10 Steps to Increase Retention with Effective Downline Leadership

Effective downline leadership is different than supervising or overseeing your downlines activities.

If someone ask if you're leading your downline to success, you may say yes. If you're enrolling new people and encouraging them to attend training whenever possible, in addition to doing their 1 on 1’s, 2 on 1’s, Presentations and Conference Calls for them you're naturally THINK you are. However look at the title . . . Downline Leadership.

If you're doing the above activities FOR them that is great, but are you leading them?  Effective downline leadership is more than just doing things FOR your downline.

It is a fact that you aren't a leader unless someone is following you.  Leaders bring out the potential in people and eventually those people become leaders as well.

. . . your downline won't last if you do not have leaders and your downline to carry on the torch!

In order for you to bring the best leadership qualities out of your downline it would benefit you to be a leader yourself. It is important to remember that people in your downline can choose to work the business full-time, part-time, or their spare time.

What this means is, do not act like their boss. They don't work for you. Remember the saying, "You are in the business for yourself but not by yourself". With that said we are to lead them.

Effective Downline Leadership Qualities

First, as uplines (mlm sponsors), we are the closest example of what they have to lean on as what an upline should be.  Even though you may have some of the qualities of a good upline, make sure you do the following to bring out the leadership qualities in your downline (and teach them how to do the same to THEIR downline):

1. Have an Affect

Having an affect on your downline is very important skill to have when involved with people in this business. In order to have an affect on people you have to have their attention which means you have to have influence.

To gain this with your downline you connect with them emotionally by:

  • Talking about them - Get them to open up to you by talking about themselves.  Ask them many questions about their goals, about them, about what they want to do on the future, etc.
  • Tell Stories - There is a saying that information tells, but stories sell.  Use personal stories of yours to help your downline connect with you on a personal basis.  In most cases they will feel like they are WITH you and on the journey with you.
  • Open Up - People feel more connected to you when you are vulnerable with them.  You make them feel like you’re actually human instead of a boss that wants to check up on them and judge them on there progress.

Effective Downline Leadership - Have an Affect

2. Correspond

Communicate with your downline.  What contributes to most representatives demise is lack of communication. You'll find that many downlines lie to their upline about why they're not producing out of fear of being ridiculed.

You want to make your downlines feel comfortable coming to you when they have a problem.

Some ways to do this are:

  • Do not judge – You may not like their ideas or reasons but set aside the blame game.  When someone knows they're not being judged, they're more open to tell you the TRUTH about what the problem is.
  • Do not interrupt - Have you ever spoken to someone about your problems and they respond with something that has NOTHING to do helping you with the problem?  Listening is not waiting for your turn to talk or comparing their problems with other peoples to make them feel better.  If they're comfortable opening up to you in the first place, there is a reason. Let them finish their complete sentence for ideas that they're trying to get out, analyze it, then respond accordingly.
  • Focus on them - If you're easily interrupted by thoughts in your head or by checking your phone constantly they can feel you are not genuinely not interested in what they're saying.  Try to focus on their nonverbal communication as well to help you understand where they're coming from.

Effective Downline Leadership - Correspond

3. Similarities

You want to find things you have in common with your downline so you have an automatic natural connection with them. When downlines feel connected to uplines they're more open to them on issues.

You may accomplish this by finding a person place, thing or cause that brings you two together that you feel strongly about.

For example, occasionally when you have downtime you may bring up topics that have to do with:

  • People
  • Politics (be careful with this one)
  • Religion (be careful with this one)
  • Destinations
  • Books
  • TV shows
  • Stock market
  • Industries
  • Economy, etc.

Eventually you'll both find something that you have in common that may strike a strong point. You'll figure out that when you both get together the conversation won't be about network marketing all the time.

Effective Downline Leadership - Similarities

4. Realize Process

Help them realize that the process to what they’re doing is very important.

Between an introduction and the sale . . . is a process.

Between the phone call and the sign-up . . . is a process.

Processes or strategies are important because it gives you a step-by-step method of accomplishing a goal. If the goal isn't accomplished you can pick apart what step needs to be improved or tweaked.

If a process isn’t place, that means everybody in your downline will be winging whatever they do and this can result in the demise of what you worked so hard for.

Effective Downline Leadership - Realize Process

5. Casting Vision

It is important that your downline has a vision.  A vision can help you see all the way through to the end. There's a difference between seeing the future and having a vision.  Anybody can say they see the future but operate as if they're still in the present (letting present situations affects them)

"The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision" - Helen Keller

People who have vision operate as if they have been to that place before. They know how to get there and they know how to navigate their way there.

Let’s say that you're traveling with your friend to get to your old hometown. If your friend has never been there before and you both have trouble finding the place, it is easier for your friend to give up on that journey because they wouldn't know or feel a sense of if they’re getting close to the destination.

For you it is different because you know the place exists, you know what the area looks like and you have a greater anticipation because you can actually visualize what you're trying to get to.

Effective Downline Leadership - Casting a Vision

6. The Power of Doing

There's a riddle that goes:

“there are five frogs on a log, four decide to jump off, how many are left?

The answer is still five because there's a difference between deciding in doing."

Many people go to Trainings, regionals and nationals. Many people log on to conference calls, listen to audios, and watch presentations. Through it all they always decide that they're going to show so many people or make a list or schedule so many appointments.

Deciding to do these things isn't what is going to produce progress. Remember we cannot control who says yes to our opportunity or not. But we can control how many people we put on our list, how many appointments we make, and how many people we talk to.

The power is in doing, not getting motivated and deciding to do it.

Effective Downline Leadership - Power of Doing

7. Give Feedback

As an experienced upline it will be a great benefit to give your downlines some pointers and some tips on what they can do to improve. Starting off they might invite over the phone.

You can listen to how they invite and work with them on how to gain better results.

You can give them feedback on how to edify, do 3 ways, do 1 on 1’s, first half of the presentation, etc. This can be done until they become comfortable doing it themselves

Effective Downline Leadership - Give Feedback

8. Teamwork

Of course you probably heard the saying before that teamwork makes the dream work.

Teamwork is very effective for the simple fact that everyone cannot do it by themselves.

Help your downlines know the importance of teamwork and demonstrate why it is effective.

Everybody has a different set of skills that they may be better at than someone on their team. Use your teams to your advantage to help obtain the best possible outcome.

Effective Downline Leadership - Teamwork

9. Clone Yourself

Teach your downlines the importance of cloning themselves (if they are doing things correctly). It is important that they know that they cannot be everywhere at once. One thing you do not want to happen is they have so many people in your downline and everyone looking to them for guidance.

Once the upline’s are stretched beyond capacity, the downline will realize that they are unable to do even the simple things.  Then they become discouraged and quit. Train your downlines on aspects of duplication and leveraging to the point where you become insignificant to your team

Effective Downline Leadership - Clone Yourself

10. Be a Magnet

Some people have this natural ability to be a magnet. This is the quality that someone has when everyone wants to cling to them.

If you have these above qualities you will naturally be a magnet to most people.

However some other things you may want to implement to help you are:

  • Show genuine concern for others
  • Always help those in need
  • Be a doer instead of a talker
  • Always show results
  • Be sensitive to others around you
  • Be a person who takes initiative
  • Be able to give help to those around you
  • Always encourage those around you.

Effective Downline Leadership - Be a Magnet

If you look at some of the worlds largest in successful companies, they have a great leaders at the top.  These leaders are also able to create leaders. When you treat multilevel marketing like a real business you bring out the best in those you work with as a leader.

Duplication, momentum, and leveraging is important. This can create a huge downline. However, without effective downline leadership, that downline won't last if you do not have leaders and your downline to carry on the torch.

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