Training vs. Motivation in Network Marketing

One of the biggest mistakes that many network marketers make is over training their team.

I know what you’re thinking right now….

Chuck, is that even possible?

My response is HELL YES!

Interview 100 network marketers and I would bet that 95 out of 100 of them know what they NEED to do to build their business; they just don’t do it.

In other words, they have the knowledge to make it happen.

They know they need to prospect people, invite people, show the plan, follow up, close prospects and get customers.

That is the business in a nutshell.

It ain’t rocket science.

However, these same people lack the motivation, desire and/or hustle to get off their ass and actually go and do it.

Knowing what to do and actually doing what you should be doing are two completely different things.

It’s the difference between applied knowledge and theoretical knowledge.

In the real world, everyone knows they should eat healthy and exercise.

Yet, look at how few people do that.

Everyone knows they should save for retirement.  Yet, look at how few people do that.

When it comes to network marketing, everyone knows they should talk to two to five new prospects per day, find new customers each month, show 10-12 presentations every month and do something to build their business every single day.

Even though distributors know what they should be doing, only about 10% actually do anything consistently with the business.


Fear would be my first response.

Most people fear failure.

They fear getting rejected.  They fear what other people might say or think.

My second response is that most people are held back by their own comfort zone.

Even if they are broke and unhappy, they don’t want to change bad enough that they will do things that make them uncomfortable.

rank advance in mlm memeThat is just human nature.

And there is very little you can do about it.


Sadly, many network marketers think they can get their group to grow by doing more training.

As a result, they hold several training sessions each week.

They lead training calls, have “nuts and bolts” meetings, hold weekly webinars, etc.

Everything they do is focused on improving their team’s skills.

While some distributors in your team will enjoy these events because of the social aspect, it will actually do very little to grow your team.

Teaching your reps the same thing OVER AND OVER, week after week, won’t grow your team.

If anything, it will bore them and they will end up doing NOTHING to build their team.

I call it paralysis by analysis.

It’s sad, but true.


Training is NOT bad.  I’m not knocking it.

You need to train your team so they have the basic skills they need to succeed in the business.

But, you don’t need to over train them.

1-2 hours of training (TOTAL) is more than enough.

Rather than just training and training the same people on the same things, there are some better alternatives.


Yes, there is more than one solution to this problem.

Thank GOD.

The first thing you need to realize is if your current group isn’t performing, you should get a new group.

You won’t get to the next rank with the same group.

After all, this is a volunteer Army and it’s not your job to manage anyone.

Each person is responsible for their own business.

It’s not your job to save people or drag them across the finish line.

They are grown adults and they are responsible for their own actions.

You can’t make anyone do anything.

And you shouldn’t make the mistake of wanting success more for them than they want it for themselves.

Trust me, I’ve been there and done that and it is an uphill battle that you will NEVER win.

The next thing you need to do is offer more MOTIVATION, rather than training.

Have motivational meetings rather than training meetings. 

Get your team around other successful people in the company and let them hear their stories.

everyone in mlm knows what they should be doing memeThis will inspire them.

Lastly, you can (and should) lead by example.

Show your team, by your own actions, what is possible with the business.

Build it big.

Do the things you want them to be doing.

By doing that, you might inspire a few of them to get off their ass and actually do something.


As a sponsor or upline, you should do some basic training with each team member.

Teach them the fundamentals of what they need to do to get started and be successful.

That should take no more than two hours.

After you do that, the best thing you can do is find ways to motivate your people.

You see, your team needs more motivation, not more training.

Figure out what really motivates them the most and focus on that.

Do that and your business will be more profitable and more enjoyable.

And while you are “motivating your group” don’t forget to keep retailing and recruiting yourself.

ALWAYS stay in production mode!

What do you think about training vs. motivation in your network marketing business?  Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Other Blog Posts You Might Enjoy:

  1. How to Motivate Your Team
  2. Fear of Loss is the Best Motivator
  3. How to Stay Motivated
  4. You’re Looking for Self-Motivated People


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Chuck Holmes is a Network Marketing Professional, author, and blogger. He's been in the industry since 2002. He is one of the top producers in his network marketing company. He is happily married and lives in Florida with his beautiful wife, Rachel. He enjoys flea markets, reading, writing, walking, fishing and funny movies. You can call Chuck during business hours at (352) 503-4816 EST or you can email him at

8 thoughts on “Training vs. Motivation in Network Marketing

  1. I agree with this approach. Once your team members have the basic skills they need to put through an order, or know enough of the basics about a product to be able to talk about it, slow down on the training. You don’t want to burn them out or irritate them, or make them wish they had never signed up with you. But motivate like crazy! The people who are truly motivated will figure things out. They will seek out their own training, and ask you for your time and attention, rather than the other way around.

    • I agree. Overtraining your team is one of the worst things you can do!

  2. I think of motivation as something that I should do continuously whereas training is something I do as needed. Team members always need motivation and sometimes incentives to keep them focused and energized. Training is something I do when I need to introduce a new system or method or when I see that a particular person is underperforming. Otherwise, focusing on motivation will always produce almost immediate positive results.

    • My goal is to find motivated people. Easier said than done.

  3. Encouraging development and growth are important aspects and training is a part of it. Training MLM reps is important for professional growth; however, more most people really need encouragement and motivation. In our organization we conduct a training once a month or once every other month; however, on a weekly basis we carry out a short session for around 10-15 minutes where only motivational videos are presented and mutual sharing of ideas takes place. Moreover, if somebody fails to perform or is having some issues, we prefer having a one-to-one conversation in order to discuss individual, specific issues and training requirements.

    • I think it’s great to have both motivational and training meetings. As long as there are more motivational meetings than training meetings, you should be all set.

  4. More great advice Chuck. I think over training can also be a major negative. I have seen some Network Marketers who when they are training call in the whole team. Many of these people have heard that training message over and over. This can create animosity. The key is motivation. If we see someone’s numbers falling, why not just ask them in a caring way what is going on. Provide motivational support and watch their numbers climb back into place.

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