Dealing with Attrition in Your MLM Business

Every type of sales profession has a high turnover of sales personnel.  Ask any real estate broker, insurance broker, or sales manager and they will tell you that they experience 50 to 90 percent (or higher) yearly attrition in their sales organization.  Ask any retail sales manager what their turnover is among their sales staff.  It’s very high.

More importantly, ask any business owner how much attrition they have with their customers. Most businesses have high attrition.  Think about your local gas station for a minute.  Some people who shop there are just passing through and only stop once and never come back. Some customers shop there a few times each week. Some customers only shop there when the price is the cheapest. And some people shop there a few times, but never come back if they have a bad experience.

Network marketing is no different.  You will ALWAYS have attrition and turnover, regardless of what you do.  It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s the truth.  The sooner you can accept that the better.

Every year, MOST of your team members will quit.  In most cases, it will be 50 to 80 percent of your entire organization.  If you have 100 people on your team this year, and no new people join, you will probably only have 20 to 50 people left by the end of the year.  That’s why new lifeblood is so important in this business.

People quit the business for a variety of reasons.  Some people quit because of divorce.  Others get married.  Some simply lose interest. Some people get sick.  Some folks lose their jobs. Others get promoted in their career.  Others find a different home business.  You simply need to accept that most people quit everything they do in life.  It is normal.  And there is very little you can do about it.  

I don’t believe you can keep someone from quitting (if that’s what they want to do), but I do believe that you can do a few things to minimize the attrition in your MLM Business.

I’ve found that the best way to deal with attrition is to build depth.  When you light a fire in the basement everyone above them gets excited.  When people have something to lose they are less likely to quit.  No, you shouldn’t build someone’s team for them, but you can build one power leg under each person, so they have a small team, a small check, and something to lose.

Next, never stop personally sponsoring people into your team.  Always look for self-motivated and sharp people that you can work with.  Talk to new people EVERY single day and share your products and business opportunity with them whenever possible. Never ever go a month without personally sponsoring two to four new people.  Lead by example for your group.  Set the pace!

There are also some other things you can do to deal with attrition in your MLM Business.

It would be in your best interest to help your new teammates get profitable as quickly as possible.  You have about a 30 to 90-day grace period (max) from the time someone joins your team until they lose their initial enthusiasm.  Your goal is to help these folks make a profit, even a small one, in the first 90 days of their business.  Do that and more folks will stick around longer.

Do what you can do to help everyone find three to five customers and sponsor two to four people during their first 90 days in the business.  Help everyone earn enough money at least to cover the cost of their own product purchases.  When people get their products for free, they will keep reordering.

Of course, not everyone you sponsor will stick around or be willing to work the business, but you can identify the serious ones and help them succeed.

Another thing you can do to lower attrition in your MLM Business is to EDUCATE your team about network marketing.  Get them reading books about the industry and have them attend some live events.  Develop a training program and getting started program for your new team members so they can learn about the products, the company, network marketing, leadership, sales, marketing and other important skills.

If you can get people to see the POTENTIAL in the industry and to BELIEVE in the industry (and themselves), more people will stick around.

Another good thing to do to minimize attrition is to invest some one-on-one time with each team member.  Try to build a friendship with them.  People are less likely to quit on a friend than quit on someone they hardly know.  It’s true, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

My next tip dealing with attrition is to create a team culture.  You have to realize that most people want to be part of something greater than themselves.  People want to be recognized and feel appreciated.  You want to create a winning team culture where there is excitement, where people feel safe, and where people are encouraged to grow.  Create a culture that is so strong that people never want to leave it, even if they stop doing the business.

dealing with attrition in mlmMy final tip, and quite perhaps my best tip for dealing with attrition is to be product focused. From my personal experience, I’ve found that most people who join a network marketing business to make money quit in 90 days or less.  However, people who decided to do the business because they were a happy customer first typically stick around longer and do much better!  Focus on finding customers and then upgrade some of those customers into distributors.

Get everyone using the products.  Help people fall in love with the products.  Loyal product users are where your real residual income comes from.

Final Thoughts

In summary, these are just a few things you can do to deal with attrition in your MLM Business. No matter what you do as a sponsor, most people will still quit.  That’s okay. If you can follow some of the tips I mentioned in this article you will get much better results in your business, make more money, and have less attrition.

What do you think about MLM Attrition?  Please leave a comment below to tell us what you do to deal with attrition in your MLM Business.  I look forward to hearing from you.  Have a great day.

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9 thoughts on “Dealing with Attrition in Your MLM Business

  1. Erik Christian Johnson

    Awesome post, Chuck! Your downline will watch what you do and if you don’t recruit, they won’t either. If people knew the reality of attrition in MLM they would be bullet proof if they decided to stay. Eric Worre built three complete organizations before he had people start duplicating. Also, starting a fire under your downline is great advice. Todd Falcone did a video on this and it looked brilliant. Thanks man!

    Reply
  2. chuckholmes Post author

    All businesses have attrition with employees, contractors and customers. It is a normal part of doing business. Some industries have higher attrition than others, but it’s inevitable in any business.

    Reply
  3. Nicole

    I think the best thing you can do is what you suggest, help people hit the ground running. Once they have some skin in the game and win some small victories they will be less likely to quit. I think coaching is key. You can’t get too much coaching in the beginning, especially if being in business is a new concept. If you are always raising up someone new, you won’t feel the hit as much when someone falls off. But I think its better to invest more in keeping the people you have happy and productive. Every time you lose someone who has been around for a while you lose a lot more than money.

    Reply
    1. chuckholmes Post author

      Yes, you need to spend some time with your new people. But you still need to be smart about it. The sooner you can identify someone who is serious compared to someone who isn’t, the much better off you will be.

      Reply
  4. Diamond Grant

    I really like the information you shared here. I do believe that by really working with your team members to help them see financial gain relatively quickly, they will be more likely to stay. I also think it is worthwhile to give new team members a dose of reality so they know what to expect upfront. Let them know the average time it takes and effort it takes to reach a certain financial goal so they won’t be surprised or shocked and then suddenly leave when things don’t match their expectations.

    Reply
    1. chuckholmes Post author

      Helping people make money quick is important, but if someone quits because they aren’t making money in 90 days, they shouldn’t be in the business anyway. Most businesses take at least a year to make a profit, sometimes even longer. You need an entrepreneurial mindset to succeed in this industry. Sadly, most reps have an employee mindset.

      Reply
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  6. Greg Boudonck

    I like how you pointed out that network marketing is by no means, the only business that must deal with attrition. These tips are great. Personally sponsoring just 2 people per month is not difficult. I also totally agree on working hard with your people to help them gain a little profit off the bat. By doing so, they will realize that what they are doing is worth it. They will keep striving forward.

    Great tips Chuck. Like the other commenter mentioned, keep them coming.

    Reply

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