Top 10 MLM Recruiting Mistakes in Network Marketing

Today, I want to share what I consider to be the top 10 recruiting mistakes in network marketing.  This list is really a list of the major things I have done wrong in my network marketing career (when it comes to recruiting) and learned from my mistakes.  No, I’m not proud of these mistakes, but maybe you can learn from what I have done wrong in the past.

To begin, I have to tell you that I don’t really like the word recruit.  I like the word sponsor much better. The word recruit comes across as “getting someone” so they can do something for you. The word sponsor, to me anyway, means that you bring someone into the business, you work for them, and you help them.  Trust me, there is a big difference between those two mindsets.

That being said, here are 10 recruiting mistakes I’ve made during my MLM Career. They are listed in no particular order.

# 1 Desperation

This is one of the most common mistakes I see new network marketers make.  First off, when you are desperate, other people can sense it.  No one wants to do business with someone who is desperate.  To avoid being desperate you have to be able to detach yourself from the outcome and not worry whether or not the person you are talking to signs up as a customer or distributor, or not.  You need to believe in yourself, your products, your company and the industry. There is no reason to bug, pressure, or chase anyone.  Have good posture and you will attract the right people.

# 2 Not Asking for the Sale

Not asking for the sale is a big mistake.  After you talk with someone, and they express and interest, you have to ask for the sale.  No, I’m not talking about pressuring or convincing someone either.  You need to assume they are going to join your team and you need to get them signed up.  The “close” should be a natural part of the process, nothing abrupt.  It can be as simple as “let’s get the distributor form filled out and get you started today” or “would you like one or two bottles of this magic juice?”

# 3 Saying Too Much

Some people actually think that the talkers are the ones who do the best in our industry.  Not true.  It’s the listeners that do the best.  Don’t bombard your prospect with information overload or monopolize the conversation.  Get good at asking questions and listening.  Give them enough information, but not too much.  Remember that your prospect doesn’t need to know every detail about the company, product or compensation plan before they get started. Whenever you are conversing with a prospect, they should be doing 60% to 70% of the talking.

# 4 Approaching the Wrong Type of People

This is another huge mistake people make when it comes to recruiting in network marketing. I’m not telling you to pre-judge people, but I am telling you to be smart about who you talk to. Typically speaking, broke and unemployed people are not your best prospect.  People in dire financial straights who need immediate income are not your best prospect.  People who are lazy, have bad people skills, and aren’t willing to hustle are bad prospects.  Ideally, you want to approach people with desire, who have some disposable income, who have a good self-image, they like people and people respect them. Typically, people who NEED the business seldom join, and rarely do anything if they do join.  Whatever you do, always pre-qualify people BEFORE you show them a presentation.

# 5 Going for the Jugular

So many network marketers go right for the jugular when they meet a new prospect.  They go for the sale or pitch before they’ve made any small talk or pre-qualified the person.  Most people resent this.  No one likes to be sold to, especially from a complete stranger.  It’s much better to start a friendly conversation with someone first, to ask questions, and listen for a PROBLEM that you can offer a solution for.

# 6 Using Hype, Pressure or Lies

Yes, I have to put this one on the list.  If you’re talking to your prospect about making six figures their first year in the business or making six figures a month, or fast money, or easy money, you are really doing our industry an injustice!  Stop it!  This business is just like any other business. It’s not easy and it’s not fast money.  It takes time, hard work, and a certain skill-set to succeed. Be honest with your prospects.  Tell them it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.  Be low key and avoid the hype, pressure and lies at all costs.  Treat every prospect as nice as you would treat your own daughter.

# 7 Not Working the Numbers

Selling is a numbers game.  You can’t talk to 10 or 20 prospects and expect much to happen.  This business is about massive exposures.  You’re going to personally have to talk to hundreds, maybe thousands of people to build your team.  You need to consistently approach two to ten people per day, every day and never stop.

I’ve never met ANYONE who consistently prospected five to ten people a day who didn’t achieve success in our industry.  Most people who fail simply never work the numbers.  Even realtors, insurance agents and other professionals have to work through a large amount of prospects to find new clients.  The same holds true in every industry. If you talked to just 10 people a day for a year, you would approach 3,650 people.  If you closed one in twenty people, you would sponsor more than 180 people!  Chew on that.  That is the power of working the numbers.

# 8 Not Following Up

The money is in the follow-up.  Most people will need at least five to ten exposures from you before they sign their name to the dotted line on the distributor agreement.  Maybe one in every fifty people you sponsor might sign up on the spot.  Everyone else needs more exposures and more follow up.  You have to consistently stay in touch with people and you need to give them additional tools, resources and information each time you talk with them. You have to walk them through a sponsoring process.  Most of the people I sponsor take 60 to 90 days to sign up (if not longer) from the time I first talk to them about what I have to offer.

# 9 Taking Rejection Personally

I know it’s much easier said than done, but you shouldn’t take rejection personally.  When people tell you NO they are not saying NO to you.  They are saying no to what you are offering them.  You have to have thick skin.  You are simply offering people something great.  You have no control over how they respond or what their level of interest will be.  As I mentioned earlier, detach yourself from the outcome.  Otherwise, you will be an emotional roller coaster and you won’t survive long in the business.

# 10 Not Developing Their Skills

Not developing their skills is another recruiting mistake that many network marketers make. Let’s face it, selling and talking to people is an art form that has to be studied and learned.  If you’ve never done MLM or selling before, you’ll need to invest some time and money to sharpen your people skills and selling skills.  You need to learn how to prospect, show the plan, follow up, and what to say to people.  You should read books and take courses on selling and take whatever training your company or upline offers you.

top 10 mlm recruiting mistakesBonus Tip: Leading with the Business Opportunity

While most people will disagree with me on this one (and that’s perfectly fine) I truly believe that leading with the business opportunity is a HUGE recruiting mistake.  Most people are not interested in a business opportunity, especially a network marketing business.

Don’t believe me?  Just ask around.  I’d bet that less than five in every hundred people would join your business.  Yet, if you approached those same 100 people about your product first, I’d bet that at least 30 to 40 of those 100 people would be interested in learning more information.

Try it for 90 days.  Approach people and lead with the products and see if anyone calls it a pyramid or scam or gives you a hard time.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Final Thoughts

There you have it folks.  These are the top 10 recruiting mistakes that most network marketers make, as I see it.  I hope you will evaluate yourself in each area and look for ways you can improve.

What are your thoughts?  What are the common mistakes that you see in the business?  Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

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6 thoughts on “Top 10 MLM Recruiting Mistakes in Network Marketing

  1. If you don’t ask for the sale you won’t get it, even if the person does want to buy.

  2. I think the one that probably stood out to me the most was saying TOO much. We have all had that experience where someone comes to your door or calls you, trying to sell you something or recruit you and it seems like they will never shut up. And if you have a question, you can’t ask it, because you cant get a word in anyway. People will be ore open to hearing you if you listen to them and answer their questions.

    • Typically, the more you say the worse results you will get. Most distributors puke all over their prospects and give them information overload. That is a big mistake.

  3. As I was rereading this post, I noticed the part about taking rejection personally. While it is easy to get discouraged when someone says no, you need to realize that no could be coming from many different thought patterns. It may not be you, but the many different conditions going on in that person’s life at the moment. As Chuck mentioned, following up is a key. No today doesn’t mean no forever.

    • Everyone will be a good prospect at some point or another in time, if you keep following up with them.

  4. Chuck, great post!

    I am especially struck by the asking for the sale. So often network marketers just sit there waiting for the prospect to beg them to “sell them.” That rarely happens, but if we ask, they will say yes. If we don’t ask, they usually won’t offer.

    Again, great post sir.

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