Income Producing Activities in Direct Sales: 3 Daily Essentials

income producing activities

Are you spending all your time promoting your direct sales business but still falling short of your goals? Then it’s time to shift your focus from working harder, to working smarter, by zeroing in on the income-producing activities that predict growth in multi-level marketing (MLM).

Income-producing activities (IPAs) are the most effective ways to achieve network marketing success. If you dedicate most of your time exclusively to these tasks, you’ll consistently move the needle on your business – while you drop all the time-wasting, energy-draining tasks that won’t impact your bottom line.

Keep reading to learn which three activities to focus on and measure as you grow your business. 

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What Are Income-Producing Activities?

Most people have a difficult time identifying what an income-producing activity really is because it’s not an obvious metric like sales or signups. To make it simple, think of an IPA as an activity, when consistently done, that leads to future sales or better performance and effectiveness of your team.

If you want to understand the impact of an income-producing activity, read The Four Disciplines of Execution, which describes IPAs as lead measures.

Before you define lead measures, you need to set a wildly important goal (WIG). The key here is to set a specific and measurable goal, like adding [X] number of people to your downline by a certain date – or earning $3,000 a month in sales by [X] date.

Once you’ve set that goal, you’ll be able to track your progress with lag measures and track your efforts with lead measures. Lag measures like your current revenue or number of team members show where you are today, and these numbers are a result of your past efforts. 

Your lead measures are the actions you can take now that predict where you’ll be tomorrow. They’re the levers you can pull on a daily basis to make progress toward that WIG.

person working on their business

Defining those activities in your business is transformational. Rather than setting vague intentions for the day, like “spend six hours working on my business,” and wondering whether anything you did was worthwhile – you can set a specific daily goal, like “initiate eight conversations with new prospects,” confident that you’re spending your time only on what matters. 

A great place to start is to look at which activities actually had an impact on your success so far – those are the IPAs to track. And keep reading to learn what the most successful leaders in MLM focus their energy on, day in and day out.

3 Effective Income-Producing Activities 

The most successful leaders in the history of multi-level marketing and direct sales, are the people who have clearly identified their lead measures. They relentlessly and consistently focus on activities with measurable impact on their success.

In MLM, there are three critical lead measures to focus on and track. These are the most important income-producing activities:

  1. Talking to people: The number of new prospects you connect with each day, week, or month.
  2. Following up: How often you follow up and engage with people in your prospect list.
  3. Teaching your team: How many people you are effectively coaching to duplicate your success.

Keep in mind that you need to spend at least 80% of your time on these three activities to grow your business successfully.

I know it sounds hard, but once you transition to focusing exclusively on your lead measures, your life will be much simpler. In fact, it will bring clarity and simplicity to your entire business.

Let me show you how to break down the components of each of these three drivers.

1. Talking to People: Real Conversations with New Prospects

Do you know how many unique exposures you make on a daily basis? One of the most important predictors of success is the number of new prospects you interact with. 

talking to prospects

But it’s just as important to avoid wasting hours of your day online, promoting your business in ways that are highly unlikely to bring you closer to your goal: 

  • Posting on Facebook doesn’t count.
  • A meme on Instagram? Nope.
  • Sending an email on blast? Again, no.
  • Trying to persuade your neighbor, co-worker, or friend from the gym (for the 27th time) that your product is fantastic – that won’t work; it’s just annoying.

I know, I know … you’re thinking, “What does count?”

Here’s what counts as a unique exposure – having a conversation or any sort of communication with a unique prospect you’ve never spoken to before about your product or business.

You don’t have to pitch them on anything. In fact, it’s better if you don’t at first. Just focus on building a genuine rapport, making a friend, or doing some discovery on all counts. 

There are many ways to grow your MLM prospecting list, and you’ll begin to rely on a few tried-and-true strategies as you learn what works best for you. Whether it’s face-to-face interactions, social media, text, or email, set a goal for a number of people to contact each day, week, or month.

The key to success is that the conversation is with a brand new “potential” prospect and that the communication is sincere, personal, and genuine. 

2. Following up: Engaging with Prospects (Not Selling)

To master prospecting and following up in direct sales, you need to remember three words:

  • Discovery
  • Sizzle
  • Invitation

You can track this lead measure with a simple goal of contacting every active prospect on your list through these stages with a set number of follow-ups.


During discovery, you focus on building a rapport with prospects. You can do this in various ways, from questions to surveys or any other method of getting information and developing a connection.

An example of this in a skincare product survey would be asking about the most important factors when buying this line of products:

  • Is it price?
  • Is it quality?
  • Is it how the products were harvested?
  • Is it if the products natural or organic? 

These kinds of questions give the prospector (you) real insight into where the mind of the prospect (consumer) is.

If it’s about an opportunity, what’s the single most important aspect of joining your business?

  • Is it the character and integrity of the company?
  • Is it the quality of the people involved?
  • Is it the product?
  • Is it a lucrative compensation plan?
  • Is it flexibility and time freedom?

If you have the answers to these questions, you have so much insight! And this insight gives you power. 

Whether you’re sending a survey or just asking a question to get to know someone better – it’s easy when you have tools like RapidFunnel to automate and streamline follow-ups.

The Sizzle

The follow-up to your survey is the sizzle. A great transition for this is by sharing stories. Take what you learned in the discovery step and share something about your product, service, or opportunity that would resonate with the prospect.

Having a survey to send for discovering, then sharing an interesting piece of content based on how they answered the questions in the survey is simple, powerful, and effective.

This allows you to move to the third step.

The Invitation 

During the invitation, you’re not asking someone to buy! Remember, this article is about income-producing activities.

IPAs are things you can control, and they dictate the level of success you will have. This means the invitation is not about closing. It’s about offering people a compelling reason to try your product or service. A compelling reason to look at your business.

A key distinction of a fast-growing and profitable networking business is that people are pointing prospects to content. They’re sharing information and not selling. 

If selling and closing are required, then it’s not going to create speed and duplication in the business! 

Again, when you find out what works for your business, you can easily implement a follow-up schedule that brings you closer to your goals. Develop effective scripts, resources to share, and compelling calls to action you can use over and over as you build the relationships that will grow your business.

3. Teaching Your Team: Simple Duplicatable Processes

Duplication in network marketing is the key to scaling your business and achieving success.

Remember, the people who find true time freedom in the industry are the ones who can teach a large number of people how to do something very simple – something they can do part-time and still succeed.

This is a bit more complex than at first glance. Many people try to build a direct sales business and fail. Too many have confused “digital influencer” with team builder. These two things are very different.

Being a digital marketer or digital influencer is incredibly difficult and time-consuming. It requires many skills and attributes that the average person neither has the time, desire, or general wherewithal to do.

If you’re building a massive brand around your incredible persona, you’ll probably recruit a lot of people. However, they’ll eventually realize they can’t do what you did and quit.

The heart of building a successful team is having simple and duplicatable processes. How you engage a prospect and how you follow up with them must be something that a large number of people can duplicate simply.

With the RapidFunnel App, you can share your best tips and techniques in one place to give your team the best chance to succeed. With RapidFunnel, it’s simple for your team to send out surveys and plan the best income-producing activities based on the information they get back.

Schedule a demo today to find out more!

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