30 Reasons Why Nigeria Network Marketers Fail


Below I discuss 30 reasons why Nigeria Network Marketers fail after interviewing network marketers in Abeokuta, Ibadan, Osogbo, Akure, Ado-Ekiti, Benin City, Port-Harcourt and Lagos.

Network marketing is one of the few businesses that feature in all quarters of the Business Quadrants Wealthflow Theory.

Recent research from the U.S. Direct Selling Association reports unprecedented growth in network marketing, in terms of both retail sales and the number of people involved.

Similar reports are noticed in other parts of the world including Nigeria.

There are many network marketing companies in Nigeria but Naij listed some of the best MLM companies in Nigeria.

However, it’s a fact that only 4 out of 10 network marketers will experience any significant income milestone in their business and only 1 out of 10,000 network marketers will earn at least a million dollars in the business.

After reading the experiences of some Nigerians in the Vanguard post ‘Multilevel Marketing – Does It Really Work‘ these numbers got me thinking.

After doing my research and due diligence combined with my personal experience when applying the Business Quadrants golden rule of wealth, I decided to release the book Network Marketing As Passive Income Business.

Last week, I went on a fact finding mission to Abeokuta, Ibadan, Osogbo, Akure, Ado-Ekiti, Benin City, Port-Harcourt and Lagos.

I wanted to find out what challenges top Nigeria network marketers face.

After interviewing several veteran and rookie Nigeria network marketers across different companies, I realized there are typically 30 reasons why many Nigeria network marketers fail to earn much and just give up on the business.


Find below 30 reasons why Nigeria network marketers fail to earn substantial active income and recurring passive income.

30 Reasons Nigeria Network Marketers Fail

#1. Lack of Network Marketing Business Plan

It’s really important to draw out your Network Marketing Business Plan so that you know exactly what you need to do to reach your goals. I know it’s easier to get someone in activity mode if they know WHAT they have to do.

Business plan is as important to traditional business as well as network marketing business. During my fact finding mission, I realized that most if not all of the Nigeria network marketers in the cities I visited do not have a written business plan.

Remember the popular saying, failure to plan is planning to fail.

#2. Lack of Network Marketing Goal

If you don’t write down your goals, you will soon forget them. With all the distractions in life, forgetting is easy. When you first joined your network marketing company, you must have had a goal.

It could have been anything—to buy your own house, your dream car, or even to get fit!

My findings show that most of Nigeria network marketers do not have a written goal. Because of this, many work without clear vision and mission.

#3. Working With The Wrong Company

Most genuine network marketing companies are right in their own way. However, a combination of factors and various circumstances may make a MLM company wrong for you.

For instance, some companies focus on the direct sales culture while others emphasize networking.

My findings show that many of Nigeria network marketers put much effort into retail sales for a company that emphasizes recruiting more. Others try to recruit a lot of people into a MLM company that favoured retail sales.

Before you join a company, you must know what the culture is and if it fits your circumstances and ability.

Unfortunately, most of the people I interviewed do not consider these factors before they join their MLM company.

#4. The Salesman Syndrome

Network marketers are not salesmen. A salesman’s job is to get a sale, get a commission, move on to the next sale, and let the company’s customer service worry about any problems that might occur.

A network marketer, on the other hand, doesn’t just get a sale. He needs to duplicate himself, so that his customer will also learn to get sales if he or she so desires.

Most Nigeria network marketers focus on signing up more people, rather than on duplicating themselves.

Always remember that network marketing is not a matter of multiplication, it’s a matter of duplication.

It is about leveraging your time and efforts instead of doing everything yourself.

#5. Lack Of Understanding Of Compensation Plan

One of the most important yet least understood aspects of a network marketing opportunity is the compensation plan.

In fact, most of Nigeria network marketers cannot provide an accurate description of how they are paid.

This lack of knowledge results in too many distributors getting involved with opportunities that are not right for them or realistic for their efforts.

Many companies have failed having great products, but poor designed compensation plans, oftentimes because the marriage between the two was ill advised.

Even more often the product lines are too thin to generate the required recurring cash flow necessary for the company to survive.

For example, if a company has only a handful of products, but has high operational costs and short term liabilities, there is a disaster brewing. Unless the primary product is an absolute market disruptor with a patent in trail, success is questionable.

Ironically, compensation plans attract many people seeking an opportunity due to the hype of a compensation plan that is doomed from the start.

Unfortunately, the usual outcome for these unknowledgeable entrepreneurs is disillusionment after revenues from sales do not provide adequate compensation for the effort spent generating them.

#6. Recruiting Instead Of Sponsoring

Some Nigeria network marketers are master recruiters. They use various methods to bring in the masses.

Their philosophy is simple: throw them up against a wall and see who sticks. They crunch people the same way accountants crunch numbers. They are only interested in the bottom line.

A good sponsor learns what their new distributors want, and then goes on to work with them to get it. You see pro network marketers aren’t concerned about what they want. Instead, they are driven by the needs of the people.

If you will help enough people to get what they want, you won’t have to worry about what you want.

Most of the people I interview are masters in recruiting but they are not good sponsors.

In the cities I visited, there are successful distributors who have built large organizations using various techniques.

The problem is that they left a lot of dead bodies in their wake. And once a person has been burned in MLM, it makes it very difficult if not impossible to, to get him involved in the industry again.

Tragically, some of these discarded people might have made successful networkers if someone had taken the time to train and support them.

#7. Recruiting The Wrong Set Of People

Building a profitable MLM business to earn a steady passive income every month can be difficult. You’ve got to consistently sell products and recruit new team members to make that happen.

In your attempt to build a larger business, you may be tempted to recruit pretty much anybody who shows the least bit of interest in your products or business opportunity.

Many Nigeria network marketers I interview recruit pretty much anybody with a pulse.

If you start recruiting deadbeats who are only looking to get rich quick, you’ll be doing more harm than good, hurting your business –and probably the entire MLM industry– more than you might think.

#8. Lack of Self-Improvement and Personal Development

Nothing builds your belief faster and makes you feel good then self-development.

Motivational books and audios can inspire us to achieve great heights. Many network marketers in Nigeria are not listening or reading something positive and motivating every day.

Taking action is the only way you will grow your MLM business. Sure, personal growth and development is part of that growth but be sure to balance your time.

Again, if you have one hour to spend a day on your business, spend 15 minutes on personal development and the remaining 45 minutes on action steps.

#9. Lack of Network Marketing Business Budget

A business budget helps entrepreneurs determine how much money they need to start and operate from the day they decide they want a business, to the day the business begins to generate a profit.

Aspiring entrepreneurs, no matter the industry or size of the business, create business budgets based on start-up and operating costs.

In the business quadrants golden rule of wealth, business budget cost is equal to startup cost plus one year operating cost.

It’s common to operate at a loss when you first start a business. Network marketing business is not an exemption. You’ll need to make sure you have enough money in reserve to sustain yourself during this period.

#10. Failure To Take Responsibility

The only people I’ve ever met who became successful in life were people who took 100% responsibility for their own lives. They knew that their future and their success were in their own hands, and they embraced that responsibility.

When it comes to your network marketing business, you have to take responsibility for your own business. You have to realize that NO ONE cares about your future, or your business, as much as you do.

Blaming your upline, the company, your downline, or the industry for your shortcomings and lack of success will not help you in any way.

Many of the Nigeria network marketers I met took the blame on others. They blame their sponsor for quitting. They blame their upline for being busy to help them. They blame their team for not producing. They blame the company by saying the products don’t work or they are too expensive.

The only person they fail to blame is themselves for not taking responsibility.

#11. Fear of Failure

Books and courses are great tools. They can help you tremendously when you start your own business, but only to a point.

Sure, your intentions are good. You want to make sure you have all your ducks in a row and that you’ve thoroughly looked before you leap.

You can pat yourself on the back for spending a few hours on the weekend reading up on things you might need to know, but delay taking any real action.

You’re convinced that you just need to know how to do one more thing …

Here’s the thing: there is always more to learn.

There has to be an expiry date on your research phase, or it will never end. And that means your business will never start.

You need to become aware of your reasons. Because endlessly consuming information about something instead of taking action is a terrible symptom of fear.

Fear of failure, fear of success, and fear of fear itself. Whatever psychological barriers are holding you back, need to be faced. Don’t let them stop you from putting your work out into the world.

Fear disguises itself as endless education and is fed through constant inaction.

The real work is always down the road, after you feel you’ve learned enough to nail it.

If you don’t know enough to start, you only need to learn enough to take the first step. Don’t worry — there will be plenty of opportunities to learn as you go.

Most of the Nigeria network marketers I met wanted to learn everything before they start and as such ended up doing NOTHING. Don’t make the same mistake.

#12. Lack Of Good Mentor(s) For Guidance

Successful network marketers have mentors. There are no exceptions. They have coaches who inspire, help, teach, encourage, support and train them.

Most of the Nigeria network marketers I met in the cities I visited do not have mentors.

You see, just about every successful person in life have mentors.

Tiger Woods has a coach. So do most other top athletes. Most entrepreneurs have mentors. So do most actors and actresses. Most politicians (not that I like them) have mentors.

If this successful people have mentors, shouldn’t you?

#13. Easily Influenced By NEGATIVE Comments

Sometimes, we unknowingly give toxic individuals influence over our thoughts, behaviors, and feelings.

Whether you spend two hours complaining about that upline you don’t like, or you let an angry customer ruin your day, it’s important to regain your personal power.

Many of the Nigeria network marketers I met who have become inactive in their company allow themselves to be influenced by negatives comments by friends, family members and relatives.

Decide that you’re not going to allow negative people to determine how you think, feel, and behave. Take back your power and focus your time and energy on becoming your best self.

#14. Lack Of Belief In Their Company Products

To succeed in network marketing, you need belief in your company products. To increase your belief in the product, you need to use the products and also get feedback from happy users.

Many of the Nigeria network marketers I met complain about the high cost of their MLM products and inability to cure certain ailment.

To me, I think they let customer’s complain got a better side of them because they too lack belief in the company’s products.

Interestingly, some admitted they have not use the products nor got feedback from users prior to trying to market them.

#15. Have Unrealistic Expectation For Their Little Effort

Too many times we see people have unrealistic expectation and not get the immediate income results they were looking for. Guess what happens? You guessed it; they quit and blame the MLM profession on their failure saying it did not work while bad mouthing the industry.

If expectations are set properly on day one you will have long-term committed people in your organization that will not blame you or the network marketing profession for their lack of success.

It is very important that new distributors have realistic expectations. In network marketing, setting expectations upfront with your newest members is extremely important for long-term success.

In my sojourn, I find that most Nigeria network marketers do not have realistic expectation setup upfront. Instead, they try to cram a 3 year curve into 6 months.

#16. Trying To Sponsor Top Producers Without Being One

Sponsoring up means recruiting people who are in a higher class. They may have more education, live in bigger and more expensive homes and drive fancier vehicles or be a top earner in other MLM company. And many people are fearful of approaching these people with their opportunity.

Remember, those people are the same as you. They breathe the same air, eat similar food and have to put their clothes on the same way. They also are looking for ways to supplement their income.

Many Nigeria network marketers I met try to sponsor up without being a top producer themselves. There is no bargaining power.

I got pitched all the time by rookie network marketers because they felt I will be a good asset to their business. Of course many of their approach can be quite annoying.

To be successful, you must learn what you need to do to be a top producer and attract similar people.

#17. Preference For Low Signup Fee

Network marketing is the lowest overhead, lowest risk way for anybody to be an entrepreneur.

Some MLM Companies have NO signup fee, so basically everybody is an affiliate… Or a customer… Or both! Can you see a problem there?

There is no distinction between customers and reps and that will lead to some serious problems.

What did you pay for when you joined your MLM Company? Most MLM companies do have a signup fee, usually it’s an amount somewhere between $20 and $150, but in some cases it’s MUCH more.

But when you pay a signup fee (in this case let’s say it’s a fee of $100) you should receive something of value in return. For example some products, free service or free tickets to travel certain places in the world, depending on the niche your MLM Company is operating in.

Just paying to be a member of the MLM Company and its business opportunity is illegal.

In my interview of Nigeria network marketer in the cities I visited, I find out that many prefer MLM companies with low signup fee. When I compared, the failure rate is higher for this category of people.

My advice is there is no free in Freetown. Just because it cost very little money to join a MLMM business does not mean you will not spend money later on the business. I once made that mistake and I was fortunate to realize early.

If you get this objection all the time like people say “Aw man, I’m not going to pay ₦50,000 or ₦350,000 whatever,” that means you have questions around the value of joining your own business.

I hardly ever got the money objection, hardly ever? Now I know how to overcome it when I did because it would happen from time to time, but I didn’t get it very often because I didn’t have a hang-up around the value of joining my business.

When we were actively building a networking marketing business, I know that this business could change someone’s life, so I didn’t have an issue around it.

It was weird to me if they didn’t join because it’s like, man, this is something that could change your life, and they don’t have another option.

#18. Being Active In Their Effort and Expecting Passive Result

Active prospecting gets faster results than passive marketing, but both are a necessity for long term business growth.

Many Nigeria network marketers I met were only active in their MLM business but majority of them expect a passive result.

The moment they realize their efforts is only producing short term benefits they get discouraged and give up.

Passive marketing is definitely a long term approach to building a network marketing business.

I totally believe in utilizing different strategies to attract people to my network marketing business through my passive marketing, but I also understand that it can take a while to start getting the attention of my target audience.

But when the result for passive marketing start coming in, you can go from zero to sponsoring a mass following in a blink of an eye.

#19. Focusing Only On Their Immediate Environment

The world is open for business to network marketing companies. Worldwide revenues now exceed $110 billion generated by 59 million distributors and consultants, according to the Direct Selling Association (DSA) (www.dsa.org). Some of the largest and best direct-selling companies produce more of their revenues outside of their country than inside their borders.

With the advent of Internet, it is now easy to do business beyond your immediate town or city. You can venture into other states or country.

However, while interviewing top Nigeria network marketers in major cities in Nigeria, I find that many got stock in their city or community or circle of friends.

Because they only focus on their immediate environment and city, they are not making much progress in their organization.

#20. No Knowledge of Social Recruiting and Digital Promotion

If you are a network marketer, you likely have approached people in the real world right? Recruiting using social media is very similar. The only difference is that you are using an online method instead of an “in-person” method.

You can meet many more people on social media than ever before. Take advantage of these networking platforms to build a business and finally live a life that you desire.

Most of the Nigeria network marketers I met are not using social recruiting and those attempting it do not have idea of how to do it the right way to get the best result possible.

You can get results with social recruiting and digital promotion but you have to do things in a certain way.

If you need more help with recruiting via social media, you should seek help from a mentor.

#21. Failure To Generate Both Short & Long Term Lead

Prospecting is the heart and soul of network marketing. Without prospecting, you won’t have anyone to sponsor in your business. Most network marketers fail because they don’t prospect and they don’t create a prospect list.

A prospect list is a list of names that immediately pops up in your head when someone asks you, “Who among your family and friends do you think might be interested in the business you’ve just joined?”

Religiously update this list every day so you contact these prospects, set an appointment, and present the business to them. If you don’t have a prospect list, create one now.

#22. Failure To Be Involved In Team/Company Events or Meetings

Have you noticed that motivation only last for a short period and inspiration last much longer?

Big events are building belief in your team members. When they attend and see thousands of people who are sharing same vision, when they listen to company updates and plans for the future, that soaks into them. Now they believe for sure that they are part of something really big and unique.

A very important part of company events is training. When you take your team with you they have the opportunity to be trained by the best trainers in your company. That will save you a lot of time and hustle. Let the best of the best do the job for you!

Another thing events help with is to inspire people from your team. When they listen to success stories of people who are recognized on the stage they understand that success in your company is possible even for them.

Smart network marketers leverage meetings, calls and events to build their network marketing organization.

However, I realized that many network marketers in the cities I visited do not know how to use this opportunity to build their organization. Worse still, many do not know how to use modern technology to enhance their meeting and event participation.

#23. Lack of Personal Branding

How many times have you scrolled down you page and been bombarded with network marketing opportunities?

Daily I see post like, “I just lost 30 pounds with XX company, message me today and we can get you started with this AMAZING company.”

Or, “I just made Diamond rank, you could be making $xxx/month, just ask me how.”

Now those post all sound like great opportunities, but they can sometimes sound too good to be true. And when that happens, people just keep scrolling.

With so many people involved in Network Marketing businesses these days, some people just scroll past any opportunity without even reading what you’ve wrote just because they see similar post all too often.

So how do you stand out in a Facebook feed of similar post? You brand yourself instead. You market YOU.

When you brand yourself, and you are authentic to whom you are, you attract people that share common interest and that will work best with you.

Too many people are involved with an MLM and they’re all doing the same thing as everyone else.  People get used to that and they tune it out.

They become numb to it and there isn’t a way to get them to listen if you’re just repeating what everyone else is doing.

Most network marketers I met don’t know anything about personal branding. Their social page is bombarded with information about their MLM company with nothing about them.

With what result, they turn off their friends and followers.

#24. Failure To Build Relationship With Prospects

In network marketing there is no greater asset than the relationships that you develop. Network marketing is all about creating relationships that you can use to develop your business, help it grow, and at the same time help others.

Many of the Nigeria network marketers I met do not develop relationship with their downline. They just recruit them and leave them to fend for themselves.

If you are not growing and building relationships in network marketing then you are not growing your business or maximizing the potential of your team and downline.

#25. Failure To Build An Email List Of Prospect

Many successful MLM marketers understand the key to high residual commissions is making email list marketing part of their online marketing strategy. The reason is to establish a relationship with online visitors to your website after their initial visit. You want increased opportunity for follow-up.

Many of the network marketers I met don’t know how to use email marketing to prospect and create a mass following.

Email list marketing works. It is cost effective, lucrative, a rapid MLM prospecting tool. Best of all… it’s automated. Simply alternate great content with your MLM offer on a regular basis.

That’s it. In the end, you will have cultivated a strong relationship with your prospect list while generating a truly automated residual income.

#26. Lack of Consistency

Consistency brings success in network marketing. Yet for so many individuals they get started in a MLM business opportunity, have zero consistency completing the necessary tasks, then are shocked when they don’t make any money.

All too often people get started in their MLM business and are excited about their new venture and will do all the things their upline share with them.

However, as the days turn into weeks and the excitement of starting MLM business fades, the consistency with which the tasks are being done also fades. The communication becomes less frequent and the result is the individual quits their MLM business opportunity.

#27. Failure To Do Follow Up

Do you know where most distributors drop the ball in our profession? Come on at least guess….

If you said “Follow-Up” you are correct!

I’ve definitely been guilty more times than I want to remember, but why is that? Several reasons come to mind: maybe lack of organization, being too busy or perhaps just forgetting all together.

I personally believe the #1 reason most distributors don’t follow-up with their prospects is more psychological than simply a lack of organization.

I believe the root of poor follow-up is due to a lack of belief. A lack of belief in themselves, their future success or even the opportunity they represent.

Many of the people I met are victims of failure to do follow-up.

#28. Resentful of Upline Earnings

Some self-defeating distributors always think that if they work hard, the upline will be the one to benefit.

Sometimes they stop working so that their uplines income and bonuses will also stop or drop.

It was not funny when some of the network marketers I met express resentment towards their upline. They felt they were short changed and as such concluded they will not engage in activities that will increase the income of their upline.

But of course they fail to recognize that, if they stop working on their business, they will not earn. The person who suffers the most is you because the upline can work with other downlines and still get a better result.

#29. Dependence On Spill Over In Hybrid & Matrix Marketing Plan

I met one woman who said she quit her business when she could not recruit a second person into her other leg after her upline placed someone on her one leg. Unfortunately, some leaders use the concept of spillover as a recruiting advantage.

Spillover, basically is a way for MLM companies to force you to place distributors in your downline as you recruit more and more of them.

It’s a great leverage point for sponsors to recruit more people but they are not recruiting leaders or business builders. I have never seen or heard of anyone who has made a killing from spillover.

Your downline will develop into a larger organization, but not everyone benefit from the spillover.

I have seen uplines put new people on their weaker leg, and it doesn’t create any leverage for those who are on the weaker leg. As you can see, this becomes lopsided.

Instead of trying to rely on spillover, improve on your skill so that you can drive the growth in your organization.

Spillover, ultimately is not the best way to build large network marketing organization, but you may build an enormous downline in a short amount of time, provided that you have a strong upline.

But it doesn’t mean you will make money. On the back-end, it doesn’t last long-term. It doesn’t create leverage for everyone that is involved.

#30. Your Own Failure Reason

While I travelled across the major cities I visited, I was only able to interview scores of Nigeria network marketers. If I have the chance I will also ask you if your business is working for you.

I’ve given you my top 29 reasons why Nigeria network marketers fail, so you can avoid these pitfalls.

However, this list is by no means exhaustive. Now I am putting the last one to you.

Why is your network marketing business not working for you? What do YOU think is the #1 reason network marketers in Nigeria fail?

Give it to me below and let’s discuss the challenge together.

Coming Soon – Network Marketing Wealth Summit

I am proud to announce that as part of my vision to share my professional experience and help raise 100,000 Nigerians earning passive income through my non-profit organization, I will be holding the Income Tutors Wealth Summit across major cities in Nigeria.

The first session of this seminar feature: Network Marketing As Passive Income Business – How To Build 7-Figure Passive Income Network Marketing Business Using The Business Quadrants Wealthflow Theory.

This will become a regular event that cut across various network marketing industry. You can come alone or with your team.

And you will have the opportunity to mix and mingle with the most powerful in the Network Marketing industry and develop friendships that will last a lifetime. We will build a community of powerful networkers who support and encourage you to keep going until you reach the top!

You can prospect in the city where the event is holding, for sure but don’t even THINK about prospecting one of the attendees at this event. This is a safe environment where many companies will be represented. If you prospect someone (even if they beg you to do it) and we find out about it, you’ll be asked to leave. I am very serious on this issue.

Please fill the form below to pre-register for the Income Tutors Wealth Summit.

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Jetro Olowole

Life Coach & Business Development Manager at Jetro Olowole
I Want To Show People How To Build Passive Income Business And Live A Comfortable Lifestyle By Helping Them Turn Their Active Income To Passive Income Using The Business Quadrants Wealthflow Theory. I Likes To Talk About The Business Quadrants Golden Rule Of Wealth Every Chance I Got Because I Loves It! Like my official Facebook Page and Follow me on Twitter for updates.
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