Top 7 Ways To Build A Winning Downline

By Marige OBrien

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To be successful in Multi-Level Marketing (MLM), one must first understand the initial premise on which it was founded, as well as the long range dynamics. Only by doing this can a marketer hope to achieve any permanent and long-lasting income from MLM. Until a marketer fully grasps these fundamentals, they will be caught in a losing loop, never able to make it work for them.

First, MLM is not unique or original to online programs. Avon, Mary Kay and many other offline companies used MLM long before the internet was more than a glimmer in a computer whiz's eye. And little has changed about it since those early days. The basic dynamic is this: in any company that has a large, wide-spread sales team, rather than having many sales people all reporting to a few regional managers, it would be more effective to change the traditional sales manager/salesperson structure and make EVERY salesperson responsible for both bringing in new sales people and training them. In return, the company would reward the original salesperson with a portion of the commission from their trainees.

By doing this, each sales person in their normal course of business will then have an incentive to not only sell the product, but to bring in, train and motivate other sales people, as well. Thus the responsibilities of a traditional manager, i.e., training, is also spread evenly among the whole sales team. Theoretically, this ensures that even with a massive amount of salespeople, each one will receive personal attention.

However, in transferring this concept to the online arena, a certain amount of de-personalization has taken place and, because of it, many people have signed up to various MLM systems without being fully aware of this concept, while others have focused so exclusively on the sign-up process they do not follow up on it. As a result, it has become commonplace for "uplines" to not even realize a very important part of their responsibility (training, motivating) and completely forego it, resulting in sign ups that are completely ignored, who then, in turn ignore their own, few sign-ups... the end result of this is a breakdown in the whole MLM system. Furthermore -- and far more devastating -- is the long-range result, which is a pervuasive attitude that "this is how it is." Thus, leading to the generally mistaken belief that all MLMs are scams, that only a very small portion of marketers ever profit, that the secret is to get in early, etc., etc.

All of which is a huge mistake.

Some cynics may say, "sure, sure-- right. Like anyone ever succeeds with MLM." But, cynics by definition always see the glass as half empty. To their credit, it's true that there WILL always be people who ignore their downlines and forever struggle to succeed in MLM. Just as there will always be cynics. The important thing is that each person decide whether their glass is half-empty-- or half-FULL. Because that's where it begins: with the individual, making up their mind that they are going to succeed with MLM.

Because once they do, the rest falls into place.

Another important factor is understanding what the personal long-range goal of any MLM marketer should be: To build a strong, dynamic team under themselves, one that will become self-perpetuating. This is not a one-shot, easy business. This takes time and energy. But it can be done successfully in a relatively short time (think months), once a marketer realizes the objective.

To obtain this object, one must simply follow these steps:

  1. Communicate personally with each and every sign-up

    This is one of the single most important things you can do to begin building a strong team. As soon as you learn that you have a new sign up, begin by emailing them with a cheerful welcome and thank you for joining your team. Give them your contact information -- email, IM and telephone # -- and invite them to contact you with questions. Also, include whatever personal observations about the program/company that you've discovered since joining yourself. And, last but not least, invite them to tell you a little about themselves, their experience, etc.

    Equally important (and sometimes very difficult for "seasoned" marketers): do NOT pitch anything to them. Remember: you're building a team, not just trying to make another sale. If you do nothing but send a sales pitch, you will probably not only fail at the sale, you will also alienate them, which is counter-productive to your long-range goal. And, this, more than anything else, is the primary reason so many MLM marketers fail. Too much aggression, too early, only drives people away.

    At this juncture, some will respond and others won't. For those that do not, send a second email that is more to the point, but still polite and cheerful. Something like, "hey Joe! Did you get the welcome email I sent last Tuesday? I've been waiting to hear back from you." This let's them know that you really do want and expect to hear from them. If you still don't, then let it go, but include them in any general downline mailings (see below).

  2. Get to know each person on your team

    When you hear back from them, they will most probably tell you something of their experience; how long they've been marketing; if they have a website, etc. Plus, they will ask whatever questions they may have. Respond to this email as soon as possible. If they have questions to which you don't have the answer, then find the answer. Go to your upline or submit a ticket to the company's support system. While they could do this themselves (and you could just say, "do that yourself") this is also counter-productive to building a team. It is better if you find out and pass it on, not only because it will help build your relationship, but because YOU will learn something about the company, too.

    Also, if possible, in your response invite the person to call you and provide your telephone number, as well as offering to call them instead. You can get to know each other much more quickly and successfully simply by picking up the telephone. (If you don't have national or international telephone service, consider getting it, as it is an integral part to working effectively with your team and a very worthwhile investment in your business.)

  3. Provide support

    The main idea behind supporting your team is to genuinely help them to succeed. How this is achieved, depends very much on a particular situation. It can be a group support, such as emailing them with the latest sales ideas and tactics on a weekly basis, as well as with any company news, passing along whatever tips or tricks or bit of information you've found helpful. If this seems too much like "helping the competition," remember that when "Refferal A" gets a sale or sign-up, you get a commission just for being his upline. Sure, we'd all love to get all the sales and sign ups ourselves, but that isn't very realistic.

    Plus, ask yourself this important question: do I want to work at this all the time, forever, for the rest of my life? OR do I want to eventually be able to sit back and simply cash the checks? When you're building a team, what you're doing is building an income from their sales and referrals. And if you do it successfully, you will eventually be able to 'live the dream' as so many programs promise.

    As a team builds, a marketer may even create a special opt-in list just to contact their downline more efficiently. Having group meetings IS an effective way to work with your team, once it begins to build. Plus, they can invite their own new sign ups to join these meetings, which is another way that you can support them effectively.

  4. Follow up

    Besides responding to requests, as mentioned above, it is also important to continue contacting members, even when they do not respond. Not responding does not necessarily mean non-participation. There are some who are more outspoken and others who are more passive. Being passive won't help them succeed but as long as you are offering your best, you know your job is done.

  5. It's YOUR Team-- Own it!

    As a team begins to grow, many marketers either feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of such a large team or mistakenly believe their job is done. Neither is the case. But the job does change as an MLM marketer progresses. It is very common, at some point, to feel all they are doing is supporting their downline. Many marketers at this point fail to understand that this is actually a very good milestone. It means they have reached a level at which they can and should forego actively bringing in their own sign-ups and focus on helping their team bring in THEIR sign ups.


    Because (and, of course, assuming the MLM system is at least 3-5 levels deep), the entire idea IS to create a team that is self-perpetuating; the marketer's first sign ups should be training their own sign ups and supporting them, and developing their own teams. All of which are UNDER the initial marketer (you). When a marketer reaches this point, it is actually a very good moment. But too often, marketers do not recognise this moment. Instead, they keep building a team, sometimes until it is gargantuan and quite impossible to support at all. I've seen marketers create teams of 300-400 people... and keep right on building it, mistakenly believing this is the path to success. It's as though they are caught in a dance that they cannot end. And, because they only focus on bringing in more people (rather than supporting those they've already brought in), it is a self-perpetuating dance they are doomed to break down.

    Rather, it is better to teach their downlines to do the same dance... so they can then take a breather.

  6. Be Realistic

    BUT: do NOT sit back (another classic mistake) and think you can now retire. A marketer can cut back on their work at this point, but never rely completely on their downline to do everything. Keep involved, follow up. Because, for any number of reasons (everything from a changed personal situation to an act of God) people will, despite your best efforts, drop out. A wonderful, healthy downline left untended is like a garden that is not looked after properly. In a single season, all that's left are weeds. So stay in close communication with your most successful members and when someone drops out, take up the reigns to make sure their downline still receives the same support, either from you directly or from someone you've come to trust.

  7. Empower Them

    A huge part of all this success is passing on everything you know to your downline. But many, many marketers hate to do this. They dispise telling others what they perceive as their "secrets" to success.

    Only the truly successful MLM marketers understand that their downline's success IS their success. That when their downline makes money THEY make money-- and that doing everything in their power to help them succeed IS the smartest thing they can do. Anyone who witholds any kind of information is only shooting themselves in the foot and guaranteeing, again, a perpetual dance. It's the ego saying, "I have to be the best." But it's humility that will win.

MARIGE O'BRIEN is a successful writer, marketer and sometime web designer. Her website, Tracker Mo's Den (http://www.trackermo.com) focuses on helping marketers transition to working online and includes her popular ebook, Tracker Mo's Bootcamp ([http://www.trackermo.com/bootcamp/index.php]), which is based on her experiences helping her referrals succeed.

Source: http://Top7Business.com/?expert=Marige_OBrien

Article Submitted On: August 28, 2007