From working with countless clients in both existing and new startup MLM’s over the last 6 years, I’ve noticed how critical it is to focus on each stage of the MLM distributors contact with the company. There are many stages, the sales process, on-boarding,  and  the actual stages of building the business and growing through the ranks.

In our article today, we are going to focus on the stage of on-boarding. On-boarding is defined as those first 7 days after a new affiliate has enrolled in your company and their experience during those 7 days.

#1 Setting Expectations

What is the first thing a member sees after enrolling in your company? Are they dropped on an empty dashboard of the backoffice? To an initial training video? What is your process?

One key item we have learned over the years is that no matter how much content and sales materials you have provided to the affiliates, it is always a good idea to set expectations as corporate to all the members. It is quite possible that many of your new affiliates have all sorts of different expectations with your program depending on “who” sold them into joining the team.

One size does not fit all…

The next part to remember is that even though you can:

-set expectations

-clarify the rules for marketing your products

-share the powerful systems that are at your members disposal for connecting and inviting

Not all new affiliates will have the same goal.

Some may be looking for enough cash to get your product or service on autoship for free. Others may want to earn $500 a month, well you may have others who desire a serious $10,000/month or even $20,000/month income!

So the key is providing training based on those paths. Give your affiliates options, and through video training in your backoffice reinforce the ability for them to choose their path.

#2 Welcome Kits

Does your product or service lend itself to a physical welcome kit? Should you include product in your kits or sales materials? Both?

The experience of the “welcome kit” feeds right into the culture of how you want affiliates to be building your business. Does your product lend itself to sampling? Or do you have coupon codes or physical gift cards new customers can use at the affiliates store?

 Deciding what assets lend themselves to making it as easy as possible for the new affiliate to close their first sales will determine what needs to be in the kit. That word is worth repeating. What needs to be there, not filler content so it is like a competitors, but what actually serves a real purpose for your new affiliates.

So don’t fill up your kit with a hundred flyers or post cards and instead focus on the key items that are going to help your new affiliate get sales today.

Is it ok to not have a physical welcome kit? Sure, but you’re not off the hook, you still need a clear cut strategy to give new members a stellar experience(more on this in communication in our next point).

Thought To Remember:

Another thought well we’re on the subject, since on-boarding is in the first 7 days, would it be a good idea to get your kit into your new affiliates hands as soon as possible? What about including free 2 day shipping?

#3 Communication Strategies

“5 Emails on the FIRST DAY??????, What The…..” – Jane The New Affiliate

We have all experienced this. You enroll in a new service and get bombarded with too much communication.

So how much is enough and how much is too much?

Remember that your new affiliate will most likely get a receipt when joining, will be added to your current newsletter list for your normal weekly blast email, and will probably be put into a new member automated message series. Whew! That can be a lot if not planned out.

The key is staggering it and mixing up the forms of communication. Remember the first commandment of on-boarding a new affiliate

“Man shall not live by email alone”

Since they are already getting a receipt and will be on your active newsletter list, wouldn’t it be a good idea to put have your welcome autoresponder start the 2nd day? Could you even address in your email that they are getting 1 of 7 emails today to give them the links and training information they should know about as they are getting started?

Sometimes just letting them know how many they will get can help with email overload.

What about their first experience with the customer service team?

Do you want to guarantee that their first experience is 99% positive?

If you wait for the new affiliate to have a challenge that needs to be resolved and them calling your support team for the first interaction, you run the risk of their first touch being from a challenged place.

What if you took the initiative and had your staff give an outbound call from a real live person welcoming them to the family? This could help point them to the training in the backoffice and nip any false expectations in the bud.

So don’t just think about it, have your people pick up the phone and call. Even if they get the voicemail it will be a win!

And don’t forget social media, having a company-specific-private-Facebook-group to lead your tribe in beyond the company Fan Page is a powerful way to create a feeling of getting access to the “club” with lots of social proof.

Have distributors add all the new folks they sponsor to the company Facebook Group and use the @name tag to tag the new person in the post. It won’t show up on the new members feed, but all the likes and comments from other members will be sure to let the new member know they are not alone.

You can then give the member done-for-you content to share on their own profile to engage their friends.

#4 The Target

Do you have a clear go for a short-term victory at your company?

What is a reasonable WIN that even the newest person can do in their first 7 days?

Share a sample of the product? Sell a sample pack of product from the website? Have 5 friends register for the company webinar?

It is critical that in the on boarding process the message is 100% on what the FIRST STEP is in growing your affiliate business with your company. Without a target you’re going to leave your entire future to luck in the universe and who wants a business dependent on luck alone?

So what WIN can people achieve in their first 7 days? How can you incentavise your sponsoring affiliates to assist the new affiliate in accomplishing this goal?

Create the clear target and focus all the new affiliates energy on it, they can learn the rest later, focus is the key here.