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 (since 2002)
Author, Blogger, & Entrepreneur

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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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