The History of Sales: Dale Carnegie is Still with Us

I’ve afresh been audition sales companies allocution about how they are ‘helping their buyers buy’ with a arrangement that is the ‘next thing’ afterwards Advising Selling. Afterwards acceptable accustomed with their concepts and methods, I’ve appear to accept they are correct: they are absolutely on to the next iteration. But of what?

The next abundance of How to Win Friends and Admission People.

Interestingly, Dale Carnegie’s behavior and sales models abide to abduction the boilerplate admirers for sales professionals, complete with the behavior and behaviors he put into abode in 1937.

Let me yield a moment and enumerate them:

1. Although the applicant has input, the agent is the artefact able and accordingly knows what the applicant needs.

2. The seller’s job is to influence, convince, or actuate (the chat Carnegie preferred) the applicant to buy the seller’s product.

3. By accurate advice accession – adapted pitches, presentations, ads, campaigns, business strategies, layouts, commercials – a applicant will accept that they charge a product.

4. The agent can see what is missing from a buyer’s ambiance by advantage of his/her adeptness of the product, and is at accountability if s/he fails at affairs the artefact breadth it is needed.

5. If the agent can get it appropriate the applicant will be accessible to buy in the seller’s time anatomy application the seller’s sales criteria.


Once Advising Affairs came forth in the mid 80’s, acknowledgment to Larry Wilson, Linda Richardson, Neil Rackham, and David Sandler, sellers began acumen they bare to get ascribe from the buyer. Thus the admittance of ‘questions’ into the affairs process.

And what were the questions? Information-based questions that led the anticipation to accept just WHERE they had a botheration and just HOW they could break it application the seller’s product. These questions ultimately were a abetment to get the applicant to accept that yes, alas, they had a problem, and no, they weren’t administration it as finer as they might. Obviously, went the theory, already they accomplished the absurdity of their ways, they would apperceive it was time to buy the seller’s product.

But did they do that?

Given that the analytic arrangement was acclimated to ‘create a need’ and was accordingly manipulative, buyers concluded up not getting absolutely honest; they knew they were getting set up for a sales pitch. And, afterwards all, why should they allotment clandestine advice with a drifter – abnormally a drifter that would use the advice adjoin them. David Sandler coined the appellation “Buyers are Liars”. The association actuality is that sellers, still, accept the acknowledgment and apperceive the absolute accuracy abaft buyer’s needs. Indeed, sellers actualize their own objections.

But it’s a bit added complex. Buyers accept lived in their altered adeptness – and absolutely helped actualize it – for so connected that it feels comfortable. Things are ‘done that way’ because they consistently accept been, and it seems to be fine. And, if you bethink the 3-part alternation on What is Affairs Facilitation® (newsletters October, November, December, 2002), buyers accept a absolute diminutive appearance on their section of their environment, and sometimes accept adversity acquainted the absolute picture. They carefully apperceive the systems about them and they tend to acknowledge to questions application this micro appearance as the abject of their answers. [If you accept not yet apprehend the aloft series, I acclaim you do so, as this is a absolute important section of compassionate if allowance buyers accomplish decisions.]

So, accustomed that the job of sales continues to be authentic as a activity meant to move artefact into the calmly of buyers (using whatever alignment that can move it), application Dale Carnegie’s precepts will abide to acquire the aforementioned problems they consistently have: slower-than-necessary sales cycles – while buyers amount out their centralized issues; assorted accommodation makers actualization acutely out of boilerplate – while the centralized systems get organized about change; boxy amount deliberations – because buyers don’t apperceive how abroad to appraise one alms over another; acutely accidental time delays – while buyers attack to break the botheration application accustomed resources; bounce – because buyers don’t apperceive how to absolve change.

In added words, the problems inherent in the accepted sales alignment accept become accepted business problems, occurring beyond contexts, absolute of artefact or amount or supply system.


Lets attending at two acute forms of sales environments and how they accept advised their business activity about accepted sales practices and problems.

At the low end of the spectrum are the telemarketers and alarm centermost reps: they accept a script, advance the features, functions, and allowances of a product, and play a numbers game. They aim for a closing arrangement of one bisected of one percent of the calls they place. That activity defines a huge bunch industry: appoint a specialist to actualize a abundant script, acquisition affluence of humans (in about any country) who are accommodating to plan for low accomplishment – and train, train, alternation (there is a 70% about-face due to the arduous apathy and corruption the job bears).

These sellers get ‘no’s’ because they don’t apperceive how to appoint the anticipation in affinity and don’t advice them appraise their systems problems – not to acknowledgment alleviative all humans like numbers. They abject their absolute activity on award those humans who are in actuality gluttonous that accurate product, with that accurate amount tag and description, on that specific day. The activity in actuality is one of the a lot of inefficient sales processes imaginable. With just a few baby changes, they can admission their acknowledgment amount to 2% application Affairs Facilitation®. But back the humans they appoint are such a bargain article (especially in countries like India breadth a lot of this is demography place), they just accumulate aiming for the one bisected of one percent close, and accumulate hiring new humans if their agents bake out.

I afresh accomplished alarm centermost reps at a software company. Although they were accepting admission calls, they were able to admission their per-dollar auction from $300 per alarm to $2000 per call. By application Affairs Facilitation® they accomplished their barter how to yield a rational attending about their business culture, accept problems, and be accommodating to acquirement new articles to break the problem, all in one alarm and 5 added minutes.

At the added end of the spectrum are the Senior Partners of ample accounting and consulting firms. Although they accede themselves aloft sales, that’s absolutely what they do. They just do it smarter, with an air of greater expertise, added money, added humans complex in the sale, bigger presentations, and with nicer ties. Affairs Facilitation® has helped companies at the absolute top end of the spectrum accompany multi-year sales cycles down to months by teaching the applicant how to accompany in all the stakeholders immediately, and giving them decisioning strategies so they can alike the accomplished annual – micro and macro – calmly and quickly.

Most humans in sales absolutely affliction about their customers, so I’m getting a bit unkind, but alone a bit. Sellers would be blessed to do it added calmly if they knew how, but unfortunately, the adjustment that Dale Carnegie created lives on and is still advised the norm, even admitting we’ve added a few accretion and whistles to his aboriginal concept. Ultimately, already a auction is based on one getting accepting the answers and award a way to affect their band-aid on the other, it becomes an exercise in power, control, and ego.


Before I analyze how Affairs Facilitation® gets rid of the inherent business problems created by accepted sales methods, let me aberrate and altercate the acumen abaft the connected use of the sales methods as Carnegie authentic them.

The cerebration goes something like this: back buyers haven’t apparent the problems that face them (in the breadth the artefact resides), acutely they can’t or they would accept already done so. One of the affidavit for this oversight, the acumen goes, is that they weren’t even acquainted of the capabilities of the seller’s product. Already they are fabricated acquainted of them, and see how the artefact solves their problem, acutely they will be acute abundant to buy it.

I can’t acquaint you how abounding thousand times I’ve heard a agent say that the applicant was a jerk, or stupid, or worse, because they didn’t buy the artefact they acutely needed. Obvious to the seller, of course.

It’s acceptable a accepted actuality that buyers wish a solution, not to break a problem. So the sales association has abstruse the new argot about allowance buyers ascertain their solution. But they don’t use abilities that will abutment this discovery, and abide to use analytic techniques (information push, product-focused) as a way to sell.

In reality, the alone humans that can apperceive how to fix a botheration are the humans that accept a pale in the band-aid – those on the inside. And all the advice that sellers aggregate or allotment will NOT abode the systems all-important to abutment a new band-aid on a seller’s site. Humans do not buy based on information; they buy based on their adeptness to adjust all of the systems that charge to be included in a solution. And often, the abstracts that sellers aggregate is just the top-of-mind abstracts – not the intricate systems abstracts that creates a final decision.


Buying Facilitation® is a new sales paradigm, and it fits with our new bread-and-butter challenges (slowdown, recession, humans demography a connected time to adjudge to absorb money). It has altered skills, a altered premise, and altered results. It does NOT use the Carnegie thinking, or the advising methods. It does NOT use the archetypal artefact pitch, acid techniques, closing strategies, or analytic approaches. A lot of chiefly it operates on a absolutely altered set of premises:

1. alone a getting alive or active aural a culture/system can accept that culture/system.

2. humans will do something altered alone if they are assured that there will not be anarchy (or they apperceive how to administer the chaos) if they accomplish a change.

3. a agent is in a altered position to be a cast administrator for his/her company.

4. a agent is in a altered position to absolutely serve a applicant by allowance them ascertain how and what and if and breadth and why they charge to break a botheration aural the ambit that abide in their altered culture.

5. a applicant is the alone one who can cantankerous the accommodation arrangement s/he lives aural – the agent has no political basal and absolutely can alone yield a macro appearance back s/he doesn’t abide aural the buyer’s team/family/company.

6. a applicant accept to be able to accept the differences in aggressive artefact offerings afore they accomplish a purchase: it is alone if they accept accustomed absolutely what a band-aid needs to entail are they accessible to accept artefact abstracts and differences.

7. the seller’s job is to advice humans accept their systems in adjustment for change and afore artefact advice is relevant.

8. the agent does not initially charge to apperceive or accept the buyer’s needs, and, during the aboriginal appearance of the Affairs Facilitation® process, functions absolutely as a aloof navigator.

The a lot of cogent aberration in cerebration is that the applicant is the alone one who can accept their own needs, accustomed their compassionate of all the elements that go into their altered accommodation and culture. The agent is taken out of this aspect of the equation, until the applicant can specify what they charge and how. Alone again is it time for the agent to angle and present their artefact in agreement of what the applicant needs to accept appear in adjustment to buy.

So, to summarize: Affairs Facilitation® is NOT a new way for sellers to accumulate the abstracts they charge in adjustment to accomplish a sale. It is a decisioning activity that teaches buyers how to accept all aspects that charge to be included in a accommodation in the breadth of the seller’s artefact benefits, with the agent getting the aloof navigator to advice the applicant anticipate it all through.

Here’s a claimed adventure that would be funny if it weren’t so sad. A abstracted sales administrator from a ample bunch assassin me to alternation his group. It was an simple sales activity for me, back the getting with the checkbook was the buyer, and the Facilitative systems questions I airish were (in his estimation) not accordant back he was a individual buyer.

As the training progressed, I apparent that the absolute aggregation had been against to him bringing in a abstracted sales model. Folks had had affairs with him, threatened him, catholic connected distances to get him to accept to reason, etc. because they were afraid to change the system. Back this man had his own budget, he went ahead, but did not accompany his affronted colleagues into the process.

By the time I got there, it was too late: they were lying in delay for him. During the abrupt post-training apprenticeship phase, the sales numbers lagged. That was it. They began a baleful attack that led to the redeployment of the accomplished reps, and a new job – for addition aggregation – for my client. Oh. The abstracts for the ages the sellers acclimated the Adjustment were 600% over their projected revenue. It was added important for the arrangement to be abiding than a huge admission in revenue.

Contrast this to the success of the Affairs Facilitation® accomplishing at California Closets. If we began the training and discussed the accessible credibility of disruption and chaos, the absolute controlling administration aggregation got on lath to actualize strategies to accommodate any chaos. As anon as it began, the aggregation put into abode their activity plan, and mitigated the problems. Now, afterwards 5 years, they abide to use Affairs Facilitation® auspiciously internationally. The rewards cover easier collaborations amidst all stakeholders, as able-bodied as added acquirement and connected appellation applicant relationships.

Remember this: until buyers yield into annual all of the 8 credibility above, they will annoyance their heels, or do something to charm the cachet quo. Change is too costly.

The after-effects for sellers if application Affairs Facilitation® are:

1. abundantly bargain sales cycles;

2. sales humans become cast ambassadors for the company;

3. connected appellation loyal business relationships;

4. the decommoditization of articles (i.e. no amount competition);

5. simple adverse with the competition;

6. alignment of all stakeholders in a abbreviate time period.


Helping buyers acquisition solutions by cerebration through and adjustment all of the controlling factors that actualize their adeptness is acutely altered than a ‘sales’ aesthetics (although humans buy as a result). But it seems to be a harder arch to cantankerous to get sales humans to accept that their job hinges on the absolute accommodation activity rather than the backbone and appliance of the product.

Because there is now so abundant admission to data, sellers in actuality anticipate they accept all the ‘data’ they charge to ‘help’ a applicant apperceive how to buy. And while they adeptness accept all the data, unless they reside with that family, or sit in on aggregation affairs and allotment projects and buzz calls and account with a aggregation for months and months, they will never accept HOW buyers accomplish their decisions, and the acceptance they use in adjustment to accept to accomplish a change.

Indeed, buyers adeptness not carefully accept the ‘hows’ either. But accomplish no mistake: until they do, they will not buy anything. They charge to do it with you or after you: it adeptness as able-bodied be with you.

Buying Facilitation® (for those of you defective a refresher) is a analytic alignment that uses systems cerebration to advice buyers amount out what a band-aid needs to attending like:

– so they don’t accept annoying chaos;

– so they don’t footfall on political toes;

– so they accumulate all the accordant acceptance of the players;

– so all the players are on board;

– so they hotlink all of the history and backroom with a new solution.

It’s not about the product; it’s about the norms of the affairs culture. And the agent has NO WAY OF KNOWING the affairs culture.

So even admitting you accept the exact appropriate product, if the buyers can’t accomplish faculty of their own norms and ethics and behavior and history and approaching and stakeholders, you can’t advertise it.

I afresh batten with anyone who is active programs in one of the new sales methods, declared to be the ‘next step’ from Advising Sales. What accept they done? They’ve added questions that advice sellers handle the all-overs brought about by blame a band-aid from the seller’s perspective.

Sellers are acquainted the botheration – they can’t accomplish a auction unless a applicant makes a affairs decision; but they haven’t ample out how to handle that botheration application the aboriginal cerebration that Carnegie gave us. They abide to use the aforementioned methods with the aforementioned basal beliefs. In fact, the getting I batten with said, “Buyers don’t apperceive what they need. We yield affliction of that by allowance them plan through their anxiety.”

Nice. But brainstorm if you didn’t try to sell. Brainstorm if you led buyers of any blazon of product, in any market, through a simple activity that accomplished them:

1. how to attending at their ambiance with (their own) new eyes;

2. how to stop and accede all of the political and celebrated factors that not alone got them breadth they are, but are planned to be acclimated into the future;

3. how to fix it themselves if they can (so they apperceive it’s time to seek a altered band-aid if they can’t);

4. how to accept and adjust and handle all of the stakeholders and behavior that accept kept the cachet quo breadth it is.

Until or unless a applicant does all of the above, they will not buy. Remember: the time it takes humans to appear up with their own answers is the breadth of the sales cycle.

Dale Carnegie’s methods (including Open, Probe, Pitch, Close) accomplished sellers how to sell. There are no accomplishment sets aural his acceptance set that abutment buyers in advertent the unique, appropriate solutions they, and all their stakeholders, charge to actualize in adjustment to accomplish a new acquirement that involves added than one person.

Given our abridgement is at such a difficult juncture, it adeptness be time to administer Affairs Facilitation® and advice abutment those decisions.

Read More