What To Do If Your Downline or New Recruits Are Lazy & Not Producing

I recently had a conversation with a top earner in network marketing, named Carol (not real name), whose business had “flatlined” and she was troubled by the fact that most of her downline team members seemed to be lazy, not producing, and not following through on what they said they’d do.

She wanted to know how she could find more people with even a quarter of her drive, so her business could grow faster.

The answer I gave her was NOT what she expected!

Already a successful entrepreneur with two other businesses, Carol, to her credit had grown her network marketing business to the top 5% of her company.

But she still wasn’t making the money that she wanted to be making.

She reached out to ask me for help and confided that she was really struggling.

Her main complaint: Her downline is lazy!

She had built her business almost single-handedly — she pretty much brute forced her way into the top income bracket in her company — because she’s just that type of person.

She’s willing to do whatever it takes, but slowly realized that most of the people on her team were not as motivated as she is.

She spent a lot of time training her team members, and yet they wouldn’t follow through and they weren’t accountable.

She lamented, “How do I find those ‘A players’ like me?”

I totally got her situation because I was once there too.

In my first year in network marketing, I was pretty much the only one in my organization willing to do the work!

I recruited the most people, but they wouldn’t duplicate.

They wouldn’t do what I was doing, and I was like, “What is wrong with you?”

“You said you were going to do this, you still say you’re committed to this business, you say you want to be free from your job, yet you’re not willing to do the work I’m willing to do.”

I was putting the responsibility for the growth of my business on my downline, and so was Carol.

My advice was, “If you want your business to grow, it’s not up to them. It’s up to you.”

She was a bit taken aback, so I started to explain.

It’s not up to your downline to build your business.


It’s up to you!

You have to take the responsibility back rather than putting it on them.

To put it practically, from a marketing or business standpoint…

…you have to put in place the training & accountability strategies that help ensure success, no matter who is running the business.

Put a bit differently…

No matter who the people are in your business, you have to put things in place to create the activity you want — and you need to spur that growth.

That was very interesting for her to hear because up to that point she just thought she needed to recruit more people that were like her, or with even a quarter of her motivation. She had found a few folks like that, but not enough of them.

Mastering the Fundamentals


I told her about a mentor and friend of mine, Tim Sales.

If you have ever gone through Tim Sales’ training, you know that Tim is a very methodical teacher.

He’s not a hype guy. He’s very calm. He always has an even keel voice, and he doesn’t get emotional.

I love his approach because fundamentally he does three things in his business that you can model in any business.

Later I’ll share how I implement these three things in my business from an online recruiting standpoint, but first, I’m going to tell you how Tim does it “old school.”

First, Tim is an advocate of business systems. He doesn’t put the responsibility of growth on his team; he puts it on himself, and he’s a master of creating systems. Here’s how he creates success.


The first month somebody is in their business, he focuses on teaching them a simple skill set that they can take action on.

In fact, he discourages them from prospecting too many people that first month, aside from maybe someone close to them that they trust to share the business with.

He teaches that 80% – 90% of your time should be spent learning new skill sets related to network marketing, such as prospecting & inviting, presenting, and training new team members as they come aboard.

This runs counter to network marketing orthodoxy, but it works, because an educated distributor network is a more productive and confident team.

So first comes, education & teaching skill sets!

Carol was doing a great job at teaching skill sets, but that’s where she stopped.


Next, Tim advocates action by practice drilling the new skills.

Once trained, he sometimes has his team members in a local area go to a hotel conference hall with a few hundred people, and then he has this other room where there’s a phone in the middle of the room tied to a land-line & two chars.

They’re going to be calling leads, and Tim has a method for how to call warm and cold leads.

Just to be clear, calling cold leads is not my thing at all. I don’t want to call cold leads — but if you’re going to build it that way, there’s a right way and wrong way to do it and you need training & practice.

In the room with the phone, Tim (or a trainer) and a trainee will play Russian roulette with the phone.

The trainer sits on one side of the table, the trainee sits on the other side of the table, and the rest of the group is listening in the big conference hall. They have a list of phone numbers, and then they start one at a time and take turns dialing.

The Russian Roulette part is if you dial, and no one answers, then it’s the next person’s turn, and you get a pass. But if you dial and someone answers, you have to basically follow the training with the processes for prospecting and inviting they previously studied.

He taught them skill sets and now he’s drilling them, so he’s basically forcing them out of their comfort zone and into action. (Again, not my thing but it works if you want to build this way.)


There’s built in accountability in this system because the other people are listening, taking notes, everyone gets their turn and the group is taking action together.

They have a phone call, they talk to the prospects, and then after ten phone calls, they go back in the other room and discuss what happened.

They discuss each of the individual phone calls:

  • How they went
  • What the trainee did right
  • What the trainee did wrong
  • What they could improve on

It becomes a very logical and unemotional experience, and it conditions his downline to the idea that it’s no big deal if someone hangs up on you — it’s just part of the process.

You have plenty of leads. Keep practicing. Keep getting good.

The whole process forces people to drill, get over their fear, and take action.

Next, Tim requires all of his team members to track their activity on these sheets, and he assigns different point values to the different types of activities.

It would probably surprise you to know that prospecting and recruiting somebody is actually one of the lower value activities on that sheet.

The highest value activity is training a new team member, so it gives you more points than anything else in the activity tracker.

Basically your goal every day is to achieve a certain minimum number of points based on all these activities, and all of your different activities have to add up to this minimum number of points.

People inevitably ask…

“Do I really have to achieve that number of points?”

His response is…

“If you want to be a six figure earner, you do.”

That’s it.

This is what is required to be a six-figure earner in network marketing.

Achieve at least the minimum number of points in your tracking sheets, then turn them in to your upline. If you stick to the minimum, it’s impossible for you not to grow!

A New Paradigm


When I shared this with Carol, she was completely blown away.

She had never thought of creating business structures that essentially forced people into action, got them to overcome their fears, empowered them and allowed them track their results & be held accountable.

It also gives team members clear and unambiguous goals.

When people are tracking, as a leader, you know who needs help, and also you know who is not doing the work.

The people that aren’t doing the work are the people that you don’t help.

You simply tell them, “I’m not going to help you unless you do the work, submit these sheets, and show your activity. I’m going to focus on Bob over here, who is actually doing the work.”

Maybe he’s struggling with a certain activity, so you’ll help him and coach him on that activity so he can improve, but at least you can see he’s doing the work because it’s right here on the sheet, and he’s tracking his results.

Those are the three steps to actually creating a solid business system of any kind.

Bringing It Online

In this case, the model that I was talking about was Tim Sales’ cold calling methods for traditional network marketing. I on the other build build online, but I like to model his approach nonetheless.

Remember that his method of teaching skills, action and drilling, and tracking and measuring work for any business model in any setting.

In the first 1-2 weeks, I TEACH SKILLS, starting with social media prospecting & recruiting strategies, both ACTIVE PROSPECTING and PASSIVE MARKETING.

Next, as soon as you feel comfortable, we get you into ACTION by having you set up carefully crafted Facebook posts (sponsored or free) for Passive Marketing and Active Prospecting to get you new prospects, and customers immediately.

Of course, your metrics are all tracked and measured, so we can see what you’re doing and help you improve your results.

We’re not having you cold calling anybody, because the internet today literally gives us a never ending supply of prospects to introduce to our businesses!

If you are brand new to this online world and want to know how to build your network marketing business on social media without ever having to leave home or going out to the mall prospecting the cold market, or whatever, then go here to sign up to get the Attraction Marketing ebook.

The Attraction Marketing ebook is how I got my start branding myself and my business online and I can show you how it can help you too!. Enjoy!

Cecelia Morris
CEO Taking Charge Inc.

P.S., Please feel free to comment and share you own downline horror story.  If you don’t have one then share a success story!!

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