Building Depth vs. Personal Recruiting in MLM

Building depth vs. personal recruiting in MLM…

Should you focus on front line recruiting or building depth?  Which method is most effective and most efficient?

More importantly, is it your job to make someone else successful?  Is it your job to motivate your team and drag people across the finish line?

These are important questions EVERY network marketer should ask themselves.   After years in the industry, I am a big fan of personal recruiting, rather than building depth.  I believe width leads to depth.

I also know that each network marketer is the CEO of their OWN business.  They are responsible for their actions.  It’s not their sponsor’s job to make them successful.

My Experience

As I look back over my own experience in the MLM Industry, I have noticed TWO things that really stand out.

My weak people never turned into leaders or doers, not matter what I did to help them.  No matter how much time I spent coaching, training, calling, nurturing or motivating them, they never took massive action and built a big business.  It was as if I wanted success more for them than they wanted it for themselves.

In addition, my best people were naturally doers and leaders who rarely needed my help.  And they definitely didn’t need my hand holding or motivation.  They took responsibility for their own business, and normally right from day one.


The Million-Dollar Question

The million-dollar question is this: Should we spend a lot of time working with weak and non-committed people or should we just keep personally recruiting until we find enough serious people who will build it big, with or without us?

Only you can decide what strategy is best for you, but I personally believe we should keep personally recruiting until we find FIVE leaders with the right skill-set and mindset. We should make it a goal to PERSONALLY recruit 100 to 500 people or UNTIL we have our three to five rock stars.

These numbers sound big, but if you recruited just one person per week, you could put in some big numbers in three to five years.

This is the advice I would tell anyone who wants to build it big, in the most efficient way possible.  Learn how to recruit.  Recruit up.  And never stop your personal recruiting.

The Old Way of Doing It

Tap-rooting and building depth does work.  This strategy has been around for a long time and most companies still teach it.  Basically, you sponsor someone, then you help them sponsor a few people, then you help them sponsor a few people.

You keep repeating this process over and over and over in depth until EVENTUALLY you find someone serious in depth who takes the bull by the horns and builds a big business.  Basically, you’re looking for leaders in depth, rather than front-line leaders you personally recruited.

The upside of doing this is that you don’t need to personally recruit a lot of people to build a big team. You just spend time tap-rooting everyone you bring into the business, working through their warm market.

The downside of this strategy is the process is extremely time consuming.  Even worse, EVERYONE in that leg will be 100% dependent on YOU.  That means you are doing all the three-way calls, hosting the meetings, webinars, meeting with people’s prospects, leading conference calls, etc.

Like I said, this strategy does work.  However, it’s time consuming and requires a ton of work.  I tried this strategy for a long time, and I eventually just got burnt out.

The idea of finding five, helping them find five, and repeating this process in depth sounds good on paper, but we all know it NEVER works out that way.

Have you ever noticed that if you sponsor ten people, 8 or 9 do nothing, regardless of what systems or training you offer them, but 1-2 takes action, regardless of what you do to help them?  What’s crazy is that in most cases, you spend more time helping the 8 or 9 than you did helping the 1-2.  And the 1 or 2 produce 10x more results than the other 8 or 9.

How screwed up is that?

What I Learned from Mark Yarnell

Mark Yarnell is my # 1 mentor in the industry.  Although he is now deceased, he taught me many valuable lessons.  The one lesson that really resonates with me is this (summarized).

Your goal is to reach out to 30 people a day, so you can sponsor 1 person per day, Monday through Friday.  If you did that for a year, you would sponsor 260 people.  Assuming that 248 people quit, you would have 12 leaders.  Assuming 6 of those 12 leaders quit, you would have 6 die hard, successful leaders on your front-line.  In most companies, you would be at the top of the compensation plan with 6 rock star, personally sponsored leaders.

Basically, Mark taught me to GO WIDE FAST and let people sort themselves out.

I avoided this approach for a long time, but the longer I am in the industry, the more I believe it to be true.   It is now my strategy.  I recruit a lot personally, let people show me their commitment level, and work with the serious people.

A Lesson from Bill Britt

Bill Britt is an Amway legend (now deceased).  When asked what his key to success was, he said this:

There is no secret.  I simply showed the plan to 1200 people.  900 said NO and only 300 signed up.  Out of those 300, only 85 did anything at all.  Out of those 85 only 35 were serious, and out of those 35, 11 made me a millionaire.

I think Bill Britt understood this valuable lesson.

The Cold Hard Facts About Helping Your Weak Team Members

Your weak team members are still good people.  They still have an important role on your team.  I am not bashing them.  I was a “weak” team member for a long time myself.

I’ve just found that until someone MAKES THE DECISION that they will build it big, no matter what, and then takes the time to develop the right mindset and right skill-set, they will never be successful in a big way in this business.  That is a fact.

All the time you spend trying to convert weak members into leaders is time wasted.  You would be MUCH better off to go out and keep recruiting UNTIL you find someone who is ready to go.

Remember, you can’t turn a chicken into an eagle.  Your job is sifting and sorting.

My Final Advice

Of course, you have an obligation to HELP everyone you bring into the business.  I’m not telling you to ditch people, to avoid them, or not help them at all.  You just need to work with your non-producers in a GROUP setting.  Your one-on-one time should only be reserved for SERIOUS people who are actually doing the business.

Don’t make the mistake of trying to turn a chicken into an eagle.  Once you sponsor someone, give them the training.  Give them a few assignments.  If they show you (by their actions) they are coachable, hungry and willing to work, by all means MATCH their efforts.

However, if they don’t show these signs, go recruit someone else who does.  Keep recruiting personally until you have FIVE solid front-line leaders who don’t need your help.  Then spend your time supporting and helping these people and working with them.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, only you can decide what strategy is best for you.  I just believe the most EFFICIENT way to build this business is to learn how to personally recruit and build a big front-line (you can still PLACE these people depending on your comp plan), so you can naturally work the numbers and find the right people.  I believe this is much better than tap-rooting.

What do you think?  What are your thoughts about helping your weak team members become successful in your MLM Business?  Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

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chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Phone: (352) 503-4816 EST (my office)

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