Sponsoring Up vs. Sponsoring Down in MLM

Today’s topic is quite interesting to me.  I want to talk to you about the difference between sponsoring up and sponsoring down in your network marketing business.  This is something most people in our industry really have no clue about.  Most distributors take the wrong approach in their network marketing business and don’t even realize it.

Let me start out by saying that everyone has a number; that number is somewhere between one and ten.  The number is a measure of a person’s success, influence, attitude, ambition and desire to improve their life.  It has nothing to do with whether they are a good person or not. It has nothing to do with their race, religion, career, age or gender.  It is simply a score based upon their level of influence, success, attitude, ambition and desire.

For example, someone who is unemployed, not ambitious, has little influence, a bad attitude, and little desire to be ultra-successful in life would have a score of ONE.  On the other hand, someone who is already very successful in life, has a large sphere of influence of people who respect them, is overly ambitious, has a positive mental attitude, and will do whatever it takes to create wealth is a 10.  Those are the two extremes.  Everyone else is somewhere in between those two numbers.

What most people in our industry do is approach prospects at their number or below.  For example, someone who is a five out of ten will typically approach people who are a four or below.  They do this because they feel comfortable approaching these folks.  These folks are easier to talk to than approaching someone who is more successful than they are.

sponsoring up vs sponsoring downAs a result, this is what happens in most people’s group.  John is a five out of ten when he first joins the business.  He approaches ten people.  All of these people are three’s and four’s.  He sponsors three of these people: Alice, Mike and Frank.  These three folks all score a four out of ten.

They get started in the business and each recruit two people who are three’s.  These new people get started and recruit a few people who are two’s.  These new people get started and recruit a few people who are one’s and zeroes.  By the time the organization gets four or five levels deep, there is no one motivated, ambitious or driven on the team.

In this example, the first person who got involved was a five.  Now, everyone in her group with hundreds of people in it are all fours and below.  And they wonder why their team isn’t growing and no one is doing anything to move their business forward!

If you have the highest score of all the people in your group you are doomed for failure.  If everyone on your team is recruiting down, you are doomed for failure.

Successful distributors take a different approach with their network marketing business.  They sponsor people at their level or higher.  They look for sharp, successful, motivated and ambitious people who have a big burning desire to change their lives. They approach the most successful and most motivated people they can find; usually people even sharper than they are.

If they are a six, for example, they look for people who are seven’s and above.  Since these folks are sharper, they typically do well in the business and don’t require much motivation or help.  This makes the sponsor’s life easier, because she has people on her team more ambitious than herself.

This is what you want to do in network marketing.  You want to sponsor up.  You want to teach your team members to sponsor up.  You want everyone to prospect the most successful, most motivated people they know.

Most people try to recruit people who need the business.  That’s a big mistake.  What you want to look for are people who want more time freedom, more money, residual income and control over their lives.  People who NEED the business rarely get involved and rarely do anything if they do join.

Typically, the people who do the best in our industry were already successful in life BEFORE they first got involved in network marketing.  They’re already motivated, ambitious, and successful.  They already have leadership skills and influence.  They are doers.

Keep your eyes and ears open for this type of person. They will be the ones who get in and crush it.

I can’t speak for you, but I would rather recruit one 9 or 10 level person than personally recruit 50 one’s and two’s.  Does that make sense?

The bottom line is that you need to sponsor up.  Work smart and look for people who are sharper, more motivated and more successful than you are.  This is the smartest, easiest, and most effective way to build your network marketing business.  I hope that helps!

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Chuck Holmes

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9 thoughts on “Sponsoring Up vs. Sponsoring Down in MLM

  1. Jason Ruth

    I would much prefer to sponsor up. When you are sponsoring up, you are speaking with someone that is already a professional. They usually have a large sphere of influence. There is a lot less hand holding.

    On the flips side. You never really know. Everyone has their own unique circumstance. I personally will TRY to never judge anyone, however, from my experience, sponsoring up tends to yield much better results.

  2. Mickiyas

    Nice way of putting it.

    As funny as it sounds, most people are comfortable talking to people less successful than they are. But that is going to get you mediocre results. It pays off to approach people more successful than you are. It might be intimidating at first, but you’ll get used to it as you do it a few more times. And it’s worth it. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Diamond Grant

    Perfect post that made a lot of sense. It goes back to quality over quantity. Why waste your time with a bunch of people who are not putting in the work when you could have a few people who are doing what needs to be done to really achieve? Honestly, if you get a few level 9 or 10 people on your team, they’ll work just as diligently and likely even more diligently than 50 1 or 2 level types. Working smarter, not harder.

  4. Greg Boudonck

    This makes perfectly good sense, and I had never really considered it before. It is natural that we are sponsoring down, but if we sponsor up, our jobs can become so much easier, and our business will grow healthier.

    Thank you for this wise post.

      1. Greg Boudonck

        After reading this post, and also refining my character traits, I have found myself approaching people who are at a higher level than me. It really isn’t that difficult. I believe that many people have a fear of doing this because they are afraid that person will look down on them. It actually works just the opposite. You gain respect from these people because they are so used to people who are below them just ignoring them. When we come along and talk with them just as we would anyone else, they assume we are at their level or above. It isn’t hard…you just have to use the NIKE method…JUST DO IT!


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