Never Go Into Management Mode in Network Marketing

Never go into management mode in network marketing.  Ever.

Many people in our industry make this terrible mistake of trying to manage their team.  Why?  Because it’s easier to try and manage your team than it is to go out and keep recruiting and retailing yourself.

Plus, many people in our industry are managers in their day job.  They don’t understand that this industry is much different than the corporate world.

With this industry, you’re not in charge of anyone.  You can’t tell anyone what to do.  It’s a volunteer Army, which means no one has to follow your lead. This business is about inspiring others by your own personal example, not by being a boss.

What Most Distributors Do

What most people in our industry do is sponsor two to five people and then sit back and wait for their team to do something.

They spend all their time creating reports, doing meetings, sharing data, talking with their team, trying to motivate their team, and countless other things, yet they wonder why their team doesn’t grow.

Because these reps spend so much time doing these things, yet their team still doesn’t produce, they end up frustrated and eventually quit the business, thinking it doesn’t work.

What Leaders Do

Leaders recruit, recruit, recruit, and retail some products.  They stay in Phase 1 mode at all times.  That means they keep doing the activities that they did that made them successful in the first place: talking to new prospects.

Leaders never try to manage anyone.  They create system and let the systems manage the people.  They realize that each person on their team is their own CEO and is responsible for their own motivation and success.

What it Takes to Really Succeed in Network Marketing

To succeed in network marketing, you have to work the numbers.  You’ll have to talk to thousands of people to sponsor hundreds of people to find a few key leaders who do what you do.

That means that you need to be out in the trenches day in and day out leading by example.  You must continuously prospect, show the plan, follow-up, acquire customers and duplicate yourself.  This never stops!

As your organization grows and you find leaders in your team that will also work the business like you do, you can shift your efforts from doing everything yourself to helping your team (management mode).  But you shouldn’t spend much time in management mode until you have at least 3,000 people in your team and at least 20 solid LEADERS.

Sponsoring a few folks and then going into management mode is never good.  You see, your people will do what you do.  They will watch you sitting at home, doing nothing but trying to motivate them.  And that’s what they will end up doing! They’ll end up sitting at home trying to manage their team, just like you do.  It’s true, people do what you do, not what you say.

However, if your team sees you out in the trenches many of them will roll up their sleeves and do the same thing.

How to Spend Your Time

Here is what I recommend:

  • If your team has less than 100 people spend no more than 10% of your time in management mode
  • If your team has less than 500 people spend no more than 20% of your time in management mode
  • If your team has less than 1,000 people spend no more than 30% of your time in management mode
  • If your team has less than 3,000 people spend no more than 40% of your time in management mode

As your team grows, you will spend more and more time in management mode, HOWEVER, you should never spend a MAJORITY of your time in management mode.  And you should NEVER totally leave the trenches yourself.

Putting it All Together

Let’s put all of this context.  Let’s assume you have a team of 100 people and you work your network marketing business for 10 hours each week.  In this example, you would only spend one hour per week in management mode and the other nine hours would be spent on money producing activities.  Does that make sense?

Management activities are ANY activities that are not a MONEY PRODUCING ACTIVITIES. The only activities that really produce money are prospecting, showing the plan, following up, and getting customers.

That means 90% of your working hours should be spent on prospecting, showing the plan, following up and getting customers!

Once again, most network marketers really mess this up.  They don’t spend enough time on money producing activities.  As a result, they don’t build a big team or make much money.  And of the few that do build a decent sized team, most of them mess up and go into management mode way to early.

I can see why.  Management mode is easy.  You spend all of your time with people who like you.  You don’t get rejection.  You get to have fun.  You don’t have to stretch outside of your comfort zone.

As tempting as it may be to go into management mode, don’t do it!  You will regret it.  And it will hurt your business.

What are your thoughts about trying to manage your MLM team?  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

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6 thoughts on “Never Go Into Management Mode in Network Marketing”

  1. I agree with everything that you have written Chuck. Network Marketing is not one of those businesses where you can sponsor people in your downline and relax just managing them. Most of the marketers however do that. They expect the people they sponsor to perform. However in order to motivate people to perform, you have to be motivated to perform yourself. It is true that not all people in your downline would do what you say but they may follow what you do. Motivate and inspire people to win the battle.

  2. I really like this post. It highlighted the value and benefit of putting in work as opposed to trying to delegate tasks. It sometimes amazes me in small business in particular when the head of the company cannot perform some of the basic tasks. It is important for employees and customers to see that you are just as invested in putting in the effort as they are. It builds morale and implements an element of trust that is important when trying to build a strong and stable business.

    1. In our business, you should delegate some things. You also have to be wise how to spend your time. Most people just confuse busy work with productive work. Productive work is hard and challenging. After all, no one likes being rejected or failing. That’s why people lead toward management activities.

  3. I don’t think this problem is just in Network Marketing; traditional business owners have also hurt their business by doing the same thing. Management mode has its place, but a small place. I believe when both customers and prospects see the owner in the trenches, they gain more respect which brings more business.

    1. As a business owner of any kind, most of your time should be spent on making the cash register ring, making sales. All other tasks are inferior and should be outsourced to someone else or done after the income producing activities are finished.

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