Wondering How to Motivate Your MLM Downline?

how to motivate your mlm downline What is the best way to motivate your MLM downline? When you first get started in MLM and network marketing, your objective is to sponsor a few people and get your business off to a good start.

However, it isn’t unusual for future MLM leaders to start wondering what it takes to get the people they sponsor to get moving and interested in working their business. I guess we’ve all wondered why people sign up for opportunities and sometime spend a significant chunk of change ($300-$500) to get started, then proceed to do nothing.

I know a guy who started a business with an opportunity that requires an initial investment of $400. In his first month, he sponsored four people. Of those four, one quit and returned the start-up kit for a refund after one week, and the other three never started doing anything. This is very discouraging, especially after you’ve talked to these people and they seem so excited and ready to go.

So what is the best way to motivate your MLM downline and get them to be as excited as you are?

Unfortunately, in my experience and from what I’ve heard from other MLM leaders, you just don’t. Humans are complex creations, and sometimes we do things that just don’t make sense. Like start home businesses, put a good bit of money in it to start, and they just let it sit. Doesn’t make sense does it?

Here’s the bottom line as I see it. People are motivated to start businesses for many different reasons. Maybe they thought it would be a great idea, but quickly discovered that they didn’t really have the desire to put in the required time and effort. Other times, maybe life gets in the way. Things happen that we as sponsors aren’t aware of, and have no control over.

Your responsibility as a sponsor is to encourage and support your MLM downline with the tools and training they need to be successful. Your responsibility is not to try to motivate and push them to get moving. All you can do is provide the resources and information they need, along with a little encouragement, and the rest is up to them.

The ones who really want it will do what it takes, whether you encourage them or not. The ones who are ready, who have a strong “why”, will take initiative and get what they need whether you help them or not. Leaders will always emerge and rise to the top on their own. You don’t have to push or motivate them – it’s all inside.

So, to keep from driving yourself crazy, don’t slip into management mode with your MLM downline. Do your job and provide the tools and support, but don’t try to motivate people who just don’t seem to be inspired. Some of them might not be ready yet, even though they may have thought they were when they joined. They might wait a few months, something in their life changes, and they’re ready to go. Always be hopeful, and keep on prospecting and looking for people who are ready for opportunity.

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

If you have a home business and are happy, that's good. If you are looking for the right opportunity, the right mentor, and something you can build online, I would enjoy the opportunity to share what I'm doing. Click here and let’s explore the possibilities.

About Eldon Beard

Making money with a home business should be fun! I help others create a profitable global business from anywhere using an Internet connection and a phone. Send me a message and let's talk! Connect with me on Google+.


  1. Great advice Eldon! My background is in direct sales rather than network marketing. We still had the multilevel marketing component with one additional wrinkle – since our business was all about selling the products, a lot of my leadership struggled with their team members falling past due on their accounts. The company allows reprs to order on credit, then pay for the products after they collect. Sounds nice, but what happens far too often is they’d order the products and spend the money the customers gave them. For Leadership that was like a double whammy – they’d find someone who was excited and willing to put the energy into the business but lousy at managing money so they’d end up being removed.

  2. Bryan McHeyzer says:

    Hi Eldon,
    Excellent advise… people move at different speeds…some join and take off like a rocket while others just sit there… and no matter what you do for them or say to them they just don’t seem to get it.
    As you said it is not our responsibility to make them successful they need to do it themselves.
    There were time I would build a downline for people who really need the business but as soon as I stopped building for them so did they.
    I left the industry a while ago to concentrate on my offline business which I am now winding up.
    This advise I will take on board when and if i get back into the industry.


  3. Eldon Beard says:

    Thanks Bryan. I had a similar experience with an opportunity I was working a few years ago. If a really promising new rep signed up, I’d often place other new signups directly under them. The idea was to help them get off to a good start. It didn’t work – none of them ever sponsored on their own, and ended up dropping out. Lesson learned.

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