"If you have to swallow a frog, don't stare at it too long, if you have to swallow two frogs, swallow the biggest one first."

Networking And Time Management

By Jeffrey A. Babener

p; July, 1995


Okay, you have signed up in a great network marketing business opportunity, you bought a sales kit that is loaded with product literature and sales forms, you have an initial stock of inventory and you are brimming with enthusiasm and ideas on how to build your business. Whether you succeed or fail may be a result of whether you harness and organize your time and enthusiasm or whether you "spin your wheels."

That's where the application of time management principles to network marketing comes in says David Klaybor, President of Los Angeles-based PowerLine Systems, an industry expert who has helped train thousands to build their network marketing businesses more efficiently by organizing their efforts. He notes that the "spinning your wheels syndrome" is all too common in network marketing and responsible for high drop out rates. Obviously, with no results, people lose interest. We all have a finite amount of time he says and the purpose of applying time management principles to network marketing is to get the most productive use out of that finite amount of time.

Time management principles can be applied to a myriad of tasks necessary to make a successful network marketing business. The point is, if you are organized, you won't get caught up in the tasks and your time spent will be quality rather than quantity. Klaybor gives an example of a typical task to illustrate some broader principles. Let's say for instance you have placed an ad in a newspaper to recruit distributors for your sales organization and you have received 100 calls. Remember the point is not to merely receive lots of calls, but to recruit new distributors. Organize yourself and be prepared to make the most out of those calls. Get yourself a three-ring binder for this and other tasks and log those incoming calls. In your binder, methodically keep notes on names, addresses, telephone numbers and other leads. Your notes should be scripts for dealing with "various questions and objections." Don't try to close them on the phone, get them to a meeting.

Klaybor says broad time management principles are applicable to all of your tasks whether they are sales presentations, incoming ad calls, lead generation, conference calls, etc.:

  1. ORGANIZE THE DATA. Make sure you are capturing all of the information for later use, whether it is mailing lists, setting up training meetings, business opportunity meetings, or other follow-up.

  2. FORM AN ACTION PLAN TO COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY. You should have right in front of you the right information when you need it so that, when you are communicating by telephone or in person, you have product information and opportunity information to perform your tasks effectively.

  3. HAVE A PLAN FOR IMPLEMENTATION. Klaybor suggests that you role play and practice to perfect your trade and presentations so that they are effective and you aren't wasting time when you make them.

  4. TRADE ACCOUNTABILITY AND REVIEW. In any time management plan, you must make yourself accountable to examine the effectiveness of the game plan. Klaybor notes that you can make yourself accountable to your game plan, but it is always better to make yourself accountable to another person, most likely your sponsor. And, sponsors should similarly hold other recruits responsible for keeping to a game plan. Klaybor notes that, when we were all in school as children, the teacher was the person to whom we were accountable. And, that accountability increased our performance. Your teacher is no longer around, however, while you are running your small business and so find yourself somebody to be accountable. As a sponsor in a network marketing program, Klaybor put his challenge to his recruits: "Network marketing works - do you?"

We have all seen people carrying day planners. They are great organizing tools. Time management expert Klaybor has developed the most comprehensive day planner and organizer for the network marketing distributor. It is called the Powerline System and it looks like a typical day planner, but it is organized totally around the activities and tasks of a network marketer.

Although it won't be as detailed or comprehensive, you can start organizing by making your own time management day planner and organizer says Klaybor. He notes:

  • First, obtain a quality three-ring binder, one to two inches in width, and a set of divider tab sheets from your local office supply store. Expect to pay $40 to $100 depending on the binder you choose.

  • Then, identify and select the key areas of activities essential in operating your MLM business like a career professional. Write these down on the tab part of the divider sheets and install them in an order that your business flows in naturally as you conduct your business.

  • Develop an ability to target key information that is relevant to each section, and write that information on the divider tab sheets that separate each section from the other. Type or print them neatly, because your clients are going to see these sheets and you don't want to be embarrassed during your sponsoring and retail presentations.

  • Next, learn to use or access the information collected on the divider tab sheets and use this information as you work your business every day, in order to better perform the tasks required.

  • Then, develop the habit of logging and documenting each activity as it happens, i.e. logging the names, addresses and phone numbers of all the people you come in contact with regarding three-way calls, long distance sponsoring, referrals, retail sales, downline interactions, etc. ...

  • Get in the habit of using a daily, weekly or monthly calendar so you can schedule events, follow-up on future activities, plan ahead, etc. ...

  • You must consult your calendar each day in an effort to responsibly fulfill the promises you made to clients, downline and other people. Your focus is on completing things, performing to-do tasks, and closing business arrangements ... not merely 'doing things.'

  • Get every responsible person in your downline using a business planning system as well. In this way, you will be able to know what they are doing, you will be able to assist them and you will be a part of their accountability system."

Whether you create your own time management organizer or you opt for the ready-to-go Powerline System Planner developed by someone like Klaybor, your planner should have tabs and sections to keep track of important tasks in your network marketing business. Klaybor, the organizer points out the following tasks in his Powerline System:


  1. Call Sheet - Here you will list the prospects that you must call quite often. These are folks that are nearly ready to buy your products or join your business opportunity.

  2. Prospect Call Sheet - Here is where 90 percent of your prospects will originally be entered. This is a place to spend much time.

  3. VIP Prospect Follow-Up - Klaybor says this is a section for prospects that require special attention and lots of notes or commentary, e.g., corporate accounts, etc.

  4. Referral Sheet - In this business, you will constantly be asking for referrals for both retail and business opportunity aspects of the business. So you should be listing names, making special notes, discussing the status of the referrals and keeping track of the progress of the referrals.


  1. Opportunity Meeting Log - Here you will track identities of those brought to business opportunity meetings or company demonstrations.

  2. Retail Log - This is a place to track your outgoing inventory and sales to the public, note referrals from your customers and potential individuals to sponsor, as well as to note the status of samples you have given out.

  3. Long Distance Checklist - In this tab section, you will log all outbound mailings, such as letters, tapes, promotional materials, brochures, etc. In this section, you will note where your sales aid marketing materials are located and can be more cost efficient in perhaps moving the more expensive sales aid materials from one prospect to another.

  4. Conference Call Log - Make good use of your time and your organization by getting them in on conference calls. Can you make better use of your time giving a presentation to 20 people rather than 20 individual presentations? Conference calls are a key to sponsoring on a national level.


  1. Ad Call Tracking Log - You have spent a lot of money on placing ads. Now is the time to get a high return on your investment by improving the close ratio of your incoming ad prospects by using this special section of your planner to track and follow up leads.

  2. Interview Log - Keep a record of your interviewees and what you plan to do with them.

  3. Interview Questionnaire - Before you do your interviews, have a special section with scripts, questions and special needs that will help you make your interviews appear more professional when you are finally face to face.


  1. Three-Way Log - ABC selling techniques are big in network marketing. In this approach, A introduces his or her good friend or acquaintance B to a presentation by A's sponsor, C. In this section of your notebook, you will keep track of your downline's follow-up skills.

  2. Player Sheet - In this section of your planner, you will keep track of who the strong players are and keep in touch with them. In particular, you will organize information on your front-line distributors.

  3. Long Distance Training Log - You should be calling your out-of-town group each week, working with them on training and sales. This is the place to keep track of your scheduled calls, of out-of-town momentum and progress.

  4. Leaders by Location - This is a national business and you will constantly be called upon to recommend responsible leaders in a geographic area.

  5. News, Events and Awards Log - This business is built around meetings and recognition. You should be tracking in this section upcoming events, making sure that your downline are aware of current award and bonus competitions, upcoming rallies and major trips. This is a people business, this is an event business.

  6. Travel Itinerary - Keep track of where you are going, how you are getting there, how it is being paid for, who will be meeting you, what you will be doing there, etc.

In addition to the above tasks that should be organized in your network planner, PowerLine's Klaybor recommends that you set up special sections for your time management, including a goals list and goals outline for your business that should be reviewed and thought about freely. In addition, he notes you should have a calendar section for a year at a glance, a day planner schedule for the day and most importantly a To Do section which sets forth to do tasks by priority. Klaybor says use that today "to do" list every day and practice one of the most important principles of time management: "DON'T PROCRASTINATE." An old adage says Mr. Klaybor makes lots of sense: "If you have to swallow a frog, don't stare at it too long, if you have to swallow two frogs, swallow the biggest one first." Klaybor recommends blocking out your daily calendar into green time (revenue generating time) and red time (all other time). Try to keep your activities in line with those divisions.

Finally, don't forget a section on accounting for your organizer. You need to track incoming costs, deductions and expenses both for yourself and for the IRS. Remember, this is a business.


Unabashed enthusiasm without organization gets you nowhere in the network marketing business. The helter skelter approach will produce a similar result. Time management expert David Klaybor sums it up quite correctly: "Time is your only nonrenewable resource; to have more of it, you must first give some up."

Contact Resource: David Klaybor, President, PowerLine Systems, Telephone Number: (714) 645-0809

Jeffrey A. Babener
Babener & Associates
121 SW Morrison, Suite 1020
Portland, OR 97204
Jeffrey A. Babener, the principal attorney in the Portland, Oregon law firm of Babener & Associates, represents many of the leading direct selling companies in the United States and abroad.


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