How to Get Your MLM Distributors to Do Something and Take Action

How do you get people on your network marketing team to do something with their business? This seems like a million dollar question.  I’m sure a good answer would be worth at least a million dollars as well.

Why do so many people join your team and then do nothing at all with their business? Even if they were excited when they initially joined, it’s like they went into the Witness Protection Program and disappeared for good, sometimes within a few days of joining.

How come so many people don’t sponsor even one person or get one customer?  Why do people stick around for 90 days or less and quit? Why don’t people stay on auto-ship and work their business consistently?

In my opinion, the main reasons people do nothing with their business are two fold.  First off, most people have VERY LITTLE money invested in their business.  When you have less than $500 invested in something, it’s easy to make excuses and let life get in the way.  Even if you fail, you have very little to lose.  I can assure you that if these same people had ONE MILLION DOLLARS invested in their business they would be working around the clock, doing anything and everything to make it a success.

Another thing that holds most people back, especially Americans, is their comfort zone.  Most people in America are comfortable, even if they are broke.  Most people have a roof over their head, three meals a day, a car, a smart phone, and a 80 inch plasma flat-screen television.  They might not have EVERYTHING they want in life, but they are comfortable, and therefore, don’t have a big enough desire to get to work and change their life for the better.

What I want to do in the rest of this post is share 10 things you can do to get your distributors to take action.  This has nothing to do with motivating or training your team.  It really boils down to INSPIRING them to do what they know they should be doing.  These tips are listed in no particular order.  Let’s get started.

# 1 You can’t make anyone do anything

Legally, you can’t make anyone do anything they don’t want to do.  Everyone in this business is a legal adult and has the free will to make their own choices.  Your no one’s boss, and this is a volunteer Army, so people don’t have to listen to you or follow your lead.  The sooner you realize that, the better off you will be. I can’t tell you how much time I spent early on in my MLM Career trying to “make people” get to work!  It’s a waste of time.

# 2 Accept that most people won’t be committed or do much

This lesson was hard for me to learn.  The truth is most people will not be as committed to the business as you are.  Some people will just dabble with it and see what happens.  Most people will treat it like a hobby or do nothing at all.  You have to meet people where they are at.  If you are lucky, 1 in 20 or 1 in 30 people will be committed to the business.  Realistically, it will probably be closer to 1 in 50 people.

# 3 Get a commitment from them before they join

One of the best things you can do with your new distributors is get a commitment from them BEFORE you sponsor them.  Have them tell you they will commit for minimum one to two years and work their business consistently for 10-20 hours each week.  Put it in writing, in a contract, and have them sign it.  This will let you identify who is really serious and who has the desire to build the business big.

# 4 Lead by example

We’ve all had a boss who led with a double standard.  They wanted us to do something that they couldn’t or wouldn’t do themselves.  We never respect these bosses.  As a network marketing leader, it’s your job to set the pace for your team to follow.  People won’t do what you say, they will do what you do.

# 5 Get them around others who are successful

One of the best things you can do inspire your team to take action is to get your team around other people in the company who are achieving success.  This association will do wonders for your group.  Many people feel isolated building their business all by themselves, especially folks who are long distance legs.  The power of association is significant.  Anytime you can bring people together you should do it.

# 6 Give them praise when they do ANYTHING to build their business

The need for praise and appreciation is one of the greatest human needs.  Your job as a sponsor and upline is to look for things people are doing right and to praise them for doing it. For instance, if your new team member goes out and shows their first plan, you should praise them for it, whether they sponsor the person or not.  I like to call this positive reinforcement. This method works just as well with humans as it does with your pet dog.

#7 Create a recognition program

Who doesn’t like to be recognized?  You should create a recognition program for your team. Have contests where more than one person can win.  Look closely at each person in your team and look for at least ONE thing you can recognize them for.  Do a monthly awards ceremony. Praise people in public, in front of their peers.   Even recognizing people for little things can make a major impact on the person.

# 8 Let people know you believe in them

People want to know that you believe in them.  Most people lack self confidence and don’t believe in themselves.  Most people have worthiness issues.  Your goal is to help your people build belief in themselves, the company, the products and the industry.

# 9 Be patient and realize that everyone is different

This one is hard for most people to understand.  Everyone is on a different schedule.  Not everyone who joins the business is ready to start building right away.  Some people need to incubate for a while.  Have a little patience with your team members and don’t pressure them to do more than they are willing to do.  Support and encourage them wherever they are at.

how to get your mlm distributors to do something# 10 Light a fire in the basement

Another great way to get your team to do something is to light a fire in the basement.  Work with the people on their team and build depth.  Give them something to lose.  The fear of loss is an amazing motivator!

Bonus Tip: Make sure everyone is trained properly

Most people never get started and don’t take action because they don’t know what to do and they don’t know what to say.  Your job as the leader is to make sure everyone is trained properly.  Do some role playing with people.  Have a team training manual.  Help everyone get started right.

Big Takeaway

Quite perhaps the best thing you can do is find people who want to get to work.  Spend your time where it is deserved.  Keep sponsoring people until you can find a few people who will work as hard as you do and then work closely with them to help them become successful.  If you want success more for someone than they want it for themselves, you are wasting your time.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that you can’t make anyone do anything in network marketing.  It’s a volunteer Army!  Your job as a leader is to inspire others to action, so they are willing to do what it takes to succeed in the business.  Following the tips mentioned above is a great starting point.

What are your thoughts?  What do you do to get your team members to take action?  Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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Chuck Holmes
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9 thoughts on “How to Get Your MLM Distributors to Do Something and Take Action”

  1. I agree with what you are saying, especially about the small investment and getting out of their comfort zone. I see it all the time. People want to join the business for the products and then only take the products because they can’t get out of their comfort zone.

    Managing expectations has helped me more than anything. I train, communicate and hope for the best but am not disappointed if they decide not to build an organization.

  2. I think getting the commitment upfront goes a long way toward weeding out the one’s who are just trying it. You need to let them know if they will commit to doing it, they will be rewarded. Coaching is the only way you are going to get people to change their mindset and embrace the plan of action. I think you’re right that most people don’t have what it takes to run a business. However, most people understand what it means to join a team and work toward a common goal. As the leader you have to constantly train the team and keep them focused on the goal.

  3. Many network marketers do not consider your very good tip of “lighting a fire in the basement.”

    People are naturally competitive, and when you have someone who was performing well at first and has slipped, just by working with newbies that are under them can fire them up and get them back to doing what they originally started doing. It is amazing how just a little “lighting a fire in basements” can fire up a person’s whole team.

    You still do not want to neglect working with those who have been with you for quite some time.

    This was a great post Chuck.

  4. You did make a lot of great points in this post! I agree 100 percent with recognition. Most people like to be recognized, praised, credited, etc for their hard work. Also, the bonus tip, making sure everyone is trained properly is very vital.
    And patience. So hard, but so important. People are different. They learn differently, they do things differently. Being patient with your team members is not only good for them, but for yourself.

  5. You made many great points in this article. I believe that #3 is mandatory. Not only get a commitment, but tell them where you sit and explain what you expect. You cannot force them, but when you tell them that you are putting into their success too, they may feel a responsibility to work the business.

    I also am in full agreement with recognition. Many people desire that even more than money. There whole lives they have been told they can’t. Being recognized for even little accomplishments will fire them up.

    And yes, patience is a virtue. Everyone is different and if you are patient, the payoff will come.

  6. Tip #3 is the most important one, but it doesn’t go quite far enough. Patrick Powers uses a Clarity and Commitment form for the first coaching session that really starts a sponsoring relationship right. You can only commit people to their agenda, not yours, and they have to see the benefits of their commitments. Doing a first coaching session where they make comments is a start but is not enough. The coaching process leads people from commitment to commitment!

    1. Good points. I don’t necessarily agree that you can really get anyone to do anything. I’ve sponsored a lot of people myself and most people simply don’t do anything to build the business, even if they said they would. I know of very few, if anyone in the industry, with documented proof that everyone they sponsored duplicated them. I think it really boils down to finding quality people. Just my thoughts. Thanks for the comment.

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