How to Succeed in Network Marketing

Network marketing is a business that combines direct selling of products and/or services with recruiting of sales representatives. Network marketing businesses function by recruiting salespeople to sell a product or service and then offer additional commissions based on the sales of people recruited into a downline (a team of people that includes direct recruits as well as the recruits of those recruits, etc.). In some network marketing businesses, there can be six or more levels of people receiving commissions from one person’s sales.

Network marketing offers an opportunity for people to grow their income by recruiting others to join their team. Building your personal team can be personally and financially rewarding. In doing so, you’re providing an opportunity for others to start their own business. At the same time, you’ll increase your own earning potential as you earn commissions on your team’s sales.

As with other aspects of your work, growing your business by building a team is most successful if you follow a step-by-step process.

1. Identify potential team members

The best way to start building your team is to cast as wide a net as possible. Remember: anyone can be a potential team member. Let others tell you whether or not they’re interested – don’t decide beforehand!

The path to team-building success involves talking to as many people as possible about the business opportunity. The only way you can fail is to not talk to enough people. Network marketing is not about convincing people, it’s really about finding the right prospects—people ready for an opportunity.

As you start building your team, create a list of people you already know who might be prospective team members. In addition to the names on your prospect list, below are some questions that might help you identify team members:

  • Who is there in your world who might like to do your business but has never even thought about it?
  • Who can you think of that needs additional part-time income to help with the monthly bills -- or would like extra money for something special – like a vacation or a new car?
  • What about some of the single parents you know who would prefer to work from home rather than go to an office? Or a couple where both parents work, and one might prefer an opportunity to earn an income while working at home?
  • What about someone who is tired of being a “worker bee” and wants a career where the hours are flexible?
  • Any of the people who fit these descriptions are great prospects for your team.

Before you start approaching prospective team members, learn how to tell your story, introduce the opportunity, overcome objections, and follow-up.

2. Tell your story

First and foremost, people will want to learn why you are excited about the business opportunity and what benefits you have experienced. The best place to start is usually with your own story, sharing with others why you chose to pursue the opportunity and what you have achieved. And if you’re new to your business, talk about what others have achieved. Be prepared to answer questions such as:

  • What first drew you to the opportunity?
  • What specific aspects of the company and the work convinced you it was the right thing to do?
  • What have your results been so far?
  • What have been the experiences of others – so far?
  • What has been most rewarding?
  • Was it hard to get started?
  • Is there a lot of support when you begin?
  • Now that you’ve started your own business, what do you imagine accomplishing?
  • Are there a lot of recruits in your area?

The more information you provide, the more opportunity people have to make an informed decision.

3. Discuss the opportunity and answer questions

Introducing people to your opportunity is very similar to explaining your business to people who may be interested in buying your product or service. Just as you explain the benefits of your products and services, you’ll want to tell people about the many benefits of being part of your team.

Make sure you talk about how the opportunity works (walk them through the website, show sample marketing materials or products and give a brief explanation of how they’ll get paid).

Because you’ve gone through the decision-making process and have started your business, you already know most of the questions and concerns a prospective team member might have. Below are some questions you should be prepared to answer and some possible answers.

  • What are the advantages of your business?
  • How much money will I earn?
  • Where will I find business?
  • What kind of support is there?
  • How do I get started?
  • I’ve never sold anything before. Can I really do it?

4. Overcome objections

Don’t let objections throw you—expect them and be prepared to answer them. How you handle objections cam determine your level of success. Below are some typical reasons why your prospects might object:

  • They don’t have enough information
  • They want to slow down their decision process
  • They want some questions answered
  • They are not confident enough to make the next step

Practice the techniques below to overcome objections.

Technique #1: Never disagree or argue with your prospect. You may win the argument, but you’ll lose the prospect.

Technique #2: Listen very carefully to the prospect’s objections. Some objections are just a way of getting more information to make an educated decision.

Technique #3: Build trust. “I understand what you’re saying.” “I don’t blame you for feeling that way.” “I am glad you brought that up and I shared the same concern…”

Technique #4: Don’t try and sell someone on the idea or the concept. The harder the sell the less active they will be in your team.

Keep in mind that not everyone will be interested in joining your team. Don’t waste time trying to convince people who aren’t interested. Remember: you’re offering a business opportunity to everyone, but people have to make their own decision.

5. Make the close

As you near the end of your discussion with a potential team member, you will want to encourage your prospect to make a decision whether to join your team. There are three stages in getting to the decision phase:

1. Answer all questions

2. Handle any objections

3. Ask for the commitment

Never end the discussion without asking for a commitment to join. Of course, many prospects will want to think about it but you have set the ground work for the decision to be made.

6. Follow up

Following up is as important as the close. The more quickly you follow up, the greater chance you’ll have to build on the initial enthusiasm you created. The longer you wait, the more risk you take of your prospect losing interest.

1. Following up on a YES

When your prospect says YES, that means you’ve done your job well! Contact them within the first 48 hours; create a plan for them based on their goals.

2. Following up on a Maybe or a NO

Many prospects that say “no” may mean “not just now”— so you can still try to establish a relationship with the person. There is always the chance that his or her situation may change in the future. Some of the most successful team builders have said “no” to the opportunity more than once.

The following guidelines will help you build a relationship with a “not yet” prospect:

  • Ask for permission to call again in two months.
  • Send a thank-you note or email, saying you appreciate his or her time.
  • Send the prospect an occasional e-mail with news of your company.
  • Call the prospect in two months to catch up, and then from time to time thereafter.

7. Guide by positive example

To be a successful team leader, you need to guide by positive example. You also need to be a role model for your team by demonstrating steady progress and dependability in all of your relationships.

A factor in your success is your ability to duplicate your success through others so that you can multiply your earning abilities with each new team member you recruit.

One of the key ingredients to building a successful team is to get team members to succeed quickly. Early success breeds confidence, enthusiasm – and more success.


  • The best way for new team members to start out strong is to learn from others who are already successful and who have a vested interest in mentoring them.

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