MLM Lead vs Prospect: Knowing the Difference Can Impact Your Downline

Knowing the difference between a lead vs prospect can impact your downline tremendously.  Most likely, every person that you have made contact with started out as a complete stranger unless they are on your warm market list. As an MLM representative it would benefit you greatly to transition that stranger to a lead . . . and then from lead to prospect.

The difference between a lead and a prospect depends on your business relationship with that person.

  • A Lead is someone who is aware of your product or MLM opportunity BUT either hasn't been exposed or is not ready to make a buying decision
  • A Prospect is someone who has been exposed and is communicating back and forth with you about the products or opportunity.  However, if the prospect is unable to make a purchase at the time they will continue being a lead

These two words are terms that you will commonly hear in the MLM industry.  If you do not specifically know the difference between the two you may end up wasting your time with people who are not willing to even take a serious look at what you have to offer.

Example of an MLM Lead vs Prospect

MLM Lead vs Prospect - Examples of Leads

A Lead is someone on your list who you think has the potential to become a customer or a business partner.

In most cases you haven't contacted them yet. Even if you DID contact them they are not very responsive to your efforts of reaching out to them for various reasons.

Your only purpose of communicating with a lead is to create awareness or interest in your product or service. Having a lead usually consists of one-way communication regardless of who reached out to who first.


  • Someone commented on your blog
  • Someone liked your social media status regarding what you have to offer
  • Someone signed up for your email list
  • You contacted someone through a reference
  • You called someone because they have an ideal fit for your product
  • Someone you put on your list because you remembered they mentioned they had a problem that your product could solve

All of these involved a person contacting you or you contacting them (or planning to contact them) one time.

MLM Lead vs Prospect - Examples of Prospects

A Prospect is someone you have contacted or someone that has contacted you BUT the communication is ongoing.

These are people who usually have questions or concerns about what you have to offer because they are truly interested.  These are also people who have decided to contact you a second or third time because they want more information.


  • The lead you have spoken with over the phone today has an appointment to speak with you again next week
  • When someone on your email list responds positively to your request to speak with them
  • After exposing a lead to your opportunity video, they call you back with questions
  • Someone agrees to meet with you for a second or third exposure

Prospects are described as leads who are still engaged with you after the initial contact and / or are ready to be sold to.  They are closer to a positive outcome that would have them be a customer or join your sales team.

Prospects Are Open to Buy

MLM Lead vs Prospect - Prospect Ready to Buy

It is known in network marketing that people require more than one exposure before they buy.  They were a lead the first time you spoke with them. The reason why they're able to be closed after the third or fourth exposure is because by then they were prospects.

The difference between leads and prospects are leads are those who are open to hear about your product or opportunity.  They have reached out to you (or vice versa) to be presented information.

Prospects are those who have gone further along through your sales strategy.  You have exchanged a series of conversations or messages with this person after they have seen the content and they are at the point where they are ready to make a decision.

Separate Your Leads From Prospects

MLM Lead vs Prospect - Separate Your Leads From Prospects

Of course you want to attract more people who are ready to buy your product or be involved in your opportunity.  Therefore, you have to know the difference between a lead vs prospect.  Knowing this will help you decide how to treat certain individuals as far as where to place them in your sales strategy.

For example you may spend:

  • 0% of your time with negative people
  • 80% of your time with interested people
  • 20% of your time the people who are ready to purchase or join your team

In this case you can decipher what amount of time to spend with the leads that you talk to.  To confirm if the person is actually a prospect and ready to buy, you can ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this person need your product or opportunity - Have they complained about a problem or issue in their life that your product can solve
  • Has this person demonstrated a desire to purchase or join - Has this person discuss pricing, refund policy, product guarantee, etc.
  • Is this person the decision-maker in the buying process - Do they have to ask a third party for their approval, consent, or funds.
  • Has this person contacted you on their own regarding your product or opportunity - Has the person actually called you back when they said they would. Have they kept their appointments etc.

If you go by the criteria in the above MLM strategy, most likely you will spend 80% of your time with this person to close them (if the answers are "yes" to the questions above)

You have leads that you keep contacting that may say, “yes, yes, yes, I'm interested” but ignore your phone calls. Those type of leads waste your time when you can be spending valuable time with those who actually are interested in what have to offer.

Knowing the Difference Can Help You Limit Chasing Dead Leads

When you follow your sales strategy you will be more focused on what stage your lead is in.  You will be able to detect earlier if they are remaining a lead or have moved toward the prospect category.

Many multilevel marketers find themselves chasing people for a certain amount of time. Once you start to understand the difference between a lead vs prospect you will have a more focused approach.

Then you will know how to react concerning each of them and you will then be one step closer to having more people buy your products and join you as a business partner.

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