The problem with sponsoring dreamers

Image courtesy of and Maen_cg


I am having the worst luck with my network marketing company. I love the products, and I have a steady stream of customers, but I’m having a hard time finding people to sponsor. The purpose of me doing this business in the first place is to create some residual income from other people’s sales…but most of them flake out! What can I do?

In various businesses, I have encountered many people who say that they are committed, who say that they want to make a change in their lives, but never really follow through.

These people amaze me, as I’m pretty much a “you see what you get” kinda gal. Generally, if I say I’m going to do something, you can guarantee that I’ll do it. Or something major got in my way.

I’ve done various MLMs, with varying degrees of success. In 2002, I joined an MLM that dealt with e-commerce, and I remember the very first person I sponsored was a man in his 60’s. He spun wonderful tales about how he worked for the Chamber of Commerce, and had all of these contacts, and he was really excited about the business, which entailed e-commerce. He wasn’t really familiar with the Internet, he didn’t use email, and he had never shopped online.

It made me wonder why he was interested in starting an online business. But, he was eager and interested, so, not knowing any better, I signed him up.

Knowing now what I did then, I realize that he believed in my enthusiasm more than he believed in the company. He never attended business meetings or training phone calls. He never contacted those 600+ people he knew in the Chamber. He expected to just sit and watch me sponsor person after person, reaping the benefits of my work since he was in my down-line. Even though the business was based on e-commerce, he never once bought from himself…thereby never earning a profit.

The second person I sponsored was a single woman with three kids. She had sales experience, and was eager to get started. Since I needed help contacting prospects, she gladly did so.

But then the excuses came. She came up with every reason under the sun why she couldn’t do this or that. She was constantly complaining about everything, and how she couldn’t get a break. The whole world was against her, and it wasn’t her fault.

That particular MLM was a conglomeration of several, so there are many opportunities depending where your interest lies. We had health products, telephone services, legal services, and more. Wouldn’t you know, it that instead of working the business, this woman went out and signed on with some of the same companies independently? She thought that there was better opportunity elsewhere, not even realizing that she was already a distributor of those companies. She didn’t take the time to get to know the business before jumping to the next.

After working with these two, I sat down and I made a list of qualities and attributes of people I wanted to work with. I created a questionnaire, and made people put together a business and marketing plan. If they didn’t know where to start, I could guide them, but from this simple exercise, I could tell who was ready to put in the effort to make a profit. After all, isn’t that why we’re in business in the first place? I would suggest taking similar steps for anyone who is looking to sponsor someone in business. Take some time to figure out who you want to work with…don’t just accept anyone into your downline. Make sure they have an entrepreneurial heart and aren’t just starry-eyed dreamers who have been seduced by the idea of big homes and fancy cars.

When you’re starting a business, it isn’t a matter of being ruthless, or working non-stop. Successful people make the commitment: they outline achievable goals and discipline themselves to reach them. They follow-through with customers, prospects, and their up-line. And most importantly, they are willing to change what isn’t working, and learn from others who have already walked the path.


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