MLM Witness Protection Program: It’s Alive and Well

If you’ve spent any amount of time in the network marketing industry, you’re probably familiar with the MLM Witness Protection Program.

The MLM Witness Protection Program

The MLM Witness Protection Program

This is when one of your distributors disappears from the business, never to be heard from again. They don’t return your calls. They stop attending meetings. They ignore your emails and texts. Basically, they disappear, similar to someone going into a traditional Witness Protection Program.

This is actually pretty normal in our industry. It happens a lot with new distributors. Sometimes, it will even happen with your best people. You might invest a year or two of your time into helping someone grow their business, only to have them disappear into thin air without even saying goodbye. Needless to say, it can be disappointing.

In most companies, attrition will take away 75 to 90 percent of your team each year. Most of the time, these people won’t give you a courtesy call to let you know they changed their mind, and are no longer building a business.

Instead, they disappear into the abyss, never to be heard from again. Sometimes it happens overnight. Other times it starts out by someone missing their first weekly meeting. And then they miss a second weekly meeting.  Within a few week period of time they are completely out of the business.

Why This Happens

I should answer this question with a popular Jim Rohn quote, which says:

I wouldn’t sign up for that class.

In other words, don’t spend much time trying to figure out why people quit or disappear from the business.

People go into the MLM Witness Protection Program for a variety of reasons. In most cases, it’s because they’ve lost their belief in the business. They don’t think THEY can be successful in the business.

Maybe they had unrealistic expectations about what to expect from the business. Or, maybe they are going through some personal issues in their life that make building a network marketing business impossible. This could include the loss of a job, a broken marriage, work relocation, sick parent or child, etc.

Maybe one of their family members said something mean to them. Maybe they read something negative on the internet about the company. Maybe they can’t handle the rejection.

There are hundreds of reasons why someone might change their mind about the business, and most of these things are out of your control and have nothing to do with YOU!

Just to put things in perspective, how many things have you started in your life that you ended up quitting?  Probably a lot of things. Most people quit everything they start, so it’s actually quite normal. It’s definitely not unique to network marketing.

What to Do About It

First off, you must be mentally prepared that people will quit the business, even good people, or it can wipe you out. I always tell people to expect that EVERYONE will quit, but hope that no one will. The only way to be disappointed is to have an expectation of someone else.

When one of your team members goes into the MLM Witness Protection Program, you can call them. That is probably your best option. Ask them if there is anything you can do to remedy the situation. Ask them WHY they are no longer building the business. Listen and show a genuine interest. Maybe you can identify a simple problem that you can offer a solution too. If nothing else, it shows the person that you care.

Your next option is to leave them alone and let them do their own thing. Instead of chasing them, be replacing them.

Get of your butt and go out and sponsor some new distributors into your business. After all, it’s easier to give birth to new distributors than it is to resurrect dead ones. If someone has already made their mind up that they have “quit” the business, there is little you can say or do to change their mind.

My last tip is to leave the door open for them to return. Don’t be rude, say something mean, give them a guilt trip, or burn your bridges with the person. Let them know you enjoyed working with them in the business (if you did), and tell them that if they ever change their mind, the door is always open for them to return. Simply put, be nice and treat everyone with respect.

Final Thoughts

In review, every successful distributor has team members in the MLM Witness Protection Program. It’s normal.  It’s part of building a big team.

You must learn to accept the fact that most people will do nothing and quit. This business is a numbers game.  It is a business of attrition. You don’t need or want everyone to stay.

Your goal is to keep recruiting, so you can replace the people who quit, and continue to build your business. That is the key to success.

What are your thoughts about the MLM Witness Protection Program? 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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2 thoughts on “MLM Witness Protection Program: It’s Alive and Well”

  1. Hi Chuck, whenever people just disappear and go into Witness Protection Program I just assume they are still very much a part of my downline. I don’t treat them like they quit or anything like that. At the end of the day, everyone has the right to make their own choices. So my team members can come and go as they please. However. I can only provide the best support and help to those who are active and enthusiastic with their business. If someone goes off the grid, it’s really his or her loss. But I don’t really burn bridges. You never know when these people will re-surface when the time is right. Great blog post.

    1. Great points man. I’ve had people disappear for a year or more only to come back later. Each person is on their own journey. Timing is everything. Work with the willing and treat everyone else with respect.

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