How to Work in Depth in Your MLM Business

Today, I want to share my thoughts about how to work in depth in your MLM Business.  Let me preface by telling you that there are MANY different viewpoints on how to build a successful network marketing business and how to work in depth.  Ultimately, it’s YOUR business and you have to decide what is best for you.

What works for one person might not work for another person. It’s also important to keep in mind your company’s compensation plan.  Some companies penalize you to build depth, even though that’s where the real “big” money comes from in our industry.

I truly believe that of all the things you can do in your business, working in depth is the best business move you can make.  Width typically gives you immediate profitability, but the big money and long-term security come from building depth.

The most common views towards building depth are:

  • Throw a lot of mud on the wall and see what sticks
  • Help five who find five who find five who find five, etc.
  • Build a tap root leg hundreds of levels deep

I’ll cover each of these view points in more detail below.  But before I do that I want you to know one thing.  If you were going to study 100 top earners in a variety of different network marketing companies, you would quickly discover that 90% or more of their income come from just one to three legs in their organization, and probably one or two.  

Now, to find two to three key leaders who will build huge legs in your group you either have to sponsor a lot of people personally, or you can build depth and find your leaders in depth.

The first and most common mindset in our industry is to throw  a lot of mud on the wall and see what sticks.  With this model you personally sponsor 100-200 people or more to find your two to five STUDS who rock-n-roll with the business.

The major problem with doing this is that it takes a lot of work to sponsor that many people.  You have to be an awesome recruiter. Another challenge is what do you do with everyone who is NOT a stud (95% of your group)?

Does it make sense to sponsor 200 people to find two to five good people and have the other 195 people quit? Personally, I think that is a wasted use of your time.

The second mindset is to find five who find five who find five, etc.  This concept sounds beautiful on paper.  However, when was the last time the first five people you sponsored each went out and did the same thing?  Probably never.  Since 80% or more of the people who join MLM never even sponsor one person, I don’t think this strategy works very well either.

The next strategy is to build tap root legs in a few legs of your organization (two to six legs). With this mindset, you personally sponsor someone, help them sponsor one or two people and then start working with one of their new people.

You keep repeating this process over and over in depth UNTIL you find a leader who runs with it and builds a big business.  If you are smart, you keep working in depth under that person until you find another leader, and then you start working under that person until you find another leader, and so forth.

That is how you build a SECURE leg that you can eventually walk away from, and it will keep growing on its own.

The strategy that I use and recommend is a combination of these strategies.   I believe that you’re personally going to have to recruit 100+ people to make it to the top of your company.  Most top earners have recruited that many people, if not more.

I think what matters most is how and where you PLACE these people in your group. I believe in strategic placement, not placing everyone on your front line.

Let me ask you this, would you rather have 200 people on your front line, with only 10-20 of them starting to duplicate, or would you rather have 10 solid legs, each at least 20 levels deep? If you truly understand network marketing, I think you would rather have 10 legs 20 levels deep.

Having 10 legs that deep will give your business more stability for the long haul.  Having that many levels deep will automatically help motivate everyone above them.

I believe that fewer people will quit if they have a small team underneath them. Fear of loss is a great motivator.

Now, I know you don’t want to create a welfare mentality on your team, but I also realize that most people need a little help.  If you can help them build a small team (even if you put a few of your personally sponsored people under them) it can help build their belief and get them off of the fence.

When most of your team members are getting a check each month, even if it’s just $10, and they have never sponsored anyone, I think there is a higher likelihood they will stay around longer. That’s what I’ve learned from my personal experience.   Many people will say “I’m getting $10 to $50 per month and I’ve never even done anything to build my business.  How much could I earn if I actually did something?”

Yes, some people will still quit.  The beauty of this method is that the business will roll up to you.  If you find a leader on level 20, and levels one through 19 haven’t done anything, that volume will go up to you.

But if you find a leader on level 20, you can also call the people on the 19 levels above them and let them know there is a rock star in the basement.  This could motivate a few of them to get off their butt and get to work.  After all, would you quit if you had a huge leader 18 levels below you?

Ultimately, the choice is yours.  I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer.  The strategy I use is simply what works for me.

What do you think?  What are your thoughts on building depth?  Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.

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Chuck Holmes
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8 thoughts on “How to Work in Depth in Your MLM Business”

  1. The idea of building a tap root leg in addition to being a monster recruiter sounds like a good game plan. I just think it depends on your organization. If you have a compensation plan that doesn’t pay after a certain level or allows for people to breakaway from your leg, then the reward for going deep will be short lived. You also hear stories about people being sabotaged by their upline to maintain the balance of power and keep the money flowing upward. As long as everyone operates with integrity I think your strategic placement can work.

  2. I really like how you explained about building a small team under your people. It is so true that people do fear loss, and by making it small, you cut down on the chances of those losses.

    I believe so much of the depth work comes down to training. We need to make time to listen and work with those who are under us. In a lot of situations, many newbies get one training mission and then they are left to fend on their own. They need to know that you as the leader have an open door/open phone policy. If they have questions, they need to ask them. By instilling this from the start, they are more apt to stick around.

      1. I love that analogy. Instead of being over the top of people, you work under them holding them level, much as an anchor of a boat.

        I do like the combination theory, especially the last 2–something about throwing mud against a wall just does not sound appealing. I believe by using the two, a person can build a solid network marketing business where everyone can be satisfied and make money.

        I still believe that it all comes down to being honest and providing the best training you possibly can.

  3. Ultimately, I think it boils down to the kind of people who have as a part of your business. A strong group of leaders may not replicate at the find 5 pace, but perhaps on the find 2 or find 3 pace which can still be beneficial. Of course, as you said, strategic placement becomes key regardless. Not backing, supporting, and strategically placing someone who has the potential to lead can be just as detrimental as ill-placing a person who lacks the motivation and dedication on the front lines.

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