Retail to Recruit in MLM: How to Make Money Fast in MLM

Today, I want to share my secret strategy known as retail to recruit in MLM. This is a strategy that isn’t taught in most network marketing companies, but should be. It’s a very effective way to make more money in your network marketing business AND grow your team the smart way.

I initially learned about this strategy from Dale Calvert. Thanks, Dale! All I’ve done in this article is put my own twist to it.

What is the Retail to Recruit in MLM Strategy?

The Retail to Recruit in MLM Strategy is the process of leading with the products, rather than focusing on just recruiting new distributors. It’s the process of making sales, finding new customers, and being product focused. You lead with the products, find a customer, and then upgrade a percentage of your happy customers into part-time distributors and business builders.

retail to recruit in mlm

The Difference Between Direct Sales and MLM

Before I get too deep in my Retail to Recruit MLM Strategy, it’s important that I explain the difference between MLM and direct sales. Even though these two terms are interchanged a lot, they are totally different.

Direct sales is just about selling a product. Think of the Avon lady for a minute. All she does is focus on selling products to her current customer base and finding new customers.

Network marketing, on the other hand, is about a lot of people doing a little bit to build the business. Hundreds, even thousands, of team members all use the products, service a a few customers, and refer others to the business opportunity.

If you’re trying to succeed in network marketing, you do need to recruit distributors; however, you should ALSO be retailing the products. Success requires a healthy balance of the two activities. 

Reasons to Retail & Be Product Focused

Here are a few reasons you should consider leading with your products and being product focused, rather than just trying to recruit new distributors.

# 1: Everyone likes to buy stuff, but most people are not entrepreneurial and do not like selling. If you talk to 100 people, all 100 people buy stuff. Everyone is a consumer. However, maybe only five or ten out of those same 100 people are entrepreneurial or like sales. This means that if you only focus on the business opportunity side of things, 90 percent or more of the people you talk to will not be interested.

# 2: If no one buys anything, you don’t make money. You can recruit as many people as you’d like, but if no one is buying or selling the products, you won’t make a penny. We get paid to create volume. Retailing is the fastest way to create volume.

# 3: Happy customers make happy distributors. People who love your company’s products or services will be your best business builders. Why? Because they love the products or services and they can’t help but sharing them with others. It’s easy to sell or share something you are passionate about.

# 4: Customer stick around longer. People who join the business just to make money normally drop out in 30 to 90 days, whereas people who buy the products because they want to, typically have a higher retention rate.

# 5: It’s profitable. Customers are typically worth more to you financially than a distributor. Retail sales put immediate profit in your pocket. You normally earn more per sale from a customer than a distributor. Plus customers normally place larger orders and they order more often.

What I Teach My Team

I don’t place a HUGE emphasis on retailing, but I do teach my team members to always maintain two to five personal retail customers. This helps cover the cost of their own order and might even provide some additional profit.

Plus, if you don’t service any customers yourself, it’s hard to teach other people how to do it. I’ve found that two to five personal customers is enough. Just think how much bigger your commission check would be if everyone on your team serviced two to five customers each month!

On the other hand, I do have some team members who are 100% retailing focused. Their teams don’t grow as fast as people who are more recruiting focused, but they do make a nice check. Food for thought.

Tips for Success

If you really want to master the Retail to Recruit in MLM Strategy, here are a few of my best tips for success.

# 1: Be Your Own Best Customer

Being your own best customer in network marketing is crucial for several reasons. It allows you to authentically vouch for the products you’re selling.

By using the products yourself, you gain firsthand experience of their benefits, allowing you to genuinely share your experiences with potential customers. Your personal testimony becomes a powerful tool in persuading others to try and trust the products.

Next, being a product user helps you understand the intricacies of each item, enabling you to provide accurate and detailed information to potential buyers, addressing their concerns effectively. Being a loyal customer yourself demonstrates confidence in the products, reinforcing trust in your recommendations.

Ultimately, being your own best customer not only validates the quality of the products but also positions you as a sincere advocate, leading to increased retail sales within your network marketing business.

# 2: Share Your Story

Sharing your personal product story can be a powerful tool in driving retail sales within network marketing. Your story adds authenticity and credibility, offering a genuine account of how the products have impacted your life.

By sharing your experience—how the products have solved your problems, improved your life, or fulfilled a need—you create a relatable narrative that resonates with potential customers. It humanizes your brand, making it more than just a sales pitch.

Your story becomes a compelling testimony, showcasing the tangible benefits and results, thereby inspiring trust and confidence in the products. This personal touch establishes an emotional connection with prospects, making them more inclined to trust your recommendations and consider purchasing, ultimately leading to increased retail sales within your network marketing business.

# 3: Use Testimonials

Customer testimonials wield immense power in driving retail sales within network marketing. Sharing authentic experiences and success stories from satisfied customers builds trust and credibility.

These testimonials serve as social proof, reassuring potential buyers about the quality and effectiveness of your products. Incorporating testimonials into your marketing materials, such as on your website, social media, or product packaging, helps potential customers visualize themselves experiencing similar benefits.

Furthermore, testimonials create an emotional connection, as they reflect real people achieving desirable results. This emotional resonance can significantly influence purchasing decisions, encouraging more retail sales by leveraging the persuasive impact of genuine customer experiences within the network marketing domain.

# 4: Give Out Free Samples

Distributing free samples is a potent strategy in driving retail sales within MLM. Offering samples allows potential customers to experience the product’s quality, benefits, and effectiveness firsthand, removing uncertainties and building trust.

It serves as a tangible introduction to the product, sparking interest and curiosity. Free samples act as a gateway, enticing customers to try before committing to a purchase, significantly reducing the barrier to entry.

Moreover, these samples create opportunities for follow-up and feedback, allowing for personalized interactions that address specific needs or concerns. This process not only increases the likelihood of immediate sales but also cultivates long-term customer relationships, leading to repeat purchases and positive word-of-mouth referrals, ultimately boosting retail sales within the MLM framework.

# 5: Stay in Touch & Follow Up

Staying in touch and consistent follow-up with prospects are pivotal steps in driving retail sales within network marketing. It’s not just about making the initial connection but nurturing relationships over time.

Following up showcases your commitment and interest in addressing their needs, building trust and rapport. It allows you to provide additional information, answer queries, and offer support, guiding prospects towards a confident purchasing decision.

Moreover, staying in touch keeps your brand top-of-mind, ensuring that when prospects are ready to make a purchase, they think of your products first. Consistent communication establishes a sense of reliability and professionalism, fostering a stronger connection and increasing the likelihood of converting prospects into loyal customers, ultimately driving more retail sales within your network marketing business.

# 6: Ask for Referrals

Ask for referrals whenever you can. Be specific when you ask for referrals. Tell them the type of person you are looking for. Explain to your customers how they could earn money by referring others to you. Consider creating a referral program. Also, let them know there is a business opportunity they can participate in if they want to earn additional income.

# 7: Teach Your Customers How to Get a Discount

After your customer has ordered several months in a row, show them how they can sign up as a distributor and buy their products at wholesale. Most people like to save money, so if they really like the products, they will strongly consider doing this.

# 8: Learn How to Sell

Study selling. It is an art form. Read books, talk with your mentor, attend events, and watch helpful training videos about selling. Improving your sales skills will pay you big dividends in your business. I’d start by reading the book How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger. It’s my all-time favorite sales training book.

retailing is the fastest way to make money in mlm

The Fastest Way to Make Money in Your MLM

The fastest way to make money in your MLM Business is by retailing. You will make more money by having 20 loyal customers than you would by having a team of 100 people. When you factor in the retail profits and commissions, it’s much easier to make larger commission checks right out the gate, just by retailing.

Of course, the BIG money in MLM comes from building a team, but it can take several YEARS to build a big team. Not everyone can do that. On the other hand, establishing a large customer base first is much faster and much easier for most people.

Training Video

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, this is my Retail to Recruit MLM Strategy. I hope you found the information helpful. What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you agree or disagree? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

Suggested Reading
  1. Dealing with MLM Attrition
  2. My Top MLM Retention Tips
  3. 34 Ways to Get Leads
  4. 10 Ways to Find More MLM Customers
  5. Recruiting vs. Retailing
chuck holmes


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

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8 thoughts on “Retail to Recruit in MLM: How to Make Money Fast in MLM”

  1. It is very true that people are much more receptive to learning about products than they are to learning about a business opportunity. If people can see the value in what you are selling and they become a believer in the product you have to offer that can easily transform into a person wanting to become a part of the team. It is easier to get someone to make that transition than to get someone to join a business they know nothing about selling products they know nothing about.

  2. I agree with this approach. It is far easier to sell products than the opportunity to sell them. It is a smaller commitment for your customers, and less intimidating a proposition. If they love the products, it will be easy to continue to sell them the products, and sooner or later, they will ask you about the opportunity.

    I liked that you pointed out the income stream is larger when you are selling the products yourself. I believe that some MLM business owners tend to forget that, and pour all of their efforts into recruiting people to work under them, and forgetting to follow up with and nurture those relationships with their existing customers.

  3. I would also say that at this point in time, I would be somewhat skeptical if a MLM uses the other approach. A network marketing company will not survive if they are not selling the products. In my opinion, selling products or services should be the #1 priority before getting new distributors. As pointed out, when many customers see the savings they can gain by being a distributor, you will build a down line with them. Hopefully many MLMs will read this and learn this valuable lesson.

  4. It makes me so very happy to hear some MLMs are going to this principal of doing business. In all actuality, in is plain common sense. By selling the product, it keeps the business flowing. When people use the products and like them, you can then show them how they can save on the products by becoming a distributor. It just all works like a clock if done the way you stated…retail to recruit.

    I hope other MLMs consider this approach. I believe it will help the reputation of MLMs completely by doing so.

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