The MLM Numbers Game

Is working the numbers really the key to success in network marketing? In other words, is MLM a numbers game? The answer to that question depends upon who you ask.  While I do agree that all selling is PARTLY a numbers game, it’s not just about numbers.

The Truth About the Numbers

It’s true that if you make a list of 1,000 people you know, and pitch them your business opportunity or products, you will sponsor some of them into your business. How many you sponsor depends upon your approach, timing, and the quality of your prospects. The same holds true if you talked to 1,000 random people on the street. You would sponsor some of them into your business.  It’s inevitable.

Some distributors achieve huge success simply because they talk to massive quantities of people. This approach works well for the self-motivated, sales person, but I don’t believe it’s the best business approach to long-term success in network marketing.

It’s true, you will have to work the numbers to build a large and profitable network marketing business. But how you go about doing that will make all of the difference. I believe that you can increase your odds of success by working smart. In other words, I think you can talk to less people, but still sponsor more distributors into your business, if you know what you are doing. How do you that?

What You Really Need to Do

The biggest key to success is to determine your TARGET MARKET first and then to focus 100% of your time, money and energy prospecting people in your target market. By doing so, you will be able to sponsor a higher percentage of people into your business. Let me give you an example to make my point clear.

Let’s suppose your network marketing company specializes in a “health juice.” The product is designed to help overweight people lose weight fast. Therefore, you decide that your target market is overweight people, who want to lose weight, and who have the money to purchase your product line. You decide that your target market does not include overweight people who are broke and don’t care about getting in shape.

Once you clearly identify your target market, you develop a simple marketing plan to LOCATE these people and present your message to them. You can make a list of places where your target market might hang out. This includes gyms, diet clubs, road races, parks, and with a doctor or health specialist.

mlm numbers gameYou decide to spend time at these places to meet quality prospects. You place an advertisement in your local gym newsletter to promote your products. And you leave flyers at the doctor’s office (with his permission).

As a result of your marketing efforts, you start to receive some calls. By following this approach, you might be able to sponsor 2 or 3 out of every 10 prospects, compared to sponsoring 1 or 2 out of every 100 RANDOM prospects.

So yes, MLM is always a numbers game. If you want to pitch your business to everyone and anyone, you will probably have to show the plan to 1,000 or more people to sponsor 50 people. But, if you focus your efforts on your target market exclusively, you can work smarter and much get better results.

Even if you focus on your target market, you will still experience rejection. Not everyone in your target market will be interested in what you have to offer. But a higher percentage of them will be interested in your products and business opportunity, compared to random, unqualified prospects.

The Lie

In my opinion, this is the SINGLE lie in network marketing. People are taught that everyone is a prospect for their business. That simply isn’t true. Rather than follow this advice blindly, I highly recommend you study and learn direct response marketing, so you can work smart in your business. Our industry is quite perhaps the only industry where people are taught that everyone is a prospect. If you want to succeed, you have to identify your true target market first, and then advertise to them exclusively.

Final Thoughts

In summary, network marketing is a numbers game to some degree.  You can talk to anyone and build a large business, but you will have to talk to a lot of people and waste a lot of time and money.  I think it’s much wiser to work the numbers by focusing on people in your target market.  This includes people looking for the BENEFITS of what your prodcut line has to offer, or people looking to start their own home-based network marketing business.

What are your thoughts?  What do you think about MLM being a numbers game?  Leave a comment and let us know.

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7 thoughts on “The MLM Numbers Game

  1. R.G. Westerman

    Numbers are important. There is no doubt. But this element of finding the target market is so vital! And it is glossed over far too much. I understand that many MLM companies are trying to teach basics, walk before you run, but why not train right from the beginning? Teach the downline to focus and they will yield better results from the beginning.

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  2. s. conard

    Jessica, isn’t it incredible to think how much more positive and profitable your day could be with a target list? I’ve sold products for several different companies and was always taught that everyone is a prospect. If I’d created a target list before those endeavors, my small business projects would have been a lot more positive and profitable! I agree with you that the numbers game is a lot easier this way!

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  3. Chrystlyn Edwards

    I believe it is important to have a target market first before playing the MLM numbers game. I think the right sponsors are important to gain the right prospects in order to make the MLM business venture successful for the right target audience. This advice is excellent for novice MLM business owners who want to be successful in this industry.

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  4. Jessica

    This is a great post on maximizing effort! I think you’re right in saying that the MLM industry is probably the only industry that tries to say everyone on earth is a prospect. Target marketing is the norm. Multi-level marketing is a numbers game, but with advice like this, we can come out on top. 🙂

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  5. Jessica

    I agonized over my ‘List of 1,000’, and cringed every time I picked up the phone to contact someone. I love the idea of a selective, or targeted list. With the targeted list, it definitely makes sense that you wouldn’t experience nearly as many no’s before getting a yes, which makes the MLM Number Game a lot more fun.

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