When you’re running a network marketing type of business it’s your goal to not only get awesome results in your business but to continue build your organization as well as increasing your residual income. But when you lose distributors, your profits are going to plummet, as it’s akin to losing an income stream. The MLM type of business can be particularly susceptible to losing distributorships.
Often many are enticed by unrealistic promises by the person who signed them on, or the new distributor discovers it’s not exactly how they pictured running a small business. As a result, distributors quit.
One of your goals when running your network marketing business should be for increasing your retention rate. When you can not only encourage distributors to stay, but to also ensure that they are committed, it will help your goals go further. No one wants to spend all their time trying to attract new talent.
This can be a repetitive process that becomes frustrating time after time, yet with a few good business practices, it’s possible to take action to improve the retention rate.
Here are 7 best practices for increasing retention in your network marketing business.
1. Provide a secure environment.
Provide a secure environment for your distributors. There are a lot of different types of people in the world today. We live in country where we have human rights, and everyone should be treated fairly. It’s important to have a business culture where everyone feels that they have a safe, and friendly environment to work in.
Remember that old saying, “A person leaves a manager, they don’t leave a job”. This works for the business person too. This can also be a reason that a person leaves a church, as there can be a shift in the culture.
It’s important to eliminate cancerous cultural factors. These can include gossiping, arrogance, racial comments, harassment, and bullying.
When you remove these negative factors you create a positive working environment for everyone. And you’ll also begin to see how it will have an immediate impact on your business, and how others work with you.
It’s also important to note that distributors can often detect when something is amiss in a company. And don’t forget the net. Even a bad comment may show up in social media, and then you have to work four times as hard to deflect a bad blow.
There’s also another benefit to having a supportive type of business culture. Your distributors will love it, and they’ll feel inspired to stay. Remember that often people aren’t in it for the money, it’s also important that they enjoy what they do, and that they enjoy working with the people around them.
These types of people who are motivated by the positivity in life will be the ones more likely to stick through the tough times. Remember that all the successful networkers of today also suffered setbacks. Chances are that they had a secure environment to practice their business marketing, which kept them going even through the rough patches.
2. Stop the hype.
This has been a problem in the past with MLM businesses. distributors were often encouraged to do it, yet there was little thought for the consequences. Yes, you may get a small bonus for signing someone on, but no additional bonus stream if they decide to quit their business.
It’s best to stop the hype. This can cause unmet expectations, and it will make both you and your new partner unhappy.
In fact, most people will run away from your business if they hear any of these phrases:
“Guaranteed income opportunity.”
“No fail plan.”
“On your way to a millionaire.”
All of these phrases can be included with ridiculous promises or guarantees that can lead to unmet expectations when a business person fails. Generally, it’s best not to trick people into some false sense about the ease of success of a business venture. Remember that there have even been McDonalds restaurants that have shut down.
The smart distributor understands that there are no guarantees in business. Much of it is hard work and determination, some of it is luck, plus scatter in a dozen other factors, and yet, you still won’t have the magic formula for a successful business. But that opportunity is certainly there, which pushes you forward.
3. Stay real.
Remember that you’re not auditioning for a big film production, you’re actually participating in real life. Remember that people love authenticity. And many people also have a built-in B.S. meter, so if you act fake, they will know it, and they’ll run far far away.
People also remember fakeness in another person, so you can’t even earn their trust for the future. It’s important to be authentic, and stay authentic through all of your business dealings.
You most likely have heard of examples where leaders or company owners are trying to sell you one thing, but they aren’t practicing what they preach. Suddenly they are outed, and then it’s all over the news.
It’s important that you live your life as an example. If you have faults or have made mistakes, then admit them. And often this authenticity combined with vulnerability can be a powerful combination together, and is perhaps the most important set of traits that a leader can have.
Staying real also means not offering your MLM opportunity to just anyone off the street. It means being aware of the traits it takes for a successful entrepreneur, and keeping an eye out for someone who would make a great member of your team.
If you can tailor your thing to something that’s real, then stick with it. Perhaps you’re excellent at mentoring, or you’re able to assist distributors with their websites, or in their presentations. But get rid of that hype and baloney.
4. Celebrate the small victories.
Naturally you’ll celebrate every time you sell a big product or when you sign up new distributors for your business. But many experts also believe in celebrating the slow wins too. Remember that there are people who have managed to recruit ten new distributors in their first day, or even their first week, but there is a frustrated majority who haven’t even succeeded in doing that in a month.
This has the effect of dampening the spirits of those who are working just as hard, or even harder than those who have achieved success. You also want to celebrate a distributor’s first recruitment, or their first sale. Remember to celebrate these small things too.
Some successful distributors even recommend celebrating your first failure! Your new recruit has gone out to give their sales presentation. They had high hopes, and they believed that their customers were a guaranteed sale. But something went wrong, and they backed off, resulting in a no-sale. Now your new recruit is upset and disappointed.
But now is the time to give them a free coffee or treat, and celebrate their failure. It’s their first one! And chances are that they learned a lot during this process. And remember that without failure, there would be no success.
Of course you’ll still celebrate the big wins too, but look for stories that can also highlight how people in your business have taken a long time to get that first recruit as well.
5. Remember your volunteer army.
This is something that many CEOs and managers forget, and you’ll see time and again in the news. They have forgotten that there are real people working for them.
In your own business ventures, your distributors are your volunteers. There are no guarantees that they’ll earn any money. Remember lesson number 2 about stopping the hype so you don’t trick them.
I have a little story for you. When I found my first MLM I was excited. I really wanted to stick with it, but what happened was my upline began acting like my boss. He somehow felt the need to publicly bash me, for whatever reason. I wasn’t earning as much as him, or whatever.
This often happens at a company too. When they want a leader to leave, they’ll just start bossing them around and take away any credit for the things that they have built.
Always remember that your volunteers are also your team members, and you should always treat them with respect.
6. Give attention.
You don’t want to sign up a new recruit as part of your team and then forget about them. It’s important to establish a fast track training program for them first. Don’t leave them guessing as to what their next step should be. They should be handed an action plan to get started.
At some point they’ll feel the confidence to take the next steps on their own, or to even add new steps, but you need to get them there first. Training will help to get your new recruit the skills they need, so that they can get paid. Then, when they get paid, they’ll have the financial support to take that next step.
While your company may have a training program on their site, don’t simply direct them that way and forget about them. Also, you don’t want to overwhelm them with information, making them suffer regrets.
Just what should be a part of the support pack that you hand them? The training should begin with what they can do with their business. It should also include what not to do to build their business. For example, a main point should always be lesson number 3: stay real.
Basically, this practice will involve giving your new recruits your attention, so it builds your retention. You should also be regularly checking in with not just your recruits, but with everyone on your team. You should also be holding weekly meetings. If your recruits are spread around the world, then you can hold webinars.
During your webinar you can take a moment to announce any accolades to your highest performers. Also be sure to introduce new recruits. And people love to get recognition, often more than financial rewards, so do mention when someone has made it past a hurdle.
7. Learn about result differentiation.
Be aware that everyone has differing goals in life. Some people are happy to earn a bit of extra income, while others want that fancy car. The top earners in a business could believe that everyone has the same goals that they do. They are the high-producing alphas and may erroneously be projecting their goals onto others.
It’s important to remember that your new recruits may simply be happy being in the community. Perhaps they have no sales goals at all. They’re there to get discounts on the products, or to simply learn. Remember that the little guys are still a part of the big mission even if they don’t have big income goals such as you do.
It’s doubly important to remember rule number 1: that secure environment. You don’t want to alienate your distributors, or make them feel inferior because they are making few sales, or they don’t conform to your revenue agenda. This will only have the effect of making them feel bad about themselves. Then you know what happens: they slink away and quit, as they feel that they have disappointed their leadership, or that they don’t really fit into the group.
This is obviously the reverse of what you want to happen, and again, if they leave, then you have just doubled your work, as you’ll have to find a replacement, train them, and basically start all over again.
The more experienced you become with your network marketing MLM business, the more you’ll realize how each of your business practices can encourage growth and hold your team together. But don’t worry if you slip up and lose a member of your team. Just keep on moving forward, and soon you’ll have gathered together a great MLM business that is not only profitable, but well-respected too.