Sonia Stringer

If you’re a leader in network marketing/direct sales, chances are you’re already doing some form of coaching to support your team. Coaching is a powerful tool to unleash the power of your people so they create outstanding business results.

Coaching is also a bit of a misunderstood (and mislabeled) skill set. As someone with over 17 years of experience as a professional coach I’d like to clarify what coaching really is (and is not) and share one specific skill that can make an immediate difference in your team’s motivation and ability to take action.

Professional coaching is based on a specific group of skills and ideas that help people achieve the results they want in their personal and professional lives. In network marketing/direct sales, what people often call “coaching” is really “training.” What’s the difference?

Training focuses on the ideas, strategies, or information people need to be successful. It’s about helping your people “know what to do” so they can create the results they want in their businesses. Most companies (and upline leaders) provide wonderful training to the field, but it often isn’t enough.

Think about it: how many people in your success line “know what to do,” but aren’t necessarily doing what they know? Without action, training is useless. That’s where coaching comes in.

Coaching empowers people to take what they know, and do something with it to achieve a result. When you shift from simply training to coaching your leaders, a transformation occurs. Your group will feel more empowered, developing the confidence and drive needed to produce great results.

People Are Like Batteries
So what does it look like to empower or transform people (rather than just train them)? Think of the people on your team as batteries, each one with a certain amount of charge. Just as a battery powers a device, the amount of charge your leaders possess powers their business growth.

To empower your leaders to achieve their real potential, the trick is to recognize the three main types of leaders in your downline and know how to “charge them up.”

  1. The Nearly Fulls (people with 75% charge or more): The smallest percentage of your team, these people already have lots of “charge” (capacity and confidence). They’ll quickly become your top leaders and don’t need much coaching from you (other than some occasional strategy and encouragement) to thrive.
  2. The Nearly Empties (people with 35% charge and below): This group doesn’t yet have the “charge” necessary to make things happen. They generally need to develop themselves personally before they can create big results in their businesses. Beware of investing a ton of time/energy in them (as you likely won’t see an immediate ROI). They’re obviously still valuable members of your team, so support them by including them in your group calls and meetings. With time, they can develop more capacity to take action and get results.
  3. The Half Fulls (people with 35% to 75% charge): This is the untapped GOLD in your team! These people generally know what to do to be successful and are already demonstrating some ability to take action and get results. To help them move into the upper levels of your business, coach them in a way that “charges their batteries” even more; in time, they’ll generate increasingly better results for themselves and your business.

How can you coach people to “charge their batteries?” Here’s a simple skill that can make an immediate difference:

Focus on What vs. Who
At company conventions, there is a lot of focus on what people are doing (sales volume levels, income goals, etc.). In your own team calls or meetings, you’re likely acknowledging people for their results as well.

Here’s the problem with this approach: that kind of acknowledgement works for the people who already have enough “charge,” however it actually demotivates everyone else (particularly your Half Fulls). Instead of working harder, they’ll compare themselves to your top performers, judge themselves as failures, and lose confidence (charge). They’ll feel demotivated and disempowered—the opposite of what you want.

A more effective coaching method is to focus not only on what people do, but also on who they are. Meaning, what personal qualities do your leaders have (determination, courage, discipline, compassion, and so on) that are worthy of acknowledgement?

In your next individual or group coaching call or meeting, don’t just acknowledge what people do, but also acknowledge who they are. For example:

This may sound too simple (or even sappy), but don’t underestimate the power of this kind of coaching. When you relate to your team in this way, you instantly empower them. You help to “charge their batteries” and make them feel like they’re winning right now—fueling greater motivation, action, and results.

Test this skill at your next meeting. You’ll notice an immediate shift in people’s energy and a truly positive response from your group.

Imagine if by using this skill, your “Half Fulls” increased their sales volume another 30 to 40 percent in the next six months? That could equal a huge transformation in your bottom line. That’s what’s possible when you empower your people and acknowledge them not just for what they do, but also for who they are.

SONIA STRINGER is a professional speaker, coach, and popular mentor to 300,000+ women in the network marketing/direct selling profession. She is known for “elegant influencing skills” and her ability to help women sell and recruit in a comfortable, classy, and highly effective way. See www.SavvyNetworkMarketingWomen.com.