Why Do People Leave? By Russ DeVan

Russ DeVan

A familiar challenge to any organization, be it a corporate sales force, a company using network marketing, or an individual distributor’s MLM organization, is not so much building it as KEEPING it!

This challenge is commonly known as retention.

There is, in my opinion, no way to stop attrition, which, at least according to Webster’s is a “reduction in numbers usually as a result of resignation, retirement, or death” Two of these forms are inevitable- retirement or death, but the third, resignation, is not.

Resignation in the context of one’s network marketing organization can mean going through the motions and becoming complacent about the results, or it could actually mean giving up or quitting altogether.

This is the “dirty little secret downside” of our business model that no one wants to talk about.

It is “conventional wisdom” that says people lose interest and quit when they don’t make “significant money” fast enough.

In my opinion, it’s not that simple….AND, in my 43-year tenure, I have observed distributors who haven’t made money of any real consequence with their supplier over decades and they are still happy campers! So then what IS true of all the ones who DO “resign,” emotionally or literally?

I say that they had an expectation which was not met.

There are thousands of trainings in MLM about how to “get” people. Get in front of them. Get them interested. Get them to buy. Get them to “commit.” etc. etc.

Where are the ones about RETENTION? Getting them to “stay?” No, not like a “Collie!” I mean having them be excited and motivated on their OWN volition?

They are “Nowhere, Mon frere!”

I learned a long time ago that the key to motivation AND retention, literally the “Holy Grails” of Network Marketing methodology, lies in finding out what people are really committed to, and then drawing up a structure or a plan for them to get it.

Like all true goals or objectives vs. “Pipe Dreams,” the criteria must be grounded and measurable and go BEYOND wanting a result. It needs to be unacceptable NOT to attain it. This boils down to each individual being responsible for their own success and in alliance with their sponsor being accountable for it.

When objectives are vague or based on wishing and wanting, they will wither and fade in the face of cynicism from others or the self-doubt fostered by inexperience and unfamiliar or difficult tasks.

Every leader is responsible for providing an example of how the business can and does work; a planned direction or strategy for the success of his or her organization; and the communication and support to see a project through.

We cannot guarantee another individual’s success or “make them stay.” However, as someone’s sponsor whose income depends upon how well the team does financially, and how engaged and committed they remain to their OWN success, I say it is incumbent upon us to provide a template that contains their own personal variables and criteria, in order for them to play FULL out and stay “in the game”…


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Russ DeVan
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