The Income Producing Activities in MLM

Today, I will teach you about the income producing activities in MLM, also known as IPAs. This information could be life changing if you learn it, understand it, and APPLY it in your network marketing business.

I learned a long time ago that not all activities are created equal. Some activities grow your network marketing business while other activities keep you busy but waste your time.

You must understand there is a dramatic difference between being productive and being busy. Everyone is busy, yet few people are super productive. You can do busy work with your job and not get fired, but if you are an entrepreneur you will NEVER get paid for busy work. Instead, you must focus on income producing activities.

I.P.A. baby. Write that down and remember it.

Most people are building their network marketing business part-time, so they must learn how to work smart. There is only so much time in a day and you must make sure you are doing things that make you money and propel your business forward.

Let me begin by telling you what is NOT an income producing activity:

  • Talking with your upline.
  • Talking with your crossline.
  • Watching YouTube videos.
  • Searching the internet for information.
  • Cleaning your office.
  • Spending time surfing Facebook.
  • Getting ready to get ready.
  • Calling the same person 20 times.
  • Sorting your files or leads.
  • Sitting at your desk staring at the phone.
  • THINKING about your business.
  • Color coding your leads.
  • Reading articles online.

These are just a few examples of activities that consume your valuable time, but do not grow your network marketing business. To clarify, I’m not saying these activities aren’t important. I’m not saying you should never do any of these things.

You should only do these “non income producing activities” AFTER you focus on the money producing activities in network marketing. They should be done during your non-productive time, ignored, or outsourced.

What Are the Income Producing Activities in MLM?

What are the money producing activities in MLM? Here they are, as I see it.

  1. Lead Generation
  2. Inviting
  3. Sharing Your Business or Product Presentation
  4. Following Up & Closing
  5. Launching New Distributors
  6. Promoting Events
  7. Customer Acquisition

I will cover each topic in greater detail below.

# 1: Lead Generation

Lead Generation includes any activity where you are meeting NEW people to share your products or business opportunity with. Here are a few examples of lead generation.

  • Calling leads.
  • Contacting your warm market.
  • Handing out drop cards.
  • Placing ads in newspapers.
  • Private messaging prospects on Facebook.
  • Mailing postcards to promote your business.
  • Texting leads.
  • Talking with people on LinkedIn about your business.
  • Attending networking events.
  • Sharing a product or business with someone in person.
  • Setting up at a local event.
  • Placing ads on Craigslist.

Lead generation does not include calling your Aunt Nelly for the 40th time to see if she is finally ready to sign up. You should set aside an hour a day for lead generation.

At a minimum, your goal should be to have TWO conversations per day about your business opportunity or products. Keep in mind, you might need to connect with 10-20 people daily to have two actual conversations.

Without leads, you won’t be in business long! I recommend you use a combination of online and offline strategies, plus free and paid strategies.

Remember, the more fishing lines you have in the water, the more fish you will catch!

# 2: Inviting

Inviting is one of the most important activities you can focus on if you want to build a big and profitable network marketing business. This is when you invite someone to attend a presentation, watch a webinar, join a conference call, etc. Show me someone who can master this one skill and I can show you someone who will be successful in their business.

# 3: Sharing Your Business or Product Presentation

Our goal is to have someone watch a presentation. Your presentation should be done with a third-party tool, not by your personally. Find a good video or conference call that you can invite your prospects to watch or attend.

This removes you from the equation. It takes the focus off you.

The problem with doing your own presentations is twofold. The first problem is you will be horrible at it and scare your prospects off. The second issue is you might be great at giving presentations. Because your presentation is so good your prospects think they could NEVER do what you do.

This is why I do my presentations with a third-party tool, normally a video.

# 4: Following Up & Closing

The fortune is in the follow up. You’ve heard that before. The truth of the matter is you will have to follow up with your prospects 7 to 20 times before they join or buy.

Every time you follow up with someone, they are one step closer to buying or joining. Whatever you do, don’t expect people to sign up on the spot. Most people won’t.

In addition, closing is an important skill to master, if you want to succeed in network marketing. Please do not confuse closing with hard-selling or pressure. That is not what you should do.

Closing is LEADING your prospect to a decision. It’s asking them if they would like to get started. Here are two of my favorite closing questions.

What questions do you need me to answer before we get you started today?


This sounds like it would be a great fit for you. How about we take five minutes and create your account right now?

There are plenty of books and videos about closing. I suggest you study sales/closing, so you can master this skill.

# 5: Launching New Distributors

Launching new distributors RIGHT is vital to your success in the business. Help people start right so they don’t need to start over.

When you sponsor someone, tap into their warm market right out the gate. Schedule several launch parties at their home (or online).

Help them make their name list and invite people to their event. Put them through your getting started training and make sure you do a quality enrollment with them.

It makes no sense to sponsor people and not help them LAUNCH their new business. Most new distributors are “most excited” in their first week in the business. Strike when the iron is hot.

Your number one objective when you sign someone up is to help them sign up their first person!

# 6: Promoting Events

We are an event driven business. Attend every event yourself and promote every event like your success depends upon it. It does!

If money is tight, and you need to travel to the event, budget for it. Retail some products so you can make some money to attend. Attending events gives new reps social proof the business works. It helps build their belief in the business. Events are where people make the decision to build a big business.

I’ve often been told that for every person you get to an event, your group will multiply by 5x to 10x within the next 12-months. Of course, individual results will vary, but events fuel your business growth.

Going to events will not make you successful per se, but NOT going to events will almost guarantee you won’t be successful!

# 7: Retailing

MLM is not direct sales. You are not the Avon lady just trying to sell your product. Network marketing is a balance of selling and recruiting. I believe everyone should have two to ten legitimate retail customers.

The best way to get customers is to (1) use the products yourself so you have a useful product story you can share with others and (2) offer the products to all the people who tell you NO to the business opportunity.

I am a big believer in leading with the business, and then defaulting to the products. However, depending on your company, leading with the products might be a viable option. Pick the strategy that works best for you.

Take the time and learn how to sell. If you can’t make sales, you won’t be in business long.

Being Busy vs. Being Productive in MLM

Earlier in this post, I shared some of the “busy work” many reps do to avoid the most important income producing activities in MLM. Some of those things include:

  • Talking with your upline.
  • Talking with your crossline.
  • Watching YouTube videos.
  • Searching the internet for information.
  • Cleaning your office.
  • Spending time surfing Facebook.
  • Getting ready to get ready.
  • Calling the same person 20 times.
  • Sorting your files or leads.
  • Sitting at your desk staring at the phone.
  • THINKING about your business.
  • Color coding your leads.
  • Reading articles online.

Why do people do this busy work? Because it’s comfortable. There’s no rejection. No one is telling you NO or ignoring you. You aren’t failing or making mistakes.

People do a lot to avoid pain. That is why many reps shift their focus from prospecting and lead generation to these other tasks.

Do not fall into this trap. Keep the main thing the main thing and remember, you only get paid to share your products and opportunity with others. Everything else is busy work!

Managing Your Time

My recommendation is you spend at least 90% of the time you work your business on income producing activities. For instance, if you work your business 10 hours per week, you should spend nine hours of that time on the income producing activities in MLM, and the remaining hour on other things.

The more time you can spend on the income producing activities in MLM the better off you will be. And the more money you will make.

Do the most important things first and then do the remaining tasks that aren’t as important. A lot of network marketers fool themselves. They spend their time THINKING about their business, or doing low priority tasks, and then they wonder why their business isn’t growing.

Don’t make the same mistake. Focus your time, money, and effort on tasks that grow your business. Focus on the income producing activities in MLM.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, these are my best thoughts on the income producing activities in MLM. Whatever you do, work smart. Make your limited time count and focus on the things that grow your business, rather than tasks that don’t!

What are your thoughts? What do you think are the money producing activities in network marketing? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you. Have a wonderful day.

Suggested Reading
  1. My Best Prospecting Tips
  2. 34 Ways to Get MLM Leads
  3. Top MLM Books of All Time
  4. LinkedIn Recruiting Scripts 
chuck holmes


Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional

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12 thoughts on “The Income Producing Activities in MLM”

  1. This is where it’s at! All too often people spend more time preparing and getting ready to start those money producing activities, but Never actually implement them.

  2. People may think that training is not a money making activity, but it really is. The more time you spend investing in your team the more they learn. They are then able to take what they’ve learned through training and apply it in a way that makes the business money. Granted, you have to ensure that you are training people who have the dedication and interest otherwise you’ll be costing yourself by investing time and even money in training materials on people who have no real desire to do anything.

      1. You hit a nail directly on the head with that statement Chuck. I have been involved in sales for a good part of my life. I have watched sales people get over trained and they are in worse shape than the ones who were under trained. In the home improvement company I worked for, sales people went through a short training. They then went with an experienced person for 2 demos, and they were then on their own. It worked great. Along comes this “hot shot” manager who wanted a longer training. It was a failure. Sales plummeted and sales people quit, all because there was too much training.

  3. This is something that everyone, not just network marketers need to realize. I often find myself doing things that are not money makers. I have learned to use time management strategies and use my time wisely. I believe one of the first priorities in network marketing should be getting customers. When people use the products or services, it makes it easier to get them to want to be distributors.

    These were some great reminders. As business people, we always need to be aware if we are doing things that will make us money.

      1. There are many things that need to be done that are not money making activities. I highly recommend outsourcing as many as possible so we can stay focused on the projects that are actually creating profits. Some things such as blog posts, tweets, cleaning the office, and other things can be outsourced. Yes, they cost money, but if you are spending more time on money making activities, it will be worth spending that money. If you figure out your worth per hour, and the hours you spend doing non-essential things, I believe you would agree.

    1. Customers are what really make the business so they should be a priority. A good solid group of customers can make you more money than many distributors in some instances. Some people try so hard to get as many distributors as they can that they neglect the customers, and what good is a bunch of people willing to sell the products if you have no one to sell the products to?

      1. I agree that everyone rep needs customers, and should have lots of them. It’s great to recruit as well, but most companies place no emphasis on customer acquisition. If there are no customers it isn’t a real business.

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