I’m sure it sounds strange that some random homeless man could teach me the secrets of network marketing but I have to tell you about this fella, Patrick, I met today.
Today I was in downtown Vancouver, in a parking lot, meeting a guy who would sell me the Amazing Amazon Kindle because Amazon is out of the 3g Kindles and I need one for my mom’s 80th birthday in a few weeks. I had decided a while ago that it would be the perfect gift, easy to use, holds a billion books and it wouldn’t cost me a bundle to ship it to Ontario where she lives.
But I digress.
The Kindle fella arrived and we stood next to my car, on a gorgeous Vancouver summer day and went over the device. He showed me all the cool stuff it does and then remembered to erase his own settings so mom couldn’t purchase books on his credit card (good move there:)
While we were chatting I mentioned that I was taking my girls to Cupcakes, a store of infinite delectability and a “must do” for us whenever we’re within about 10 miles of the place.
Coincidentally as I was telling the story of the Cupcake company a man named Patrick interrupted us.
Now Patrick was not particularly clean. His hands were dirty and his boots (I snuck a look) were pretty scuffed up. Patrick was clearly a man down on his luck. Although he did not seem drunk or stoned. Just homeless.
Patrick interrupted us to tell me that while Cupcakes did make some spectacular cupcakes, Starbucks (only a block away…this IS Vancouver after all) had equally amazing cakery and was closer and cheaper.
He went on to expound the benefits of going to Starbucks: it was closer, less expensive, I wouldn’t have to find another parking spot etc.
Patrick was providing me with free information on a subject I had shown and interest in.
Hmmmm. Imagine that? Free info with no regard for personal gain but rather an authentic need to help a fellow human being find the perfect cupcake.
I likely would have spoken to Patrick further but I was in the middle of a transaction, my kids were dead set on Cupcakes and, well, Patrick did not really smell that great.
I thanked him for the information and dug in my wallet for a toonie (a $2 Canadian coin that makes having a change compartment in your wallet a must!) Patrick accepted my “payment” for his “service” and was off to McDonald’s to buy a cup of coffee.
I thought about it as I was driving….to Cupcakes of course, that Patrick had just taught me the first lesson of successful network marketing; Provide value to qualified prospects without “selling” them something.
Damn, I wish I’d met Patrick before I’d spent all that money on “how to make money online” ebooks!:)
Thanks Patrick! Enjoy your coffee. If we meet again I will gladly seek out your advice on restaurants and parking spaces in the city.