What do I do?
I got a call from a fellow distributor. They were quite perplexed by the situation that they found themselves in. It seems that their sponsor was trying to be their boss. They were trying to manage them.
We all joined network marketing or at least most of us did, to try to get away from having a boss. What are we supposed to do when our sponsor tries to take over that role in our businesses?
This is a very tough call. In this case, the sponsor and the distributor are friends. That complicates things, a lot.
The back story goes like this. The sponsor has been helpful over the 2 years that the distributor has been in the business. They’ve done some crazy things to drum up business. These are things that I wouldn’t do and I recommended that the distributor stop agreeing to do them with the sponsor. The sponsor is a take charge kind of guy, but the distributor is very entrepreneurial minded. There has been some friction there, but they always seem to work things out.
The distributor has rank advanced several times while the sponsor hasn’t rank advanced in several years. I can see why!
The sponsor has always been a bit bossy, but it has gotten much worse over the past 3 or 4 months. The sponsor has taken it upon themselves to work the distributor’s downline for them, without asking. The sponsor is alienating distributors and prospects alike. This is a very bad situation.
The sponsor has been with this particular company for nearly 10 years. He is a very good resource to have access to. If anyone has questions about the business or the products, they are the go to guy! It would be a shame if this situation causes such a big rift that everyone loses! However, something needs to change, in a hurry.
These are the recommendations that I gave the distributor.
Unfortunately, there has already been a fair amount of damage caused by this sponsor. I’m sure that he is a nice guy, but his people skills leave something to be desired. The distributor isn’t going to be able to change the sponsor. That’s the way he is and there isn’t much that can be done about it. Now is the time to try to mend the damage. The distributor needs to talk to all of the people that have been in the line of fire of the sponsor.
I suggested that the distributor try to talk, face to face, with as many of the downline as they can. If they are too far away, use the phone. This is not the time for a text or email. Feelings have been hurt and dreams have been crushed, it’s time for hand holding and ego stroking. You’re trying to “save” as many of your downline as you possibly can.
The prospects that have come in contact with the sponsor are probably lost, but it is worth a shot to try to save them as well.
As far as moving forward is concerned, the distributor will need to “run interference” for their downline. They need to be a go between, at worst and a dividing wall, if need be. This may cause some ruffled feathers with the sponsor. What can the distributor do about that? The answer is to tell the sponsor that the distributor is taking more of a leadership role. They should like to hear that and this, alone, may get them to back off a bit.
As the distributor recruits more people into the business they should warn the new recruits about the sponsor. Laugh it off, “That’s just the way they are. We can talk about it afterwards.”
This is a very difficult situation to deal with. Especially, if they would like to maintain the friendship between sponsor and distributor.
I hope everyone, who reads this article, takes note of what can happen if anyone becomes a “boss” or a “manager” in network marketing! Never take on that kind of a role unless your downline has specifically asked you to do that!
Please share this article with your downline! It might help them!
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