Stacking Distributors to Build a Power Line or Power Leg

This short article will discuss the concept of stacking distributors to build a power leg or power line in your MLM Team. Some people also refer to this as strategic placement, tap rooting, or building depth.

Many successful distributors stack distributors to create rapid growth in their network marketing business.  This is the process of sponsoring someone, putting the next new person you sponsor under that person, the next new distributor you sponsor under the newest distributor and so forth.  Simply put, stacking distributors is the process of putting all of your new personally sponsored distributors at the bottom most position of your organization, in order to build a power leg(s).

How it Came About

In the past, most successful distributors focused on building width in their organization.  They would focus on sponsoring 20 to 50 people as quickly as they could.  Out of those people, they would identify three to ten serious distributors to work with and then support those serious distributors.  They knew that most people would quit, so they had to sponsor a bunch of folks to find a few really serious people to build the business with.

In modern times, things have changed a bit.  New compensation plans, such as the binary compensation plan, the power line, forced matrix, and hybrid compensation plans make it worthwhile to build depth, rather than just width.  In many companies, you can get paid 10-20 levels deep, whereas in most old school network marketing companies you were limited to your first five to six levels.

You see, width will bring you immediate profitability in your MLM Business, but depth is where the big bucks and long-term profits come from.  If I had to personally choose between having 50 distributors wide or 50 distributors deep, I would choose having 50 distributors deep.

The Benefits of Building a Power Leg

There are many benefits of stacking distributors in your downline to build a power leg. First and foremost, you create momentum and excitement in your team . Whenever you sponsor someone under someone else, both people get excited (in most cases anyway). As you build momentum in depth, you will naturally “excite” everyone above that person to hopefully motivate all of them to take action and start building their business.

This is frequently known as lighting a fire in the basement.  Fear of loss is a great motivator. When you have a serious distributor on level ten, the people on the nine levels above them have something to lose.  If they don’t build the business to a certain level, they will miss out on the volume and commissions!  As a result, some of them will get to work.

Also, if you are stacking distributors in several different legs of your organization, you are increasing your profitability.  In most cases, you need to do this in AT LEAST two different legs of your team to make it worthwhile.  It varies by compensation plan though, so educate yourself about your company’s compensation plan to see if this concept will work for you.

This concept is most popular in binary compensation plans where you only have to build two teams.  It’s also popular in companies where you only have one “power leg.”

The Drawbacks of Stacking Distributors

There are two major drawbacks of stacking distributors in your downline, as I see it. First and foremost, this violates the distributor agreement with some companies, especially “old school” companies with uni-level compensation plans.  Some companies prohibit distributors from doing this, so make sure you read your distributor agreement before you begin doing this.

The second reason you might not want to do this is because it could create a welfare mentality on your team.  People might become lazy and expect you to build their team for them. They will just sit around and do nothing, while they wait for you to build under them!

Some people will actually COMPLAIN if you put people under them and they don’t earn much from it.  It’s important to note that if you didn’t put anyone under these people, there is a good chance they wouldn’t have a team anyway.  Most people do absolutely nothing to build their business.

For example, I hear some people complain about the binary compensation plan.  They have no people in one leg and thousands of people in another leg (their power leg).  They complain about not getting paid on the thousands of people, yet they didn’t put even ONE of those people into the business to begin with.  It’s madness!

My Thoughts

I know that the fear of loss is a great motivator.  It’s easy to quit when you have no one on your team, but once you have three to five people on your team, it’s really difficult to quit.  After all, we’ve all heard stories of the person who quit, yet one of the people they sponsored went on to earn millions.  Had they stuck around, they would have made a full-time income just for sponsoring that one person.

I also realize that some people need time to incubate BEFORE they start building their business. Many distributors will “dabble” with the business a year or two before they commit.  If you can help them get a small group going during that time, there’s a good chance they will stick with you for the long haul.

Yes, you might create a welfare mentality with a few people on your team if you stack distributors, but I’m willing to accept that risk if I can stack distributors to increase retention. Retention is the # 1 benefit of stacking distributors as I see it!  Even if it allows you retain just 10% to 20% or more of the people that you would normally lose through attrition, it can have a huge impact in your bonus check, and long-term profits.

My final point is to be smart about how you stack people.  I am now a fan of strategic placement, rather than just stacking people under anyone and everyone.  After stacking people on my own team for the past six months, I’ve learned that it’s smarter to stack people under people ALREADY doing something to build their business (strategic placement).  It gives them an added boost.

On the other hand, putting someone under a lazy or unmotivated distributor won’t do much to retain them or get them to build their own business.  Trust me on that one.  I’ve learned the hard way.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, stacking distributors to build depth is a very common business practice in network marketing. My best advice is to read your distributor agreement before you do this, to make sure you aren’t violating any of your company’s policies. If it is allowed, I highly suggest that you choose strategic placement rather than just stacking people. Reward the people who are already doing the work by giving them an added boost.  For the most part, stacking people under unmotivated or lazy people won’t help much.

What are your thoughts about stacking distributors?  If you’ve ever done this in your team, leave a comment to tell us all about it.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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4 thoughts on “Stacking Distributors to Build a Power Line or Power Leg

  1. I agree Jessica. This is a new concept to me. However I have just joined a group that is promoting building a power leg while at the same time the company only pays on the weaker leg. That means all of those people will earn nothing for the people above them. It seems to me that in this case a person would be most profitable if the legs were closest to each other in size. This would also build confidence in all involved. Spillover is great and it is being neutered by building a power leg when the company does not pay you for that leg.

    • If you are a good recruiter, having a power leg is awesome. If you stink, it’s bad. People complain about not getting paid on the power leg, yet in 99% of the time, they never put any of those people IN the business. Why should they get paid on them? The people who struggle in a unilevel compensation plan will also struggle in a binary. If you can’t recruit or retail, you won’t make much in ANY company or compensation plan.

  2. I know my sponsor does this regularly, in order to qualify for the current company team-building promotions. I don’t think I would do it personally, because I feel it can be a very selfish business model. As you said, often only a handful of distributors will be actually earning any money in the “power leg,” due to lack of width. That probably won’t help your people stick around, and could add to the general disillusionment with MLM.

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