5 Inspiring Tips To Grow Your Downline (and 10x Sales)
In network marketing, the larger your Team, the larger your commission check! These easy to follow steps will help you 10x your downline in no time (and then you can teach them how to properly sell)!
If you are going to succeed BIG in network marketing, you need to build a strong downline. Here is how I built a team of dedicated, passionate, skilled and engaged people who helped me live the dream I signed up for when I started in network marketing.
Each of these steps is vital to your success. There are no shortcuts, but you can accelerate your team’s growth using these tips:
1. The 3 E’s of Success
You can only earn based on the success of your team. So when you do a good job training your reps, and support them to thrive, you will build a deeply-rooted team where each member is:
An educated, empowered and engaged teammate is passionate and dedicated. There is a higher level of perseverance and resilience, more innovation, and most importantly, a great attitude.
Many network marketers recruit as many people as possible but don’t take the time to properly train them. This results in a team of “warm bodies” who:
- Are not fully engaged
- Lose enthusiasm quickly
- Don’t know how to sell
- Don’t know where to sell
- Don’t know whom to sell to
- Can’t handle rejection
- Don’t understand how to teach their recruits (the principles of duplication)
- Don’t know about marketing
- Don’t understand the network marketing industry
This kind of team is essentially worthless. It’s frustrating for everyone. They have invested in the business, and now they feel abandoned and their sponsors feel frustrated about having a non-producing team. Whether they are on the receiving end of this (as a recruit who hasn’t received in-depth training) or a leader who is not supporting the team, it’s a lose-lose proposition.
Sponsors often wonder why they are so busy and frustrated wasting time with people who never engage… without considering why people don’t engage.
They fail to realize that the problem isn’t a lukewarm team. They are the problem. They have not approached team-building with the right mindset. They have not given their team the support needed: the education and empowerment that leads to engagement.
Your success is determined by two things:
- How much value you provide
- How much support you offer
Helping your team be as good - or better - as you are, will ensure that everyone thrives.
2. Short- and Long-Term Strategies
To grow your business, you must develop a system that is replicable by anyone on your team. Your new recruits need to know how to build a strong team starting right now, and replicate their results in the future.
Train your team on how to get immediate results that boost their confidence. Teach them how to increase traffic to their sites, how to run webinars, and where to look for customers and how to present the opportunity.
Train your team on how to get high-yield results over a long period of time. Educate them in various ways of connecting with customers and prospects. For example, encourage everyone on your team to blog. They can take action on this immediately as a way to build connection and trust, and the results will follow in the future.
In both the short-term and long-term approach, knowing your business and the company you work with is essential.
- You and your recruits need to know, understand, teach and promote the best practices from within your company.
- You also need to stay at the top of your game and stay informed about leading-edge trends within the network marketing industry.
- Learn from your competition. What are they teaching their distributors? What makes them successful? What is driving their growth? What can you duplicate, that would benefit your customers and your team?
3. Principles of Team Building
Question: if you have already recruited some people to your team, how are they doing? Are they thriving? Surviving? Or quitting?
Here’s an example of how many network marketing leaders fail to properly engage certain team members:
I can’t even tell you how many times I have cringed upon hearing, “Go talk to more people” as a way to “motivate” or “inspire” new recruits. Seriously? That’s what they consider training? This approach may lead to success if the new recruit is an extrovert who loves reaching out and connecting with people. But not everyone is an extrovert...
Speaking from experience, introverts can achieve fabulous success at network marketing, but I guarantee they will not pound the pavement looking for recruits. They will not approach someone at a coffee shop, they will not talk about their business at work, and they will not even attend networking events. Their approach is different, and your training has to adjust to that.
But if you don’t know better, because you have been told to “go talk to more people” and that’s the advice you offer your new teammates… and then wonder why neither you nor your introverted recruits are succeeding.
I dislike this approach very much. It’s the old “bring them in the front door faster than they leave out the back door” approach. It’s stressful, but even worse, where is the value to the recruits? This is a terrible business model if you are interested in making it big as a network marketer. Most people who enter network marketing will eventually quit. One of the most common reasons I hear is that “nobody helped me.” These people have invested in the business, and then they’re left on their own, or given generic “one-size-fits-all” training that does not suit their personality or experience.
There is a much better way to grow your network marketing empire. Throw out the “go talk to more people” approach right now, even if you have been moderately successful with it in the past. I’m going to show you how to be wildly successful. It goes way beyond the standard “you need to sponsor five people and show each one how to sponsor five people…”
I want to play devil’s advocate here for a minute. I want to challenge you and I want to challenge the network marketing “wisdom” you and everyone else have been taught.
Let’s say you have been working the “go talk to more people” and “sponsor five people and teach each one how to recruit five…” approach. Let’s say it’s working for you to some extent.
So tell me, right now, how and where your recruits are going to prospect, recruit, sell, and make money.
I’m a new, new, off-the-street, fresh to network marketing recruit. I know nothing about marketing and even less about network marketing. I just like the idea of making money from home. You’ve sold me on the opportunity, it looks doable, but now I have expectations. I expect to be guided, not left to swim through shark-infested waters (because that’s how it looks to me). I don’t know anything about sales, I have limited computer experience, I don’t like bugging my friends and family, I don’t think I’m good at sales, but I really, really like the idea of having enough money to quit my day job. So teach me how.
Please take a few minutes and clarify exactly how you train a new recruit… do this before you continue reading.
My approach to creating a deeply-rooted and successful team is simple: progressive education. This is where you offer the most value to your team: you educate them, empower them, and this highly engaged team will work miracles!
On a daily basis, you need to educate your team in two critical systems:
- Knowledge: learning about the business including the business/compensation model, the network marketing industry, the products you sell, and who your ideal buyers are.
- Action: how you build the business, including prospecting, selling, marketing, recruiting, duplicating, and training. This is where personalized training approach is gold.
In a perfect world, both systems would be the same; that is, what you learn is what you do. However, this isn’t always the case because you’re dealing with a diverse group of people.
You can immerse yourself in knowledge by reading, listening, taking classes, but not everything you read, hear, or learn will become part of your daily operating system. This is because each one of us is unique, and we have different preferred methods of doing things.
Some people may be naturals at connecting face-to-face, while others will need to work on that skill. For example, teaching an extrovert how to connect with people won’t be as profitable as providing information on how to duplicate. Others may be painfully shy but excel at social media marketing.
A one-size-fits-all approach to new-recruit training is not effective. As an effective leader, you have to target your training to the individual in order to educate, empower and engage them.
You didn’t know you were going to become a teacher when you signed up as a network marketer, did you? But that’s part of being a great leader.
- You may need to help certain people with their attitude toward selling.
- You may need to change a teammate’s opinion of network marketing.
- You may need to help someone craft their “elevator pitch.”
- You may need to build the confidence and self-esteem of a shy teammate.
- You may need to guide someone in creating great social media ads.
- You may need to boost a teammate’s self-esteem and confidence and help them overcome their income ceiling.
- You may need to help a teammate outsource tasks they aren’t good at.
In short, every single team member needs to know:
Where to find prospects, what to say to them, and how to say it effectively.
Once their prospect says, “Yes!” each team member needs the knowledge and skills to successfully build their business; or to duplicate exactly what you did to help them thrive:
- They need to upgrade their mindset about success, selling, MLM, talking to people, wealth, and potential (without this mindset upgrade, big success is not possible)
- They need to learn about the network marketing industry (be sure you dispel all the myths about it)
- They need to learn the “how” of the business: finding prospects, presenting the opportunity, and most importantly, closing the deal
- They need to learn how to duplicate what you have taught them, so they become value-driven sponsors whose primary mission is to enrich the lives of others
This kind of education takes time, and effort and yes, it takes time away from your own daily business-building strategies, but can you imagine the results (and the frustration and stress) if you didn’t do this?
The reality is that to give your recruits - and therefore yourself - the best chance of success in network marketing, you need to teach. You need a simple and systematic method of progressive education to support every team member, including teaching them how to teach their recruits.
You are giving immense value to your team when you take the time and effort to educate and support them. This is how you become a team leader others are happy to follow!
How successful can you become using a system of progressive education? Results will vary, of course, but I can guarantee this: you will be a lot more successful than someone who uses the “Go talk to more people and recruit five and teach each one how to recruit five people” approach!
In fact, if you are not using progressive education, you should expect most of your recruits to quit the moment they run into any resistance.
Beyond basic education, team building is a learned skill. If you apply these proven principles of team building, you can build up your team’s level of engagement and enjoy significantly greater profits. Are you ready to put on the leader’s boots?
You can become comfortable as a leader. Here’s how:
Invest In Your Own Education and Personal Growth.
What does personal growth have to do with team-building? Everything. Your mindset rubs off on people. Your beliefs, attitudes, actions and words influence your teammates, yet many people are simply unaware of how powerfully they hold themselves back with negative and self-defeating self-talk.
Personal growth will help you overcome your own self-created limitations, and this will allow you to inspire your team.
- Explore various marketing techniques… learn from your failures… and keep exploring.
- Learn everything you can about your product, your company, the network marketing industry, marketing, sales, live events, blogging, podcasts, and the many ways to connect with people.
- Learn about the mindset of success and what it takes to overcome your personal blocks to wealth, selling, leadership, and MLM.
Prepare For Leadership Before You Become a Leader
So here you are, brand-new to the business. You are your own army of one. It might be intimidating for you to imagine yourself as a leader, so start immediately. Don’t wait until you have a large downline to be a leader… you’ll never create one without being a leader first!
- Visualize yourself leading calls, having one-on-one motivational talks, educating team members, and setting the example.
- Write down questions you have or had. Formulate your answers so you are ready when the questions start coming.
- Create training and educational materials for your team. A series of PDF’s will work well. You don’t have to get fancy but you need training aids to avoid teammates taking up too much of your time when existing training materials are available.
Make No Assumptions
Not every recruit is going to take network marketing seriously as a legitimate business. Some are content to be a consumer/distributor, and that’s enough for them. They have no intention of recruiting others. And that’s okay.
To prevent frustration, ask everyone on your team why they joined your organization, what they hope to get from it, and what they expect, so you are all on the same page and you’re not trying to get something from people that they have no intention of giving. Do not push. Pushing someone into a role they do not want will always backfire. It’s stressful for everyone and encourages people to quit. There will always be more people who use the product and want to be a distributor, than those who are willing to engage in building the business!
Focus On the People Who Show the Most Potential
Network marketing is not an easy business and realistically, not everyone will succeed up to their potential. Seek out people with an entrepreneurial mindset, magnetic people who influence others, and people who will naturally benefit from partnering with you. These are your “power partners” and they will be the movers and shakers within your organization.
You will benefit most from recruiting the right people, not the ones you have to convince. If a person has to be convinced to join, that’s the first red flag that this is not the right fit for them. Spending most of your training and mentoring energy on your “power partners” will yield the greatest returns.
Many network marketers enroll people and explain to them what to do, but they don’t set expectations. This is a business, after all, so being on the same page as your entire team is vital to your success.
Expectations help you identify the people who are serious and those who are just dabbling. The dabblers may be quite content being consumer/distributors, but don’t have any intention of building the business. That’s fine as long as you both understand that! This will save you lots of time and frustration trying to get them to do something they have no intention of doing.
Expectations help people stay on track and commit to doing what they said they would do. Being a home-based business, network marketing comes with the challenge of accountability. It’s easy to be distracted and to avoid tasks because nobody is looking over your shoulder. If you set the expectation that this is a business and you are hiring partners, you will get a different attitude than if you don’t set this expectation.
Failure to set expectations can leave people thinking, “It’s a play job that will give me a little extra cash, and I can work whenever I feel like it.” That is not the attitude they need to make network marketing a thriving and lucrative endeavor for themselves.
Where do you want to be in 6 months/1 year/5 years? Where do you want your team members to be in 6 months/1 year/5 years? Do you have an action plan to get you all to that point? It’s essential to write down and clearly communicate your individual and organizational goals so that people understand what it takes to get there.
Track your team’s progress so you know where to put more energy.
Be the Example
Never ask your teammates to do something you do not do. If you are doing the daily business-building activities, your team will follow your lead. If you are just telling them to do it while you’re sitting back and waiting for them to make money so you get a nice commission check… they will also follow your lead.
See, and Be Seen
Be event-driven. Go to events, host conference calls, and encourage your team to attend. Live events are especially powerful. They help people bond, build belief in their company/products/profession, and connect people with diverse talents and interests.
I highly recommend attending personal development seminars and live events with your team. The mind is everything! Your success, and your team’s success, depends on mindset. Many people have self-limiting beliefs that need to be addressed (such as “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t sell”); and, everyone has an income ceiling that may be too low to ever allow them to realize the kinds of profit they dream about.
If you can’t address these beliefs yourself… if you aren’t knowledgeable about the workings of the mind, the power of self-talk and how to change beliefs), then attend a personal growth event as a group, and inspire and motivate each other!
Be Available, But Don’t Push
You are dealing with a diverse group of personalities, each of whom have different skillsets, expectations and goals.
Unsolicited advice is annoying at best. For example, if you sense that someone wants to be a customer/distributor only, don’t pressure them with recruiting advice. And don’t assume that everyone needs help selling. Offer in-depth training and be available if someone on your team has a question, but don’t force-feed information.
Be Generous With Recognition
Napoleon said, “I have made the most wonderful discovery, I have discovered men will risk their lives, even die, for ribbons and men will also die to avoid having their ribbons taken away.” Okay, that’s a little extreme, but the point is made.
Recognize your top producers, but also people who are making leaps in improvement, people who are finding innovative ways to market or recruit, and people who inspire others.
Inspire, Rather Than Motivate
Inspire them with your actions, results, happiness and passion.
There are two types of motivation: extrinsic (money, prizes, and recognition) and intrinsic (inner satisfaction).
While extrinsic motivators are great for getting momentum rolling, ultimately the greatest satisfaction comes from within.
Show - don’t tell - your team how meaningful this business is to you, how fulfilled you are helping others, how happy and abundant you feel, and that the system actually works… and let your actions and attitude inspire them.
And what about your fears, doubts, concerns and worries? I’ve never met a person that didn’t have them. However, those are not public property to be shared with the team. As a leader, you have to deal with your fears and be the “rock” that your team will follow.
Teach Your Team to Teach
Network marketing is a people business. Your main objective here is to empower others to thrive. If you are the only one within your organization who can answer questions, lead calls and webinars, and conduct seminars, then you aren’t teaching your team to duplicate what you do!
I can’t stress enough the value of educating and empowering your team. This is the only way you’re going to build a deep and powerful organization where every team member is happy, contributing and thriving!
Be In Service
Do not think of your recruits as money-makers for your benefit but rather, elevate them and help them to thrive. Zig Ziglar said, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
There’s a beautiful synchronicity in being “in service.” The more you help others, the more they help you. You will find immense satisfaction in helping people and that should be your main motivator.
Help People Shine
Don’t always be the one running calls and webinars. Don’t give all of your attention to the ones who thrive on or demand being in the spotlight. Bring the shy and quiet people out, and let them shine! Let them grow and experience leadership. Empower them by giving them the leadership role at live events and recorded calls.
Recognize that people are in various stages of growth. For example, one team member brings no one to an event, another brings three, and another brings ten. Never criticize the one who brought only themselves. It might have been a huge and scary thing for them to be there in the first place. Praise them for that!
Always be more concerned with the personal growth of your team, than how much they are producing!
There will always be people who demand more of your time and energy than necessary. Set expectations, provide them with the right training… and if they are always asking for advice but never taking it, set boundaries.
You have a right to dedicate your time and energy to the right teammates, who are committed and coachable.
One way to weed out the people who are not right for network marketing is to have a talk with them about their goals, expectations and whether they need training in a specific area. Then give them a task and a deadline as a way to prove that they are indeed committed to the business and that they are coachable. They are not proving it to you, but to themselves. Either they will rise to the occasion or they will quit.
Never Hoard Information
Don’t mistake knowledge for power. You’re here to help your team, so never distribute information on a “need to know” basis. Education, empowerment and engagement mean more profits for you!
When it comes to information and communication… you are not “in the loop.” You ARE the loop.
5. Team-Building Obstacles
Fear of Recruiting
One of the biggest obstacles that people face in network marketing is recruiting. Failure to bring people onboard is discouraging! It brings up thoughts like, “this doesn’t work” or “I’m no good at this” or “it’s a scam!” They start to feel bad about themselves because they see the success others have. Even talented, hardworking people can lose enthusiasm and momentum because they haven’t been thoroughly trained in recruiting.
If one of your teammates is associating pain with the recruiting process, guess what they will do? Stop recruiting. What can you do? Train them.
Maybe they have been trained in the presentation, but lack interpersonal skills. Maybe they’re too nervous, and their nerves affect the listener. To make each team member into a great recruiter, you have to go beyond the basics of “here’s what you tell people” into the more subtle nuances of sales:
- Connection (becoming more likeable and approachable)
- Trust (communicating a genuine desire to improve someone’s life)
- Value (what can you do for them?)
- Success mindset (you must believe 100% in the value you are offering, that you can recruit, and that you can be successful)
If this type of training is out of your realm of expertise, seek out sales training and personal development training. Encourage your entire team to attend personal development training, even if they are expert salespeople. A person’s #1 investment should be themselves!
Lack of Action
Have you ever been to a live event where you got massively inspired and motivated, and then a week later you’re back to your old ways?
Everybody is like that. The motivational “thrill” of live events does not last. They go home fired up and tell themselves that this time, they will do whatever it takes… but then because it’s not a habit yet, life gets in the way and they don’t change a single thing.
It’s important, therefore, to repeat your main messages at every single event: duplication and value.
Drive action with a clear weekly message on how to duplicate success:
- How to provide value to people (that your #1 goal is to improve the lives of others)
- How to recruit
- How to train new recruits
- How to train them to duplicate this process
Do this on every live call, every live event, and even on recorded calls and webinars.
People will feel empowered when they believe they can do something. You take the uncertainty out of the equation and give them confidence and motivation by telling them how.
A Too-Slow Pace
It’s easy to get caught up in the everyday running of the business, and neglect to direct some of your energy toward inspiring your team. You may have heard that the team’s pace can never be faster than your own… so whether you have 2 people on your team or thousands, if you want to move to the next level of success, your entire team’s recruiting pace has to increase.
Normally, inviting 3 people per day into the business is a reasonable goal. That’s slow, steady growth and quite doable for most people. But if you plan on accelerating your success, that number will have to increase, let’s say to 10 people per day. That means, you have to step up your own recruiting pace. Do not expect your team to recruit more unless you lead the charge!
Lack of Engagement Among New Team Members
Experienced network marketers will tell you that the most crucial time for engaging a new team member and creating duplication is the 30 minutes after you sign them up. This is based on the urgency principle: always encourage them to think about what they can do right now to duplicate what you do, and ensure their success.
This is the time to set expectations, provide them with basic training (as well as take-home training materials), invite them to recorded training calls, and start developing their success mindset by helping them to focus on what they can do, rather than what they think they can’t do.
Failure to engage a new team member with immediate personal attention will backfire quickly. Imagine starting a new job and being left on your own to figure it out.
Basic self-guided training works only with people who are experienced in the network marketing industry. Most new recruits will need more: personal phone calls, in-depth training materials, and the chance to openly ask “stupid” questions.
While a lot of good network marketing companies provide in-depth training, many do not address individual strengths and weaknesses. It’s up to you, as their leader, to discover these, help each team member work to their strengths and move past their weaknesses.
Too Much Training
Okay, I realize this sounds contrary to what I just said. People do need training that is personalized to their needs, preferences, personalities and strengths/weaknesses. However, that does not mean you have to devote all of your time hand-holding new recruits.
I think most leaders have fallen into the training trap where they think that more training will mean more sales. If you have laid a good foundation, progressive education can be achieved in about an hour per week.
In the beginning you will need to invest a little more time on each new team member, and most importantly, teaching your new team members how to teach their new recruits! Once the initial training is established, you should not be devoting more than an hour per week on training.
Be well-prepared before you recruit someone by developing comprehensive online and/or printed training materials, weekly training/motivational calls, live events, and set aside a limited amount of time for one-on-one consultations.
Your main focus is on helping your team be great but you still need to maximize your own income producing activities. If you have your training system set up, you won’t need to devote a lot of your personal time to it.
Lack of Community
Do you have a strong team culture? Do you support one another, play together, recognize each other, grow together and build together?
Don’t ever let your team members feel isolated! Organize at least one or two social calls each month to share stories, concerns and goals, and publicly recognize the quieter members of the group.
Remember the show a few years back, “The Weakest Link”? Your organization is only as strong as your weakest members. There will always be the rock stars, the strong producers who rise to great heights, but if you can address the weaknesses of each teammate, you give them the best opportunity to shine - instead of having a bunch of “warm bodies” on your team, the entire team will be educated, empowered, and engaged - for their profit, and yours!
In this article, you learned the key elements of building a successful team in the network marketing industry. You discovered:
- The three E’s of success: educate, empower, engage
- The top tips for building a team of engaged, dedicated people
- Short- and long-term team-building strategies
- What to avoid in team-building
You can give your team a jump-start in confidence by sharing “Selling Formula: Do You Know the Right Way to Sell?”... and “Starting in Sales.”
You have made a life-changing choice to become a network marketer… and I’m here for you, to help you become a top producer, so you can live life on your terms!