The Three Stages of Your MLM Business: What You Should Know

I want to share some valuable information with you today.  I want to talk about the three stages of your MLM Business.  I think this is an important concept to teach people, because most people in our industry have never been educated about this before.  Most people joining our industry have never been an entrepreneur before, so they have an employee mindset.

As a result, many people who join our industry have unrealistic expectations and don’t have any rational idea about how long it takes to build a successful business.  I hope to change that.  I personally believe that knowing this information upfront can keep you in the game longer and give you a better idea about what you need to do to build a successful network marketing business.

I should tell you upfront that these three stages apply to ANY type of business, not just network marketing.  My eBay business has gone through similar stages.  So have my blogs and websites. I hope you will share this information with your team.  Enjoy.

Stage One: The Excitement Stage

Stage one with your business is when you first get started with your MLM Company.  I like to call this stage the excitement stage.  You’re excited.  You can’t sleep at night.  You think about your business all the time.

You’re passionate about the product and business. You’re ignorance on fire.  You don’t know much about the business, and you have a lot to learn, but you have enthusiasm and hope.  This is the stage where people are most excited about the possibilities of their network marketing business.

Keywords to describe this stage include enthusiasm, excitement, hope and passion.

During this stage you typically earn very little money in your business (less than $1,000 per month).  You’re building your business foundation.  You’re looking for your leaders.  You’re learning leadership skills yourself.  You have to make up in numbers what you lack in skill. You’re the only one on your team that’s working hard.

This stage typically lasts anywhere from 30 days to 18 months.  It varies by person.

Many people do not survive this stage.  I’d guess that 50% to 80% of the people who join our industry never make it past this phase.  Once their excitement fades, they quit and move on to chase the next shiny object or return to their comfort zone.

Most people in this stage earn between $0 and $1,000 per month.  During this phase you are a shepherd without a flock.  During this stage your team typically has 0 to 100 people.

Stage Two: The Middle Mile

This stage begins once your initial excitement fades OR you’re starting to earn at least $1,000 per month.  Either one of those two things initiate stage two.  Most people have had their business for 30 days to 18 months before this phase begins. I like to call this stage the MIDDLE MILE.

Key words to describe this phase include burn out, disappointment, despair, and frustration. During this phase you’re typically making some money, but you’re working really, really hard and not seeing much of a return on your time investment.

You’re sponsoring people, but you have very little duplication on your team.  You are the one doing most of the work.  If you’re lucky you might have one other leader on your team, or a couple potential leaders, but in most cases you have very few people on your team sponsoring new people each month.

This is the phase where most people quit the business.  This phase can last anywhere from two to five years, and sometimes longer.  For a few people, it won’t last that long, but for most people it’s going to be a long, dark journey during the middle mile!

During this phase people often ask themselves “why am I doing what I am doing?” or “how come I’m the only one doing all the work?” or “why can’t I find other people who are willing to work as hard as I am?” or “how come I’m only making $500 per month, but I’m working 20 hours per week on my business?”

Most people in this stage earn between $1,000 and $3,000 per month. During this phase you’ve found a flock and you are a shepherd of sheep.  During this phase your team typically has 100 to 1,000 people.

Stage Three: Momentum

Very few people in our industry stick around long enough (or do the work) to make it to this final stage.  But the ones that do are glad that they did!  This stage begins when you have 10+ good leaders in place on your team OR you have at least 100 new people being added to your group every month.

Most people who make it to this stage have had their business for three to five years, minimum, before this phase begins. I like to call this stage MOMENTUM.

Keywords to describe this phase include critical mass, duplication, excitement, explosion, and rapid growth.  During this phase your business (and bonus check) grows each month regardless of what you do. You have so many leaders and people in your group that your team takes on a life of its own.

You’re still sponsoring 1-2 people per month (minimum), but most of your time is spent mentoring others and working in depth.  You’re training people, leading calls, hosting events, and coaching people.  You’re assisting your leaders and developing other leaders.

This is the stage where the business is fun and extremely profitable.  This phase can last for many, many years.  For example, my mentor has been with his company since 1996.  As of 2015, his team adds more than 20,000 new people to his team every single month.  Chew on that!

During this stage many people retire from the business and live their dreams.  Others choose to stay active in the business because they love what they do.   This phase gives you the time and money to live life on your own terms.

Most people in this stage make $8,000 to $20,000 or more per month (normally much more) and their check grows each month on its own!  During this phase you are a shepherd of shepherds, a leader of leaders.  During this stage your team has at least 1,500 to 5,000+ people.

Final Thoughts

There you have it folks.  These are the three stages of your MLM Business.  If I was to look at all of the different businesses I’ve ever owned in the past (not just MLM) I could tell you that all of my businesses went through similar stages.  Building a successful business of any kind takes a lot of time and a lot of hard work.  It’s not for the feint at heart.

The key from moving from one stage to the next is to have a vision and be persistent and consistent.  Work your business every single day, focus on the money producing activities and never lose sight of your goal!

What are your thoughts?  What stage are you in with your network marketing business right now?  Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Some Will, Some Won’t, So What, Next: The Truth about SWSWSW

There is a popular saying in network marketing that goes like this: “some will, some won’t, so what, next!”  This is a common saying taught to new distributors teaching them simply to work through the numbers, not take rejection personally, and keep pressing forward until they find the right people who are interested in what they have to offer.

For more than 11 years I lived by this concept.  If someone wasn’t interested in what I was doing I would say NEXT!  I have since learned that this concept is flawed.  In the rest of this post I’m going to share some personal insights on why I don’t think you should adopt this mindset in your network marketing business.

I should start out by telling you that it is good to be mentally tough.  In any selling profession, you are going to be faced with constant rejection.  Learning how to deal with that rejection and not take it personally is vitally important!  Otherwise, you will feel defeated and quit.

In addition, selling is a numbers game.  You will typically here at least five to ten NOs just to get to a YES.  As your skills improve you can improve your conversion rates and talk to fewer people, while getting better results.  But when you are new to the business you must make up in numbers what you lack in skill!

Here’s why I think the “some will, some won’t, so what, next!” concept is flawed.  You have to realize that a huge MAJORITY (at least 90%) of the people you talk to (and probably more) will not be interested in buying your product or joining your business opportunity at this specific moment in time (when you talk to them).

In other words, most people you talk to are not ACTIVELY IN THE MARKET TODAY to buy what you are offering.  That doesn’t mean they will never be interested in what you have to offer.  It just means that the timing is not right for them right today.  Simply put, a NO today does not mean a NO forever.

My biggest mistake in this great industry is that I never kept a contact list of everyone I ever talked to about the business or products.  Through the past 13 years I’ve approached thousands of people myself.  If these folks weren’t interested in what I had to offer, I would simply move on and talk to someone else.  I’d forget about them and never talk to them again.

I WISH I would have collected their contact information and stayed in touch with them every few months FOREVER.  That is the best advice I can share with you today.  Talk to as many people as possible.  But as you do that, keep track of everyone you talk to and stay in touch with them every two to four months until they buy or die.  

When you stay in touch with people you increase your odds of sponsoring some of these folks into your business as customer or distributors.  The more you communicate and follow-up with them, the more people you will convert.

Most people I approach take anywhere from 7 to 20 follow ups BEFORE they join my team or become a customer.  And most of them take anywhere from 30 to 90 or more days from the time I first expose them to the business until they join.

Had I only talked with them one time, I would sponsor far fewer people.

Another key point to consider is that many top earners actively prospected their best people for five to ten YEARS before they joined their team.  Think about that for moment.  When you know someone is sharp, and would be a great distributor, it just makes sense to follow-up with them until the timing is right for them.

By all means, don’t sit around and wait for any one person.  That is foolish.  But just because someone tells you NO today doesn’t mean they will never say YES.  Your job is to get their contact information, put them in your follow up system and stay in touch with them every few months, FOREVER.  Do that and watch your business soar.  Don’t do it and you will have to talk to 100x more people.

Think about it this way for a minute.  If you talk to just three people a day about your business and did that every day for five years you would talk to (3 x 365 x 5) 5,475 people.  If you stayed in touch with ALL of those folks at least once every 90 days, you would never have to prospect anyone else again!  You would keep sponsoring new people from this group of prospects.

Final Thoughts

In summary, if you have the “some will, some won’t, so what, next!” mindset, I hope you will at least consider the advice I mentioned in this article.  Doing so will have a profound impact in your business.

What do you think about this concept?  Do you think it makes sense to stay in touch with people or do you believe it’s better to just keep talking to new people?  Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Chuck’s MLM Weekly Wisdom # 33 – April 22, 2015

Chuck’s MLM Weekly Wisdom # 33 – April 22, 2015

Dear Network Marketer:

I hope you are happy, healthy and well.   This week’s edition of Chuck’s MLM Weekly Wisdom is going to be slightly different than previous weeks.  What I want to do in this edition is share some of my favorite posts on my blog.  I consider these must read posts and think they will provide great value to you.  They are listed in no particular order.

# 1 The Top 10 Mistakes Network Marketers Make

We all make mistakes.  I’ve made more than most!  When you study the people who struggle in our industry you will find similar things they have in common.  When you study successful people in our industry you will also find things they share in common.  This post covers the 10 most common mistakes network marketers make, so you can avoid them!

# 2 Estimated Timeline for Success in Network Marketing

Having realistic expectations for your network marketing business is vital.  This post covers the estimated timeline for success in network marketing.  I understand individual results will always vary, but this post will give you a realistic idea about what to expect.  Knowing this information upfront is more than half the battle.  Quite perhaps the biggest reason people fail in our industry is because they don’t know what to expect, or they have unrealistic expectations.

# 3 My Top 35 MLM Books of All Time

Readers are leaders and leaders are readers.  There are literally thousands of books in the marketplace about our industry.  This post covers my favorite, must read MLM Books that every serious network marketer should have in their personal library.  I’m sure you’ve read many of these titles yourself, but there are also some sleepers in here that you might not know about.

# 4 How to Build Your MLM Business Online

If you’re trying to learn how to build your MLM Business online, this is the post for you.  In this post, I will share my step-by-step formula that I follow to generate leads, sponsor new people and build my business on auto-pilot, using the internet.  The information in this post took me thousands of hours and thousands of dollars to learn, and it could easily be one of the most valuable posts on my blog.

# 5 How to Be a Good Sponsor: My Top 10 Tips

Find out what you SHOULD be doing as a sponsor and what you SHOULDN’T be doing with your personally sponsored people.  Being a good sponsor is an art form that you need to learn how to do it the right way.  My top 10 tips will teach you what you should be doing.

# 6 The Top 10 Different Ways to Build a MLM Business

There are a million ways to skin a cat (sorry cat lovers!).  There are many different ways to build a successful MLM Business.  Everyone is different.  Utilizing your own natural talents and abilities are vital if you want long term success in our industry.  What works for one person might not work for someone else.  Study these 10 methods and pick the one that works best for you.

# 7 How to Support Your Team

Discover some simple things you can do to support your team and be a good sponsor and upline mentor.  This list covers what I do to help my team on an ongoing basis, and I know it will be a good starting point for you.

# 8 How to Follow Up

The money is in the follow up.  I’m sure you have heard that line before.  This post will teach you how to follow up with people so you do it the right way and convert more leads into customers and distributors.

# 9 How to Give a Presentation

There is a right way and a wrong way to give a presentation to your prospect!  This post will teach you the basics for giving a short, but effective presentation that appeals to your prospect’s emotions and inspires them to take action.

# 10 How to Get More Leads: My 34 Best Tips

We all need more leads.  This post covers a large collection of 34 different ways to generate leads for your network marketing business.  I suggest you pick no more than one or two of these methods and focus on them exclusively.

# 11 How to Create Your Daily Mode of Operation

We all need a daily mode of operation for our network marketing business.  For most people, time management is their biggest challenge.  You need a short list of two to five things you are going to do every day to build your business.  That way you can stay focused and be productive.

# 12 How to Achieve MLM Success

If you want to know how to achieve MLM Success, this is the post for you.  In this post, I share some of my best tips on what the top earners in our industry do to become successful.

# 13 Tracking Your Key Metrics In Your MLM Business

The numbers never lie.  I suggest you track the numbers and key metrics in your business on a monthly basis so you can track your progress and figure out what is working well and what isn’t working.  This will let you monitor your progress so you can make adjustments along the way as needed.

Final Thoughts

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s edition of “Chuck’s MLM Weekly Wisdom.”  I hope you will set aside some time to read each one of these posts.  Have a great week.  If you have questions or need help with anything feel free to give me a call or send me an email.

You Can’t Make Others Successful in Network Marketing

One of the biggest challenges I’ve had to overcome in this great industry is wanting success for others more than they wanted it for themselves.  Can you relate?

I’m naturally a person who likes to help people.  I like to see the best in others and focus on the possibilities they are capable of.  Sometimes, I feel like my mission in life is to “save” or “rescue” other people.

Whenever I try to do this in my network marketing business it ALWAYS backfires one me.  And I mean ALWAYS.  I end up pouring tons of my time, money and resources to help someone on my team succeed.  I talk to them on the phone everyday, send them training materials in the mail and even place people on their team for them.

Despite my commitment to these folks, in most cases, these people fizzle out in less than a few months.  They quit the business and go looking for their next opportunity to find magic dust. Or worse, they stick around yet continue to do NOTHING to build their business.  Some of them even talk a big game, but the one thing they all have in common is that they don’t do the work. Their lips move at 180 miles per hour, but their feet are frozen still.

Do you have anyone like that on your team?

You see, it took me over 10 years to realize that you can’t make other people successful in life. And you can’t make people successful in network marketing either.  Success comes from within and people must have the DESIRE and WORK ETHIC to do something if they are ever going to make it happen.

You can’t drag someone across the finish line.  Well, you can, but it isn’t any fun.

When I step back and look at my business objectively, my most successful people are the people I’ve invested the least amount of time in!  The people who succeed are the ones who grab the bull by the horns and take ownership of their business.

Yes, I might mentor some of them some along the way, but in most cases, they take ownership of their network marketing business from day one and do the things they need to do to move their business forward. They are leaders and that’s why they become successful.

The truth is, 95% of your team will need intensive hand holding.  Yet, it’s the 5% you do very little with that will be responsible for at least 95% of your team’s growth.  Chew on that!  If you get nothing else out of this post, remember that lesson.

From this day forward, I hope you will spend 95% of your time with the 5% of your people, rather than the other way around.  By all means, help everyone. Be supportive.  But never do more for someone than they are willing to do for themselves. Match people’s efforts, but don’t build their business for them. And don’t waste your time with people who won’t work!

Accept that most people do not have the desire, leadership qualities, or work ethic to succeed in a big way.  It’s just human nature.  Knowing that, keep your eyes and ears open for sharp people.  Look for leaders and doers to sponsor in your business.

When you find a leader in depth, work with them personally.  And remember, just two to five key leaders can help you build a dynasty.

Regardless of who you work with or how you spend your time, make sure that the relationship is give and take.  Work with the willing.  Give each person an assignment.  If they do it, keep working with them.  If they don’t, leave them alone and go look for someone who will do it!

Watch people’s actions, not what they tell you they are going to do.

And remember, it’s not your job to make someone successful in your MLM Business.  Instead, it’s your job to identify people who want to be successful (by their actions) and work with them. I hope that helps.

What do you think?  Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.  I look forward to hearing from you.

How to Upgrade Your Retail Customers into MLM Distributors and Business Builders

In today’s post I want to talk about how to upgrade your happy MLM retail customers into distributors and business builders.  I should start out by telling you that I am a big fan of leading with the products.  I am definitely a product focused network marketer.  I believe that if someone can’t get excited about the products (or services) there is a high likelihood they will not get excited or stay excited about the business either.

I’ve also found that happy customers usually make happy distributors, if you do things right and approach them the right way.  People who really love the products and are passionate about the products will naturally want to share them with others.  And if you can show them how to make money doing that, many of your customers will be open minded and want to upgrade their account from customer to distributor.

In order to make this happen you need a game plan.  You need a step-by-step process you can follow.  You definitely don’t want to pressure people or leave it up to their own vices.  In the rest of this article, I will provide some tips on how to upgrade your customers into distributors effectively.

STEP # 1: Find a New Customer

Your first step is to find a new customer.  I like to do this by leading with the product and looking for groups of people who will be “most likely” to make a purchase.  This means the people have disposable income and they are already buying similar products (and have the desire to do so).  Friends and family members also make great customers.

STEP # 2: Provide World-Class Customer Service

Once you acquire a new customer, your real job begins.  You really want to provide world class customer service.  Stay in touch frequently.  Send thank you cards when they make a purchase.  Create a monthly newsletter that you mail out each month.  Educate them about different products.  Create a customer loyalty program.  Call your customers once or twice a month just to check in.  Invite your customers to a local meeting or get together.  Do the little things that most businesses forget to do! Make your customer feel important.

STEP # 3: Show Them How to Get a Discount

Once someone has been a customer for one or two months, show them how they can get a discount by signing up as a wholesale distributor.  Show them how upgrading to a distributor account will give them an additional discount on their purchases each month.  Show them how much they would save on an average order and then calculate how much they would save over the course of one year.  Most people will upgrade if the numbers make sense.

STEP # 4: Show Them How to Get their Products for Free Each Month

Once someone has been a customer or wholesale distributor for a few months, ask them if they would like to learn how to get their products for free each month.  Show them how many people they would need to personally refer, or how much volume they would need in personal referrals, to earn enough to get their products for free.  In most companies, someone could make enough money by referring three to five other customers, so it’s a pretty good deal. If people enjoy the products, they will be interested in learning how they can get them for free!

STEP # 5: Show Them How to Create a Part-Time or Full-Time Income

Once you have helped someone upgrade from customer to a wholesale distributor, and they’re getting their products for free each month, the next step is to find out if they are interested in creating a part-time or full-time income.  Ask them questions and find out what they are interested in.  Don’t assume anything.  Share any literature or third party tools you might have that explain the compensation plan or business opportunity in greater detail.  If possible, get them on a call with your sponsor or upline, or bring them to a local event.

Additional Thoughts

Obviously, you don’t want to pressure anyone to become a distributor. The last thing you want to do is lose a loyal customer because you tried to force them to do something they didn’t want to do.  Always follow the Golden Rule and treat everyone with respect. Keep in mind that a loyal retail customer is worth more to you than a distributor!

The whole key to success is to follow the EXPOSE-INVOLVE-UPGRADE process that I described above.  Also, you should keep in mind that it all boils down to timing.  Just because someone isn’t interested in upgrading their account today doesn’t mean they won’t be interested in the future.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that happy customers are your best source of new distributors.  As a leader, you should always maintain at least 10-20 personal retail customers.  In addition, you should walk each customer through this five step upgrade process that I described above.  Doing so will lead to new distributors and new growth in your network marketing business.

What are your thoughts?  What do you do to upgrade some of your happy customers into distributors?  Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.  I look forward to hearing from you.