How to Find Good MLM Distributors

Lots of folks want to know how to find good MLM distributors.  Everyone wants to know the secret to finding “quality” distributors who go out and build a big business. In today’s post, I want to share some of my best advice on how to do that.

What is a Good MLM Distributor?

For simplicity purposes, the first thing we should do is define what a good MLM Distributor is.

A good MLM Distributor is a leader and doer.  They are hustlers and go-getters.  They are people with a strong work ethic and a burning desire to change their life for the better.  In most cases (but not all) they are already in the top one or two percent of their chosen profession (prior to entering the networking marketing industry).

They are hungry, coachable and willing to work.  They take 100% responsibility for their network marketing business and constantly sponsor new distributors and find new customers.  They are people who will build a big business with or without your help. They follow your advice, get to work, and require very little, if any, hand-holding.

The Reality

The reality is that most people in the real world are not entrepreneurial, savvy, or willing to work hard.  Not everyone is a leader and doer.  In fact, very few people are.  Look at any business or organization, and you will quickly discover that a very small percentage of the team produces 80 to 90 percent of the results.

This was the case in my experience in the military, in business, and in volunteer organizations. The 20/80 Rule is always working.  In reality, I think it is more like the 10/90 Rule.  10 percent of the people in ANY organization or business are responsible for the 90% of the results.  The other folks contribute, but don’t make a huge difference.  Nothing against these folks.  They have an important role in the organization.  Simply put, not everyone is hardwired to be a producer or achiever.

My Experience in Network Marketing

From personal experience, I’ve found that about 1 (at most 2) in 10 people you sponsor does much of anything at all with the business.  The other 8 or 9 people quit, or might order products once in a great while.  About 80 to 90 percent of your team will quit each year, no matter what you do to help them or support them.

Of the 10 to 20 percent of the people who stay in the business, only a very small percentage of them take on a leadership role.  These are the folks you are looking for.

To summarize my own experience in the industry, if you sponsor 100 people.

  • 80 to 90 will quit (normally within 90 days or less)
  • 10 to 20 will order products and do something with the business
  • Of those 10 to 20 who order products and do something with the business, one or two of them will take on a leadership role

Of course, individual results will always vary.  Plus, there are a lot of factors and variables that could potentially change these numbers. This might include the quality of prospects you talk to, your compensation plan, your training program, the relationships you have with these people, etc.

However, when I interview my successful friends in the industry, about 90 percent of them have personally sponsored 100 to 300 people (minimum), yet they only have one to three leaders from all of those people they sponsored.  In addition, those one to three leaders are responsible for 80 to 90 percent of their income.  You do the math.

Where Do You Find Good MLM Distributors?

The question is “where do you find these leaders?”  That my friend, is a million dollar question and I’m going to do my best to answer it for you honestly and objectively.

I should state upfront that you NEVER know who is going to build a big network marketing business or be a leader.  Usually, the people you think will do well in the business end up quitting and the people you thought would be a dud build it big.

If there was a way to KNOW ahead of time (or predict) who was going to build it big, there would be no need to work the numbers and sift and sort through large groups of people. I’d also be a rich man if I could walk around and know who would be good in the business and who wouldn’t be good in the business.

The bottom line is to NEVER pre-judge anyone. EVER!  Offer it to everyone and let them decide for themselves. You never know who will be your next ACE.

That being said, you can do certain things to improve your chances of finding good MLM Distributors.

I’ve studied hundreds of top earners in our industry and here are a few trends that I have noticed.  These are the things I’ve found that “most” of them had in common.

  • Most had prior business experience
  • Most had prior network marketing experience
  • Most were already successful at whatever they were doing before they joined the business
  • Most had a large sphere of influence
  • Most had disposable income to build their business
  • Most were sick and tired of being sick and tired and were looking for a Plan B
  • Most were coachable
  • Most were accustomed to working on commission or performance based pay

Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule.  However, I’d bet that if you studied most of the top earners in your company you would quickly see that a majority of them meet this description.

Your Three Options

If you want to find good MLM distributors you really have three options.

Option number one is to look for quality people to sponsor.  Recruit up whenever possible.  Focus on sponsoring people in the demographics I mentioned above. This is a very good business strategy.  Personally, I’d rather sponsor five quality people than 10,000 people looking for the fu-fu dust.  Look for entrepreneurs, professionals, successful people, and people with tons of contacts.  Look for busy people.

Your second option is simply to work the numbers.  Sponsor hundreds of people yourself, let the leaders identify themselves and let the followers lead you to other leaders.  This is the strategy that most top earners use.  Lots of folks will quit.  Most will quit.  But, if you sponsor enough people you will naturally find some quality people who build a big business of their own. Basically, you throw a lot of mud against the wall and see what sticks.  This is what a lot of insurance companies and sales companies do.  They just recruit lots of agents and let the poor performers weed themselves out, while the studs rise to the top.

Your third and best option is to work in depth!  As soon as you sponsor someone, help them sponsor a few folks and then keep repeating this process over and over in depth.  Drive each leg ten, twenty or thirty levels deep and you will naturally find plenty of good MLM distributors to work with in depth. This is frequently known as tap-rooting.  If you’re not a good recruiter yourself, this might just be your best strategy.

I should also note that most of your good distributors will come in depth anyway.  The odds of you sponsoring your best people are pretty slim. Study most top earners and you will quickly discover that most of their good leaders come many levels below in depth, and were not personally sponsored by them.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that finding good MLM Distributors is what will make your organization grow.  Reps and distributors come and go, but leaders multiply your efforts.  One or two quality people can change your network marketing business and finances forever. One or two good distributors will easily produce 50 to 80 percent or more of your total team volume and commissions.

Always keep your eyes and ears open for good MLM distributors.  And, let every non-producer on your team be a doorway to finding a good distributor in depth.

What are your thoughts?  What do you do to find good MLM Distributors? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

chuck holmes


Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional (since 2002)
Author, Blogger, & Entrepreneur

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10 thoughts on “How to Find Good MLM Distributors”

  1. This is really great advice! I’m trying to build a quality team to distribute a fantastic product, one which can actually change the lives of the customer for the better very quickly, and it sure is tough!

    Even with a product that literally helps the customer make money, it is hard to get the right sales people in place to CONSISTENTLY drive sales.

    I’ll be keep an eye out for these tell tale signs in future recruiting.


  2. Chuck, after really thinking harder on this, I believe there is another item that can be looked at in finding quality distributors. The ones who are using the products and loving them will be better than the ones who have the products sitting on a shelf and used them once or twice.

    If a person is “fired up” about a product, they will have excitement about selling and getting others to do the same. If a person is “ho-hum” about the product or service, others will see, and feel that attitude.

    This all goes back to leading with the product or service. Get your possible distributors using them and then give them a reason to become a distributor.

    1. Very true Greg. Not only is someone who uses and believes in the product(s) more passionate in their approach to selling the product(s), but they are also far more convincing as a distributor. I can recall an instance where a distributor from a company was trying her hardest to sell me a product and yet she couldn’t tell me anything specific about it. When it all boiled down, she herself had never tried the product so she was giving me a generic product description. Yuck!

      You want people to look and you and say, “Wow! She/He is so passionate about this product, it must be great.” That is a valuable tool in and of itself that can help you gain new customers and subsequently new distributors as well.

      1. As I have been in sales for a good part of my life (mostly telemarketing), I have met and known people who could sell ice water to an Eskimo. When I ask them how, the most common response is: believing in the product or service. The only way to truly do this is to use the product.

        My step dad worked for Pepsi Cola. He had a trainee come to work one day and when they stopped at a gas station, the kid came out with a bottle of 7-up. My step dad told him he could either throw it away or find a different job. We have to use the products to be able to sell them.

  3. It is definitely important to find people who are coachable. There is nothing quite as frustrating as someone who comes in thinking they know it all. While they may have had previous success and previous business experience, all businesses are unique. And while some overarching principles may apply, there are still specifics that have to be learned. A nice blend of coachability and independence is ideal because those individuals are enthusiastic to learn from you and they then take what they learn and run with it without having to be led every step of the way.

  4. This is the most difficult question I have heard this week. It is like trying to find the ever elusive fountain of youth.

    I do agree that working in depth is the best option. Find one distributor. Help them build a team showing them how to do what you are doing. Once they are stable, do the same with another. By doing this, you are essentially also doing option #2, but at a slower pace.

    Good job at making people think today Chuck. If anyone has come even close to truly answering this question, you have.

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