There always seems to be a reason to put this off. Now, this isn't just procrastination (I'm good at that, too, when I want to be), this is more like psychological resistance on a massive scale. I'm pretty sure it harks back to when my ex walked out, leaving me with £20000 of debt, maxed-out credit cards, no way of paying the mortgage and loads of unsympathetic collection agencies threatening legal action. That's no excuse from now on.
  7. I find it easy to be enthusiastic about Kleeneze - this has more to do with how easy it is to make a retail income than my reasonably upbeat personality.
  8. I'm getting fitter.
  9. I am nowhere near as organised as I should be. That has to change in 2011.
  10. I am capable of earning £50 per week extra with minimal effort, poor organisation and sporadic tracking.
  11. I should be earning a heck of a lot more, and I will be in 2011.
Business Discoveries - Retail:
  1. Hitting the 10% volume profit level is extremely easy once you put in sufficient effort.
  2. Sufficient effort is around 200 - 300 books delivered each week regularly over a 4 to 6 week cycle. Note, I don't have the time to do catalogue presenting and many of my customers will not open the door after dark, when I deliver my catalogues. I firmly believe that the personal approach is best and am aware there is a higher per-catalogue income when the catalogue is presented.
  3. Even at Christmas time, the majority of my orders were for regular Kleeneze products.
  4. It's extremely easy not to notice when a customer forgets to put their address on their order.
  5. It is not so easy to find the customer afterwards.
  6. It takes up to 4 visits to get 95% of your catalogues back. Leaving a note stating when you will return to collect the stragglers is vital.
  7. It can take a couple of visits before you can hand over their goods to the customer. It's essential to let them know in advance by phone or thank you slip when you will deliver their order.
  8. It is perfectly possible to destroy a catapuller through regular use over a five month period, especially when you're delivering and collecting 400 catalogues a week.
Business Discoveries - Team Building:
  1. No matter what you do, some prospects will agree with you right up to where you ask them to sign the distributor agreement. Then they'll avoid your calls as though you're a debt collector/their ex/Satan and all his little imps.
  2. Some prospects lie. Some don't understand what they've seen, what they've read and what they've been told. It's up to you how you deal with it. Taking this personally is not the right way to deal with it.
  3. A steady flow of leads is no use if you're too scared to call them. If you've got the collywobbles over talking to prospects, then treat this like going out in the rain to deliver catalogues - get prepared (learn or use a script until you can fly solo), get equipped (phone, pen, paper, contact details, etc.) and get on with it. In 2011, I intend to take my own advice on that one...
  4. Always ask for referrals. If the person you're talking to doesn't want to join your team, see if they can suggest someone who might. If they do want to join your team, see if they can suggest someone to join with them. Always remember points 1 and 2. 
  5. I should take every opportunity to ask people to join my team via my Kleeneze website.