How to Reward Your MLM Team Members

Today, I want to talk about how to reward your network marketing team members, your downline. I learned a long time ago that people will do more of what you reward them for!  If you want to encourage a certain type of behavior, you must reward them for it.

Take a minute and think about how people train their dogs.  When the dog does something right they get a treat.  When a dog does something right, they get praised.  You tell them “good boy” or “good dog!”  As a result, they keep doing more of these desired behaviors because they want the praise!

This supports B.F. Skinner’s theory about rewarding positive behavior.  “Skinner showed how positive reinforcement worked by placing a hungry rat in his Skinner box. The box contained a lever in the side and as the rat moved about the box it would accidentally knock the lever. Immediately it did so a food pellet would drop into a container next to the lever. The rats quickly learned to go straight to the lever after a few times of being put in the box. The consequence of receiving food if they pressed the lever ensured that they would repeat the action again and again (source).”

What does this mean?  First of all, people aren’t dogs and they aren’t rats.  However, the theory shows that most people/animals will do more of what you reward them for doing.  In other words, if you reward a certain behavior they will be more motivated to repeat it!

How is all of this relevant to network marketing?  Well, I think it’s very relevant.

As a network marketing leader, you want to reward people for their activities, not just their results. You want to reward people for doing the money producing activities, regardless of what type of results they received.

It’s easy to reward people who produce big results.  That’s what most people do.  However,  I think it’s even more important to reward people who are trying hard, and doing the work, even if they aren’t getting the best results.  This extra encouragement can make a big difference.

You want to reward people for:

  • Talking to prospects
  • Showing a plan
  • Helping a team member
  • Placing a product order
  • Attending an event
  • Signing up for auto-ship
  • Signing up a new customer
  • Sponsoring a new distributor
  • Following up with someone
  • Calling leads
  • Training their team members
  • Building up their product knowledge
  • Scheduling a home party
  • And many other things!

Rewarding these actions/behaviors will influence your team members to do it more!  And that is exactly what you want to happen.

So, how to do you effectively reward your network marketing team members?  Here are a few things you can do:

  • Praise them in public
  • Send them a hand written note to congratulate them
  • Send them a small, inexpensive gift
  • Give them a call to congratulate them
  • Have your successful upline call them
  • Get together with them to celebrate
  • Post a positive message, and tag them, on their Facebook page
  • And countless other things!

The reward you give isn’t anywhere near as important as the act of you doing it!  The truth is most people don’t get much positive praise at their job or at home.  When you praise/reward people for doing something to grow their network marketing business, there is a high likelihood they will repeat that behavior again and again in the future.

Some folks might think this is foolish.  To me, it’s what leadership is all about: making others feel important and appreciated.  Never forget that the greatest human need is the need to feel appreciated and important.

What do you think?  What tips can you share to reward your team effectively?  Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.  I look forward to hearing from you.

chuck holmes


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

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4 thoughts on “How to Reward Your MLM Team Members”

  1. It is simply amazing what can happen with an individual who has received praise for the little things they do. As you stated Chuck, we often reward people who are getting the results, but we leave the ones who are trying real hard and not getting results sitting on the sidelines.

    If we give them praise and then offer to help them, they often will accept that help with excitement. Often, they just need a little problem fixed, and the results will change for the better.

    I have been in the position at jobs where no praise was given, and the job was detested; whereas I have had other jobs that were hard and dirty, but praise was provided, and I looked forward in going to work.

    Sponsors can move mountains with just a little praise. Great post Charles.

  2. Encouragement is a necessary factor in keeping team members happy and motivated. Even the smallest acts of appreciation can go a long way in showing your team members that you are proud of them and thankful for their dedication. I use hand written notes, gift cards, public and private praise, and group outings (on me of course) in order to reward team members and in return they work harder and are more committed to staying a part of the team.

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