10 Things I Learned from Failing MLM
MLM is a hard business to succeed at, but with any business there is a way. Here’s what NOT to do in 10 Things I Learned from Failing MLM.
A lot of beginner distributors in MLM get desperate and hype up their business opportunity and make it sound like tons of cash is easily attainable.
People fall for this and join and then wait for tons of cash to come in. They quit soon after when they realize it wasn’t easily happening.
I was lucky enough to not fall for this. I had been making a little money online before I discovered network marketing and knew that there was no get-rich-quick scheme that worked on the Internet.
But, many people fail when they buy into this “hype.” Just be careful what you listen to.
2. One Lead equals One Upgrade
I was naïve enough to think that one Lead that I got online would turn into a buying customer or distributor.
I remember getting 6 leads about my third day in MLM and thought that they were all going to upgrade.
Later I realized that Leads were simply people looking at my opportunity and that it took hundreds of Leads to get a couple sign-ups.
Don’t get bummed out if you have brought in a 100 leads and no one signed up. Go through the numbers and you will eventually get some members to join.
The lowest conversion rate is usually 1%, so worst case scenario is you need to bring in 100 Leads to get 1 IBO (Independent Business Owner.)
Hang in there.
As you get better at “closing” your Leads those conversion rates will get a lot better. Leads will also join someone the more they know, like and trust, so put your personality out there and try to stay away from sounding like everyone else.
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3. Over-Abrasive Sponsor
When I joined my network marketing company, I thought they would call and bug me every day and push me to do things I didn’t want to do.
Surprisingly, he only called once two weeks later to see if I needed anything. I let my voice mail get the call, but I was pleasantly surprised that he didn’t hound me, that he was simply there if I needed anything.
Most old-school leaders would be shaking their heads right now and think that my sponsor should have done this or done that with me, like get on 3-way calls, which I will never do, but I would have quit if my sponsor was pushy.
Not all new distributors want to dive into something they know nothing about. Many need to read a couple books and watch a couple MLM videos to get a grasp of what they are getting into. I’m glad my sponsor was hands-off.
I’m not ruling out that sponsors shouldn’t get on the phone right away with new sponsors. There are many leaders out there that get new distributors going right away, that’s fine, but not my style.
Let your new distributors come to you after your first call or introductory email. Just my opinion.
Many people are afraid to join MLM and network marketing because they think they will have to buy tons of product only to be left gathering dust in their garage.
Those days are over fortunately.
I was told upfront that I only needed to buy one bottle a month to be able to receive full commissions in the company and that anybody who ordered through my order form would get the product directly from the manufacturer, not me.
But, many people still think of the old days of Avon and Amway, where people bought a lot of product (called “front loading”) to get bumped up to another sales level in order to receive more commissions.
We don’t need to sell our products out the backs of our vans, or push it onto our neighbors. MLM has evolved, if you want my product you sign up through my capture form. I’m not going to be bugging you.
5. Bugging Family and Friends
Most sponsors will tell new distributors to make a “warm market” list of all their friends and family and choose the best 10 or 20 and go prospect them.
I knew this wasn’t going to happen either.
I had moved away from a town that was no longer positive for me and all my old friends were Alcoholics and I knew my parents didn’t want my opportunity.
So, Warm Market List was out.
Many old-school leaders will swear that you need to start with warm market before going into cold market prospecting, but that is only to get your feet wet.
They don’t want you to crash and burn with strangers. They want you to start MLM in training wheels, practicing on your loved ones first, because loved ones will usually go easy on you or say “yes” because they love and support you.
But, friends and family are usually horrible at network marketing. So, in my opinion, start with strangers looking for your opportunity on the internet. Save the embarrassment and burning bridges of family relationships.
6. Powerful Testimonial
I realized shortly after joining network marketing that “facts tell, stories sell.”
All the leaders had powerful stories of how the product transformed their life and their family’s life. A powerful personal testimonial will push you through the hard times in MLM.
A powerful testimonial will attract people to your opportunity. My story was pretty solid because the product did work for me, but some people make the mistake of not even taking their product, therefore having no testimonial. Stories sell. . .Make it good and honest.
7. Teaching Duplication
Network marketing success relies on “duplication.” This is where you get new distributors and teach them to recruit and teach their distributors how to recruit, etc.
With duplication, you can get hundreds or thousands of people on your team and earn residual, passive income from their entire monthly volume.
This is also called “leveraged income,” where you earn off of the efforts of others rather than just yourself. It’s almost impossible to make millions yourself, but you can with leverage in network marketing.
8. Connecting with people
I admit, I am an introvert and the last thing I wanted to do was talk to a lot of people about my business.
Fortunately, there’s a place for Introverts like me in network marketing. We can blog and make videos, and help other introverts succeed.
You can create your own unique brand in MLM. You don’t need to copy anyone else. Network marketing is about “networking.” I failed at this in the beginning until I found my unique voice.
9. Leaders Leave
If you stay in MLM long enough you will see some big leaders come and go in this business. This happened to me, where four leaders actually left and it was devastating, one was even the CEO, so I was really scared because I thought he was the owner.
Eventually a new CEO stepped in and new leaders replaced the old ones. Luckily, I didn’t freak out and follow those original leaders because who knows where they are now.
It’s important to stay committed to your company, especially if you love the products. The grass is not greener in a new MLM. You just have to start over!
10. Quitting MLM is the only true failure
The point of this article is that I really didn’t “fail” because I am still going.
The point is there will be a lot of learning and hardships in this business or any business for that matter and if you keep going and hustling, you will never fail.
Failing is when you completely stop. It’s when you toss in the towel and never come back.
MLM is a real business and has a huge upside potential to finally get you supplemental income, change people’s lives and get you out of your 40 year job you don’t particularly like.
It’s worth it to bust your butt for 4 to 7 years to make more than you ever did at your job. Network marketing is the last wild frontier, where there is no income cap and you can earn millions if that’s what you want to do.
Thanks for reading! Please comment below if you found value and share on your social.
Erik Christian Johnson
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Erik Christian Johnson is a full-time blogger, self-development advocate, and full-time network marketing Entrepreneur.