The Problem with Managing Your MLM Downline

Most distributors make the mistake of getting into management mode too soon (yes, I’m guilty too).  They sponsor a few people and then sit back and wait for them to do something.

They forget what made them successful to begin with (sponsoring, retailing and working in depth) and they focus on activities that don’t really help growing the business.

They do things like setting up training calls, writing training manuals for their team, doing meetings for their team, etc.

And while these activities aren’t really bad, they’re not what will help take your business to the next level.

Here are the major problems with managing your downline, as I see it:

# 1 You are not their boss.  Most people did not join MLM to have another boss.  If anything, they joined so they could work for themselves and one day fire their boss.  Your team does not want you to always tell them what to do, give them assignments, or check on their performance.  Your real role is as an upline is as a HELPER, not a boss.

# 2 Your team will do what you do.  Your team will do not what you say.  They will do what you do.  If they see you constantly managing people, they will sponsor a few people and then go into management mode themselves.  Trust me, you don’t want this to happen.

# 3 Whenever you stop personally sponsoring, you lose momentum in your business. New lifeblood is very important for your long-term MLM Success.  You need to add new team members every month to replace the people who quit and keep the momentum going.  The day you stop personally sponsoring is the day your business dies a slow death.

# 4 You don’t get paid to be a manager.  In MLM, you don’t get paid to be a manager.  You get paid to create volume and build a team.  You do that by generating leads, showing the plan, following up, getting customers and working in depth.  That’s it.

My advice to you is to NEVER get into management mode.  Always lead from the front, be out in the trenches building your business every day, and work with the willing.

By all means, provide purpose, direction, motivation and training to your team.  BUT, never forget what made you successful in the first place: personal sponsoring and retailing.

What do you think about the problem of trying to manage your MLM Downline?  Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

*** This is part of a mini-series.  Read the original post.

chuck holmes


Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional

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3 thoughts on “The Problem with Managing Your MLM Downline”

  1. Putting two and two together, if we get into a form of managing, our down line will do the same. As you mentioned Chuck, our down line will do what we do. If we stop sponsoring, they will also. What happens then? It all falls apart, because no one is sponsoring people and they want to make money but they don’t. We will tend to blame them, but the fact is….there is only one person we can blame: the one looking back in the mirror.

  2. The biggest, and most important point you made here is: you are not their boss! If these people wanted another boss, they would have went and got a regular job. You show them the ropes and give them mentoring, but do not come off as you are better than them, or they will leave. We all go through life with people always trying us what and how to do things. People didn’t join your down-line to have another person sitting on their shoulder telling them how to live.

    If you are their friend and mentor, you will gain more respect and trust.

    Another great post Chuck. Thank you.

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