What’s Wrong With This Picture?

You are excited. You sign up and buy the kit. You are going to make big money. All you have to do is sponsor three and teach them to sponsor three. Sounds soooo easy. You call all of your friends and none – zero want to be your distributor. But but all you have to do is… Then you try and try and try, you get more and more frustrated. Then discouragement sets in. People are telling you that you seem like you are part of some cult, and that this will never amount to anything. You know what else your sponsor told you? That you never have to sell… Hey, you’ve been selling your opportunity to your friends and family right?

These are the two lies that sponsors tell: You only have to sponsor 3 – and you don’t have to sell. “Everybody” uses these lies, because they are true in theory. I mean, you don’t have to sell if you are buying for yourself and sponsoring others, or do you? Sponsoring is recruiting and is very similar to selling; so technically – it is selling. And you do sell to yourself. If you advertise, your marketing message is a sales pitch and usually requires a sales presentation as a follow up. Even if you are recruiting this is true.

As far as needing to sponsor just 3 people and teach them to sponsor 3, in my experience your attempt to sponsor from your warm market is nearly impossible and where else would you get just 3 from? Let’s say that you beat your head against a brick wall long enough and it crumbled… in other words you sponsored 3. The likelihood that all 3 will want to do anything is slim and none. Especially if you use the same “sales” pitch: sponsor just three, no selling involved. Some people will just sign up to get you off their back. Others will sign up and get busy. Others must watch Monday night football and have a case of beer nightly. Some just have the misfortune of getting sick, injured, fired, divorced… you just never know what you’re going to get.

Ok, so what do you really have to do? First, realize that you are in business. You started a small business and you will need to know how to sell your product. No way around it. You must sell to yourself, your warm market, people you know, and people you don’t know. You do this to learn their objections. Hey if you sell something, that is great, but your greatest learning experience is when people don’t buy. Why did they choose not to buy? Very important stuff because we need to learn how to overcome the objections to your product… mainly because the product is also the opportunity.

When you sell an opportunity, you are selling yourself as sponsor and your lifestyle, but you are also selling your product. Because… who is going to buy the product? We know from earlier posts that legal MLM companies must have product sales in order to pay commissions to distributors. If everyone is recruiting and nobody is buying or selling the product, how much money do you make? That’s right, zero. “Gasp,” you say, “I don’t want to work my butt off and earn nothing!” Well then, you must sell the product to yourself, to customers, and to your downline distributors.

Second, you must realize that even though theoretically it’s possible to only need to sponsor three (or four or five), the reality is that 95% or more of distributors will drop out. No matter how they are recruited, no matter how much support, no matter if you build their business for them, no matter if you have the greatest product ever… they will drop out. So you will constantly need to replace your drop out distributors in order to keep your business growing.

Another sad reality is that good distributors (i.e. big fish) work not with all of their distributors constantly, but mainly with their best producers. Do I agree with doing this? Absolutely. You should be there for all your distributors but usually it’s the best ones who want and deserve help. The others are bothered when you call them.

One thing you can do to keep drop out distributors happy: Don’t oversell your opportunity. If you tell your distributors they can make money while playing on the computer, they’ll be playing solitaire wondering why the checks are not flowing in. Tell them that hard work pays, they will either work hard or not, but they won’t be unhappy either way.

What Do You Do with Distributors?

On my blog, I have discussed the methods used to attain distributors which I will quickly review here: People will become your distributor in their time not yours. You need to have the patience of a fisherman, otherwise you will scare the fish away! Your job is to support them during the process of consideration, give them what they need to make a good decision then stand back. Any pressure or hype will probably get you distributors that will do nothing.

Once you begin signing up distributors, your focus really switches to supporting them. You should give them encouragement, train them, and help them as much as they will allow you to. You should give the most help to your best and most trustworthy distributors, and you could go as far as building for them with them by your side if this is agreeable to them.

You do also want to train them on the product.  The product’s uses, features and benefits, and why a customer would want to buy it.  Make sure that the distributor buys for himself so that he or she can experience the benefits personally.  Ultimately you want customer sales but customer sales follow personal use.

That is mainly it. Of course you continue to gather leads and work with prospects all along for yourself but now you have the added work of supporting distributors. The added burden is not huge and is usually enjoyable. However, don’t frustrate yourself because somebody is not doing their part, just work with the ones who are.

The Difference Between Selling and Recruiting

The major difference between selling a product and selling an opportunity is really not much. In fact, you could sell them in the same way. However, you really want your new distributor to want to build their business so you want to avoid any pressure to sign up. In fact, you may want to give them a lot of space to decide that they really want to join and be successful.

Often in recruiting, you need to find the right person at the right time. They may be ready to jump right in, they may be looking at several opportunities, or they may just be procrastinating. In any case, asking or pressuring them to join is the wrong move. They will do things when they are ready, or they may do nothing at all. The best thing you can do is to keep looking for new prospective distributors and not worry about the ones who may join.

Another thing you need to understand is that besides an opportunity, you are selling a lifestyle. Your lifestyle in fact. Take a look at what you do on a day-to-day basis. What would other people think about your lifestyle? Not to say that you need to spend money lavishly to attract distributors, you don’t. You just need to be the kind of person other people are attracted to, the kind of person people want to be. If you are obsessed with your business and look nervous all the time you will attract no one.

One last thing about recruiting: Remember that you are the big fish. You should never sell the prospect on what your upline, sponsor, or company can do for them. You sell them on what you can do for them. Which leads me to this point: What can you do for your distributors? What special skills or aptitudes do you offer? Consider this before you begin talking to prospects.

Image can also play a role in sponsoring. Again, it is not about how much money you spend. Millionaires make a lot of income but spend very little of it. If you drive a Mercedes or an old beat up pickup, it does not matter. Image is more about being professional. Having nice looking business cards. Being a company rather than an individual. Having nice looking presentation materials. Looking well dressed and groomed. Image can also be how well you follow through. If a person asks you for something and you promptly get it to them, that will go a long way.

I would like to finish by reviewing key points: You will do well at sponsoring if you can identify your distributor’s demographics (a description of who they are), find people in that demographic, present to them (i.e. give them a video), be the big fish by giving them advantages for working with you, then let them have their space. Follow up but avoid pressure. Then find more people and do the same. Don’t worry about sponsoring, it will happen.

Reasons To Do Multi-Level

I have probably spooked you into believing that it really isn’t worth it to do multi-level marketing. The main reasons to join a multi-level marketing company and work so hard is that you can make a lot of money and become financially independent. That is not to say that everyone who does multi-level marketing is wildly successful because they aren’t. You really have to know what you’re doing. But if you do know what to do you can make a ton of cash.

We had a total group of around 350 distributors and made between $14,000 and $20,000 in monthly commissions for two full years. That is what multi-level marketing can do for you. Unfortunately, we were working with a dietary supplement company that had the #1 product in the 1990’s, but in 1999 imploded because of issues with the health of its users, lying to the FDA, and getting a lot of bad press. I am not going to mention the company’s name but if you know the industry you can probably figure it out.

Our group was about 50% dropouts who never did anything, 45% small salespeople who sold a little product, and the rest hard-working sales people who could both sell and sponsor. We probably had three big fish who could really sponsor. We were part of the distributor advisory board for the multi-level marketing company and met people who did over $1 million per month in commissions, so we were not the largest by far. So the company had really, really big distributors and really, really little distributors (and dropouts), despite the major success of the product.

So how do you go from being the little guy to being the big fish? You find what works and you do it over and over, and bigger and bigger. Spending money is out of the question when you first start, but money can give you leverage to grow larger quickly once you have gotten to a certain level. You just don’t want to spend it foolishly, and spending it on big unproven advertising campaigns is always out of the question. I will post more about advertising in the future, but for now, spending money on advertising is out of the question when you are just starting. In fact, spending money on anything that you can do for free is out of the question.

Back to the multi-level marketing company for a minute. The company’s product was great, but the company’s business practices and attitudes caused them to run afoul of the media and the government, and ultimately their customers and distributors turned on them. This is sometimes what happens with a quickly growing company. They don’t know how to handle the growth and end up destroying themselves. This is not a good situation when you are depending on them for all of your income. Sometimes going with the tried and true is a better idea.

Why Can’t I Sponsor?

Sponsoring is recruiting new distributors into the multi-level marketing company. Once a distributor is sponsored under you, you share in their sales success. They can also sponsor other distributors, which also contributes to your commissions.

It is nearly impossible for a new distributor to sponsor because they seek people from their warm market to join, like family members, friends, neighbors, and other people they know well. The problem with this is that given any individual person, the person is very unlikely to want to start a new business.

This is very depressing, isn’t it? The warm market you are depending on probably won’t want to join. It gets worse. Your warm market knows you and are unlikely to believe that what you have is incredible or even credible. After all, they’ve known you for a while and you are not the kind of person who can do this kind of thing. People outside of your warm market are actually more likely to join because they have no preconceived notion of who you are.

More bad news: Let’s say you contact one new random person a day, how long would it take you to sponsor a new distributor? In my experience, with a rapidly growing company, you generally could sponsor 1 in 100 people. That is a very general estimate and it may be easier or harder to sponsor based upon a lot of factors.

Even more bad news: Your one distributor is unlikely to produce. Typically 1 in 100 distributors will sell and sponsor, many will drop out and many will do very little.

So to get three producing distributors, as your sponsor says you need to be successful, you need to make contact with about 30,000 different people. You can see that the typical way people are recruited is a recipe for failure.

So how do you change the odds? By contacting random people you can expect the information above to be true. If you want to sponsor more of the people you contact, you have to contact the right people. Better yet, you need people to come to you. I will write more about this soon.

How Do I Make Money?

You may think that you make money in multi-level marketing by signing up 3 people (or so) and teaching them to do the same. Then, when your downline becomes so big you earn big money. Well no. You earn money when product is sold by you and or your downline.

We had a past distributor who joined a new company who cannot sponsor but sells like crazy. She makes the most money in the company. Other distributors that we know make money without direct sales by buying product for themselves, then teaching their downline to do the same thing.

In our past life we both sold like crazy and sponsored like crazy, but we still made the majority of our money from sponsoring through our downline product sales because we spent so much of our direct sales profits on promotional material.

You will make money in multi-level marketing when product is sold. Hopefully your product is in demand. How do you know? Are you willing to buy the product with no hope of making money from the business? If not, I would look elsewhere.

However, don’t give up so easily… It may be that your product is worth buying but perhaps you just don’t understand why at this point. Spend time studying and using your product. Figure out why you would want to buy it. Is it better? Is it less expensive to use? What are the features and benefits of using the product?  The answers to these questions can lead to better overall sales by helping you  inform your distributors and customers about how the product will benefit them.

Multi-Level Marketing Is A Scam?

Actually, multi-level marketing is not a scam as long as distributors are earning commissions based on product sales and not on just signing up new distributors. Multi-level marketing is not a pyramid scheme either as a typical downline does not resemble a pyramid anymore than a tree does. Even if it did resemble a pyramid it would not be a pyramid scheme as ponzi schemes (another name for pyramid schemes) tend to take money from people under false pretenses to give to other people. A legitimate multi-level marketing company provides a valued product in return for money, so there is no loss to the purchaser.

Below is a Wikipedia article on multi-level marketing for more information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-level_marketing

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