Upline: Are you taking the fun out of it?

In the anonymous survey I put out yesterday, Money Aside, one question was:

What do you dislike most about your NM business?

Here are three telling answers:

1. “I think the thing that puts me off about MLM (in general) is all the meetings. The best time I had with a product was when I was totally ignorant and just told people what the product did for me. People would ask me if I could pick some up for them when I ordered again and I grew a decent customer base and began to make money. The uplines tend to take the “fun” out of it.”

2. “I know that retailing isn’t the same as business building, but I hate the emphasis on recruiting. You know, before you even get into the door yourself they (upline) want lists and three-ways, etc. Can’t a person just get used to the retailing before we start bringing in others to train and teach?”

3. “The challenge between following the company’s success plan, and my own personal plan. They sometimes conflict, especially if it comes to recruiting for the business on the first call.”

Bottom line, upline: Don’t nag your people. Get new ones if you’re not satisfied with who you have. No one signed up to have a boss nagging them. Did they?

The way to be a most helpful sponsor is to ask new sign-ups:

What would you like to do first – recruit or get customers?

They pay you about $10 for each customer order of $75 and you make $100 for each recruit who signs up for $750 product order.

There you have it. Yes, recruiting makes more, but we all know how hard it is to find anyone like that, much less someone who sticks. There are way more customers. So while it’s less, there are more of them. And it’s more normal, you know?

Don’t pressure them to recruit if they want to build a customer base first. And don’t pressure them to turn every customer into a recruit. You’ll likely lose the customer as well.

Really, upline, what do you care what they do to make money as long as they stay IN the business? Would you rather risk losing them because you pressure them too much and take the fun out of it? Get more people if you aren’t happy with who you have. 🙂

P.S. There are many examples in the Orange book of folks who lost their customers after they pressured them to start selling to their friends. That’s very last century, you know.

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Kim I think you are on target with this post.

    As long as my people are getting a check I am happy for them. It doesn't really matter if it is for $5 or $5,000.

    If your friends & family are seeing you make money then they will tell you that they want to learn more about the product & business. When it is their time they will be open to the opportunity.

  • It's a people business and finding out what someone in your downline is looking for should be part of the basics. On the other side, NM seems to be a lot like dating. When it comes to NM companies/opportunities, there are a lot of ok matches, some horrible matches and just a few "just right" companies for each person. It's not always going to work out.

    Both sides need to remember that it's a people business based on communication. If something isn't working for you, speak up!


  • Trish – you're right, people do need to speak up rather than slither away. But maybe the feeling some upline create is 'do it my way or the highway' or, they belittle anyone not recruiting, which I have heard over and over these past 20 years. People don't do the business to have a dictator. They probably have that at home, or at their job. Think?

    Brian, you write:
    "I like to sell, and I like to sponsor. Who says they have to be mutually exclusive?"

    Some people do both, but most folks lean more towards one than the other. It's the bossy MLM types who insist "everyone should do" whatever they dictate, that causes free spirits to look elsewhere for a chance to see what they can do. You know what I mean?

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