Dale Calvert: 7 MLM Lessons from the Legend Himself

I’m a big fan of Dale Calvert. I’ve been reading his website and watching his videos for almost ten years now.

I really like his laid back approach and honesty about the network marketing industry. He doesn’t try to hype things up and he doesn’t fluff things up either. He calls a spade a spade and he tells you the truth. I call him a straight shooter and think he is one of the best trainers in the industry.

Along the way, I’ve learned lots of valuable lessons from Dale Calvert. Today, I want to share some of my favorite lessons I learned from him. These lessons had a big impact on my business and life. They are listed in no particular order.

Dale Calvert

Top 7 Dale Calvert Lessons

# 1: Width vs. Depth

Dale Calvert is one of the only network marketing trainers I’ve studied who places a HUGE emphasis on building depth. He frequently states that most leaders in our industry earn MOST of their income from just THREE or fewer legs, even if they’ve sponsored hundreds of people personally.

He teaches people to study their company’s compensation plan and NOT to build any more legs than are required to max out the compensation plan. Everyone you sponsor after that number should be placed somewhere in depth.

For example, if you need 10 legs to make it to the top of your company’s compensation plan, you should never build more than 10 legs. EVER. Doing so is either “ignorance or greed” according to Dale. He also teaches people to build a few legs at a time, ideally two or three legs at a time, until they are stable and independent of you.

Basically, you light a fire in the basement and watch the heat rise. By working deep, you help the most amount of people. You anchor people into the business.

Plus, depth gives you your long-term security in your business.

# 2: The Importance of Retail Customers

Dale Calvert frequently talks about the importance of having retail customers. This is like a breath of fresh air in our industry, since many companies make no mention of it at all. He teaches people to build a solid customer base, in addition to recruiting distributors. He also teaches a “retail to recruit” strategy that makes a ton of sense to me. Without customers, there is no business!

He also taught me a lot about leading with the products first, rather than the business opportunity. Not everyone is entrepreneurial, but everyone you talk with is a consumer. Assuming your company has good products at a fair price, it’s much easier to sell a product than recruit a new distributor.

# 3: The Three Legged Stool

Have you heard of the three legged stool? This rule says that you need three things to succeed in network marketing. You need the right skill-set, the right mindset and the you need to be in the right company at the right time.

It will take you time to develop your skill-set. Some of the basic skills you must master to succeed in network marketing include lead generation, inviting, presenting, selling, launching new distributors, promoting events, and training your team. The best way to learn these skills is to work closely with your mentor and learn by doing (in the trenches).

Your mindset includes your ability to focus, see the big picture, stay persistent, stay committed and never quit. It also means THINKING like a business owner, not an employee. For most people, there will be a transition period between having an employee mindset and learning how to think like a business owner.

Finally, you have to be with the right company at the right time. Pick a good company that has been around a few years, and worked out most of the kinks, but isn’t a household name yet.

# 4: Don’t Worry About What You Can’t Control

You shouldn’t worry about things you can’t control. Don’t worry if your prospects tells you no. Do not fret if people don’t call you back. Don’t get upset when your new distributor quits. And, don’t be devastated when one of your best leaders switches companies.

Instead, focus on what YOU can control. Focus on the money producing activities that grow your business and your income. Focus on your personal production, day in and day out.

At the end of the day, the only thing you really control is how many people you share your business opportunity and products with each day. This is a business of exposures and attrition. Go through the numbers, stay consistent and focus on you. Set big goals, hustle daily, and be a little better tomorrow than you were today!

If your emotional well-being is based off what others say and do, you will go crazy in this business!

width vs depth in network marketing

# 5: You are the Problem

If things aren’t going well in your network marketing business, it’s your fault. Don’t blame your sponsor, upline or company. Instead, look yourself in mirror and man up or woman up. You are the problem and you are the solution.

Accept that you need to improve your skills and be a better salesperson, communicator, coach and leader. Work harder on yourself than you do on your business. For your business to grow, you must grow!

Also, there is no such thing as a successful victim. Get rid of the “blame” and “victim” mentality and accept 100% responsibility for your own success (or failure).

# 6: Your Job is to Sift and Sort, Not Sell

The best leaders in our industry sift and sort their prospects. They don’t try to pressure, bug, hard sell, or convince someone to join their team or purchase their product/service.

They simple share their products and business opportunity with a lot of people and let the numbers work themselves out. Remember, if you have to pressure or convince someone to join or buy, you will have to pressure and convince them to “do something with the business” once they do sign up.

I would like to add in two points myself to this lesson. First off, you must ALWAYS ask for the sale. Even if a prospect is interested in what you are offering them, they won’t join your team or buy from you unless you ask them to. You have to be able to look someone in the eye and ask them to take out their credit card and make a purchase.

Secondly, you can work through smaller numbers of prospects, and get the same results, once you master your skills and mindset. While this is a numbers game, it’s also a business of skill and strategy. The better your skills and strategy, the fewer the numbers you will need to work through.

build depth in your mlm business

# 7: People Who Are Successful in MLM Didn’t Start Out that Way

This lesson took me many years to figure out. When you look at the top earners in our industry, you don’t see the struggle and failure they went through to get where they are today. You only see the finished product.

However, everyone has a story behind the story. Everyone went down a road to success that you probably never got a chance to see. They struggled, failed, had fears and stumbled for several years before they had their big breakthrough.

You must realize that you will have to do the same thing to achieve the results you want in your business. There is always a story behind the story. The person you see on stage who made it to the top ranks in less than one year probably spent five to ten years in other companies developing their skills and contacts, yet you rarely hear about that story.

Final Thoughts

In summary, Dale Calvert is a well-respected leader and trainer in the network marketing industry. I’ve learned many valuable lessons from Dale Calvert during the past ten years, but these are the ones that really resonate with me. If you’ve studied or followed Dale Calvert, I would love to hear what you have learned from him. Just leave a comment below to share your thoughts. Have a great day!

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chuck holmes


Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional

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7 thoughts on “Dale Calvert: 7 MLM Lessons from the Legend Himself”

  1. Dale is one of those people who teach common sense tips but in a new way that makes people just click. I love what he does and how he inspires people and businesses to not only be better but grow and continue to grow. When we focus on what matters the most, we leave little room for the doubts to stem their roots in the floor.

  2. I met Dale Calvert many, many years ago at a Shaklee Conference. He was making his climb to the top of the company. He was very easy to talk to and very personable. I knew right away that he would rise to the top status in the company. It was just a matter of time. I am no longer in network marketing myself, but I do follow his websites and YouTube videos from time to time.


  3. I know plenty about the sift and sort process. I have some experience in sales and telemarketing and I understand that time is money. It is best not to waste that valuable time trying to pressure people who are on the fence when you could be working good leads with those who want in on what you’re doing.

    1. As a former telemarketer and manager for a very high pressure home improvement company, I somewhat agree with you, but I also think there are many who allow sales to go by the wayside by not answering objections with a rebuttal. A great example of this is when a telemarketer calls me up and just barely starts the pitch and I say I am not interested and they just hang up. There is a fine line between pressure and persistence. Many people naturally object out of a defensive nature. In many cases, they have a need and a desire when we actually explain the product or opportunity.

  4. I am guilty of expending too much energy worrying about matters that are out of my control. The fact is, worrying about something you cannot change does not do anything by give you anxiety and stress. The time and energy spent on worry about things not in your control can be spent doing something productive that is actually going to benefit your company. When you brush off the stuff that you can’t control and redirect that attention you will find that you are less stressed and more productive.

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