Sarah Robbins blog

How to Use Stories To Train Your Network Marketing Team


Hey there Rock Stars! Welcome to the “Story Series”, where all month long I will teach you how to package and present POWERFUL stories to share more about your network marketing company and product.

Today’s topic is: How To Use Stories To Train Your Network Marketing Team!

Have you ever noticed that when you go to a weekend long training event, the talks that you typically recall years later, are the ones that incorporated stories? Stories are what connect us emotionally to what we are hearing, and typically what we are able to recall–and what we share over and over again. As a former teacher, I would use stories and examples to solidify lessons with my students. This must be why I love to share stories when I train my network marketing team!

Each time you conduct a training for your team ask yourself: “Have I included a real-life story as an example of someone who is doing what I am teaching?Bonus tip: Also ask: “Have I included a call to action?” “What are the ‘takeaways’ for the listeners? What do I want them to do next?” This will make your trainings more memorable, and produce better results!

Here are some of my favorites stories that highlight ten of my top personal team leaders.  I love to incorporate their stories into my team trainings, as well as share their stories at conferences/ conventions/ retreats that I speak at, industry-wide (*feel free to borrow these stories and share as you need them too!):

Stacey (left), Rose (middle right), and their upline team Prudy (middle left) and Vicki (right)

Top leaders and friends: Stacey Roney (left), Rose Gallo-Rojas (middle right), and their upline team Prudy Ferrone (middle left) and Vicki Elbrecht (right). Why you never pre-judge!

Why The First Thing Every New Distributor Should Do Is: Rock Your Contact List

(And Call EVERYONE On It!)

My mom and I used to work for a woman named Stacey. Stacey and her husband own several successful businesses in Chicago. We both thought of her several times and never called her. The chances are, if you think someone is great, someone else does too. Eventually someone will call them, and in this case, they did! Rose out of Chicago beat us to it! She used a referral-based approach, complimenting Stacey, building on her credibility saying something simple like: “Stacey. I know you’ve built several successful businesses in Chicago, and I know you’re well networked in the Chicagoland area. I respect you. I am building a business in Chicago too. I was wondering if I could treat you to coffee, share with you what I’m doing, and pick your brain on ideas of how to grow this. I’d also like to see if you know people who you think may be interested.” *(This is great language you can use when reaching out to your prospects on your “chicken list”!)

Stacey met Rose for coffee, came with a list of hundreds of names she was ready to give Rose as referrals, and when she heard the opportunity she decided to come to a meeting to hear more for herself. I happened to be hosting the meeting that night, and in walked Stacey! My stomach hit the floor! She joined us! Stacey ended up being the top recruiter in the company that year! She earned her company car, and promoted to the very top leadership position in our pay plan!

Shoulda woulda coulda? Of course I’m thrilled for Stacey and Rose, but how many know that you only have to learn that type of lesson once? Now if someone comes to mind, I follow that little tug in my heart. I have a professional sense of urgency. I call them immediately, and I think: “which is greater? The risk or the reward?” The worst thing they will say is no! You won’t die (I have yet to die doing this business!) The best thing they will say is “yes”! And they change your life, their life, and countless of lives too, just as Stacey, Rose, and their upline Vicky and Prudy are doing today. By the way, they’ve created one of the strongest teams in the company! Don’t pre-judge anyone. You don’t know what their hopes, dreams, desires, and their financial situations are. Usually the most well-connected, successful, busy people get it first, and they run with it! It’s just our job to share, and it’s their job to decide. Remember, if we share what we’re doing with everyone, they can all plug in to one of the “3 C’s”: as a customer, consultant, or to help us in creating new connections! But they can only do that if they know what you’re doing and if you share your story with them! Make this your mantra: “Sharing with 5 contacts a day keeps leads coming my way!”

Sarah and her business partners and top leaders Stephanie Goetz and Emily Piniatoglou

Sarah and her business partners and top leaders Stephanie Goetz and Emily Piniatoglou. Why referrals are rewarding!

Why Referrals Are Very Rewarding

I developed my very own “referral reward program” where I offer free product, or my discount on the product to people who give me referrals. Use your discretion on how much you’re willing to give for referrals of those who join you on the products or the business, or if someone hosts an event for you. Referrals can be very rewarding! Some of my strongest distributors came from referral sources! Here are a few examples:

My personal business partners Stephanie and Emily are both top leaders in our company. I met Emily through my sister Emily. My sister wasn’t interested in our business, but I asked her if I could share more with her about what I was doing, in hopes that she could lead me to someone. I further explained there would be referral rewards for her if she did! She agreed, I shared more, and I gave her some ideas of what to email out and a few brief blurbs to post on social media sites. One day, she posted a few sentences online about my business and my story, asking people if they wanted to learn more. A woman at our gym messaged her back, came to one of our meetings, and joined me! Today, Emily’s risen to the top of our leader board, has earned over $10,000 in bonuses with the company on top of her commissions, and also served on our company’s advisory board! This business was a blessing to them during a very difficult time in their family’s life when unexpectedly, her husband Tim had to have brain surgery. Due to their team’s success, they were able to take time off of work, and focus on what mattered most: their family. Emily and Tim always remind people: “the time to look for a plan B is not when you need one!”

How did I meet Stephanie? I used to teach her son in kindergarten! I shared with her what I was doing, and she began regularly referring people onto me! One day she said: “why not me?” We met for coffee, and she joined me! Today, she too has earned over $10,000 of bonuses, and has risen to the top of the leader board in our company and has earned incredible incentive trips as well! She used to work corporately for a top charity, and now she’s able to give of her time and resources to that charity, and continue to change so many lives! And the icing on the cake? These two top leaders have become two of my dearest friends.

Sarah and her business partner, and top leader Amy Dagan

Sarah and her business partner, and top leader Amy Dagan. Amy’s team has one of the largest customer bases!!!

Customers Make Great Connectors

Don’t take “no” as a permanent answer! Let me explain: If someone says “no” to the business, be sure to say: “No problem. I’d love to have you try the products for now and be my best customer– and later on down the road, if your timing changes for the business, we can always revisit the opportunity later!”

One of my top leaders Amy does this so well. She does a lot of networking. After every prospecting meeting, if they aren’t interested, she has a new customer. Eventually that customer becomes a consultant down the road, as she’s nurtured them, developed a rapport, and she reminds them of the features and benefits of joining her on the business! She’s went on to build one of the top teams on my personal team and their team has one of the largest bases of very happy customers as a result!

Customers are so valuable to our business. They are our best brand ambassadors. Customers can later become your best consultants! I want to share with you a quick story—I call it the “Crystal Coder approach” named after two of our top leaders Debbie Coder and Crystal Archie. Crystal is great about posting a lot of before and after pictures of our product successes on Facebook. One day, her friend Debbie saw them, and messaged Crystal, who took the conversation offline to tell her more about the products. She mentioned, “you know, as a consultant I actually get the products at a discounted price and am able to earn extra money by sharing my results with others when people try them. Can I tell you more about that program?” She did! And Debbi joined her, and both girls have built “million dollar teams”! So don’t be afraid to ask your customers if they would like to learn more about becoming a consultant too—so they can get their best savings!

Sarah and her top leaders at their annual convention recognition dinner. Natalia (front row, second person in from the right) and Prudy (front row, third person in from the right) both created major momentum in their business with regular events!

Sarah and her leaders at their annual personal team convention recognition dinner, for her top leaders. Natalia Yosco (front row, second person in from the right) and Prudy Ferrone (front row, third person in from the right) both created major momentum in their business with events!

Rock Events To Grow A Large Local Team

One of my personal partners, Prudy, was a million dollar earner for another network marketing company. She left her first company to build a medical spa, and came back to our profession to build with our company. She tells a story of when her volume was stagnant in the early days, and she began to implement ongoing events with her team (we aren’t a party plan company, but for a brief while she asked all of her leaders to host events to build faster momentum!) She made herself available for all of their events, as they were income producing. Within a matter of months she earned the company car, and today is one of the top leaders of one of the larger teams in our company. She works with the willing, focuses on income producing activity with her team (calls and events), and keeps the rest plugged in!

I can’t stress enough the importance of regular (weekly, bi-monthly, or at least monthly) meetings for your team to stay plugged in. These meetings can be events conducted in your home, where people can simply learn how to “invite” their guests for a presentation on the opportunity, and then end with some sort of training. Leaders who understand duplication understand the power of regular meetings and events for their team. All a new distributor has to do is learn how to invite people to a meeting, and follow up after, which makes things simple and duplicable.

This is how one of our top leaders, Million Dollar Circle Achiever, Natalia created a groundswell in her market. She began implementing regular weekly meetings so her team would duplicate quickly, right out of the starting gates. She was brand new, and partnered with a few of her new partners and they started meeting in a church weekly, then grew into a coffee shop, then a restaurant, then grew into at a small clubhouse, then a larger one. Now their meetings can attract hundreds of people, and her market became one of the strongest in the company–and she’s one of the very top leaders in the company! She attributes much of that success to having a simple local support system in place where new distributors could easily invite guests, get trained and grow, and this fostered quick duplication and growth! She kept it simple for everyone! How smart!

Sarah and Stacey Snee (on the end)  with Susie and Nikki. All top leaders and friends on our personal team

Sarah and Stacey Snee (on the end) with Susie and Nikki. All top leaders and friends on our personal team. Stacey started part-time, but built big-time success!

You Can Work This Business Part-Time But Not “Sometimes”

I’ve heard people say: “you can work your business part time (most people do), but not some time”. What does that mean? It means that with the hours you do have to put into your business you must be planned and purposeful. You must be prepared! You must be ready to focus on “income producing activity” (sharing and showing your business and products to prospects).

My business partner Stacey is a prime example of someone who started her business very part-time, but built big-time success! She’s a military spouse and mother to two young children, who started her business during a big move from Hawaii to Washington D.C. to start a new job as the National Deputy Director at a non-profit organization. Amidst the chaos of moving, her new full-time career, and being a solo parent during her husband’s deployment, Stacey still recognized an opportunity too good to pass up. She consistently worked her business in just about an hour per day! Just three months into her business, Stacey was able to walk away from her full time job and be available to her kids, replace her corporate salary, earn the company car and qualify for multiple incentive trips.

“I know many people who think they are too overwhelmed and can’t fit anything more into their lives, but, at first, I was only working my business one hour a day. It’s so important to see a bigger vision. You can work it an hour a day and still build something over time that is significant, not only for yourself, but for the people that join your team.” Stacey started working with me, sometimes on an hour a day, once her kids went to sleep–but each hour was filled with prospecting calls, and “income producing activity”–proof that you can build big part-time, but you can’t just work this “sometimes”! Set your schedule, and come prepared to work each day!

Sarah and top leader and friend Kim Cartwright at her car presentation

Sarah with her business partner, top leader Kim Cartwright at her car presentation. Kim is a leader of leaders!

Go Wide For Show, Deep For Dough!

“Go wide for show, and deep for dough!” What does this mean? Many leaders focus on building wide for titles and recognition–but seasoned leaders also know that you have to have a balance, and dig down deep into your organization, looking for emerging leaders, and treating them as though they are your personally sponsored! This is where depth is created in your organization (volume, and growth!) If there’s one lesson that I learned from my business partner Kim, it’s that you work down deep into your organization–almost like mining for gold! Kim is someone who makes herself available to her entire team by opening up her calendar for calls and events (when your team is of a manageable size as you’re starting out, I always recommend this–with a group of my size, the goal is to empower and duplicate leaders to do what you do!)

Kim works very hard with her leaders–and as a result of her hard work, and her leader’s hard work, several levels deep a large group began to grow. She made herself available to those leaders for coaching calls, and closing calls, realizing that “heat burns up!” Today that leadership team has reached the top title in our company, through working down deep with leaders. Kim qualified for a company car (so did her leaders), and is now earning, what would be considered by many “career income” with our company!

Sarah with top leader and friend Nikki Lazo at her team retreat at her lake home

Sarah with top leader and her business partner Nikki Lazo at her team retreat at her lake home. Nikki’s story inspires many to “never give up”! Give this the time it takes!

Never Give Up On People

I remember sitting in my kitchen one day, checking my business reports. I noticed a leader who’s sales went from average, to literally multiplying month over month is just a few short months (during summer months, which can be slower)–she quickly skyrocketed to car qualifications (and for us, car qualifications means you’re at a career income, doing really well!)

Here is what I love most about Nikki’s story: She had been in the business for almost 3 years, and she only started seeing notable success in our business over the past year or so. Most people would’ve given up much sooner. She admits that there was many times where she wanted to quit, wondering if success would ever happen for her. Although discouraged at times, she continued to remain coachable and committed. I would speak words of affirmation to her, reminding her of her dreams, and how much I believed in her. She would do the same with her team (her team just loves her! They have the greatest culture!)

During this time in her business, Nikki’s faith was being built. Her confidence was being built. She was being refined into the leader and woman she was intended to be. In about 90 days her business was completely transformed, and I can barely recognize Nikki! She has become a dynamic, strong, assured leader. Nikki’s story was shared on a national call with my team, and it inspired so many to press on, persevere, and to push towards their prize. I encourage you to persevere too. You will face resistance in your business too. There might be times where you want to quit. Resistance isn’t a sign to quit. You are exactly where you are supposed to be—growing in faith, confidence, and character. You are being refined. You will be accelerated at your designated time if you press on.

I have another leader named Angela who has been in the business for a few years too–and it wasn’t until recently that she chose to rise to the very top! Angela was going through a tough time personally and chose to allow that pressure to promote her– because of this Angela had a new commitment to her business most recently. I am so proud of Angela and her team. In a very short period of time (with focused effort and major team commitment) they got in car-qualifications too–and are working toward completing some very big goals.

You never know when people’s timing will be just right to take off like a rocket ship!  Don’t give up on your rock stars! Work with the working, but don’t forget to LOVE (and encourage) the rest of them! Keep them plugged into your team systems and trainings too!

Sarah with top leader and friend Susie Sheftel

Sarah with top leader and business partner Susie Sheftel. One of the most famous stories in our profession–why you never (EVER) quit!

Don’t Ever Give Up On Your Business

I want to share with you a story of why quitting should never cross your mind.

One of the top leaders on my team is a woman by the name of Susie. Susie learned about our business from someone she had worked with briefly. On December 31, she was introduced to me on a three-way call with her soon-to-sponsor, who at the time was my personal partner. Susie immediately caught the vision and enrolled on New Years Eve! What a way to toast to new beginnings!

Unfortunately Susie’s sponsor got discouraged that she had only enrolled one person. She decided that the business wasn’t for her, and she quit.

A few years later, her team of one (Susie) grew into an incredible team that spans across the entire country. In fact, it’s one of the fastest growing teams in our company. Many team members are driving beautiful free cars, earning amazing incentive trips, and increasing their incomes. In fact, Susie was recently recognized as a million dollar circle achiever at our company convention.

Can you imagine if Susie’s sponsor stuck with the business? I’ve referred to her in industry events as the “$50 Million Dollar Woman”. Susie’s sponsor started this business at about age 30. After taxes, and with conservative investments, and not even taking into effect organizational growth over time, that’s what she could have earned over time if she didn’t walk away.

One of my friends, Donna Johnson, another million-dollar earner reminds me often: “Sarah, I know handfuls of people who will be millionaires today if they simply didn’t quit!” You never know what people will do or whom they will lead you to. Quitting is the surest way to fail!

I recently read that as many as 95 percent of those who remain in this industry for 10 years or longer working steadily at building their groups reach their highest level of pay in their respective business.

If there’s one thing that I know for sure about success, is that it begins with a decision to be successful, a commitment to seeing it through, and you just can’t quit. My mom and I were the first 2 distributors in our company. Early on when we started our business with no training, no websites, and no mentoring at the time, we made a decision to do whatever it takes! In my opinion, that is the greatest factor that leads to success–your decision. Whether you think you can or think you’re can’t you’re right! So make a decision, be relentless, and be committed to do whatever it takes!

I love to share these stories of hope, and possibility with my rock stars! I hope they encouraged you too…

FINAL TIP: Always have your leaders share their packaged business story when they train on calls or at events (I share how to package your business story, on this blog). Stories help to encourage your team, and build belief! So before anyone trains, ask that they tell their story (why they joined, and what the business is doing to change their life)! That’s typically what makes the greatest impression on people, and what they remember most.

Remember, facts tell, stories sell! 🙂 I hope you enjoyed meeting my TOP TEN personal business partners, who are some of my very best friends! Now be sure to “Share” this with YOUR rock stars! XO I hope this inspires them to dream BIGGER!


Like this? Please share it with your ROCK STARS! – Sarah “Rockin” Robbins

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Who is Sarah Robbins? The #1 earner in her company and one of the world’s leading network marketing distributors. She is also the author of the best-selling book ROCK YOUR NETWORK MARKETING BUSINESS that you can purchase here.

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