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We all know that one of the best ways to succeed in direct sales is to grow your direct sales team through sponsoring. This means being able to identify and communicate with potential consultants who might be a good fit.

And that means developing a system and strategy for finding the best fit.

Please note, before I go on any further, I am not necessarily telling you to go find superstars, sales professionals, or the people who are going to get out there and become instant Rockstars. Best fit doesn’t necessarily mean best seller. What I am talking about is someone who can bring value to your team and also benefit from the value you offer as a sponsor.

It’s a two-way street.

So, why wouldn’t you just want to go out onto Facebook or some other social media channel and start asking everyone you know to join your team? Because you can’t predict everyone. I don’t mean you can’t predict who will say no and he will say yes, I mean trying to grow your direct sales team by asking a bunch of random people leads to a bunch of random people joining your team. Random team members equals random performance and random performance equals random sales and random sales means stressful times as you try to establish your goals both as a leader and as a direct sales business owner.

Who would be the best fit to join my team?

I am so glad you asked!

First, think about and define what your team has to offer to any new consultant for your brand or company. Do you offer special training, a tight knit team that acts more like a family, do you have resources available to you that other leaders would have a hard time getting their hands on? Perhaps you have been with your company for a long time and have an established relationship and reputation already? Whatever your value is, burn it into your brain and then start looking for prospects who would benefit the most from your value.

It’s probably tempting to look at everything you have to offer and say “well every new consultant would benefit from being on my team.“ And that might be true. But there are also people for whom that wouldn’t be a good fit, necessarily.

For example, let’s say the value that you have defined for your team is a tight knit family feel. A lot of people love joining teams that have that really tight knit family feel, but not everyone can necessarily see the benefit in that. Introverted people, for example, may feel anxiety when you try to talk to them about how much of a family your team is. Or people who have experienced trauma within their family or have escaped some kind of abuse from their family may have a hard time connecting a family like team as being a benefit for their direct sales business.

Does this mean you shouldn’t ask anyone who has survived abuse or trauma from within their family? Of course not, that’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m just letting you know that they may not view family as a selling point to join your team. And therefore, they may not be the best fit for you. And joining your team may not give them the same benefits that it gives other people.

Remember the goal here: the best fit for your team means someone who will benefit from being on your team as much as you will benefit from having them on your team. Like I said, if you want to grow your direct sales team through sponsoring, then it has to be a two-way street.

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Here are 5 more Sponsoring Tips to Help you Grow your Direct Sales Team Quickly.

1. Work On Your Sponsoring Mindset: Why Are You Sponsoring?

I’ve already said it a couple of times, but it is so important that it bears repeating a third time: when you are sponsoring someone onto your team, you are doing so in order to provide value and benefit that person at least as much as they will benefit you by being on your team. This means making a mindset switch when it comes to sponsoring.

You can no longer think that you grow your direct sales team as “I need to sponsor and grow my team so that I can make more money or get invited on that incentive trip or earn more prizes from my company.“

That’s not going to work.

Instead, when you approach your next prospect with the intention of inviting them to join your team, do it from a place of service. Think more about the benefit that you are about to offer them. What is the opportunity that you are presenting? And why is this prospect going to benefit from this opportunity?

Remember, not everyone joins a direct sales company with the thought or intention that they want to build an empire and make all kinds of money. Heck, a lot of people join direct sales even though they don’t even want to own a business— they just want a discount on the products they already love.

So think about why this person would be such a good fit for your team, and why your team is such a good fit for them.

2. Stop Pre-Judging Your Prospects!

Once upon a time, I was living it up in the corporate world, traveling to different places, building my reputation, and doing what I thought looked like success. And I was miserable. But no one knew that about me. None of my friends, none of my coworkers, even some of my own family didn’t know how miserable I was.

And then one day I was invited to an Origami Owl party.

No, you’re probably thinking that this is the part where I tell you that they asked me to join their team and I said yes and I began my career in direct sales and then lived happily ever after as a direct sales coach. But now, this is not that story because they did not ask me.

And the reason they did not ask me is because they thought that because I looked so successful in my corporate job, that I couldn’t possibly be interested in joining their direct sales team.

Now, to this day I have no idea if I actually would have joined had they asked me. The truth is I don’t know if I would’ve joined. I wasn’t sure how much fun it could be, I didn’t understand the opportunity, I didn’t know really much about how it all worked.

But what I do know is that the next time I went to an Origami Owl party, they did ask me to join their team. And once the opportunity was explained to me and I understood the benefits of being able to work from home with my kids, I jumped at the opportunity. It was exactly what I needed then.

My point here is not to tell you to ask everyone because you never know who’s going to say yes, nor is it to say that the first party I went to made a huge mistake by not asking me. My point here is to simply stop pre-judging your prospects. If you think that someone might be a good fit to join your team, don’t answer for them. Don’t decide not to ask them because you think they’re just going to say no anyway.

If you believe they are a good fit, ask. If they believe they are a good fit, they may join. If not, then they won’t join, but at least you can feel good that you asked out of a place of service and out of a place of what you believe would serve them well (and not out of some self-serving space in which you want to grow your direct sales team because you want to make money off them).

3. Treat Sponsoring As A Priority

Once you join a direct sales company and you start your business, you start wearing a whole bunch of hats. You have to build up your brand, build up your team, build your systems, build your marketing strategy— everything that any other business would have to do themselves. The only difference is, while other businesses have growth specialists, human resources, marketing teams, trainers, and operations managers to build their systems, you are all those people.

It’s not even that you are the CEO, because the CEO doesn’t build any of that stuff. I didn’t build any of the systems that are used to run my company now, I hired the people who had the knowledge for how to build our systems.

As a direct sales consultant, you’re above the CEO. What’s above a CEO? I don’t know, the universe?

The point is, a lot of times direct sellers get so caught up and involved in all the things that they have to learn and do that things like sponsoring end up on the back burner. They wait for people to come to them. And if you want to grow your team, you cannot do that.

You have to develop a system for sponsoring that will help you lead any prospect from acquaintance down to raving fans who cannot wait to join your team.

This means planting seeds, nurturing those seeds with regular communications, following up on those seeds, and tracking how much loving sunshine you are showing them. This does not mean hounding them until they tell you yes, it doesn’t mean sending obnoxious messages to their inbox over social media every day until they either block you or join your team; but once you have established a relationship with your prospect and you believe that they are a good fit for your team, it’s time to start tracking where they are.

They may not be ready to join your team when you first ask them, and that’s fine. But where are they on the journey between that ask and joining? If you are tracking your sponsoring funnel, where are they and how can you guide them to the next step?

This also means taking the time to do it. Sponsoring cannot be something that sits on the back burner until you have spare time. Let me tell you right now, you are never going to have spare time. Instead, you need to put together a dedicated schedule and a block of time every week or every month During which you can focus on your sponsoring efforts. It might be five minutes a day or 30 minutes a day or two hours every weekend. How much time you spend doesn’t matter so much as making sure every minute is effective.

4. Don’t Sound Like A Broken Record – Change Things Up!

I mentioned earlier that you need to know where in your sponsoring funnel someone is in order to be able to build a system and help them move onto the next step. That said, you also need to change up your messaging.

Can you imagine if someone walked up to you and said “hey do you wanna join my team?” And you said no not today. And then they came up to you two weeks later and said “hey do you wanna join my team?” Exact same message, exact same description, exact same cookie-cutter script that you’ve heard over and over and over again.

If you’re good friends with this person, you’ll probably be very polite to them, at least at first. But after a while, that question does not serve you. Not only does it not compel you to say yes and join the team, but it doesn’t even move you closer to the consultant. There’s nothing there that takes you from not wanting to join the team to possibly considering joining the team.

It's just a broken record. And what do we do with broken records? We throw them out.

This is when friends and family start blocking consultants.

Now, part of your messaging is going to come from understanding why you are sponsoring. As you grow that part out, you’ll be able to flush out your messaging. But take some time in between sponsoring opportunities to really look at how you are asking people to join your team and evaluate whether or not you are conveying your opportunity and benefits well enough.

5. Remember Who You Are And Why You’re Sponsoring (See #1) And Stay Authentic To Your Messaging

Last but not least, remember who you are and why you’re sponsoring. I told you, number one, leading with value with your prospect of finding the best fit by searching for people who would benefit from being on your team as much as they benefit you for being on your team is the most important step to growing your direct sales team. And that comes from being authentic.

Don’t change your messaging because you’re afraid that someone is going to say no to you. I mentioned earlier that if part of your team culture was that it had a very tight knit family like feel, some people may not be sold on that. Some people may not like that tight knit family feel. Does that mean you should tell them that your team is made up of introverts who communicate primarily through email messages and DM‘s instead of hanging out in a group together all day?

No. That’s misrepresenting your team because you’re afraid that a person will say no to you based on a family feeling.

Remember why you are sponsoring someone, remember the value that you are offering, and remember the benefits that you were offering. And while you’re at it, remember what your personal brand is and the overall type of experience you want people to have when they connect with you.

All of those things are going to help you sponsor new team members and develop a team culture you and they want to be a part of. But no one is going to want to stick around on your team if they feel like you lied to them or were fake at any point or misrepresented what being on your team would be for them.

And there you have it! It doesn't have to be difficult to grow your direct sales team through sponsoring, and you don't have to feel pushy or gross doing it.

But it does take time to develop your strategy and understand exactly what it is that you are offering. Because no one is signing up to be on your team just so they can sell the same thing you’re selling. They’re signing up for something else. It’s up to you to decide what that something else is and make sure that you are able to convey that to them.

Have you already started growing your team and sponsoring new consultants?


Brenda Ster in a square frame sitting at her desk with her phone in both hands held at eye level with the words "5 tips for growing your direct sales team" for the blog post 5 Sponsoring Tips to Help Grow Your Direct Sales Team Fast

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