"I’m doing everything my upline says, but nothing’s working."

Nothing’s working. Isn’t that the mantra of the day?

Before we blame her for not trying hard enough, let’s play Doctor.

Dr. Dingaling: Lulu – what do you enjoy more – going after customers or recruiting?

“Customers. I love my products.”

Dr. D: Great, so what seems to be the problem?

“I don’t have enough time to talk to enough people to make sales. And most of them say no.”

Dr. D: OK question. If you sell $100 worth of product to a customer how much do you make?

[after a long pause] “About $6 -7.”

Dr. D: I see…

“My upline is into recruiting, not customers., so she’s not that interested in helping me get customers.”

Dr. D: Ahhh.

Hint: $6-7 is a very small amount of money to make for the effort involved to make a 100% commission sale of $100. How many hours of time talking does it take to get a customer at all? And we know only a small percent go on auto-ship for that back-end residual income.

Lulu has no previous sales or business experience, so she has no way of knowing that she could make much more on a $100 order if she were to sell something else she liked. Her upline is into recruiting, not customers., so she’s not interested in helping Lulu much with this.

If you were Dr. D (an outside analyst), what would you suggest she do?

The New School referral scripts for customers – a customer book and CD program to help you. Language to help you present your business opportunity – a business opportunity CD set and cribsheet .

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • I would tell Lulu to find another upline member to help her.

    If a sponsor isn’t willing to teach Lulu how to sell products effectively, or that she could sell more products from the line – or she could reap benefits of recruiting others to help her sell products with her limited time frame…

    then my advice to Lulu would be to find someone who WILL.

  • I’d be looking for another company AND support team that see more value in building a strong customer base. Not all companies are the same and not all comp plan are the same either.

    As many have said, there is a company that’s a fit for each and everyone of us. Lulu’s company or upline may not be a good match for her.
    It can be sometimes dificult to change companies. Some may have invested large amount of money, hours and hours of hard work and the ego can get in the way…

    But, all in all, it’s up to us to find our place.

  • I would advise her to either start recruiting people or get a sales job that will pay a much higher commission.

  • “Lulu, if you want to sell and want to earn right now income, find a product you love and sell it and put NWM on the back burner. Product sales will normally trump NWM for income in the short run. On the other hand, NWM income will potentially dwarf sales in the long run. Short term results vs long term results is your decision, like many things in life…

  • Lulu, unless you are tied to the hip with this company/product…find a company/product that is worth your time.

    Is your time worth $6/7?

    Would you work out in the “real world” for pocket change? Then you should never expect less from a company that you are staking your future on.

    Teddy Roosevelt spoke softly and carried a big stick…I speak louder and I carry a bigger stick.

    Don’t let the company or your upline push you around around.

    One upline I knew told me that they were not going to even consider working with me unless I purchased the $3000 pack and joined their recruiting task force.

    I hit them with the stick (lol).

    Matthew Adams

  • Seven dollars on a hundred dollar sale? I’d say Lulu needs another company! AND she needs to find a
    sponsor who understands the importance of a customer base.

  • I’d tell her to find a company that pays in money. Not in peanuts.

    And it would also be good if the company would actually TRAIN you for a job.

    Rather you are a surgeon, ditch digger, or anything else in between, you need to get TRAINING to do your job.

    Just about everybody gets carried away because they like a product. And NEVER find out if the business is any good 🙁

    Pat Crosby

  • I think some of the posters to this comment are missing the mark about some of the fundamentals of network marketing.

    Five, six or seven percent? If that is on a monthly order, then that time Lulu spent (on $100) turns into $60 (using 5%) for the year and $1200 over 20 years. Not too shabby. If it was 50% on that hundred for a one time product (such as a course – no offense Kim) it would only equate to $50 for that same amount of time.

    Now, if she spent say 4 hours to make the sale for the first scenario she would have made $300/hour while with the second she would only garner $12.50 per hour. Which is the better deal?

    As far as that goes, I would tell her to not worry about the income aspect of an individual sale. I would also tell her to keep in touch after the sale by providing additional information and checking to make sure that everything is ok.

    Now for a bit of legal information. Just because a company is set up for network marketing doesn’t mean an individual cannot be brought up on charges of pyramid building. So, going only after distributors/associates may seem to be the way to build your business to get a lot of money quickly, it can be inherently dangerous.

    To this I would tell her to just keep making sales. If someone really likes what she is providing she would then be able to enroll them as an associate or distributor.

    Now for Dr. D’s response to the original situation:
    1. Build an email list of your customers and send out a regular email to accomplish several things and takes only a few minutes each time:
    a. It keeps your name and product in front of your current customers;
    b. You can use it to introduce them to other products;
    c. Give them hints, tips and tricks (as well as other useful information.
    2. Make contact with other network marketers in your geographic location:
    a. You can see what others are doing and learn what works for them (it may not work for you but it may get you thoughts flowing);
    b. You can observe as an outsider how people respond in these kind of situations;
    c. You can build a support network to help each other.
    d. You may even find a “power partner” to work with.
    3. Think outside the box (like a “geurilla”). Think about unusual (and inexpensive) ways to catch peoples eyes.
    4. Be consistant in what you do.
    5. Use your home based business tax deductions to advantage.
    6. Treat your business as a business – even if you are only doing it part time. It is not so much how much time as it is how much QUALITY time you put into it.
    7. Be passionate about your business but don’t be a zealot.
    8. Pre-screen your prospects to help you effectively use your time to make the sale by gauging their interest. Don’t waste time trying to make someone interested that just keeps blowing you off – however, don’t give up on them either!
    9. Take a course in public speaking or join an organization like Toastmasters to learn how and gain confidence in public speaking.
    10. Take courses like Kim Klaver’s to learn how the business really works.
    11. See if you can find someone in your upline who can help or, if there is another person who you are absolutely sure can help, see if you can switch to their downline (I don’t know how many companies allow this and there may be restrictions and some tough requirements to make it happen.)

    I am currently involved with 2 mlm companies one pays 5% (company a)and the other currently pays me 36% (company b). Company b sounds like the better deal right? Company a provides tangible consumable products while company b is basically an intangible service. People like and prefer tangible stuff versus intangibles (like insurance and such). Which is better? It has taken me a year to get to the 36% level in company b (I needed 5 orders for about $200 in commissions). I just did a 10 minute presentation for 16 people for company a’s products and have 5 orders which will give me about $20. Which is better?

    Just to let you know I am just getting started and still learning and have (unfortunately) treated both as part time businesses.

    Pre-Paid Legal Services
    Wise Man Oils

  • Hi Curt – thanks for your thoughts. You write:

    “Now, if she spent say 4 hours to make the sale for the first scenario she would have made $300/hour while with the second she would only garner $12.50 per hour. Which is the better deal?”

    Not sure I get that…Can you unravel that a bit?

    Also, 6-7% is a very low commission on products costing less than $100. Many companies pay more, to make the effort worth while. I don’t teach anyone to do product sales for the one time score. The fun is the repeat sales.

    However, those are VERY hard to get. If she makes 10 sales, and it takes say 3 hours of contact time per sale, she might get 1 or 2 who go on auto-ship. So for 8 of those sales, she’s working for $2/hour, and that isn’t even guaranteed. (She earns $6 and spends 3 hours to earn it = $2/hour – MAYBE.)

    Residual is always the goal, no question, but that doesn’t mean the person needs to work for a pittance.

    I’d never do a company where all they paid for customers was 6-7%.

    The minimum to make it worth someone’s time is 10%, and it should be more like 15-20% by the time you get to the intermediate level in the pay plan. I mean the rep should receive 15-20% of what the customer pays for the product – on autoship (not the inflated retail price).

    Most people just don’t know other companies pay better for doing the same thing – selling product, I mean.

    It’s just a question of where the company management wants their reps to focus. People should find a match with what they want to do, and what (even IF) they can get paid fairly for it.


  • Hi Kim

    What companies pay 15%+ on autoship. Some pay 25% on first month order but monthly, wow!

    I am all for representing a product that I love but can also love a product that pays me well.

  • Hello K2,

    It’s a pleasure for me write here again. Regarding this post and your question: “If you were Dr. D (an outside analyst), what would you suggest she do? ”.

    My advice to her would be as follow.

    Taking in hand that she loves her products and that she enjoy more going after customers, my first suggestion would be for her, to take a look to another industry; maybe direct sales, were she has the opportunity to ear more sales commission on a sale (10-50%) and, as in our industry, promote a loyal customer base for her product or service. That she loves her product so much doesn’t mean that she couldn’t sell another product that she loves madly too. For instance she could remain a loyal customer for her actual selling product and find something else to sell that she loves and wants to sell.

    If she wants to remain in network marketing I would explain her that her actual company promotes recruiting due to low sales commission on the product direct sales and I would encourage her to find another company with a product that she also loves and train her on how to choose a good company.

    On the other hand, if she wants to remain in her company selling the product that she loves I certainly try to explain her that she must learn how to obtain loyal costumers just to the degree that she knows how to train other and encourage her to learn how to recruit a sales team and focus on their needs so she could take full advantage of the company she has chosen.

    That would be all. Thank you for the opportunity to express our views.

    With much respect for you.

    Your student,


  • I would tell Lulu to buy the products she loves so much for her self and find a new MLM company to build her business.

    I personally would expect no less than 20 percent on retail commissions from my company.

    She can find a business model that treats it’s distributors like professional sales people.

    I would also look at the upline training program and their mindset to see if it met my personal needs.

    It may not be easy, but it is possible.

    Brenda Bunney

  • Dr. D ” Well Lulu what are you doing now? What have you done that works well and what have you done that doesn’t work? Can we creatively think of different ways to use the time you have to get to more people?” What do you say to people when you talk to them?(here the dr. is asking questions to determine if Lulu can approach things a bit differently and reach people better. She says she loves the product so if she truely loves it does she have to change just for money?)

    Nancy Carlson

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