MLM Without Recruiting: Tips, Ideas, & Considerations

Today, I’d like to take a few minutes and discuss MLM without recruiting. This is a popular search term online and it’s a question that I get asked quite frequently.

In a nutshell, people want to know if they can succeed in MLM without recruiting anyone. My immediate answer to that question is NO. You’ll never build a big team or earn six figures in our industry without recruiting. But, if you have no desire to build a big team or earn lots of money, you can be successful in MLM without recruiting.

MLM Without Recruiting

If you are treating your MLM Business like a direct sales business, you never have to recruit anyone. Instead, you just focus on selling your company’s products. Think of the Avon lady or the Tupperware lady.

With the direct sales business model, there is almost zero focus on recruiting distributors. The major focus is on selling. Make sales, generate a profit, repeat.

That is a good business model, but it is completely different from network marketing, even though some companies and people interchange those two terms as if they mean the same thing.

The # 1 objective in network marketing is to build a team of distributors. This gives you leverage. Network marketing is about a lot of people each doing a little bit, not one person doing a lot. Rather than one person sell $10,000 in products each month, you have 100 people each use/sell $100 worth of product each month. Make sense?

If you just focus on selling/retailing in MLM, you will either max out or burn out. One person can only do so much. Because the commissions are so small per transaction, I personally believe it makes little sense to treat network marketing like direct sales.

MLM Without Recruiting

If you are set on doing MLM without recruiting, you have several different options.

# 1: Be a Wholesale Customer

You first option to do MLM without recruiting is simply to be a wholesale customer. I don’t have the industry statistics, but I’d bet that at least 70 to 80 percent of the people who join our industry do so simply to get a discount on their product purchases. They simply want to be a wholesale customer and save money. They do not want to do it as a business.

There’s nothing wrong with doing that. Our industry offers some amazing products and buying them at the wholesale price is a smart move.

1 objective in mlm

# 2: Have a Small Retail Business

Your next option is to have a small retail business. Perhaps, you decide to service five to ten customers each month and make enough commissions to cover the cost of your personal purchases and have a little extra spending cash. Lots of people do this.

# 3: Focus on Tap-rooting

You will quickly discover that many of the top network marketers are not good recruiters. Instead, they focus on helping their team recruit. They sign up a few people and then focus their time, money, and energy on helping their people build their own teams.

They spend all their time working in depth. They keep repeating this process over and over driving several legs many levels deep.

I recently heard one top network marketer say this:

A good network marketer can sponsor two people and build a team with millions of people by working THROUGH the people they sponsor.

Basically, you help your two people each sponsor one person and then you go and work with their new person. You keep repeating this over and over in depth until you find your serious people.

# 4: Do Something Else

Another option to do MLM without recruiting is not to do MLM at all. Instead, get a part-time job, sell stuff on eBay, drive for Uber or Lyft, be a virtual assistant, start a new hobby, or whatever else you can think of. Not everyone is cut out for sales, network marketing, or entrepreneurship and that is perfectly okay.

selling in mlm

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, these are my thoughts on MLM without recruiting. As you can see, you have many different options to choose from.

MLM is not for everyone. Neither is entrepreneurship or sales. It makes sense to find a business model or income opportunity that aligns with your own personality, skills, and goals.

I would like to add in though that every entrepreneur is a salesperson. Their number one job is to make the cash register ring. Recruiting is just another word for selling. It’s about influence. It’s getting others to see your point of view and leading people to a decision.

Recruiting is not about being sleazy, using hype, being deceptive or using pressure. Every successful rep I’ve met is a PROFESSIONAL.

What are your thoughts about MLM without recruiting? 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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11 thoughts on “MLM Without Recruiting: Tips, Ideas, & Considerations”

  1. Not sure why someone would want to do MLM without recruiting. The commissions you make from selling the products is so small, you’d have to have hundreds and hundreds of personal customers to make a full-time income.

    1. Yes, the whole purpose of MLM is to build a team and have the leverage of a lot of people all doing a little bit. If you just want to sell, go sell real estate or insurance where you earn big commissions per sale. That is what I would advise people.

  2. MLM and networking go hand in hand, and that’s why I was baffled to see the concept of MLM without recruiting.
    As you rightfully shed light on the scenario, it’s evident that the approach is not necessarily the best. What we can do, as you mentioned, is take a different approach and dive into other business activities.
    If recruiting is not your forte, perhaps, MLM is not the best option for you. Great insight, man!

    1. Recruiting is really just another method of selling, just like retailing products. Every business requires sales skills, especially from the owner. The reason most people don’t like recruiting is they haven’t found a way to do it that resonates with them. If they take the time to find a way, they will fall in love with the process.

  3. Some people in my circle enter into the MLM market just because they find this easy and require less effort to earn money. As it is mentioned that not everyone can be an entrepreneur, salesperson, or network marketer. One should choose a career that matches with his skills and area of interest. From this article one can have a better view of his career, what field to choose then what to do.

    1. Yes, it’s important to choose a career, job, or business that aligns with your skills, personalities, and goals. I will be the first to admit that network marketing is not for everyone.

  4. I have seen a lot of people who are only interested in the sales of products and not recruiting people. Recruiting and building a team is where the money is but I think it’s about choice. A lot of people find it hard to build a team so they focus and channel their energy into sales only.

    1. Yes, this is very common in our industry. There is nothing wrong with just selling a product. We all need customers. The only issue from that is we earn such a small amount per sale. I always tell people, if you just want to sell, go sell something that you earn a few hundred dollars or a few thousand dollars per sale, such as insurance or real estate. The real benefit of our industry is the leverage via team building, which is difficult to do if your only focus is selling. Just my two cents.

  5. In this article, I’ve realized that recruiting is a crucial part in this field of business. Without recruiting your goal to generate a big pay cannot be accomplished abruptly. As what I’ve read it is important to build a team as it would contribute to the gradual production of the business. Finding the right team of distributors who has the same vision as you, also helps in acquiring the expected result of the company.

  6. Yes, its a really popular theme online right now. And yes, without recruiting you will never earn big figures. While its fun to build something alone, a team is needed in order to achieve big things. In direct sales like Avon, you can have some success on your own, but to hit the big milestones you need a team. On the other hand, developing a small retail business can work because servicing five to ten customers each month will help you create a nice part-time income. But yes, if you are going to do MLM seriously, without recruiting that is not possible.

    1. There’s definitely nothing wrong with just selling the product, or building up a customer base of five to ten customers, and building up a nice part-time income. What holds people back is most people get stuck in that mindset. Or, they fall in love with the product and only talk about the product. If you want to earn a full-time income in MLM, you must focus PART of your time on recruiting and team building. That is where the leverage and big money come from. Of course, you still sell the product and service your customers while you do that. It’s not one or the other. You should retail and recruit.

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