MLM Mistakes – The 12 Biggest Mistakes Network Marketers Make

MLM MistakesAs we bid another year adieu, we should look back at our accomplishments proudly, our failures with our heads held high, and our MLM mistakes as opportunities for growth in the coming year. We’ve accomplished a lot this year and, at the same time, we’ve taken risks. Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don’t. After all is said and done, however, as the saying goes, if we don’t learn from our mistakes, we’re bound to repeat them! What follows is a list of mistakes I’ve watched many network marketers make over the years. Unfortunately, even I have fallen prey to some of them! Don’t let these MLM mistakes happen to you!

The 12 Biggest MLM Mistakes

  1. Elevate prospects over yourself…
    Never talk to prospects as if their time is more important than your own. In fact, let them know it is a privilege to be on your team and that you don’t just accept anyone to work with you.  After all, not everyone is worth your time.  Common among the many MLM mistakes, don’t be overly concerned with what your prospect thinks.  While their opinion has value, it is not necessarily more valuable than your own.  Make prospects qualify for your time.  Your time is valuable so don’t take this qualification process lightly.  As you know, some will, some won’t, someone’s waiting…!
  2. Sell, instead of attract…
    “I know you’ll be good at this!”  The fact of the matter is that you don’t know if someone will be good at network marketing until they step up to the plate and hit the ball.  Heck, as long as they swing constantly, they’re bound to connect at some point.  Unfortunately, you’ll never know until you know.  You’re looking for people who are looking for you.  You could find the right person at the right time.  Clearly, you may come across the right person at the wrong time and, you know what, it’s not going to work.  This is as important as any of the MLM mistakes – don’t try to drag people in. If you act like you need them, you won’t be able to lead them and they will never follow you anyway. If you want to attract certain people, become that person that you’re trying to attract.  Either the opportunity is for the person or not. If they say “convince me,” tell them they have the wrong person.
  3. Talk too much…
    Stop talking!  Talking to much is one of the biggest MLM mistakes! Master the art of the pause.  Use the systems already in place to do the talking for you.  It doesn’t matter much who you are – or who you think you are – systems put in place without all of the pressure of the sale, without all the pressure of sitting in front of a prospect – that will win far more often than not.  Accept the fact that you don’t have all the answers.  In fact, you may simply turn your prospect away by flubbing your way through partial truths.  Please, stop talking!
  4. Make your opportunity sound too good to be true or too easy…
    Facts are facts, if network marketing – like anything else – were so easy, everyone would be doing it and everyone would be knocking the cover off the ball.  Network marketing isn’t for everyone.  It’s not always easy.  It takes hard work and perseverance.  Do you only want to bring people into your team who decided to join because it’s easy or do you want people who will work hard to become successful.  Network marketing concepts and principles are simple, but not easy.
  5. Make prospects or teammates comfortable…
    Under most circumstances, “comfort” has gotten them to the mediocre place that they are now.  That’s why they’re struggling.  That’s why they’re listening to you.  Make them uncomfortable temporarily – make them think.  The next time you hear, “I don’t have the $$$,” respond with, “How much longer do you want that to be your story? If you don’t have it now, when will you have it? When is your story going change?  There has to come a time when $500 is not a lot of money.”  The next time you ask, “Are you going to [the next big event]?”  And you get,  “No,” in response.  Make them feel uncomfortable with, “That’s unfortunate because, if you were going, here’s what you’d get.”
  6. Neglect upline support…
    Inexperienced network marketers might avoid their upline thinking, “I don’t want to bother them.”  People who are experienced in network marketing will say they don’t need upline support.  These MLM mistakes are profound! For the inexperienced, the upline is there to make you successful.  For the experienced, you don’t call on your upline to get the job done.  You call on them to show your prospect or downline how it’s done.  Someone who is new to marketing may not be as good as you.  However, if you show them the system with using upline support, it makes it doable.
  7. Send negative messages…
    Never complain about something to downline teammates. Simply put, sending negativity down the line will only amplify.  Nothing good will come of that.  Always take complaints to your upline.  They will likely have the ability to help you do something to fix the issue.
  8. Tell without asking…
    Generally speaking, people who are excited about something – passionate – are ready, willing, and able to babble about it for hours with anyone.  Self control goes a long way!  We need to talk less (see #3 in this list of MLM mistakes) and listen more.  Seek out their “why” and, if you don’t hear it eventually, ask for it. “Why are you looking at this opportunity?”  “What caused you to look at this?”  “Why have we attracted each other?”
  9. Edify the prospect instead of the upline…
    As I pointed out in #1 in this list of 12 MLM mistakes, you will come across so many prospects that will serve to have little to no value to your business.  Conversely, your upline is very important to the growth of your business.  Why treat a prospect with more respect than your upline?  That just makes no business sense.  Perhaps it should go like this, “Mr. Prospect, I’m about to introduce you to one of our power team leaders who achieved … and built … Ms. Power Team Leader, Mr. Prospect just listened to the call….”
  10. Interrupt the upline on a call…
    Honestly, interrupting anyone on a call – or in person, for that matter – is rude.  Your upline team members are business partners.  They’re good at what they do.  They don’t need reminders of what to say and likely have a plan and know what is effective when they say or don’t say something in particular.  Never interrupt the upline on a call by saying “oh tell him this”.  If your downline team member interrupts you, hang up the phone and let them finish the call. They won’t interrupt again.
  11. Look for “needers” instead of leaders…
    People should have people skills and business acumen. After all, you’re looking to build a business.  Don’t look only for people who need help.  Those who need help will likely drag on your resources tremendously and probably wont ever be on their own anyway.  You want to attract leaders who are ready, willing, and able to take the ball and run with it!
  12. Don’t spend enough time promoting events…
    Your business is built from event to event.  This is cardinal among all of these MLM mistakes – you must attend and promote events constantly.  You will meet the greatest prospects, business partners, and mentors at events.  You never know what the seeds you plant now could turn into down the road…from a simple conversation started at an event.

How will you learn from these MLM mistakes?

There you have it folks – 12 MLM mistakes that maybe you’ve made but certainly from which you can learn.  Tell me, have you any stories about MLM mistakes you’ve made? I’d love to hear about them – that is, if you’re brave enough to share! ;-) Feel free to share in a comment below!

Anyway, it’s all about perspective and mindset. Head into the next year with these in mind as opportunities for growth and the sky is the limit!

Best to you in the new year!
– Drew

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Treat these MLM mistakes as opportunities for growth and explode your business!




  • Ellen1020 December 23, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Thanks for always providing value in whatever you write in your blogs. These tips will be great for me and our team to evaluate ourselves and what we can do to make a difference in our networking lives in 2011!

    • Drew Berman January 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm

      That’s for all you do, Ellen! Let’s blow it up this year!!!

  • Alexander Paul December 29, 2010 at 10:26 am

    WOW Drew! This is a great list and these topics we just discussed in one of our last team meetings… I love to share your content because it so straight to the point. Myself at the beginning years ago when I engaged into network marketing I was hungry to get the support from the upline but never received it in the opportunity I was in. So I started out to learn a lot from people who werent related to the opportunity I was in and you can imagine what happened… Yes, I left and followed the leaders I trusted. This might be one MISTAKE to add… DON’T IGNORE YOUR DOWNLINE… Wishing you and Your family a Happy New Year 2011 and Happy Holidays…. Alex

    • Drew Berman January 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm

      You betcha, Alexander! Thanks for these comments! Any leader who ignores those who are looking up to them for leadership are missing the whole point! Leaders will only be and/or become successful by supporting their team! Awesome point! Best to you for 2011!!!

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