How Do I Build A Downline?

I work with quite a few women who have direct sales companies. These women work with an assortment of direct sales companies; Forever Living, Herbalife, Cambridge Weight Plan and Arbonne to name a few.  As well as needing help with selling products, they want help to build a downline. They want to create a strong business with a residual income.

This post contains my thoughts on building a team. However, I would like to state for the record that there are many different ways to build a downline, all of which can be effective.

Don’t Pester People

A friend of mine who has worked for himself for many years, dabbled with a direct sales business many years ago, because he could see the sense in the business plan. However, it just wasn’t for him. He found that he lost friends in his attempt to help others ‘see the light’. “In the end” he said, “I woke each morning feeling like I was carrying a great burden and approached every day with dread”. Clearly, that’s madness. Direct selling and downline building has come a long way since then.

Who Do I Talk To About My Direct Sales Business Opportunity?

I know that your particular direct sales company will tell you that everyone is a potential downline. In theory, they are. However, as small business owners, we have limited time, energy and resources. We simply can’t spread ourselves thin enough to talk meaningfully to every single person we know who we hope might be interested in our business opportunityTargeting Downline.

The thing about building a downline is that it works in exactly the same way as building your actual business. You need to understand who is most likely to relate to you and what you do and will benefit from what you are offering; your Perfect Customer, or Perfect Downline in this case. When it’s quite clear that anyone who is prepared to put in the effort can benefit from a direct sales opportunity, why do I say that you need a Perfect Downline? Well, because if you can easily relate to and understand someone, as well as support them from a position of knowledge, you have a place to begin. Having a familiar place to begin is always more comfortable than an unfamiliar one. You can progress to talking to lots of different people as your confidence grows, but to start with, you may as well be on as familiar ground as possible.

How Do I Identify A Potential Downline?

Perhaps you have a professional background, in which case, perhaps you would be able to talk knowledgeably to those of a similar background. You can explain how you made the decision to do what you do and why it works for you.

It may be that you are a mum who started her direct sales business so that you could stay at home with your children. It would be simple for you to explain to other mums what and why you did what you did, and how you did it.

Maybe you have a separate, but related business to your direct sales business and you found that they were a good fit? Perhaps you know others in your industry for whom there would also be a good fit? It’s somewhere to start, isn’t it?

I Have A Prospective Downline To Talk To. Now What?

Be aware that although you might be alight with enthusiasm about your new business, others can be uncomfortable with that type of eagerness. I understand how important enthusiasm is, but try to focus not on what you think, know and feel, but on the person that you are talking to; on their needs and desires.

What do they know currently and what do they need to know to be able to make a well-informed decision? What are they looking for? Are they looking for additional income? Is that a couple of hundred quid a month or a retirement plan? If you know what they want, you can explain what you have to offer in ways that will be simple for them to assimilate.

Good Questions To Ask Prospective Downlines

Just like selling a product or service to someone, you need to be able to talk to a prospective downline in terms of what is in it for them. In order to understand what’s in it for them, it can help if you start by asking BOQs. BOQs are Big Open Questions and there are 4 of them. They are easily remembered by the acronym TEDS:

  • T = Tell me about……
  • E = Explain to me how…….
  • D = Describe to me why/how……
  • S = Show me what that means to you/feels like/looks like…..

Once you have a clear understanding of what your prospect is looking for, you will be able to describe your business opportunity in terms of exactly that. Never, ever lose sight of the fact that you have to talk in terms of what’s in it for them.

Enjoy and happy team building!