More Parties, Please

I am a part of the home party plan side of the direct sales profession. I would appreciate the magazine offering articles that directly affect our side of the business. I have a team of over 4,000 women and refer them to your site regularly. While we find the information you post and the speakers you offer most helpful, please consider this request.

— Sally Lowry

Thank you for taking the time to write and express your needs. We love hearing from our readers about what they like and what they’d like to see more of. The party plan side of the direct sales profession is certainly very prolific, and we agree that there could be more articles in Networking Times directly relating to that aspect of the business.

In the past, we have featured contributions from Karen Phelps, Paula Pritchard, Dawn Siebold and Kim Klaver pertaining to home parties. Do you have any favorite party plan experts you would like to see featured in the future? They could be generic professional trainers such as those I mentioned, or successful party plan professionals, such as yourself, willing to share their expertise with other networkers.

We look forward to hearing from you again. And keep giving those wonderful parties!


. . . And Fewer Emails

I think you have a great service and wonderful tools, but I do not understand why your organization sends so many emails to us. I literally get two or three email solicitations per week from your organization, and that is far too many! I do not understand why you would want to wear out your constituent base in this way. I am willing to subscribe to a few emails per month, but not two or three per week! I just wanted to let you know my thoughts; I wish you all great success in your enterprise.

— Ben Stephenson

Good point. It’s easy not to notice, but at the very bottom of every email we send there is a link that allows you to change your email preferences, so you can remove yourself from any list with a simple click and un-checking a box. Meanwhile, we have gone ahead and changed your email preferences for you: from now on, you will receive just one email a week (the Friday free training article with Webinar announcement), plus one every other month announcing the release of the new issue. In other words, we have taken you off the list for sales and free/new product announcements.

The number of emails we send out is a tricky thing. Some of our community members take advantage of each and every sale we have (especially when we offer a free new product) and don’t want to miss a single announcement. Personally, I don’t like receiving this many emails from the same company either. On the other hand, we have plenty of people who tell us they always appreciate hearing from us, and very few tell us they’re receiving too many emails.

— JG

The Strength of Weak Ties

When I read this article [“The Strength of Weak Ties,” The Close, July 2006], it set off a bright light bulb of clarity in my head. I am quite familiar with traps associated with the family-and-close-friends as warm market, and I dread any kind of “cold-market” activity. I find it easier to create some form of loose relationship within my cold market such that they are more comfortable with who I am, prior to making any kind of presentation. Thus I effectively have moved them from cold market to that area in between that the author describes in his article: not so familiar with me as to take me for granted, yet not so distant that they barely pay attention.

I find a great example of this is participating in discussion groups, whether online or as part of regularly scheduled group meetings (civic organizations, etc). In the case of meetings, I may only see these people once a month. Online, I may never see the participants in real life, but our discussions online familiarize us with each other. There seems to be a level of credibility built by these occasional communications, thus making it easier to connect when the opportunity to offer a product or service presents itself. And if I close a deal, providing that all-important ongoing support to my new customer or client seems usually to be a much more pleasant experience for me.

— Sarah Windham

The Greatest Act of Faith

Outstanding article! [“The Greatest Act of Faith: A Conversation with Business Legend Frank Maguire,” Lead Story, Sept/Oct 2006]

As the president of my local Toastmasters club and someone involved in network marketing, I really appreciated the explanation of the difference between a motivational speaker and a validational speaker. For example, “A validational speaker is someone who will get you not just excited but believing in yourself.”

I also loved the statement regarding our effectiveness in the transfer of belief: “Shared vision, shared information and shared responsibility only stay shared when you keep sharing them.”

I loved this one too: “I believe America’s economic future, the health of its commerce and service, is rooted in effective network marketing.”


— Larry G. Wilson

The Secret Extended Version

I heard there is a new version of The Secret DVD called The Secret Extended Edition. Is this true? And if so, how does this new version differ from the original version?

— Mary Beth Relyea

The new version, released on October 1, contains an audio commentary track by Rhonda Byrne (the creator of the film) and Paul Harrington (the producer), in which they discuss The Secret in greater detail. This track can be turned on and off via the menu settings on the DVD.

The new version is also three minutes longer than the original; it contains additional new footage from Lisa Nichols and Marci Shimoff, and all footage of Esther Hicks has been removed (at her request). The rest of the production remains the same, and I think when you see it you will agree that it is equal to if not better than the first edition.

— JG