MLM Duplication: How to Get Your MLM Team to Duplicate and Grow

Today’s post is about MLM Duplication. This is a buzzword that gets thrown around a lot in our industry. Everyone’s heard of it, yet most people can’t get their team to duplicate.

For the purpose of this post, I want to define what MLM Duplication is and share some of my best success tips to make it happen.

What is MLM Duplication

What is MLM Duplication?

At the end of the day, network marketing is about a lot of people each doing a little bit consistently, month-after-month

Rather than have one person sell thousands of dollars in products themselves, MLM Duplication is about having hundreds, even thousands of people on your team each consuming the products themselves and servicing a few customers and distributors.

Each person moves several hundred dollars worth of products each month. When you add up the sales and consumption of the people in your team, it can add up to six or seven figures monthly in sales volume! And that type of sales volume will generate a VERY NICE commission check for you.

That is network marketing in a nutshell. That’s how it’s supposed to work. It’s about having leverage, and earning a small commission from everyone’s efforts, not just your own efforts.

Unfortunately, things don’t normally work out this way for most people in the industry. Most people struggle to get ANYONE on their team to duplicate what they are doing.

Duplication is really the process of motivating, encouraging, and influencing EVERYONE on your team to do a little bit each month.

Each person places an order for themselves. Each person services a few customers. Each person shares the business with a few prospects. Each person runs and grows their own business. As that happens, the compound effect kicks in and your team grows.

MLM Duplication Tips

Top 15 MLM Duplication Tips

What you see below are my top 15 MLM Duplication tips, listed in no particular order. These are things every distributor should know about, right from their first day in the industry. These insightful lessons took me many years to learn. I wish I would have learned them sooner.

# 1: Most of the people you sponsor will do nothing and quit.

Even if you spend tons of time training, supporting, coaching, and helping your new team members, most won’t last even 90-days in the business. At least 50% of your team and probably closer to 75% of your team will quit within 90-days of joining.

Your job is to look for winners, offer your support to everyone, and meet people where they are at, but spend most of your time with the 10% of your team who are willing to do something to grow their business.

Not everyone joins your team to do the business. Most people are just wholesale product users, and others simply want to be part of a community (social club). Of all the people who do join your team, only about 1 in 10 will ever do anything at all to move their business forward. The sooner you can accept that, the better.

# 2: You need a standardized training system.

You need a standardized training system for your team with weekly meetings, motivation, recognition, skills-training, and personal development. This gives people something to plug into, so they can be part of a community, feel appreciated, get support, and grow as a person.

You can use live events, conference calls, webinars, training manuals, a team website, a Facebook group, or any combination of these things. Training is the missing ingredient in most companies.

When I look at the companies in our industry, I personally believe Amway, ACN, and Primerica have some of the best training programs available (no, I am not affiliated with any of those companies). In fact, if you evaluate the top 20 largest MLM Companies in the industry, the one common denominator they all have is great training. They do weekly meetings and webinars. Tools, services, and support are provided. There are local, regional, and national training and motivational events. Normally, this is done by field leaders (top earning distributors) and sometimes led by the company itself.

J Paul Getty one percent quote

# 3: Even if only 5 percent of your team duplicates, you can still build a HUGE network marketing business. 

This is, and always will be a game of numbers. Even if most people do very little with the business and eventually quit, you can still make a lot of money in network marketing.

At the end of the day, you only need two to five people who duplicate what you did on a grand scale, to make a nice, six figure income (in most companies). If you look across your team, you will see that 95 to 99 percent of your team are customers, part-timers, and/or some-timers, who do a little bit each month and approximately one to two percent of your team are full-timers who produce just as much as everyone else combined.

# 4: The fastest way to get duplication is to teach skills.

It does you no good to motivate your team if you don’t teach them the skills they need to succeed.

As a sponsor and leader, your number one objective is to teach everyone on your team different ways to retail and recruit, so they can find a strategy that works best for them.

If all you ever did was focused on teaching prospecting and selling tips, you would get A LOT more duplication in your group. Prospecting and selling is what 99% of your team struggles with. It would also help to teach on subjects such as mindset, communication, leadership, and entrepreneurship.

# 5: Focus on duplicating results, not how people achieve those results.

As long as people on your team are prospecting, inviting, sharing presentations, sponsoring distributors, finding customers and training their team, who cares how they do it. As long as their approach is legal, ethical, and moral, don’t worry if they don’t do it your way!

Your real role as a leader is to help your people find a process that will work for them, based upon their personality, strengths, talents, abilities, and goals. I like to teach my team different ways to retail and recruit, and let them pick the option that resonates best with them.

mlm events provide motivation

# 6: Promote events. 

Whatever you do, attend every event yourself, and promote every event the company (and your team) offers. People make decisions to commit to and build their business while attending events.

The more people you can get to attend events, the faster your team will grow, and the more duplication you will get. PERIOD. Events create excitement and momentum. Events get people to commit. Events change peoples’ lives.

Going to an event won’t make you successful, but I’ve never met a successful person in the industry who didn’t go to events. 

# 7: Spend your time where it is deserved.  

You cannot drag anyone across the finish line or make anyone else successful in the business. Trust me, I’ve tried. It doesn’t work. You must be smart where you spend your time, especially as your team is growing. You only have so much time in a day. You should work with people who are serious and putting in the work themselves.

Rather than trying to motivate people, identify the serious people on your team who are already self-motivated and spend your time helping them.

That will give you the biggest return on your time investment. One of my biggest mistakes in my network marketing career is wanting success more for others than they wanted it for themselves.

It makes more sense to spend 90 percent of your time with one serious person than 90% of your time with ten non-serious people (trying to get them to be serious). As they say, I’d rather run with one then push, pull, or drag 20.

you can only succeed in mlm if you help others succeed

# 8: Help people grow.

One of the best ways to get more MLM Duplication in your team is to help your people grow as people. It’s true, your business will only grow as much as you do.

Get your team members reading books, watching inspirational videos, listening to tapes, attending events, and doing everything they can to work on their own personal development.

Most people need to grow as people, before they can ever achieve success in the industry. Most people struggle with confidence and worthiness issues that hold them back. If you can help people grow, you will have more duplication in your team.

# 9: Learn how to taproot.

This one skill can help you have a lot more duplication in your group. Learn how to build depth under people.

Build your legs deep and always work with the newest, most excited distributor at the deepest level in the organization. Light a fire in the basement and watch the heat rise. Build your business from the bottom up.

Give people something to lose and there is a higher likelihood they will stick around simply because of the “fear of loss.” When people have a team of their own, they are less likely to quit.

Don’t build the business for anyone, but as soon as you sponsor someone, help them sponsor someone quickly and then start working with their new person. Keep repeating this process over and over in depth until you find someone serious. This will cause most of the people above them to “shape up” and “get their act together.”

When someone on your level 10 is excited and serious, for example, the nine levels of people above that person also get excited, because now they have something to lose.

# 10: In most cases, two to three people will be responsible for 90% or more of your team’s growth.

Most top earners have sponsored 100 to 500 people personally, yet most of their income comes from the efforts of just two to three of those people. If you look across your organization, you will see that most of your growth comes from just a few key power players.

Even if you think these people are 100% independent of you, and don’t need your help, DO NOT neglect them. Offer ways to help them, rather than trying to motivate your unmotivated Uncle Rick. Be their biggest cheerleader. Offer them a ton of recognition. Become friends. Help them when asked. And then keep your ego in check so you don’t mess things up with them.

Diamonds are very valuable so you don't have to find very many of them to become wealthy

# 11: Work with three to five people at a time. 

I am a former Army officer. In the Army, you never personally supervise more than five people at a time. There is a reason for this. I believe the reason is you can’t effectively supervise more than five people at one time.

The same holds true in your network marketing team. You can only effectively work with so many people at once, because it takes time to work with each person. Ideally, you can work with three to five people at a time, if you are using technology and doing the business part-time. If you are a full-timer, you might be able to work with 10 people at a time, max.

# 12: Launch your new distributors properly.

Without a doubt, the best way to get more MLM Duplication is to launch your new distributors properly.

Ideally, you want to help each new distributor make their name list in their first 24-hours and then you want to help them contact these people through three-way calls, a Private Business Reception, or a home party, within their first 2-days in the business.

If you don’t help people get an IMMEDIATE positive result, they will quit. You must strike while the iron is hot. Most people will only stay excited during their first three to ten days in the business.

# 13: Don’t reinvent the wheel. 

If your upline or sponsor or company has a system that works, don’t reinvent the wheel. Use their system with your team. The only time you should create your own system is if you are already successful in the business, or if your upline or company doesn’t have one to offer you.

Whatever you do to build your business, keep it so simple an 8-year old can do it!  Any fool can complicate this business, but it takes a genius to keep it simple.

# 14: Give your people realistic expectations. 

You must give your new distributors realistic expectations about the business. Make sure they know it’s not a get rich quick type of industry. You must teach them that results WILL NOT come until they put in the work. Tell them what to expect and they won’t be disappointed.

Keep them motivated, but don’t hype them up. Make sure your new team member’s goals match their skills, effort, and commitment level. Show them what their organization will need to look like (volume and distributors) to reach their income goals.

first person you lead is You

# 15: Lead by example. 

Always lead by example in everything that you do. Your team will NOT do what you do, but set the bar so high, just in case they do decide to model you. Be a sterling example for others to follow and some of your team members will follow your lead. Do what you say and say what you do. Show your team what they should be doing, by your own personal example.

My True Thoughts on MLM Duplication

No matter what type of system you use, most people will not follow it or duplicate what you did. Only a few people will.

Why? That’s the million dollar question, but the truth is, most people entering our industry are not entrepreneurs and because most people entering our industry have very little money invested in their business, they are not going to treat their new business seriously.

That is a FACT. It amazes me how people will spend $500 or $1,000 for a starter kit, and then quit a few days later.

I believe our real job as a leader is to help people figure out a way to build the business that works for them.

Since everyone we recruit is different, it is in our best interest to sit down with each of our new people, go through their warm market first to help them get a few people signed up, and then help them come up with a game-plan and strategy.

Some people will want to build through their warm market. Some will want to use Facebook. Others will want to do paid advertising, postcards, make videos, set up at local events, or something else.

I also believe that our BEST PEOPLE will build their businesses differently than we do. The last thing you ever want to do in the business is FORCE your people to follow your system (yes, some crazy leaders use the my way or the highway approach).

By all means, encourage them to follow your system, but don’t be angry or controlling if they don’t. After all each rep is their own Independent Business Owner.

As Mark Yarnell once said, great leaders innovate, they don’t duplicate. 

My Experience with MLM Duplication

Anyone who has sponsored a lot of people will tell you that most people do nothing, a small group of people do something, and a very select few do A LOT!

It probably goes something like this:

  • 80% join and sponsor no one
  • 15% sponsor at least one person
  • 4% sponsor new people each month
  • 1% are leaders who catch the vision and build it big

This is what I’ve discovered through research and personal experience.

As I see it, you have two options. You can try to get everyone to duplicate OR you can simply go out and work the numbers.

I’ve found that having a system, training your team, and providing motivation is better than NOT doing it, but it still doesn’t lead to lots of duplication. No matter what you do, people are still going to do what they are going to do! You can have the BEST systems and training in place, but most of your team members will still not follow it or apply what you teach.

Having systems and training is great, but the only way to really achieve success in network marketing is to sponsor a ton of people and let the leaders identify themselves.

When you study the top earners in our great industry you will discover that MOST of them have sponsored anywhere from 100 to 500 people personally and most of their income comes from just two to three people on their team. Chew on that for a moment!

From this day forward you really have two options. You can TRY to get everyone on your team to duplicate. You can spend all your time trying to motivate and manage your team. Or, you can just go out and work the numbers and keep sponsoring people until you find your select group of rock stars!

I know which approach I would use. I would work the numbers, spend your time and energy with the producers and support EVERYONE else in a group setting. You will find that most of your leaders will come in depth anyway, so it’s worth supporting and helping everyone.

Must Read Books

If you’d like to learn more about duplication, I recommend these two books. The first book is The 45 Second Presentation by Don Failla. The information in this book is the most practical advice about building a successful MLM Business (and getting more duplication). The second book, which should help you with duplication in your team is The Four Year Career by Richard Bliss Brooke. You can click on the links of the book to buy them on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, these are my thoughts on how to get more MLM Duplication in your network marketing team. None of these things are rocket science, but they are often overlooked or neglected by distributors.

At the end of the day, the people who build the biggest teams and make the most amount of money in our industry are the people who can get a lot of people to do a few key things consistently. Duplication is your goal. It won’t happen overnight, but if you follow the advice in this article, you should be well on your way.

What are some of your best tips to get more MLM Duplication? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

Suggested Reading
  1. 34 Ways to Get Leads
  2. How to Motivate Your Team
  3. Best MLM Success Tips
  4. Must Read MLM Books
  5. Top 50 MLM Companies

chuck holmes


Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional (21+ years)
Top Recruiter & Top Rep

Suggested Resources
  1. Best Places to Advertise Your Business
  2. Suggested MLM Tools & Resources
  3. My Primary Business
  4. Recommended Training, Links & About Me

21 thoughts on “MLM Duplication: How to Get Your MLM Team to Duplicate and Grow”

  1. How do you know if your group is headed in the right direction? I believe there are two questions you need to ask yourself every month. The first question is how many people do I have on my team ACTIVELY building a business? This is a good indication of your future success.

    Your goal is to increase this number every month. The second question is “how many levels deeper did I drive each leg of my organization this month?” Ideally, you should drive each leg at least one to three levels deeper every month.

  2. Duplication Tips

    • Get people plugged in to the system
    • Help each person find a way to get leads that works for them
    • Teach skills
    • Promote events
    • Taproot
    • Help people grow
    • Launch new distributors properly
    • Lead by example

  3. When you look at a skyscraper, you might not realize that it typically takes more time to build the foundation than it does to build the actual building. It can take a year or more to build a solid foundation for a skyscraper.

    The same holds true with network marketing. The hardest part of your job is building your frontline until you have your key leaders in place. Once you have your leaders in place the magic happens.

    The real key to building a good foundation for your business is to build depth; that’s where you will find your leaders. You want several legs in your group to be 20, 50, even 200 levels deep.

    This will “secure” the leg and enable you to make a nice income. Build it wide to make quick money and build it deep to make long-term money. I learned this lesson from my mentor Don Failla.

  4. Ask any real estate broker, sales manager, or insurance broker how many of their folks produce. You will quickly discover that 10-20 percent of the team produces 80 to 90 percent of the results.

    The same holds true in MLM. If you sponsor 10 people, one or two of them will produce most of the results and the others will do little to nothing.

    There is very little you can do about that. Accept it and work the numbers to your advantage. To find five producers you will probably need to sponsor 50 to 100 people.

  5. Sponsor people who have never been in MLM before. I recently read an article about an airline that doesn’t hire new flight attendants if they have experience as a flight attendant with another company.

    Their reasoning was that they didn’t want people with bad habits. They didn’t want people who already had a “paradigm” or “perception” about how things should be. Instead, they wanted to train people with no experience.

    I think this is a very good tip when it comes to network marketing.

  6. One of the best things you can do if your group isn’t growing is to get a new group!

    You see, you can only get so much milk from one cow. What most distributors do is constantly try to motivate, train, help and inspire the few distributors in their group.

    What they should be doing is adding new people to their group. Rather than try to motivate and train people all the time, go out and find self-motivated people!

    It will eliminate your frustration and help your business grow.

  7. One of the best skills you can develop to get more MLM Duplication is learning how to retain your team.

    It does no good to sponsor 10 distributors or customers only to have them all quit. Most people spend all their time, money and energy recruiting someone, but once they have them signed up, they abandon them and leave them to the wolves.

    One of the best things you can do as a distributor and sponsor is to build a good relationship with your people. Nurture them. Support them. Stay in touch frequently. Send out a newsletter. Do a weekly call. Send out a weekly email.

    Let them know you appreciate them. The real money in your business comes from REPEAT orders, not recruiting. Never forget that.

  8. Here are some stats I have learned from personal experience and by studying others.

    If you have 100 people on your team, 50 will quit, 40 will be loyal product users, and 10 will do something to build the business. 1 or 2 of those 10 will build huge businesses of their own with or without you.

    In addition, about 1 in every 30 people you sponsor will be serious about the business. If you want three serious people, you will need to sponsor 90 to 100 people personally.

    Approximately 90% of your income will come from the efforts of just one to three people on your team.

  9. I have a very successful friend, Catherine, who taught me something valuable this week. She taught me how her successful upline builds her business. She uses a concept known as “heart-felt sharing.”

    Basically, when she sponsors someone, she has them invite just TWO of their friends to a coffee shop or other location to share the products and business with them. Typically, she will have two new distributors at the meeting, and each of them has two guests. She does a short presentation and engages in friendly conversation with the group of people and normally sponsors the guests into the business.

    From there, she repeats the process with the new people and has each of them invite two of their closest friends. She does this just TWICE per week and has a huge team.

    I will be incorporating something similar into my own business, but I will do it with SKYPE. Since all of my team is in other states or countries, I’ll just do this with SKYPE instead of meeting face to face.

    Maybe you could try something similar in your business? Instead, of having your person make a huge name list, have them make a list of just 10 names and then invite 2 people to meet with you, and you show them the plan while your new person sits there and listens.

    What do you think? Do you think this would work?

  10. One of the best things you can do as a sponsor is to set clear expectations with your new team members. Tell them what you expect from them if they expect you to help them. Talk to them about how you want to communicate, how often, and when. Tell them what your role will be and what their role will be.

    Tell them about what you want the relationship to be like. Set boundaries so you don’t get taken advantage of. Tell your new team members what it really takes to actually succeed in the business! Give them clear expectations so they don’t get disappointed in a few months.

    I think it’s best to keep it real with people.

  11. Tip for Working with Your New Distributors

    Many sponsors want success for their downline members more than their downline want it for themselves. It’s sad, but a big reality. Your job as a sponsor or upline is to teach and support your team. However, it’s not your job to build their business for them or make them successful.

    When you first sponsor someone you want to sit down with them and tell them your expectations. Let them know that you are there to help them and support them, but you won’t do everything for them. Let them know that you will match their efforts. Give them an assignment and if they do it, match their efforts.

    Unfortunately, a lot of new distributors are in the take mode. They will take whatever you give them. It’s your job to sift and sort through your new team members to identify who is serious and who is not.

    The only way to do this is by watching their actions. Anyone can talk a big game, but watch the person’s feet and watch their actions. That’s how you determine if someone is serious.

    And never do more for a team member than they are willing to do themselves. If you’re working with someone, but they never do anything you ask them to do, move on and find someone else to work with. Your time is valuable and this is not welfare.

  12. I listened to a recorded conference call yesterday of a lady with more than 30,000 active team members on her team. She’s been with her company almost 20 years now and she claimed that ALL of her best people were product users first. She claimed that if you don’t like the products there’s a good chance people won’t like the business either.

    She leads with the products, not the business. Her mindset is to get people to fall in love with the products and most of them will naturally want to do the business (at some point). I couldn’t agree more.

    From personal experience I’ve found that most people who join just to do the business side of things don’t stick around very long, but happy customers do. That’s one of the reasons I am product oriented. What you do is totally up to you!

  13. Why should I build relationships in depth?

    Most of the people you personally sponsor will do nothing and eventually quit. Typically, your best people are not personally sponsored.

    You need to be strategic about building strong relationships with people in depth in your group. What I suggest you do is build at least three to five relationships in each leg of your group with “leader” type people who are serious about the business.

    That way if one person quits you don’t lose the entire leg. If you can repeat this process in three to six different legs you will build a very strong group.

  14. Who should I work with in my team?

    Most of your time should be spent with newest, most excited, ambitious people on your team. I would tell you that it makes the most sense to work with the newest person at the deepest level of your organization: the new people.

    By working with these folks in depth it automatically helps motivate everyone above them (and locks them into the business). In addition, you want to work with the new people who are coachable, willing to work, and do what you ask them to do. These are the folks who are serious about the business.

    What most distributors do is recruit 10 to 20 people and then go into management mode. They try to manage and motivate these people and end up wasting a huge amount of time. By working in depth you automatically work smart and help everyone above them.

  15. Hi Chuck,

    MLM is pretty much a duplication business. It’s a business built on leverage.

    If someone wants to grow their MLM business, they have to know how to sell, sponsor, and duplicate. But more importantly, they have to learn to effectively teach and train their downlines to do the same.

    This piece of advice is going to be a great time saver. This is advice beginners and even advanced level marketers can use to put their business on the right track from day one.

  16. It is so true that most of the time the people who are the best are not interested in or do not need your help. They have a self-motivation that pushes them to research and develop a model that works best for them. At times, help from us can seem to stifle their natural creativity and drive. I have found that a good balance of oversight from a distance and being available so you can be reached if they do need your help works pretty well.

  17. I must admit that I am happy you are stating something I have thought for a very long time. People are not robots, and if we all did things the same exact way, it would be a boring world. What I do believe is: we show prospects what works for us, and what works for other team members, and allow that prospect to use what they feel will work best for them.

    I also feel that having duplicate websites is another terrible thing for MLM companies. I understand why many do it, because if they had members building their own websites, they could run into legal problems, but I still think it is terrible, because it creates duplicate content which the search engines frown upon.

    Thank you for ruffling feathers Chuck. It needed to be said.

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