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“How’s Your Downline Growing?”
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It’s long been my observation, and my concern, that some of the major causes of downline attrition are created by;

1. The lack of people skills training,

1. The emphasis of getting a check into a new Distributors hands as soon as possible.

1. The push to get a new Distributor to the first major level or title of the compensation plan, as quickly as possible, without emphasis on building a strong and sustainable downline first.

self help books, MLM consultants, MLM Product MLM Secret,

I decided to explore the effects of this last concern of mine, with a top Distributor I know.
Here is how the Dialogue went. (please note: while this concern is on my agenda, I am letting my agenda guide me, not manipulate me in the dialogue).

John, why is it, do you think, so many Distributor’s seem to flounder after a strong and focused one month campaign to get them to the first major level in the compensation plan?

I’m not sure. I know that many in my own downline just stop after having reached the level of …. in our plan.

What effect then does that have on you and your business if any?

Well – it takes extra time for me to keep my team motivated to continue the work, and it’s a never ending task of finding new Distributors to take up the slack and keep the organization growing…

So how many of your Distributor’s would you say, when they reach this level, just stop and do very little afterwards?

Truthfully?

Truthfully!

Most of them.

“Most of them” being what percentage would you estimate?

About 60 – 80%!

How do you feel about those numbers?

Now that I come to think about it – not great… it’s a problem. In fact it’s a problem for many of our leading Distributors.

Can I ask how you got to your first major pin level? Did you do it within a month or over a period of time?

I did it in the second month after starting… with the support of my upline…

And then what happened afterwards?

I continued hard at it to maintain the momentum and to build my business to where it is today.

Did it take the same or more effort than the previous month?

I would say.. a lot more effort, because my upline wasn’t able to give me the same support as before.

And was that OK with you?

Sure… I’ve been in business before so I know it takes effort and tenacity.

Did you have a good personal motive and drive to continue the hard work you put in that month you reached the pin level?

Yes… it was a matter of necessity for me.

And your downline? Would you say that the downline you built was strong and brought in a steady growth of residual income for you?

Not really – it went up and down… still does really.

More up or down?

Hate to say it – more often down, especially nowadays!

How do you feel about that?

Well, I’m committed, so even though it’s sometimes depressing and takes a lot of hard work, I just keep going. Stopping doesn’t help does it?

Well, for me I guess it depends on what you’re stopping! Do you see an end to constantly having to be on top of it?

Eventually I hope.

John, why is it do you think that when you get behind a new Distributor and do a big push to reach a major pin level, that most, once they get to that point, just stop and do nothing?

Beats me! I think it’s lack of real motivation… not having a strong enough ‘why’… other things coming along… they find it’s hard work… that sort of thing…

What if there was another reason, a reason perhaps so debilitating that it’s almost impossible for you to reverse it once it’s in motion?

What do you mean?

Well, rather than me tell you, let’s see if an observation of mine is one that affects you. Would you be willing to share with me the profile of one of your downline who went quickly to the first major level within the first month or two joining you, and then stopped?

OK?

Thanks. How much volume did this person buy themselves that month?

Let me think… I would say about 25%.

Who bought the remainder?

Hmmm… I’d say about 40% was bought by her parents and friends who wanted to help. People who I put under her from my own sales bought the remainder. I bought some items I needed as well to help out.

Of the 40% sold to family and friends – were you involved in the process of talking with them?

Yes, I was involved quite a lot…

And why do you think they bought?

Why they bought…? As I said, I think they wanted to help, and we also explained they could get their money back over time because we would put our new people under them.

So who did most of the work? Was it you or your new Distributor?

I would say it was a joint effort, but I probably did most of it to demonstrate how it can be done.

And where was everyone at the first of the following month after she had attained that level?

What do you mean?

Well where were you and the people who helped her… still rallying around, or was she left alone to move forward on her own?

Well, the goal was reached and while we were able to give her some support afterwards we all had to move on.

So could it be the reason she did very little from that point was that she could have been feeling dejected because she knew deep down she had not done the work, didn’t really know how to do it on her own… and was no longer feeling confident because the support wasn’t there… because, with the best intention in the world… it was all done for her?

It’s an interesting point!

And what if this made her feel so psychologically devastated, that it made her doubt her own abilities and personal value? Not only that, what if her self-doubt prevented her from keeping her promise of finding others to put under the people she sponsored and it only made matters worse?

I think you might have something there…

Not to put too much pressure on you John! Would you also say on reflection, that while she might have established a higher level in the hierarchy and made some income… at the end of the day, no one really made anything? In other words, she didn’t really have the experience or confidence to build a solid downline on which she could build and maintain the income, and as a result, nether did you?

I would say you’re right!

So could this be a cause of your own on-going situation then, where you have to constantly work at replacing your downline as they constantly leave?

You have a point there…

So what do you think could be done about it?

I’m not sure, but I’m guessing you have an idea!!!

Well, what if at the beginning you spend more time and emphasis on training your Distributor’s to have the people skills on how to approach, attract and talk with potential partners and customers, and less emphasis on placing the importance of having them reach a pin level, or getting a check in their hands as soon as possible by doing the work for them? If you did that, do you think your new Distributors would ultimately be more confident because they’ll know what they are doing, will do it, and achieve the methodical growth and consistently higher revenue for them and for you?

I think you might be onto something there!

How about you? Do you think we might be onto something there?Is Your ‘Call’ Objective the Right One?

Your main Objective when calling a lead is to QUALIFY both the person you’re talking with and yourself! Yes. That’s right… and yourself. You must also help the other person discover that you and your solution are right for them as much as they are right for you.

In Natural Selling, the WHOLE conversation is one of qualifying. That’s a reason why you ask questions – LOTS of them! And PLEASE – don’t be drawn into thinking you must qualify them in the first 15 seconds. That’s old conventional stuff that’s based on churning through people as fast as you can. You’ll lose more opportunities than you’ll gain by taking that attitude and approach.

Take time when you call.
Treat people not as objects for you to get what you want; treat them as people and find out how you can help get what they really want. It’s usually never money, time or freedom. It’s something much deeper and meaningful than that!) Take time and they’ll tell you and they’ll return the compliment by listening to you when it’s your turn!

Your other main OBJECTIVES are then to either:

(1) Sponsor them.
(2) Take an agreed on action step toward sponsoring them.
(3) Bow out of the conversation because you know you can’t help them.

You achieve your Objectives by focusing on your PURPOSE which is:

1. Confirming and understanding what they are looking for, and why they are looking (What their REAL problems are – if any.)
2. Identifying their desire and level of commitment to change or adjust from what they’re doing to what they want to do. (Remember: “The degree that a person will change from what they are doing is dependent on the degree of discomfort they feel about their present circumstances as they talk with you.”)
3. Identifying whether you have the correct solution for them.
Using Your Sales Tools to Take Action Steps
Once you’ve confirmed the above you can then suggest taking an Action Step together. An Action Step is either to have their commitment to…

(1) Join you and/or buy your product
(2) Look at the specific Sales Aids that will help them move forward to making a decision. This could be suggesting and helping your lead…

 Look at a relevant area on your website
 Listen to a specific tape that will address their question.
 Look at the relevant spot in a brochure

Invite them to a meeting, and many more.

All the above are SALES AIDS. You must use only the specific sales aids to help them find out what they need to know. They are like tools in a toolbox. They are only effective when you use the RELEVANT TOOL that has the RELEVANT FEATURES that will answer the RELEVANT questions or concerns a person might have.

So for example, your lead might want to know more about the integrity of your company. So first it’s important to find out…

“What do you mean when you say ‘integrity’?”

You can then ask…

“What would you like to see to have your questions satisfied?”

Then offer them the correct aids that will help them find out. (e.g., your website, people they can talk with, trying your products, etc.)

Don’t be trapped into thinking your Objective from the very beginning is to get them to do something. If you ask and listen they will steer you as to what sales aids to use, and what steps to take next.

Choosing the right sales tools will also show you’ve been LISTENING! This is all part of QUALIFYING. Spend TIME doing it. Most of it can be done on the phone! Saves time, money, emotional frustration… and, will build you a team that will stay the course

Have a peaceful and prosperous week…

Michael
Natural Selling® Sales Training
For Personal & Business Success

Reprinted with permission from Michael Oliver, Natural Selling® Sales Training

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