MLM Motivation: How to Motivate Your MLM Team

Today, I want to share some epic wisdom on MLM Motivation and tips on how to motivate your MLM Team.  These are valuable lessons I have learned during the past 16+ years in this great industry.  These tips are a collection of tips I have shared in different e-zines, newsletters and journals. Enjoy!

My Best MLM Motivation Tip

So, how do you motivate others?  Truth be told, you can’t motivate anyone else to do anything, not permanently anyway.  Sure, you can get people to an event, give them a pep talk, spend time with them, recognize them, or countless other things, but none of those things will PERMANENTLY motivate someone else. These are all temporary motivators.

To put it in context, think about your company’s annual convention.  People attend the convention and are really excited. When they get home they are pumped up for a few days, maybe even a week or two, and then they revert back to their old habits and ways. That’s because their motivation doesn’t last.

As I see it, the most effective way to motivate someone is to give them something to lose.

I personally believe that the fear of loss is the greatest motivator in the world.  When people have something to lose, they will move mountains to keep it.

How do you give your team something to lose?  You build depth under the person.  You grow a team under them as big as possible as quickly as possible, so now the person has something to lose out on.

I learned this lesson from my mentor, Don Failla.  He teaches that you motivate your group from the bottom up, not from the top down. 

Work at the bottom most point of each leg of your organization, with the newest most excited distributor.  Create excitement in the bottom of each leg and it will automatically help motivate everyone above them.

When someone on level 20 is motivated and productive, it automatically motivates everyone above them.  Light a fire in the basement and watch the heat rise.  This is frequently referred to as tap-rooting.

mlm motivation


 How to Help the 98%

The 2%-3% of the people in your team who are really leaders and doers are going to build the business with or without your help.  It’s what you do with the other 98% of the people on your team that will ultimately determine your long-term success in this industry.  Here are a few simple things you can do to help more people get better results and improve retention.

  • Find out what each person your team wants and show them how to get it.
  • Create a team training manual
  • Create a team training website
  • Do weekly calls
  • Have a simple system for your new people to follow
  • Do a getting started training with each new person on your team
  • Have contests that are designed for the part-timer
  • Help each person earn enough money to get their products for free each month
  • Make sure each person on your team knows you appreciate them
  • Don’t make the mistake of just rewarding people who build it big or build it fast; find ways to reward the part-timers
  • Create an atmosphere or culture that people are proud to be part of
  • Build friendships with everyone on your team

All of these things will make a big difference with the 98% of the people on your team who are customers, wholesale buyers, part-timers, some-timers, or no-timers.

How to Cripple Your MLM Group

Here’s some helpful MLM Motivation.

The fastest way to cripple your group is to do everything for them.

Yes, I understand you need to help your team members. That’s important. But you should never do anything for your team members that they can do for themselves.

I see so many people in our industry who are 100% dependent on their sponsor or upline. I don’t even think it’s their fault. I think it’s the upline’s fault for not setting expectations, boundaries, and not training them right.

One of the reasons long-distance legs do so well in our industry is because there is no one there to coddle them.  They can’t rely on their sponsor to do everything for them so they have to figure it out on their own. In most cases, your long-distance legs will be your best legs.

You should train your people.  But don’t do tons of presentations for them. Help them with their first few presentations and let them do it on their own after that. The sooner you can get them to leave the nest, the better they will do in their own business.

Get a Commitment from Your MLM Reps

First off, let me tell you that motivation is temporary.  What you really need to succeed in this business is COMMITMENT. No one is motivated all the time.

Commitment means sticking with your initial decision and doing what you said you were going to do, even when you don’t feel like it.

What you want to do with your new people is ask them for a minimum ONE-YEAR commitment to the business.  Have them sign a piece of paper saying they will do this. Give them realistic expectations and make sure they know it will take several months to launch their business and start making some money.

Tell them about the difference between love and lust in the business. Let them know they will be naturally excited for their first 30 to 90 days, but that “lust” phase will eventually wear off, and it’s what they do at that point that matters most.

Motivate Your MLM Team with Competitions

I love the idea of having friendly competitions in your MLM Team. Each month you should have some type of contest or competition to help motivate your distributors. There is nothing like a friendly competition to do that.  You should have a competition where more than one person can win. You should also have a grand prize winner.

Make your competition doable, but make people stretch a little bit as well.  Keep in mind that most people on your team are part-timers.  For example, you could have a prize for anyone who sponsors 1 or more people in a month and a grand prize for the top sponsor.  Even if just 5 to 10 percent of your team participated in your team competition, I think you would see big growth in your business.

Examples for your team competition could include: people contacted, presentations given, people prospected, people sponsored, new customers acquired, number of NOs received, etc. You are only limited to your creativity.

Come up with a good prize that doesn’t cost you too much money, but has a good perceived value. Examples of prizes might include free products, gift cards, a cash bonus, a training course, someone placed on the winner’s team, or whatever else you can think of.

The bottom line is that competitions are a great way to motivate your MLM Team.

Let People Quit the Business

Most people will quit the business at some point.  It’s inevitable.  Don’t take it personally.  There’s nothing you can really do about it anyway. When someone tells you they are quitting the business, don’t try to talk them into staying.

By all means, be nice to them and let them know the door is always open if they change their mind and want to return in the future, but don’t beg them to stay. The sooner you can identify non-serious people, the better off you will be.

The last thing you want to do is invest a lot of time and money into someone who really isn’t serious about the business.  You don’t want to spend months or years working with someone, only to find out that they are wasting your time!

Don’t Expect Much from Anyone You Sponsor

This tip might sound harsh, but let me explain. I used to have high hopes when I sponsored people. I’d sponsor someone sharp, knowing they were going to build a huge business.  When they quit a few days (or weeks later) I was devastated, disappointed and upset.

Now, I have ZERO expectation of everyone I personally sponsor. I HOPE everyone will do what they need to do to succeed, but I don’t expect them to do anything at all. I see the POTENTIAL in people, but I don’t put MY SUCCESS or my future in their hands.

From this day forward, you should look for the best in your people, and believe in them, but don’t expect anything from ANYONE you sponsor. That way you won’t be disappointed when they do nothing and you will be thrilled if they do anything at all.



What to Do with a Stagnant MLM Team

At some point in your network marketing career, you will hit a plateau. Your team will reach its full potential and your monthly volume will plateau or drop.

What most distributors try to do when this happens is focus on motivating and training their team. They want to squeeze a few more drops out of their current team.  From personal experience I can tell you that this is frustrating, time-consuming and very ineffective.

If your team isn’t producing the results you desire, the best thing you can do is go out and build a new team.  Bring in five to ten new front-line distributors and start working with them.

This will give you added volume and excitement in your group.  It might even inspire a few of your “older” distributors to step up to the plate and produce more. The bottom line is that “new blood” is the real key to success if you want to grow your team.

The Only Thing You Can Control in Your MLM Business

The only thing that you can control in this business is what you do!  You have absolutely no control over what your team members do. Sometimes that is a good thing and sometimes it is a bad thing.

In the beginning of your business, it will just be just you doing all of the work. For most people, it will take at least six to twelve months to find their first leader. Sometimes it will take even longer than that!  This is the period of time where most people give up and quit.

Once you find other leaders in your organization, it’s a beautiful thing.  You have duplication, momentum and consistent growth. Your team grows without you.  But up until that point in time it can be frustrating.

You have to remember that you are no one else’s boss. You can’t force anyone else to produce. You really can’t count on anyone else to help you get that next rank advancement.

Instead of sitting around waiting for your team to get you to the next level, I highly suggest you stay in the trenches and focus on what you can control. 

Focus on your personal production until you find enough leaders in your team to mentor and work with.

Babysitting Your MLM Team

I spent 15+ years in the Army and on many occasions I felt like I was running an adult day care center.  I’ve felt the same way many times in this industry.

I think it’s important to understand human nature. People like to make excuses for their failures. Most people are naturally lazy and like to procrastinate.  People like to whine, bitch, and complain. Most people like to get ready to get ready, but will never cross the starting line.

As a sponsor, your job is to set the example and pace for your team and to encourage others.

It’s not your job to convince people to do something with the business. If you spend all of your time babysitting people on your team, you will get annoyed, frustrated, tired and burnt out.  Trust me, I’ve been there and done that.

Your job is to work with the willing.  It’s a lot easier, and a lot more fun, to work with someone who actually has the work ethic and desire to build a business.  You can only lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.  Don’t become a babysitter in your business.

The Power of Recognition

Some people will do more for recognition than they will for money. Make sure that you recognize your team whenever possible, even for the smallest things.

Show people you appreciate them.  Send thank you notes; give out certificates and awards, and lavish lots of praise. When people feel recognized and appreciated, they are motivated to work harder, in order to get even more recognition.

Since so few people get recognized in their jobs or families, you can make a big difference by doing it with your team.

Don’t Get Frustrated with Your MLM Team

I’ve always been frustrated when I couldn’t get my team to perform. The truth of the matter is “everyone is their own independent business owner.”  People will do what they want.

In most cases, you will want success for your team members more than they want it for themselves. You just have to accept this. Realize from this day forward that you have no control over what others do.

There’s nothing you can do to keep someone motivated and get them to build their business.  You can coach them, help them and support them, but if they aren’t committed, it won’t matter much.  When it comes to people on my team, I have zero expectation that anyone will do anything. That way I am never disappointed.

Be Okay with Non-Committed People

The quicker you accept the fact that at least 90% of your team is not committed to building a big business, like you are, the better off you will be.  This is something that still drives me crazy.  Sometimes I want success more for my team members than they want it for themselves. You just have to realize that MOST people will not do the work it takes to become successful.

Most of your team members will be part-timers or some-timers or no-timers.  There is literally nothing you can do to get them to commit, so the best thing you can do is support them, but move on and work with someone who is really committed.  90% of your income will come from one to three people on your team anyway. Spend your time looking for those folks.

  1. Crawl with the crawlers.
  2. Walk with the walkers
  3. Run with the runners.
  4. And sprint with the sprinters.

It’s Not Your Job to Make Your People Successful

You can try to drag people across the finish line and make them successful in the business, but it’s very tiring to do that. I’ve tried this with so many people through the years.  You are willing to do more to help them build their business than they are willing to do themselves.  Don’t go down this road.

Meet people where they are at.  Never pressure anyone.  Work with the willing.

It’s Not Your Job to Save People

This is another valuable lesson I’ve learned during the past 16+ years.  We all want to help people who are broke or down and out. I understand that.

The problem with spending all of your time prospecting broke people is that your business will fail.

Most (not all) broke people don’t have the money or desire to get started in a business of their own. Instead, they need money now.  And the best way for them to do that is with a job. It’s just a reality.

At the end of the day you want to focus your efforts on people who WANT a plan B/more money, not people who need it.  Yes, that sounds harsh, but I’ve found it to be true.

Focus on sponsoring people who are already successful in life, have disposable income, a good self-esteem, and lots of contacts.

These are the folks who will “more than likely” become successful in the business anyway.

Final Thoughts

There you have it folks.  These are my best MLM Motivation tips on how to motivate your MLM Team.  I hope you found the information helpful.  What was your favorite tip that I suggested? What tip did I leave out?  Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

chuck holmes


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

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