How to Build a Team in Network Marketing: 9 Steps

You can make a few hundred or even a couple of thousand dollars each month in network marketing or multi-level marketing (MLM) just by selling products or services. However, if you aim for higher income, recognition for your achievements, or long-lasting earnings, you’ll need to learn how to grow and support a team of like-minded representatives.

In network marketing, it’s different from other sales structures. Instead of just recruiting and training people who might become your competitors, you build a long-term partnership with mutual benefits.

In this article, we’ll discuss the steps to build a big team in network marketing.

Step 1: Create a Prospect List

A prospect list is like a list of people you want to talk to about joining your team or using your products. 

Just write down the names of everyone you know, and don’t assume if they’re interested or not. Thoughts like “John is a doctor, so he won’t be interested” or “Linda is wealthy, so this isn’t for her” can cost you money in the long run. Don’t judge; just write down the names.

Your list may have potential leaders, some looking for extra income, and others just interested in your services. You don’t know who falls into each category.

Avoid the mistake of having a few people in mind who you think will join your team. This is a common mistake. Make a big list, put it on paper, and don’t assume the first people you approach will join. Aim for at least 100–200 names.

Start with your phone contacts, then add people from social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Friends, relatives, or business associates from other states or countries where your company operates should also be on your list.

Whether you contact them by phone or online, use this opportunity to expand your business beyond your local area. Your mission is to share your business, not force people to join. Your job is not to convince or argue. Focus on finding serious people who want to make a change in their lives.

Expect “No,” “Maybe,” or “I’ll get back to you later.” Look for people genuinely interested in what you offer.

Prospects can come from intentional efforts or casual conversations. You don’t have to add everyone you meet; choose those who fit your team culture.

Read more: 7 Tips For Prospecting In Network Marketing

Step 2: Reach Out and Invite

After creating your list, use your social skills to contact each person and invite them. A simple script from your company can be a big help. Never start an invitation call without preparation. Knowing what to say beforehand helps you appear confident.

Try to make invitations over the phone whenever possible. It gives you control over the conversation’s length, allows flexibility in your location, and lets you end the call if it goes off track.

Here are some tips for effective invitations:

  1. Clear the Time: Ask if the prospect has a couple of minutes. If not, find a better time.

  2. Have a Script: Practice your invitation script until you can deliver it clearly and confidently.

  3. Stick to the Purpose: Keep the call focused on the opportunity or product, not unrelated topics.

  4. Invitation, Not Sign-Up: The goal is to invite them to learn more, not to sign them up on the first call.

Be ready for the next step and avoid the common mistake of being unprepared. Have something to offer when your prospect says yes.

You can use tools like websites, videos, or ebooks to share your opportunity efficiently. Let the tools do the work, especially since network marketing is often a part-time endeavor. Think about how you were invited and what information you found helpful, then use the same tools with your prospects. Invite them to take a look, but don’t pressure them to join right away—let them decide if it’s right for them.

Step 3: Present Your Business Opportunity

If your invitation was successful, and your prospect is open to exploring your business, it’s time to give them a presentation. This could cover your business, products, or services. 

Tools such as company websites, ebooks, or online videos work well because people feel more confident sharing a presentation than doing one themselves. For instance, an ebook can serve as a tool for prospects seeking more information. The company’s website provides details about the corporate team, and product brochures educate prospects about the effectiveness of your products.

Don’t try to spend an hour at a coffee shop reciting every detail about your compensation plan, unique products, and the CEO’s history. Your prospect might feel overwhelmed and thought she needs to remember intricate details to make the MLM business work. Even if she’s excited about the opportunity, the fear of remembering everything might discourage her from pursuing it.

Successful leaders in the industry have fallen into this trap. With lengthy presentations, they make their prospects believe they need to be great public speakers to succeed in the MLM business.

In prospecting, how you present your opportunity shapes your prospect’s expectations. If you often hear, “You’ll do well, but it’s not for me,” the issue likely lies in your presentation method.

Anything that does the explaining for you, instead of relying on your memory for a verbal presentation, is a more effective way to grow your business.

Step 4: Successful Follow-Up

Even if your prospects are impressed with your product, they often need time to review the details before making a decision. In this phase, you should take the initiative to follow up with your prospects. Don’t expect them to call you first; fortune favors those who follow up.

Following up is not just a skill; it’s an intentional act coupled with discipline. Procrastination has no place here. Delaying contact with a prospect is one step closer to them losing interest in your opportunity.

Life gets busy for most people, and what excited them last week might be forgotten today. Your prospects are no exception. After your presentation, make sure they know you’ll be in touch soon for their response and to address any questions or concerns. Make it clear that this is part of the process, and they will not only understand but expect it. 

Effective follow-up is not about pressuring the prospect until they say yes; it’s done with respect, at agreed-upon times, to explore if a partnership in your company aligns with their goals. It’s also an opportunity to provide more resources for further research at their own pace.

Don’t hesitate to ask for referrals from those not interested in the business or products. Each person can offer five to ten new contacts. However, respect their trust and avoid hard-selling these contacts.

Step 5: Close the Deal

While the term “closing the deal” is commonly associated with sales, in network marketing, it holds a different meaning. Here, you’re not “closing” people but rather “opening” them to new opportunities.

In traditional sales, closing the deal marks the end of the process when the prospect agrees to make a purchase. However, in network marketing, this is where the true process begins.

The invitation, presentation, follow-up, and submitted application are all leading to a more significant objective: establishing a long-term business partnership. 

To reach this point, your prospect would have gone through your material, analyzed the business, tested the products, and had their questions answered. They will then decide if being part of your opportunity aligns with their lifestyle and income needs. 

Step 6: Duplication

In network marketing,”duplication” means replicating and applying an effective method of scaling your business. A good system outlines how to prospect, develop a customer base, present opportunities, and when to follow up. It’s flexible yet guides daily, weekly, monthly, and sometimes yearly activities. It must be simple, with actions everyone in your organization can follow. 

Here’s a simple example of a “duplication” system:

  1. Use products or services daily or weekly.
  2. Dedicate at least thirty minutes to personal development daily.
  3. Stay connected through weekly calls and monthly videos.
  4. Attend all local and major regional events.
  5. Introduce your business, product, or service to at least two people a day.

You don’t have to invent your own system. Most MLM companies document their system in a booklet or downloadable PDF. Or you can learn from your upline, apply it, and teach it to your team.

The most important time for duplication is within the first 30 minutes after a new member signs up. If you don’t set their expectations right and show them immediately how to invite others to check out your business, you miss a great chance to build a team of 5, 10, or even more new members in the coming weeks. Follow the urgency principle: focus on what you can do right now to boost engagement and prompt action.

7. Train Your Recruits 

When someone joins your network marketing team, that’s just the start. You need to provide them with the right training on launch a successful MLM business. Typically, a starter kit or welcome pack follows their signup, allowing them to access online training shortly after joining. 

You should make sure they’re aware of these online resources in the first 48 hours. This initial phase is when doubts might arise. If a new member skips initial training, they’ll likely struggle in the business.

It’s your role to instill your passion and belief in the business into their mindset. You can seize the opportunity during upcoming events, where your recruit can experience the bigger picture. Nothing instills belief faster than being in a room with like-minded people excited about their new opportunity.

However, don’t fall into the “training” trap where you find yourself stuck on an income plateau for a long time, thinking that training your team more will increase both your income and your team’s growth.

Try not to spend more than 1 hour per week training your team. You can do this during a weekly call, webinar, or at a live event, such as a home meeting.

By limiting this time, you can focus more on income-producing activities for yourself and your team. These activities involve people who are not on your team yet, like recruiting, presenting, or following up on prospects.

8. Foster a Collaborative Environment

To build a strong team, you need an environment where team members feel valued, supported, and motivated to collaborate. For instance, you can create a private Facebook group and encourage team members to share their ideas, experiences, and best practices.

As a network marketing team leader, it’s crucial to be active within the group, providing support to any member facing challenges. Your presence and leadership set the tone for the entire team, influencing their commitment. By setting an example, you can foster a culture of collaboration.

As your team grows, consider forming a small leadership team that supports other members and engages in activities together. To unite this leadership team, you can hold meetings with them after presentations, host weekly Zoom meetings, or attend large events together. This can make them feel valued and motivated to make contributions.

9. Rewards and Recognition

In the world of network marketing, it is usually recognition and a sense of belonging that keep many people engaged in the business. Recognition is something people crave from infancy to adulthood. Successful organizations understand this. They make a concerted effort to acknowledge and reward even the smallest achievements by team members.

Whether it’s a gold pin adorning a jacket lapel or a cash bonus presented at a company convention, MLM companies are always seeking unique ways to celebrate members who step out of their comfort zones to reach specific goals.

However, never assume that the company’s commission and recognition through pins and certificates are sufficient. Many team members actually value personal recognition more than financial bonuses. As a team leader, your team will look to you for recognition. For instance, you can create monthly recognition lists to acknowledge members who achieve specific targets. More often than not, those members express more excitement about being on the list than the actual commission earned.

Art Williams, the founder of Primerica, understood the importance of recognition. In the early days, he handed out T-shirts with motivational slogans to representatives. Guess what? Earning these T-shirts became the sole goal for many new reps. On the other hand, Organo Gold, a coffee company and network marketing giant, introduced a “knighthood” ceremony to honor leaders who demonstrated determination, hard work, and vision.

There are numerous ways to recognize your team. Just be creative. Work with other leaders to devise a plan and make sure you deliver rewards to well-deserving candidates at the right times.

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