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MLM Training Newsletter

March 1999



The Importance of Three-Way Calls - Rod Nichols

Rod Nichols In my 19 years of Network Marketing, I've had the opportunity to work with and interview hundreds of the industry's top money earners. While they have all built their businesses at different paces and using different methods, the one thing I've heard consistently from all of them is the importance of three-way calls.

If the three-way call is so important, then why don't more distributors do them? I know from experience that many distributors, both new people and those who've been around for awhile, are not doing three-way calls. In a recent meeting of approximately 50 distributors, I asked how many were doing weekly three-way calls with upline or downline and only one person put up his hand. A number of leaders have also told me that their downlines are not doing enough three-way calls.

Why is this? I believe it is because they are afraid the prospect will feel "ganged up on" and be offended. Since many of the calls would be made to friends and family members, this feeling overrides the potential for success. The distributor would rather have the call fail than do a three-way call with an upline.

Personally, I think that distributors are getting the wrong impression about three-way calls, because we (upline) are not explaining the methodology and benefits properly. So, here goes-- but first, my disclaimer. I am not saying that this is the absolute best and only way to make a three-way call. If your upline has a standard way of doing calls, than that's the way to go. If not, give this method a try.

If you are making three-way calls with your upline, the reason you have your upline on the phone is not to hammer on the prospect or be "the heavy closer." Your upline's there so that, between the two of you, the prospect can 1) get all of his or her questions answered, 2) see your company in the best possible way, and 3) make an educated decision.

Here's how the call might go. . . .

The distributor calls upline and discusses the call prior to the appointed time.

Distributor puts upline on hold by depressing the "flash" key or the "hook" button (where the handset hangs up). The distributor should get a couple quick tones and then a regular dial tone, at which point he can dial the prospect's number.

When it starts ringing, press the flash key or hook button again to re-connect the upline. Here is the dialogue when the prospect answers:

Distributor: "John, hi, this is Rod. I'm calling to follow up on that information that I sent/dropped off to you. I have on the phone with me one of my business partners (upline's name), who is here because I am relatively new and I thought you would have some great questions that I couldn't answer. John, this is (upline)."

At this point the upline will take over the call and the distributor's job is to listen, take notes, and learn. Here is what the upline might say:


Upline: "Hi, John. How are you this evening? Are we catching you at a good time? Great! We appreciate you taking the time to talk with us. First I want you to know that I am strictly here to answer questions, fill in the gaps, and help provide the information you need to make a good decision. This is a very important decision and our job is to provide you with sufficient information to make an educated decision. The one favor I need to ask you is that you not say yes or no until you have received enough information to thoroughly research this business. Will you do that for us? Thanks! Now, did you get some time to review the information that Bob sent you?"


From here, the upline is going to handle the call as she feels fit-- it will be a very comfortable call for all involved.

If you are doing the calls with your downline, you should follow the script for the upline, which will help make them more comfortable with the calls.

We recommend that every new distributor do at least 30 three-way calls before they start talking with people on their own or doing three-ways with their downline. After 30 calls, the distributor will have heard all the main objections and questions, plus the answers.

The best way to do these 30 calls is to have the upline do the entire call for the first ten. During the second ten, the distributor should do the first part of the call with the upline handling objections or answering questions. The new distributor should do all of the calls on the third ten with the upline on for back-up.

Here's an example of how the second set of calls might go:

Distributor: "John, hi, this is Rod. I'm calling to follow-up on that information that I sent/dropped off to you. I have on the phone with me one of my business partners (upline's name), who is here because I am relatively new and I thought you would have some great questions that I couldn't answer. John, this is (upline)." (upline and prospect say hi, then continue)."

John, did you receive the information we sent? (If yes, continue) That's great! Did you get a chance to review it? (If no, set a time to call again). (If yes, continue) Excellent! What did you (see/hear) that you liked? What did you find most interesting? What questions can we answer?" (Upline will now help with answers.)

In the third set of three-way calls, use the same script as in the second set, except the distributor will also answer the questions, only calling in the upline when he gets stuck.

Three-way calls are not only effective for quick and efficient sponsoring, but they're also a great training tool. A new distributor will learn much more by listening in on some calls than by you telling them what to do.

Now for the benefits of three-way calls:

  • Benefit for the Distributor-- fewer negative calls, better closing ratios, build network quicker.
  • Benefit for the Upline-- opportunity to train, help new distributor get checks quicker, build own network.
  • Benefit for the Prospect-- opportunity to hear different perspectives on the business, get all questions answered, make a good decision.

Three-way calls are a win-win-win opportunity and a critical part of every success story in Network Marketing!

ROD NICHOLS has been involved with the Network Marketing industry since 1979 as a distributor, consultant, trainer, and author. He has built several large networks and is a Gold Director and Distributor Advisory Board member for USANA. He is the author of the book Successful Network Marketing for the 21st Century, and the recruiting booklet Would You Like to Dig In My Goldmine?. Rod is on the Board of Directors for the Professional Association for Network Marketing (PANM). To contact Rod, e-mail him at

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Reprinted with permission from Upline, Nichols Feature - March 1999, 888-UPLINE-1,