How to Leverage an Upline – and Why They Want You To Do It


Hey, there. Jason Lee here. Today, we're going to be talking about the dos and don'ts for leveraging your upline in your network marketing business.

How do you leverage your upline?

There's right ways to do it and there's wrong ways to do it.

That's what we're going to get into today in this topic of how to leverage your upline, the dos and don'ts of doing so.

Now, what to do with your downline is a completely different subject altogether, but there are things that you may or may not be doing with your upline that you need to be aware of and these are going to help you to build a solid relationship with those individuals who have already done what you're looking to do or maybe they haven't but they're on their way.

Be respectful of their time and get the most out of the relationship with them. It's a give and take thing just like any business relationship.

We're going to teach you how to do those things. We'll start off with the don'ts, and I urge you to share this information with your team, share with people that you know in the profession because it's going to be very, very helpful to them if they haven't heard this already.

Let's get into the don'ts on what not to do with your upline.

If you do these things, by the way, they're going to have an extremely negative consequence in your business, either,

  • you're not going to have a business
  • it's very, very possible that your upline, heaven forbid, might stop returning your calls, might not pay attention to you.

This happens out there. This happens.

These relationships get damaged. It's just part of life.

I'm going to try to protect you from having that happen. I know, if you're watching this or reading this, the most important thing is you're in this for your own reason. You're in this network marketing business for your own reason. Maybe it's because you have a sick family member. Maybe it's because you want to provide the best education you can for your kids. Maybe it's because you just want to get free from your job that you don't like so much.

I don't know what it is, but it's something that you have decided to do for whatever reasons you have. Your upline is there to support you, but you didn't get into this business to build this business for your upline. I know that's not why you're here. Let's make sure we can get the most out of these relationships, make it a win/win relationship scenario.

Let's get into it.

Let's do the don'ts first.

Number one, don't ask your upline to build a leg for you.

There are instances where that occurs, but I will tell you this. It is a gift. If it happens to you, it's because God has, for whatever reason, decided to bless you with a leg that you did not have to build.

Well, congratulations. Don't go sounding the horn, screaming at the top of your lungs how awesome you are, and that sort of thing. Be grateful and be humble that you had a leg built for you in the first place if it even happened, and it's rare that it does. I will tell you that.

I've never had a leg built for me. When I first got into my last company, I had to build every leg. Every single leg, I had to build. I had nothing handed to me. Did I have plenty of people that I talked to on the phone, leads, that said, “Hey, I'll come on board if you build a leg for me.” Absolutely, I had that happen. Did they come on board? No way, because I wasn't interested in working with people who had that kind of attitude.

Don't ask your upline to build a leg for you. They're plenty busy, I promise you, building their own legs. If you're going to come on board, and they're going to drive the deepest part of your business so they're going to build a leg for you, it's because they want to help you, obviously, but it's probably because it makes the most financial sense in their business to be doing that at that time.

Nothing wrong with that.

They're building their MLM business.

If they're in the deepest part of your leg, and they're there, and they're active, and they're growing it, that's fantastic. Congratulations. You just had a leg built for you, you rock, but don't ask them to do it.

  • Be humble.
  • Be grateful.

If they do it, great, but take ownership of your business. Be the one in the driver's seat. Take accountability for that. It's very important that you do those things because they may or may not do it. They're not required to do it.

Number two, don't ask an upline or a potential upline to buy you into the business.

Don't ask them, “Hey, buy my starting kit. If you believe in me so much, Mr. Upline, buy me in.”

That's not a good thing to do. It's a very lousy way to start off the relationship. By the way, it also leads into the next don't that I would say aligns with this.

Don't give them ultimatums.

Don't give your upline an ultimatum, meaning an if-then. We call them if-then statements.

An example of that might be, “If you buy me in, I'll sponsor 20 people,” or, “If you buy me in, I'll become the $50,000 per year leg. I promise you.” I've heard that so many times. Oh my gosh, I've heard that so many times it's crazy. “If you buy me in, I'll be the top guy in this whole thing. I guarantee it. Just buy me in.”

First off, you have to understand that that's a psychological pattern, a pattern of manipulation that a person has. If they're using that kind of vocabulary, it's because they have some sort of deeply rooted issue with control. They want to control everything.

One of my favorite movies is Kung Fu Panda. My favorite character in that movie is Oogway, Master Oogway. If you haven't seen the movie, it's fantastic kids' movie. Go watch it. One of the things he says in that movie is he says, “Shifu, first you must give up the illusion of control.” He's talking to him. Then he later illustrates the same analogy with a peach tree to Po, the panda. Actually, I think he's talking to Shifu. “You may want a peach. You plant this seed from this tree in the ground. You may want an apple. You may want a pear. You may want something else, but when that thing grows, it's going to be a peach tree. No matter what you do, it's going to be a peach tree.”

Shifu says, “Yeah, but I can control where to plant the seed and I can control this and I can control that.” Yeah, but you can't control the seed itself. You can't control. He's relating the seed to Po, the panda, because Shifu's trying to turn the panda into something. He's trying to control him and make him something he's not. It's the same thing with your upline. It's the same thing with people that are above.

By the way, your upline doesn't even necessarily just have to be the person who sponsored you. Your upline is everybody above you, including the person that sponsored you. That could be a whole chain of people. It could be 20, 30, 40 people. It's important that you identify who the active ones are.

Do not give your upline an ultimatum.

Do not give them if-then statements. If you are doing that sort of thing, I highly encourage you to begin to evaluate, reflect, look in the mirror, and evaluate why you're doing those things. By the way, throw network marketing out of the window. That will destroy your relationships.

You want to get into a marriage and see it disintegrate faster than a wildfire in Northern California in the hot days of the summer, do that. I guarantee you it will destroy those relationships. Don't give people ultimatums. Don't give them if-thens. It's usually coming from a desperate mentality, a state of desperation, a state of lack of control. Maybe you have control issues in your life because of other things that have occurred to you. You've got to let that go. Don't give them ultimatums.

That's number three, right?

Then, number four is: Don't beg.

Don't beg.

Now you know a little bit of my strategy here for cutting videos if you cut videos. Don't beg or complain or be a fuddy-duddy.

  • Don't beg.
  • Don't complain.

If you need to vent about something, that's okay, but don't be a constant beggar. Don't be a constant complainer, somebody who's constantly, “Woe is me.”

I love the TV show Shark Tank.

I was watching it the other day. There was a young kid. He was a millennial. There's a stereotype for millennials. It doesn't always hold true, but there's a stereotype that, you know, they're the silver spoon generation sort of thing.

Anyway, he came in and he was the stereotypical millennial. He had an app that he had developed. The app was terrible, for lack of better words. The marketplace had determined that his app was no good. Nobody wanted to use it. Nobody wanted to buy it. He only had like 100-something active users out of millions and millions and millions of potential users. Mark Cuban tried to tell him that, “Hey, your product is no good. You need to go back, recheck those things.”

The kid began to complain and say, “Look, I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Look, I grind my fingers til they bleed on the keyboard at night on the bus. I have been working my tail to the bone.” This and that. Blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah. Complain, complain, complain, because he worked so hard, but, up here, he didn't understand that the marketplace doesn't give a rip.

It does not give a rip how hard you worked. It doesn't care one bit how great you think your product is. It doesn't care. It's indifferent to those things. All it cares about is: Do your customers love it? Is it a fantastic product? Do your customers want it bad enough, need it bad enough to pay their almighty dollar for it?

It will tell you that.

The marketplace will give you that information.

You can go ahead and create a product and throw it into the marketplace and hope it works or you can do the smart thing and test the marketplace on the front-end, survey the marketplace on the front-end, and create a product like that.

Anyway, this kid was complaining and complaining and begging.

Mark Cuban and I think it was Robert, yeah, I think it was Robert or maybe Kevin O'Leary, they said, “Look, we weren't born with silver spoons in our mouths. We worked our tails to the bone. We failed many times.” Mark Cuban slept on the apartment floor with six other dudes in his early 20s while he was grinding it out. They've all suffered.

Most of these guys on Shark Tank came from nothing. They came from absolutely nothing.

The kid didn't get that.

As a network marketing professional, we should understand those things and we should understand that, hey, why complain? Why beg? Why do those things? They don't serve you well. They don't serve you so just purge them out.

The video

I was watching a video the other day and I don't know who the gentleman was, but he looked like he was from India. He was almost like a Buddhist. He was wearing robes and stuff.

He showed a slide up on the screen, a PowerPoint slide. He said, look, this slide was an amazing PowerPoint slide. I watched it and it made so much sense. It had like five bubbles. It said, “Got a problem in life,” was the first bubble. Then it went, “Yes or no?” If it said no, it went to another circle. It said, “Why worry?” Then it said yes. If yes, it goes to another circle, “Anything you can do about it? No? Yes?” Both the no and the yes went back to the same circle, “Why worry?”

No matter what,

  • why worry?
  • Why complain?
  • Why beg?

You can insert the word in there that's not serving you well and it means the same thing. You got a problem in life? Why beg? Why worry? Why complain? Whether you can do something about it or not, you're in the driver's seat up here. You're in the driver's seat. You can control this. You can control how you smile, how often you smile, what kind of mood you're in on a daily basis.

Some of the people that live in the worst circumstances of their lives, I mean, you can't even imagine. Think about, I mean, this is probably not the best example, but think about prisoners of war.

There's plenty of examples of prisoners of war that have spent long periods of time in the uttermost abysmal places and still maintain positive attitudes.

How did they do that?

Because it was their choice. Jim Rohn teaches this. Tony Robbins teaches this. All the greats teach this.

It's a product of your emotional intelligence. Don't beg. Don't complain. Don't worry.

It doesn't serve you well, creates an energy around you that is negatively contagious to other people and won't get you where you want in your business.

Those are the big don'ts.

Those are the four big don'ts.

Don't ask people to build a leg for you. Don't give people ultimatums like if-thens. Don't ask people to buy you into the business or buy you things or anything like that. Don't be a complainer. Don't be a beggar. Stop worrying so much.

Those are the big don'ts for leveraging your upline. Don't go to your upline and do those things.

There's four big dos and I'll start with number one.

Do use your upline, any active upline.

If your upline who sponsored you quit and they're gone, fine. Let them go.

You're going to build your business. You own your business.

Find the next active upline and leverage them. Do use them for three-way calls.

If you're going to do three-way calls, the phone is still king in this business. I don't care much stuff you see online, I'm cutting this video right now. It's just one little footprint on the internet, which is great.

Someone's going to run into it, may turn into a lead later. I'll tell you what. The phone is very, very powerful because you get to connect with people. They get to hear your voice. It's the next best thing in two-way communication besides being face-to-face.

Leverage your upline for three-way calls. Get them on calls with leads.

Get them on calls with prospects.

I always prefer to get an upline on a call with a prospect. A prospect is someone who's already seen your business opportunity presentation. A lead is a lead. Once they see the business opportunity presentation, they become a prospect.

I like to get the upline on the phone with prospects, meaning they've seen the business opportunity presentation.

If you gauge them on a scale of one to 10 with maybe 10 being ready to go right away, one being not interested at all, maybe they give you a seven or they're a six or they're an eight. That's a great opportunity to get an upline on a call, three-way call with them.

By the way, the biggest names in this industry that you've seen online and the biggest names that you've never seen offline, most of which, by the way, are way bigger than most of the online folks, myself included, they still do this, the people that have made 20, 30, 40, $50 million plus.

My mentor, Costa Guerra, when he was in his last business before he left and became an owner of a company, still did this. He did three-way calls. He leveraged his upline in three-way calls even though he was a seven, eight-figure earner.

Do it. Very, very powerful. Do it. Continue to do it. Don't stop doing it just because you get to a certain level.

Maintain it in your arsenal.

Number two, do leverage systems that your upline has in place.

Tools, training systems, leverage them. If the tools are rotten, there's a way to figure that out. If you're using tools and you're doing everything else right and the tools aren't working, they're not converting people, in other words, you call someone up after they've watched the video presentation or whatever, a PowerPoint, SlideDeck, whatever it is, and they say, “Yeah, you know. I didn't really like what I saw.”

You keep getting that, well, that's an indicator that the tool's broke, the tool sucks. It's not converting for you so you need to revisit fixing that tool.

Maybe take some ownership. Create your own tool. You might have to do that.

In my last company, we had to create our own tool. We created our own university. We created our videos to train people. We had to do that because we didn't have an upline that had that sort of stuff.

Typically, the companies, they don't have a very strong training support system. Most don't, I will tell you that right now. Leverage your upline's training support system.

Number three, do introduce your upline to people you can not connect with.

My mentor taught me this, one of my early mentors. My most recent mentor discusses this in one of his audio courses. If you have someone that you meet, like say you're a single guy. I'm a married man, but say you're a single guy and you meet a married woman and you're like, “Man, this would be a great prospect. She'd be great to watch our opportunity presentation and everything else.” You give her your business card. You keep it professional. She watches the business presentation video, but you can't really connect with her because she's a married woman. She's got kids. You're a single guy. It makes no sense. She's 10 years older than you, whatever it might be.

Reach upline to your active upline who can connect with her, so probably another woman that's married who has kids, and get them on a call together.

  • Do a three-way call with them.
  • Connect them together.
  • Let them talk.
  • Let your active upline who knows what they're doing relate to them.

Then, guess what. This is even more powerful. Assume they get sponsored. Assume your upline brings them into the business underneath you. Who do you think the person that's underneath you is going to want to work with?

Now you've got volume and it really is passive because you're not likely going to be mentoring and training them. It might be your upline who, by the way, might be the sponsor but they placed under you.

The way we did this, by the way and it's totally up to you guys how you do this, but in most comp plans, when somebody is placed underneath you, if you're the sponsor and there's other bonuses associated with that placement like matching bonuses, fast start bonuses, things like that that you would get if you sponsored them.

Now, if you're not going to spend the time with them to train them, mentor them, and they don't want that because you connected them with an upline who sponsored them for you and they are the sponsor and they're going to be putting the time in to train them, our philosophy was we gave them the sponsorship.

If they're going to be putting the time in, they deserve the matching bonus. They deserve the fast start bonus. They deserve the bonuses because they're going to put the time in to mentor and train that person even though they go underneath you.

Now, if they go underneath you, because you found them, it's still going to be volume but it's probably only going to be in the form of base commissions, which is great.

That's totally great. Totally fine. Better to have them, better to have them be productive, better to have them engaged. Who knows what's going to happen with them? They could be in your biggest leg and you just turned them away because you want to be the sponsor and you can't be, then that's just shortsighted.

Keep that in mind. Leverage your upline to connect with people you can not connect with.

Number four, do show your upline you're coachable by implementing the stuff that they teach you.

When your upline takes the time to train you and mentor you and teach you something, make sure you repay that or pay that forward by implementing it.

If they teach something, if they get on a call with you, do some training with you for 30 minutes or an hour and then you don't do anything and the next call, they ask you, “Hey, how's that going?” You say, “Well, I didn't have time or the dog ate my homework or the kids were peeing their diapers or whatever,” you know, don't expect them to continue to spend time with you and spend time with you and spend time with you if you don't implement what they teach.

They're spending their precious hours of the day that they could be spending with their family or someone else or anyone doing something they really, really, really enjoy doing, not to say they don't enjoy training you, but I promise you there's probably other things they enjoy more than just training you.

If you're not going to implement it, then it's very disrespectful to them. It's very disrespectful. Implement what they teach.

If you didn't implement what they taught you because of something that's getting in the way, some sort of anti-network marketing barrier like fear, like maybe you're afraid of what a person's going to say to you or think of you or maybe, I've seen this.

This is crazy, but I've seen this.

I've seen business owners who have come into my business and then they say, “Well, Jason, I don't want to approach people that I know because they're all my customers in my business. I'm afraid I'm going to lose them in my business if I talk to them about this network marketing deal.” There's real fears out there that exist not just from like, “Oh, what are they going to think of me?”

But from other standpoints and other vantages as well. Make sure that you're communicating those fears with your active upline or your sponsor preferably if they're active, and addressing those so you guys can talk through or work through those things.

You don't need to live in a box and not communicate those things. If you don't communicate, that's a recipe for a failed relationship as well. Make sure you communicate those things. Implement what your upline teaches you in your network marketing business. Show them you care. That's the way you show them you care. If you fail, that's okay because you can work through that too.


Those are the dos and don'ts for leveraging your upline.

I hope you found these tips very, very powerful. Please use them. Please share them. I hope you get a lot of value from them. We'll see you on the next one.


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