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What did MRI’s franchisees teach me this weekend?

What’s old is new. Well, perhaps not quite, but any time spent with the extraordinary people that comprise the MRI Franchisee list will surely indoctrinate you in that old wisdom.  Here’s how.  The franchised network itself, dating from 1965 forward, is only 44 years old.  But during these decades, the truths of real selling and of the recruiting industry have been tried, tested, proven, lost and re-established again and again.  I’ll go deeper in a moment, but consider the following point from Brian Binke.

While he, Alan Schonberg and Gary Williams discussed the past and present of MRI, Brian joked that he tells all his people “a send out a day keeps Brian away.”  In my own experience, if we’re tracking just first time, face-to-face interviews, between 2 & 3 send outs per week are all you actually have to have to do just fine in virtually any market.  Over the decades the numbers have shifted a great deal.  Mark Rednick frequently reminds me that when he got started—and he purchased franchise #12—the mandate was 5 send outs, PER DAY.  By the time I met the MRI family in 1993, those days were long, long gone.  But, back in 1993 a five send out week was surely NOT the big deal it would be today.

Yet, what’s old is new!  In the tough times we’re all facing right now, your passionate mission to introduce candidates and clients is exactly as urgent, precisely as significant now as it has ever been.  Such wisdom was simply everywhere to be witnessed this past weekend at the Global Conference.

Let’s stick a moment further with my great friend, Brian Binke.  I don’t know how he was selected for the honor of working with Alan Schonberg in their session, but whoever made that choice could not have picked a stronger soul to represent the view of MRI’s present than Brian.  The session was entitled, MRI Then & Now, and Alan Schonberg—with frequent and wonderful help from Gary Williams—covered “then” and Brian Binke covered “now.”

Brian knows the methods and systems, the technology and the heart of the MRI Way.  Most especially, Brian has always been a great, great planner.  In fact, back in 2005, I bent his arm far, far behind his back and talked Brian into writing up the fantastic article, Planning for Success, that you can download by clicking right here: Planning for Success

Here is Brian’s great point in his own words:

Invest an hour and a half to plan each and every night.  Plan 80-100 calls.  Look at each and every call, and ask yourself “Should I be making this call?”  Plan a balanced day.  Set your plan so all of your thinking is done while planning the night before.  Now you can start calling the next morning, making call after call #1 to #100 without stopping looking or even thinking about the call.  Master planning and you will bill bigger numbers than you have ever dreamed possible.

An hour and a half per day?  If you count that up, that’s, yes, 7 and a half hours per week.  When you look at the challenges you’re facing right now, can you say that you’re investing as heavily as Brian preaches you must?  If not, there’s tremendous food for thought and transformation in this old wisdom made so powerfully new by current conditions.

But enough on that kind of stuff.  There is a dream that is MRI, and the courage and camaraderie that the MRI franchisees gave me this weekend is tremendous testament to that dream.  I’ll say a bit more about that in a moment, but now we have to face just how tough things are, and admit that this “feeling of challenge” was equally present.  The number of franchisees present was, I do sadly have to report, the lowest I’ve ever heard of for a Global Conference.  We can surely detect the incredible burden of today’s economy in this.  But, is that all there is?  Well, honestly now, no.  There is, I believe, an unmistakable sense that the edge has dulled, just a bit.  Maybe even that the glory days can’t quite be re-won.

No, I can’t give you anything specific outside of the small number of attendees in support of that.  But, while I hate sharing anything negative at all, I’d be misreporting if I didn’t state that I felt the emotion.

That addressed, let’s get back to the party.  There was a stunning joy and upbeat power present in full force in the reality of the terms I used above: Courage & Camaraderie.  Here’s an example.  The older the “old timer” is, the more likely he is to tell you the number of full economic cycles he’s experienced, with every single one of them followed by rebounds of glorious proportions.  And, when you get such old timers together with courageous newbies (and perhaps just a bit of pleasure-inducing alcohol doesn’t hurt), there’s a type of certain knowledge about the power of the future that kicks in.  What is the name of that power?  PLACEMENTS!

Here, I’ll use my own terminology.  As one soul helped another, in my observation, in virtually all cases I could see a type of incredible Pre-play occurring, over the coming placements about to be made.  And that’s the true lesson of Global, if you ask me.  Placements really do follow the vision of placements we create in our minds and hearts.  Global is powerful in that those who have made placements share the power of those placements—and how they made them—with others, many of whom are struggling for the lack of placements.

Let me say this one other way.  It’s all about faith.  When you see the great ones sharing their stories of power from the pulpit, and when you bump into successful, happy people at the bar and in the hallways—and most especially when you ask for guidance and get it—you can feel the force of your own coming placements as a type of perfect faith within.  Even when you experience any of the “less than perfect” things that always occur, there is still a type of pounding, rhythmic force for placements everywhere if you just look for it.

I can honestly tell you that I felt the stirring excitement of coming placements, and my own faith in them absolutely grow for having been there.

In my next post tomorrow, I’ll talk about my award, and what it means to me, and also about some of the story behind my award itself.

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