Communicating as a Leader

MLM Training – 29 Characteristics of an MLM Leader

Tim Sales asked:

Having trouble getting your downline to be motivated, productive and follow your guidance and suggestions? Here’s 29 proven actions successful MLM leaders do, written by a leader with a downline of 56,000 people.

1. A network marketing leader doesn’t wait until he/she gets a large group before becoming a leader. It can’t work that way, because you would never get the large group if you’re waiting to be leader first! Nor does the leader wait until they feel they possess the knowledge to lead – rarely they do. My observation is that leaders select themselves by taking on responsibility (the total reason something happens or doesn’t happen), rather than just the desire to lead. Want to be a leader? Go grab enough responsibility that it makes you feel like quitting every day…then don’t quit – congratulations, that’s LEADERSHIP. From that basis there are many other attributes you can develop.

2. At events, the leader arrives early and reserves chairs for their entire group on the front row. Yes, there are normally only two front rows (left and right)…If you’re on the 2nd or 3rd row – you’re still considered a leader. I spent five years getting up earlier than anyone else to make sure that my group had the front row. What I’ve found is that there are very rarely more than two leaders in any room. Please understand what I mean by this. Once a person gets to a certain level of success they will stop doing these simple leadership things because of ego. They suddenly become “too knowledgeable” to sit and listen to a speaker that has less time in the MLM business than them. If you remain humble and hungry the world is yours. So is the front row, by the way.

3. A true leader realizes that there is a difference between being a leader and being a leader of people. More on this later.

4. Network marketing “works” under many conditions, but when those relationships between you and your organization become tight and a “esprit de corps” is created, there’s nothing like it. I do mean nothing.

5. Appearance is impeccable. Even in jeans.

6. A leader “appears” organized, much like ducks cruising smoothly across the water, however, no one sees or knows how radical and out of control their feet are peddling.

7. Leaders of people treat their people with respect. Respect means you have a good opinion of their character or ideas. Simply put, you are interested in your people – their ideas, their complaints, their fears, their successes – THEM!

8. As a leader you develop or find five “Top Producers.” Devote yourself to them. Find three qualities that you like about each person. Write those in your day planner. Review them frequently, thinking of how you can help bolster one of those attributes. Bolstering an attribute can be many things – from a good verbal acknowledgement, to giving a telephone headset to someone as a gift who is working hard at making calls, to being their friend when they have a personal crisis.

9. New leaders are let down often by those they devote themselves to. Why? Because you selected the wrong person to devote yourself to. You only get good at character choosing with experience. Track record is really the only place to look first. What has the person been doing with their time…and what does the person do with his or her time? People are what they spend their time doing. Most great leaders begin in a hole and are mad about being there. Of highest concern is whether or not the person has been advancing. If they’re not, it might take a lot of work on your part. Perhaps more than you have. Every person who’s ever had the tough decision of choosing between lose two or lose one knows that this is one of the toughest decisions in life. Albeit controversial, do not sink yourself if doing so won’t save your mate. Cut away when you feel you’re being pulled under. If you help “able” people, they will help more people. If you try to help an unable person they may sink you on their way down.

10. The network marketing leader gets the product or service “specialist” in front of their group – whether it’s in person, on a conference call or on an audio or video. Example: Your company carries a nutrition line created by Dr. Whoever. He specializes in human nutrition and created an ingredient that is in your products that is truly unique. The leader will somehow get that doctor on a conference call with his or her group to raise their belief in the products.

11. A network marketing leader always gives “back” more. Example: Let’s say that there’s a foul-up in processing distributor agreements in your downline. You get the distributors on the phone with a customer service rep that handles the situation. You know that that customer service rep really worked hard to help the situation. Yes, it’s their job…BUT, the leader will send that customer service rep a bag of M&M’s or flowers or something to say “thank you for going above the call of duty.” What do you think that customer service rep will do for your group now? Just about anything.

12. The leader climbs the ladder and finds out who the decision makers are at the company and gets to know them but never bugs them. This is positioning yourself so that opportunity can see you. This is different than you seeing opportunity. Suddenly you find yourself speaking at the convention…hmm, I guess it was just luck. Yeah, right!

13. At the company conventions the leader will introduce the corporate staff to their organization and vise versa. Even the order takers! Take the time to do this because it creates a sense of belonging for both the corporate staff as well as the distributors. Imagine the difference when a biochemist for a company has met 100 real people with dreams and passions about selling his/her product. Do you think that creates a stronger passion for the biochemist to create better products? Absolutely. All of this “belonging” and “passion” was created because of your leadership.

14. A leader in network marketing is the switchboard of information and communication. They’re not “in the loop.” They ARE the loop.

15. A leader can always be reached by fax, email and or phone. Returned communication will occur in less than 24 hours. If that’s not a possibility the message will indicate that it might be longer.

16. A leader never exposes weakness and fear to their organization. Some view me as being “inhuman” or robotic on this. What I mean by this is that the leader must always maintain their certainty about the MLM business opportunity. I’ve never met a person in my life that doesn’t have fear and weaknesses. If you’ve got fears or doubts about your company get over them or get out. Fly to the company today and get your concerns handled. Come back and be a rock for your group. I guarantee they’ll follow you. Conversely, share with them your little uncertainties and they’ll be so relieved that you’re “human” and…they’ll also find another leader to follow.

17. Recognizing that everyone is growing, a leader never invalidates the efforts of anyone in his or her organization. One person brings six guests to a meeting, another brings two, and the third brings none. The leader is able to notice that person number three is there – which might have been a major growth step for them. So instead of criticizing them for not bringing a guest – they praise them for being there.

18. The leader is always searching for and praising something about his or her people. “Little babies love praise, but grown men will die for it.” Men in battle will risk their lives for a ¼” x ½” ribbon they pin onto their shirt above their left chest pocket. They wear this ribbon for the world to see. Forgo praise and you’ve missed out on the most powerful tool in your leadership arsenal. Praise for things they’ve yet to do, and you’ll create a person who withdraws from the group because you mad
e them a fake.

19. If you share this
list with your group – share whose content it is. If you don’t you will also be guilty of the last sentence of item #18. Seeking praise, respect, fame, etc. for what you didn’t do, makes you feel like a fake.

20. A leader uses and teaches new technologies in their organization – but only if it truly works. Don’t drive your organization down dead ends.

21. Leaders are ethical examples. If you “sneak” your people past the registration table you’ve just ruined their perception of you. They can never trust you and they shouldn’t. You’ve got one shot at doing this right.

22. A leader creates alliances with needed national and international (if applicable) groups to ensure their group has support and representation. If no group exists, build it.

23. Leaders are more concerned about the growth of their people than the growth of their bonus check. Focus on the growth of your people, your bonus check will take care of itself.

24. A leader never says what they can get others to say. Example: My company calls and says, “We’d like you to speak at the company convention.” I accept graciously, and then ask “Would it be possible for me to include a new leader named _________? They’re a good speaker and I would love to share the stage with them.” See, a leader wants his or her people to be leaders.

25. A leader never, ever speaks ill of anyone – even if they deserve it.

26. A leader acknowledges other leaders in the room. “We are honored to have in the room with us Mrs. 77. She conducts business meetings in the 44 area.”

27. A leader doesn’t get bent out of shape because they don’t get a return phone call from the corporate office – or the upline! More than once I’ve sent pizza to a department with special instructions to the delivery person telling them to say. “This pizza has already been paid for by Tim Sales. He asks only that after enjoying the pizza that you call him at 555-3797.” Everyone laughs and guess what? You get a phone call with the right tone in their voice for getting something done. Anyone can complain – they’re use to that. A leader finds amusement in creating more effective forms of communication.

28. A leader has a crystal clear vision about their networking marketing company and where they’re taking it. If the company doesn’t have something, they don’t complain, they figure out how to convince the company to get it.

29. A leader, after reviewing this list will print it out and does at least one item everyday.

There are more, but this should get you started.

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