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MLM Sponsoring Strategy: Make a List and Pursue Warm Market Referrals

Jan 21, 2008
If someone asked me for the "main" topics network marketers have trouble agreeing on, recruiting strategy would be near the top of the list. Certain companies have predominant styles, but there's always that "renegade" team that breaks out and does something unique.

I've learned a lot since becoming a professional network marketer, but especially so on the subject of recruiting. I've studied various company teachings, the teachings of field leaders like Brig Hart, and network marketing trainers like Todd Falcone, Ellie Drake, and Tracy Biller. I've even had the pleasure of working with and learning from Ann Sieg on her personal team.

Rather than try and cram everything into one huge article, I thought it made more sense to break it up into several posts. So, this is the first in a small series about the various MLM recruiting strategies I've discovered.

It's only fitting that I begin the series with the one we've all (and I do mean ALL) been exposed to. Perhaps it's because this strategy was invented by the very first network marketers, or perhaps it's because it's perceived to be the easiest for "everyone" to practice... whatever the reason, the most popular MLM sponsoring strategy by far is to...

Make a List

Your company may provide a brainstorming tool, usually a list of "brain joggers" that help you recall all of the people you know. Or, perhaps your sponsor just walks you through the yellow pages over the phone.

"Who do you know who's an Auto Mechanic, Anesthesiologist, Baby Sitter, Baker, Caterer, Chef, ..."

Regardless of the method, at the end of this excercise the average person has a list of fifteen to fifty names. In network marketing parlance, this is your "warm market" list. In theory, these are the people you have the most influence over, and should therefore approach about your product and/or opportunity.

Pros and Cons

Every strategy has benefits and drawbacks, and warm market sponsoring is no different. The primary benefit is: it works for everyone. Everyone has friends and family, and those people have friends and family, etc. With proper support by your sponsor, getting started in the business is pretty painless.

This strategy is fun, and keeps your team close-knit. People love to have (and go to) parties, and parties are the usual method used in this approach to recruiting. Everyone you sponsor will, ultimately, be a friend of a friend. This makes company trips and vacations all the more fun (or not, depending on your friends' friends.)

If you are respected and admired by the people on your list, your opinion will carry a lot of weight and you'll have no problem bringing people onto your team. In fact, well respected people can often call the names on their list and say something like, "Give me your credit card and social security number... we're going into business together."

This approach does not work for everyone, though. If you're young, and find it hard to get respect from your peers and elders, they are less likely to take you seriously when you tell them you've found "the opportunity of a lifetime." My best advice here is to lean on your upline--use their credibility until you can build your own. While your older brother might not listen to you, he will find it harder to disregard your well-seasoned upline who's making $10k per week in the business.

Another drawback to this strategy is that it can stall easily. If a particular person's warm market yields little to no referrals, that part of the network can stall. Unlike those using a cold market lead strategy, or self-generating qualified leads, there will be no new people to talk to unless someone puts on their thinking cap. It will take a little creativity to kick-start that team and get them duplicating again.

Keys to Success

The key to building with this strategy is to efficiently move from one warm market to the next. Each time you sponsor someone, immediately begin helping them work their warm market. It's important to teach the right behaviors in the beginning--hold each of your new partners' hand as they begin their business, and make sure they do the same with the people they sponsor. This strategy falls apart without good upline support.

For example, when you sponsor someone into the business, YOU need to help them organize and host their first few home parties, or help them with 3-way calls. One way or the other, you CANNOT leave them to "figure it out" themselves. They are new to the business and have little credibility, they won't know how to close, and they won't pay attention to duplication. As their sponsor, though, you can talk to their warm market confidently and with authority. In time, they will be helping their downline as you helped them.
About the Author
Jeff Hoffman is a distributor in the network marketing industry, and blogger on the same. On his site, NetworkMarketingPerspective.com, you'll learn the no-nonsense tips, tricks, and network marketing training that allow Jeff to make more money from home, sitting in his wheelchair, than most of his peers.
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