How to Build Your MLM Business Offline: The Best Way to Do It

I know there isn’t anything sexy about building your MLM business offline, the old school way, but I can assure you that it still works.  If you were to look at the top earners in just about any MLM Company around today you will quickly discover that MOST of them still build their business offline: belly-to-belly or face-to-face.  And I think that speaks a lot as to the effectiveness of old school MLM, even in an internet age.

For the purpose of this post, I want to share my step-by-step instructions on how to build your MLM business OFFLINE.  I personally believe that old school MLM still trumps Internet MLM, but I also believe there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.  I want to teach you the right way to build your MLM Business offline.  Follow these steps and there is no doubt in my mind that you will get much better results in your business. Let’s get started.

# 1 Be Customer Focused

Most upline distributors and sponsors will do nothing but tell you to recruit, recruit, recruit.  While there is nothing wrong with recruiting other distributors into your business, it will more than likely lead to failure and wasted time.  You see,  like it or not, most people are not interested in your business opportunity.  They’re already stressed out, they don’t like the MLM industry, and they are busier than ever. So if you lead with the business opportunity only, you will get lots of rejection and you will have to work five times as hard to make the kind of money you could make if you simply focused on acquiring retail customers for your business.

Assuming you have a quality product or service at a reasonable price (even at the suggested retail price), it should be pretty easy to get customers.  You need to get customers and be customer focused because that’s how you make money, especially in the beginning.   All businesses need lots of customers.  Besides, direct sales started out by being customer focused and it’s still the best way for the new distributor to make money.

old school mlmLet’s face it, most network marketing and direct sales compensation plans are designed for the heavy hitters.  And if you aren’t a heavy hitter, you won’t make much money unless you have lots of customers.  So stop leading with the business opportunity and lead with the products instead.  With most companies you can make a nice income just by having 20 or more personal customers.  In fact, there are many distributors in many different companies who earn $1,000 to $5,000 per month just by having retail customers.

Now, I’m not saying not to recruit other distributors and business builders.  Building a team and getting duplication is very important.  My best advice is to let your sponsoring of distributors be a byproduct of finding happy customers.  Remember that you get paid to create volume in your business.  No commissions are earned until a sale is made.  No volume equals no bonus check.  I suggest you find customers who like the product or service and keep ordering from you month after month, whether they decide to ever pursue the business or not.   When possible, upgrade your happy customers into wholesale buying distributors and business builders.

And don’t focus your efforts on recruiting distributors until you have AT LEAST 20 retail customers.

BOTTOM LINE: Customers give you immediate profit in your business.  In most cases, you will earn more per customer than you will per distributor.  Also, most distributors will quit and when they quit the business they will stop ordering the products.  Never forget that you get paid to create volume, not to recruit.

# 2 Advertise Your Products

Now that you are going to be customer focused in your network marketing business, your next step is to advertise your products.  Yes, you can still talk to people you meet and approach people you know BUT it is much better to be the hunted rather than be the hunter.  What I mean by that is that you should learn how to get people to contact you first about your company’s products.  Let’s face it; no one likes to be sold.  But people like to buy.

mlm success tipsRather than spending all your time chasing people and prospecting people, get people to contact you first. Heck, I’d rather have 2-5 people call me a day than for me to go out and prospect  or cold call 2-5 people every day.  The only way to make that happen is to advertise.

There are plenty of places to advertise online and offline, but I still prefer offline methods.  The internet is just too competitive and too saturated.  Here’s what I suggest you do to advertise your business with less competition.

Find 3-20 newspapers within 100 miles of your house.  Make a list of every newspaper you can find to include PennySavers, free newspapers, local newspapers, college newspapers, etc.  Spend an hour or two online and make a list of every newspaper within 100 miles of your house.  After you do that, call up each newspaper and find out what their advertising rates are.  Most will cost you less than $20 for a week long advertisement.

Start out with 2-3 newspapers and place an ad to promote your products.  Here are a couple sample ads you could use.

  • Drink coffee and get healthy!  New healthy coffee gives you energy and vitamins.  Call our 24/7, pre-recorded message to learn more.
  • Burn the Fat and Get Paid!  Learn how you can lose weight and even get paid to do it!  Call our 24/7, pre-recorded message to learn more.

The bottom line is that you want to get people to call you/contact you first.  This keeps the pressure off, lets you work smart and keeps your business fun.  As you test different ads in different newspapers you will find good ads and good newspapers that convert well.  You might have to experiment a bit, but once you have something that works great you can expand nationally.

Please keep in mind that it’s always best to start locally and then expand nationally rather than the other way around.  By starting locally you can build relationships and work closely with your team.  Also, make a note that I didn’t put a website URL in the newspaper ads. That typically doesn’t work very well.  Just use your 24/7 number.

BOTTOM LINE: Get people to contact you first.  Advertise your products and services in local newspapers and publications and have people call your 24/7 voice message. Interested prospects will leave a message and you can follow up with them within 24 hours.

# 3 Get a Toll Free Number

This is real simple.  In your newspaper ad, you want to put a 24/7 pre-recorded message.  If you’re getting lots of calls, you don’t want the calls to go to your home phone or cell phone.  That would be a huge interruption to your life.  You can get a dedicated voice mail service for about $10 per month.  Get one and create a two minute message that says something like this:

“Thanks for calling Jim and Susan.  We’re glad you called.  We are currently promoting a healthy coffee that has vitamins in it and gives you lots of energy.  The products is used by thousands of people and has many great reviews.  It also comes with a 100% money back guarantee.  If you would like to learn more, leave your name, number and address and we will get back with you within 24 hours.  Thanks for the call and have a great day.”

It’s really that simple.

BOTTOM LINE: People are more comfortable calling a 24/7 pre-recorded message.  Plus, it allows you to work smart and avoid constant phone interruptions throughout the day. You can follow up with people whenever it is convenient for you.

mlm online# 4 Follow Up With Your Leads

Check your voicemail once a day and follow up with your leads within 24 hours after they leave a message.  Get good at asking questions and listening.  Find out what their wants and needs are and show them how your product or service meets their wants and needs. Don’t be pushy or be a salesperson.  And whatever you do, don’t puke your products or business opportunity all over them.  Have good posture and be confident.

You have the option where you could mail them a sample.  I don’t really recommend that because it’s too expensive and there are too many folks out there who simply want freebies.  I suggest that you explain the BENEFITS of your product or service, send them an email with your website information or a video about your products, and then follow up with them again 24 hours later.

You have to lead them through the sales process and tell them what to do.  People wont’ do it on their own.

BOTTOM LINE: Follow up promptly.  Ask questions to QUALIFY your prospect  and show them how what you have to offer will help them fulfill their wants and needs.  Be a leader, be confident and walk them through the steps you want them to take.

# 5 Build a Huge Mailing List

The money is in the list.  I know you’ve heard that before.  This applies to offline MLM too. Your list will be your greatest asset in your business.  If you are smart, you will keep a contact list of EVERY person you ever communicate with about your business.  This applies to people you contact and people who contact you.  Start out by building your list in Microsoft Excel and get a CRM program or database manager once you have  1,000 names.

Why do you need a list?  Because most people you contact and who call you won’t join your business or become a customer right away.  You want a list so you can keep in touch with them, so you can create multiple streams of income and so you can keep following up with them until they ask to be removed, they buy, or they die.

BOTTOM LINE: The top earners in our industry all focus on list building.  They know that a lead and good follow up system will lead to a sale eventually. Most folks need to see a message 7 to 20 times before they take action.

# 6 Send Out a Monthly Mailed Newsletter

This is where most people fall short.  This is the most important advice on this page so follow me closely.  90% to 95% or more of the leads you get WILL NOT join your business or become a customer right away.  It’s just human nature.  So if you don’t follow up with them consistently, month after month, you are leaving  A LOT of money on the table.  What you need to do is send out a monthly newsletter in the mail that talks about your company and its products.  Mail it out on the same day each month, EVERY MONTH.  Never stop doing it.

People will get your newsletter in the mail every month and they will read it.  Many of them will eventually become customers and distributors if you keep in touch with them consistently.  Some people might need to incubate for a period of months or years.  Don’t fret or worry about it.  Just keep building your list and sending out your monthly newsletter. Every time you send out your newsletter you will get new sign-ups and new orders.  It’s also a great way of staying in touch with your current customers and team.

Another benefit of sending out a newsletter is that you can create a mailing list that you can rent out as an additional income stream.  You can also promote additional products and services in your newsletter that you earn a commission on.  This creates multiple streams of income for your business and puts you in the driver’s seat.  It also gives you long-term security.  And if your company ever goes away you still have a valuable asset that produces money for you on demand.

Your newsletter can be a simple 1 to 2 page MS Word Document.  Keep it simple. Provide a quote of the month, product of the month, this day in history, a leadership tip, a good recipe and one or two of other things.  Talk about the products, share customer testimonials, etc. Keep it simple, but remember to provide good content.

BOTTOM LINE: Your newsletter will be your real business.  It will help you build your downline, get customers, but more importantly it will be an asset in your business that provides multiple streams of income.

Final Thoughts

If I was building a downline in a MLM Company (I’m not affiliated with any company), this is the exact process I would follow to build my business offline.  It’s simple, easy to do, and it’s fun.  You won’t have to worry about chasing down people in the mall, prospecting strangers, having tons of home parties, or any of that stuff.  You can work smart and make money.  You won’t be stressed out because you don’t have people to share your products with.  And you won’t have to spend 12 hours a day and thousands of dollars a month trying to figure out all the online stuff.

What are your thoughts?  What do you think about old school MLM? What do you think about the strategy I shared?  Leave a comment and let us know.  I look forward to hearing from you.

If this doesn’t appeal to you, you can learn how to build your business online.

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27 thoughts on “How to Build Your MLM Business Offline: The Best Way to Do It

  1. It is very interesting. I like very much the idea of advertising the product first and the idea of being called instead of calling. I will implement your ideas. Thank you. Gilbert

    • I built my entire business so people would call me first. That is where advertising and marketing come in handy.

  2. Love your technique and planning to use some of your strategies for my MLM company. I have joined last two years but started working for 8 months and get my results with more than $1000 per month. Please help me more for my future and lets keep in touch

  3. Chuck,Just getting into the MLM biz, and have been busy reading your 7-Day E-Course, as well as other materials.At first, thank you for being so informative, honest, and precise.My fundamental question revolves around my initial contact list, or lack thereof.While I envision running ads in local papers, as well as utilizing ViralURL’s service, where does the actual list come from, essentially, how is it derived? Also, do I develop the actual newsletter, or is there an inexpensive program or service that lends toward handling this function.Being this is my first attempt, I want to ensure I am doing this correctly.Thank you for your timely reply. Eric

    • Best thing you can do is call my cell at 443 421 8260 during business hours and I can explain everything in about five to ten minutes.

  4. Hey Chuck, how can you get someone’s address and get them as a customer if you’re not sending out samples? Also, would it be wise to announce your web address at the end of the 24/7 recorded call? I would like to capture emails, and it’s kind of hard to get someone’s email over the telephone. I did this marketing strategy before and I noticed that it was a headache getting their email address, and when I later emailed people a video or my website info, they never checked it out. They lost interest that fast.

    • Advertise a free report, if you aren’t giving out samples. And then mail it to them.

      You want their address so you can follow up with them.

      Email marketing sounds sexy, but 90% of your messages hit the spam box, get deleted or never get delivered.

      That’s why I prefer mail over email. At least people read their mail.

      Online, most people do lose interest fast, because there is so much information out there.

      By the time they get your email message, they’ve been contacted by 100 or more other savvy marketers all competing for the same business.

  5. Thank you for your great tips. I have signed up for MLM nutrition company almost 2 years ago. I have no clue how to market and build my business . I have wasted money and time jumping from one marketing course to another I’m left confused with overloaded information. I feel like giving up and I’ve lost hope that I will ever succeed. After discovering your website I’m thinking positive now and will first educate myself. That is the only way to see results . Thanks. I wish I came across this website earlier it would have saved me time frustration and money.

    • Nasreen,

      What company are you with? Do you have an upline or someone who is willing to help you? What country do you live in?


  6. These are some good tips, Chuck. But I think the best way to build your team offline is through the party plan. This is fast, easy to do, and fun. If you can book a couple parties each week you can really make a nice income and build momentum in your business.

    • I love the party plan myself.

      I use it in my business and recommend it. But not all companies and product lines are suitable for the party plan.

      Ultimately, we have to find out what works for us and then focus on that.

  7. Chuck , you have become my second best business Coach after Mike Dillard. You are teaching the ATTRACTION marketing philosophy through the offline methods. This is a priceless educational info which all network marketers must learn and also mentor their team members.

    • I’m glad I could help Nqobile! Stay strong my friend!

  8. I think having a MLM business operate both online and offline will generate more income. I am glad this article addressed how to build a strong and successful MLM business offline. I agree the number one agenda to maintain an offline MLM business is to have a strong focus on the customers. Once you have a strong customer base, everything else will fall into place.

    • I agree that it’s smart to combine online and offline.

      If I had to pick one over the other it would be offline.

      It’s just easier and a simpler way to get your team started.

      Building a business online is actually very hard to do, even though few people ever tell you that.

      But anyone can prospect two to three people a day.

  9. This is a great list! There’s something helpful for beginners in each point. You are very good at writing clear, concise lists of do’s and don’ts. I especially love your admonition not to “puke your products or business opportunity all over them.” Why is it that multi-level marketers are told to sell, sell, sell? Or is that just me? Maybe it’s just the “marketing” tag.

    • In any business, you have to sell, sell, sell.

      Without a constant flow of customers all businesses will fail.

      I personally believe that selling is more important than recruiting, since most people you try to recruit won’t join and most who do join will quit in 24 to 48 hours.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

      Thanks for your comment.

  10. Hello. I am new to MLM and to just building a business. I have two questions: By a newsletter, do you mean a paper newsletter to be sent through regular mail? What about an e-mail newsletter? By ‘renting out a mailing list’, do you mean that third parties can use that to mail their own advertising? Thanks so much for any clarification. I think the advise you give to build a direct selling business offline is great! I just need clarification on those two points.

    • Your newsletter is sent in the mail. Most emails never get read and get deleted or sent to the spam box. Your mail will get read and that is what you want. You can rent a mailing list to generate more leads for your business or you can rent out your mailing list to other people who want to send offers via direct mail. I hope that helps.

  11. Chuck,

    Thank you for this wonderful write up. It has really motivated me to go back to work and build my MLM business with my team. Your message it’s quite encouraging and motivating. I do have these great ideas but my most challenge is putting them into action – implementation, and this is why most people fail in MLM. I do pray I will wake up from my sleep and go to work. Like the idea of advertising, it has actually worked for me and is still working for me. I hope to get more results.

    • I’m glad I could help, Chinelo.

      Staying committed and disciplined is very important. It can be very easy to get sidetracked. Sometimes life just gets in the way.

      You have to stay focused and take daily action to succeed in MLM, or anything else.

      It’s hard to lose weight, get in shape, keep your marriage strong, or be good at anything, if you aren’t consistent.


  13. Helpful tips indeed. I like the one on maintaining a contact list, and communicating through a newsletter regularly. One concern I have is of building a customer base first. I think one tends to build the MLM business using their own effort, and it might take time to grow the business.

    • Having a monthly newsletter is hands down the best thing you can do. Most people need to see your message many times before they will ever become a customer or distributor. If you keep in touch with every lead you generate, by sending out a newsletter, you will make more sales.

      • Sir, on the newsletter stuff and with people response to regular, do you think it is very relevant in this age and time…I live in Nigeria and people rarely get letters through the mail…am just asking to get things right from the get go and how do I get their addresses to send the mail to…Thanks

        • Ask them for it. Yes, mail is still relevant. Even companies like Amazon and ebay do lots of direct mail. In the internet age, it’s even more relevant.

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