Are You Working Your Network Marketing Business Too Hard?

can you work your network marketing business too hard?Is it possible to work your network marketing business too hard?

Yes, in a sense it is, because there is a way you can work too hard, put in way too much effort, and actually end up accomplishing little.

In my first network marketing business, I once sponsored a guy who was one of the hardest workers you’ll find. He was focused, driven, and very determined to build his business big.

In his first year, Bill appeared to be the model of a prospecting machine. He got leads in many different ways, followed up diligently, and probably talked to more people every month than most network marketing business builders do in a year.

However, despite all the hard work, it was apparent that something wasn’t right. After a year, Bill had actually sponsored just a handful of people and was barely making any money at all. This, despite all his efforts and tireless recruiting.

As it turned out, Bill got discouraged and decided to move on to a different business. He was courteous and didn’t blame our company or his upline, as some do, he simply told us he felt it was time to move on.

Everyone wondered why his sponsoring numbers were so low, given the level of effort he exhibited. Over the next few months, I ran into a couple of the people that Bill had prospected for our business. What I learned surprised me at the time.

Bill was an example of someone who was working his network marketing business too hard. He was pushing and trying to be a big time recruiter. Here is what he was doing.

  • he was trying to recruit people by promising fast wealth and an easy path to prosperity – a seriously hyped up approach that turned people off
  • he tried to pressure prospects into signing up immediately, stressing the urgency of “getting in now”

Bill’s background was in old fashioned, traditional, one-shot sales techniques often practiced by commissioned sales people. It’s the approach some take when they are selling something where they likely will have only one shot at closing the sale or lose the prospect forever. Bill was working too hard, in the sense that he felt that every prospect had to be closed and signed right away, otherwise he had lost a “sale”.

That “one call close” mentality might work in some sales situations, but it isn’t effective at all in building our type of business. This was Bill’s downfall – he was a tireless worker and a huge prospector, but his hype and pressure turned his prospects away.

A network marketing business is a relationship business, not a one-shot sale that you MUST close right away or likely lose the prospect forever. I’ve seen people training in traditional sales come into the business and have to literally be “untrained” so they could be successful in sponsoring. There is definitely some selling involved (you are selling yourself as a sponsor). The key is knowing that your primary focus is building relationships and a network of friends and business partners, not creating a list of people you’ve sold something to.

Did you get some value from this post? If you did, I would really appreciate you sharing it with others! And, your comments are welcome below!

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Eldon Beard, Home Business Success Coach

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About Eldon Beard

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  1. Great post, Eldon! You are so right about the right way and the wrong way to build a business. I know that I’ve been told more than once to try these high-pressure techniques, but my heart just wasn’t in it, and I’m sure that it showed. When I learned about Natural Selling (asking the potential business partner what he/she wants to help him/her find a decision) and I have definitely felt a lot better about the process. Now, I think it’s a question of whether I went too far the other way, because I’m still trying to figure out how to be a better closer, but I think that this person was someone who had the potential, but it’s just a question of steering it.

    • Eldon Beard says:

      Hello Steve, the more you work at presenting and closing, the better you’ll get at it. I’d grab someone in your upline who is really successful and let them mentor you on this. It isn’t always easy, because we all have a certain way we want to do things, but if our way isn’t getting us where we want to be we need to get some help.

  2. Hi Eldon,

    A good reminder about this important topic… no one likes to be sold to. I think there are fewer people who go about network marketing with the driven intent to make a sale. However, when I first entered the network marketing industry my upline pushed me to duplicate everything they did and it never sat well with me. I was so uncomfortable trying to draw people into a business they never even asked about. When talking to others, there always had to be “another agenda” to fill the upline’s needs. I just knew there was another way but it took a while before I found it. I’m so glad I discovered network marketing is about building valuable, long term relationships with like-minded people. That, along with doing what we are passionate about builds a solid foundation for a long-term business.

    • Eldon Beard says:

      Great points Loren, especially about building valuable, long term relationships with like minded people. Many will never join you in your primary business, but there are many other ways people can help each other regardless of whether they partner together in a specific opportunity.

  3. Terrific lessons here. There are many ways to turn off your prospects and what you mentioned above does just that. Then there are those who work hard at pushing paper on their desk and never making the calls they need to make yet they are working long hours training and doing “things”. Finding the right balance and being genuine in your approach will always work better than trying to convince people to join you. At least in my book. 🙂

    • Eldon Beard says:

      I agree VaNessa, trying to convince people is a losing battle usually…you might get them to sign up if you’re really persuasive, but if the decision didn’t truly spring from their own internal desire and motivation they likely won’t do much with the business anyway.

  4. Joyce Penner says:

    Hey Eldon. What I have discovered is that if a salesperson needs to be untrained then retrained then they were not professional sales people anyways. Any good sales person knows, listening is the key to sales not pushing.

    Great story !

  5. There’s a lot of good information here that applies equally well to all types of business. I think that trust is the thing that was missing in this story. It is essential to build up trust with potential customers or partners. Without this people are always going to be cautious.

  6. Excellent advice Eldon and I really appreciate your “storytelling” approach to sharing this example.

  7. Eldon Beard says:

    Thanks Marquita, I like it when I have a story to illustrate a point, seems to help everything flow more smoothly and make more sense.

  8. Raena Lynn says:

    Hi Eldon,

    You summed up the entire thought with this sentence, “A network marketing business is a relationship business, not a one-shot sale that you MUST close right away or likely lose the prospect forever.” In the earlier days of marketing, it was typical to just go, go, go! Making promises just to close a sale do not work today, and it probably wasn’t a great strategy then either.

    Today we have to be more accountable. One example is a stand alone product creation. Most of the time, if there isn’t a money back guarantee, then the possibility of a sale in the first place may not occur. The competition always makes a guarantee offer, and assuming someone does purchase the product, there is a chance that the program can be returned if the promises are not reality.

    There is more accountability and maintaining an outstanding reputation is essential. Build relationships and don’t be unrealistic and promise what cannot be delivered. It takes a lot of energy to run around trying to fill in the numbers.

    This business is awesome when you spend less energy getting what you want and not over working yourself.

    Raena Lynn

    • Eldon Beard says:

      “There is more accountability and maintaining an outstanding reputation is essential. Build relationships and don’t be unrealistic and promise what cannot be delivered.”

      Thanks Raena, couldn’t have said it better than that!

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