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Sales Experts: Scam or Bona Fide?

Good bye Tommy Hopkins. So long Dale Carnegie. Hasta la vista J.D. Edwards. You are no longer needed... because there is a new breed of sales experts in town who have new and improved ways to sell more productively.

Could it be true? Say it isn't so. Are the teachings of sales experts of days gone by now obsolete or are the so called sales experts of today trying to pull a fast one? - by Thomas
Good bye Tommy Hopkins. So long Dale Carnegie. Hasta la vista J.D. Edwards. You are no longer needed... because there is a new breed of sales experts in town who have new and improved ways to sell more productively.

Could it be true? Say it isn't so. Are the teachings of sales experts of days gone by now obsolete or are the so called sales experts of today trying to pull a fast one?
HOLY COW! You don't mince words.

In my view they would be no longer needed if there were people out there to replace them. Maybe there are--but you'd have to sort through alot of bodies--or alot of something.

New and improved? I don't think so. Rehashing? Maybe.

Thomas, I believe if you took Tom Hopkin's book, How to Master the Art of Selling, used it as a study text in an extensive sales educational program, run by serious sales educators, and attended by ultra-serious students who truly wanted to "master" the art---then DUG DEEP into the concepts and thoughts coming out of his text---you would have a graduating class that could make up one of the most powerful sales force's in history.

But ALL the components I mentioned would have to be in place.

AND--Hopkins was a protege of Edwards.

Dale Carnegie was not an educator in sales. His forte was human relationship, personal development, and public speaking. Those things blended well into the field of selling. HIS protege, and a man whose career he advanced, was Frank Bettger, who I believe wrote the greatest sales book of all time. The Carnegie company eventually added sales training courses to their curriculum, focussing on fundamentals and using the AIDCA concept as a model.

I hope you see where I am coming from on this as an answer to your question. - by Ace Coldiron
I do not agree with the sales trainers who claim to have a better way or that sales is any different now than it was thirty years ago.

It's still all about mastering the sales process, and putting the customers needs ahead of your own.

I agree with Ace on the points he made.

I myself was a student of Tom Hopkins and when I sold Real Estate there was a guy who barely spoke English who memorized Tom Hopkins teachings and grosses over $1,000,000 in commissions his first year. - by Jim Klein
HOLY COW! You don't mince words.
I don't know what bugs me more, the lack of respect for those who blazed the trail like Edwards, Bettger and Hopkins or the self-congratulating and self-appointed sales guru's giving sales a bad name by peddling misinformation.

I know what we can do, you tell everyone you know that I'm a sales guru or top sales expert or that my teachings are the greatest and I will do the same for you and between the two of us and anyone else we can get to join the club we can promote each other and make money peddling regurgitated information. On second thought, scratch that, I don't want to be a peddler. - by Thomas
I don't know what bugs me more, the lack of respect for those who blazed the trail like Edwards, Bettger and Hopkins or the self-congratulating and self-appointed sales guru's giving sales a bad name by peddling misinformation.
What respect are you referring to? As far as being a sales expert, it is the guy who can lead you to a successful career that in my opinion is the expert. It could be the shoeshine boy at the station or the the peddler at the farmers market that imparts the "secret" for you.

There are many ways to get to Nirvana. What is it that defines a sales professional? There are lots of definitions I suppose, but outwardly, it is being able to pay your bills. Put your kids through college maybe. Own your own home. Have enough left over for popcorn at the movies.

You are who you are, and you are who you want to be. If you become who you want to be, then I guess you could say you have been successful. I believe your success is measured by your happiness; your love of your family. Success is not measured by your acquisitions, though certainly your acquisitions could have been your own personal measure of success.

Your sales acumen is generally learned behavior... in my opinion. You can learn this by manipulating your parents, teachers and siblings, in my opinion, but for many of us in sales, a lot of it is self taught, till we decide to seek help.

Who we decide to seek help from is maybe who we learn from, and my question would be, and is, what does Hopkins, Bettger, Tracy, Feldmen or whomever, have to do with the current "guru" or even just mentor and why should the current guru acknowledge anyone unless they have taken from those of who they may be teaching from?

If I pick up a valuable piece of information or an idea that works for me from this forum, it is likely to come from someone who has tried the approach/technique or whatever sucessfully. This person is going to be my "guru" and may not even know who some of the "pioneers" are or what they taught.

Here is a question for all of you... If I'm instructed by someone self taught and the teaching is similar or identical to a Hopkins, Tracy, Bettger, Ssavage, Wolf etc.... is anything owed the "originator" if the new teacher originated the process him or herself?

I saw a movie the other night called the "flash of genius", a story of John Seabrook who designed the intermittent windshield wiper. The upshot of my comment relating to that movie is while in court fighting Ford Motor Company, who tried to steal his invention, a Ford engineer said that the wiper was made of common items, resistors, transistors, and motors, and that nothing at all could be inferred to the invention of this college professor.

The professor (Seabrook) in his defense to that comment, produced a book for the court, something notable by Salinger or Hemmingway or Twain, the point being that the book was made up of words, each of which could be found in a dictionary... not a single one new or "invented", but that it was the order or pattern of words that made them special to this book, as it was his invention was a new pattern of common parts.

Isn't sales a pattern of ideas? Who gets credit for new ideas that may duplicate old ideas repackaged.

Aloha... :cool: - by rattus58
One helluva post, Tom.

Makes one think which is sorta what it's all about.

I remember Bruce Lee, who had a great mind, said all knowledge is self-knowledge. Somehow your post makes me think of that. - by Ace Coldiron
What respect are you referring to?
There are people who sell the idea that the training of days gone or traditional training is manipulative and doesn't work anymore because the customers are smarter. These people sell the new and improved way to sell which is the same 'traditional' concepts wrapped in a new package. That's an insult and shows a lack of respect. - by Thomas
Good bye Tommy Hopkins. So long Dale Carnegie. Hasta la vista J.D. Edwards. You are no longer needed... because there is a new breed of sales experts in town who have new and improved ways to sell more productively.

Could it be true? Say it isn't so. Are the teachings of sales experts of days gone by now obsolete or are the so called sales experts of today trying to pull a fast one?
Thomas, you pose the question as if it is an either-or question, but I disagree that it is an either-or issue.

There's a wealth of sales knowledge to be had. I've learned a great deal from Brian Tracy, Tom Hopkins, and dozens of others. I continue to read their books and listen to their recordings. It's great and I recommend it to all.

But learning isn't only available from people who have been independently employed as a sales trainer for 30+ years, is it?

I work very hard every day to bring knowledge to my clients. I offer that knowledge free and here on SP, on my blog, in my podcasts, and other places, too. And I give my all to my paid corporate sales training and individual sales coaching clients. Am I trying to "pull a fast one?" The answer is unequivocally NO. Are most sales trainers working today trying to pull a fast one? NO.

Does that mean that every person offering sales knowledge today has the correct knowledge? That's also a "no." I disagree with many/most of the contrarians out there...the ones who have a product to sell that promotes some dramatically new way to sell. I just don't buy it.

There's room for many great teachers. Just because your second grade teacher was remarkable doesn't mean that a 24 year old first-year teacher can't also be remarkable. It's not an either/or issue, in my opinion. - by Skip Anderson
Thomas, you pose the question as if it is an either-or question, but I disagree that it is an either-or issue.
Lumping all sales gurus into a group is a poor generalization. I apologize. Based on the responses in this thread I'm probably way off base and will crawl back under my rock. ;pi - by Thomas
One helluva post, Tom.

Makes one think which is sorta what it's all about.

I remember Bruce Lee, who had a great mind, said all knowledge is self-knowledge. Somehow your post makes me think of that.
Thanks Ace... sn; - by rattus58
Ladies and gentleman of the sales profession, there is a definitive answer to the biggest issue of sales today, one that all of us can take to heart.

The issue, in the several general ways you no doubt have seen see it encapsulated;

Selling has changed.

The buyer knows more today.

That doesn't work any more.

In a specific way that it has been expressed;

Cold Calling is dead.

Cold Calling doesn't work any more.

An explanation of the definitive answer;

If we say that buyers are different what we are really saying is buyers were also less perceptive back-then. That they are more perceptive now. Interestingly, in University, scientists who study human beings have debated their findings heavily and at great length.

These astute and well educated mean and women have proven beyond doubt that people are more or less just as perceptive today as they were in either of the last two generations than they were in the previous 80 to 100 of recorded history.

If you believe in evolution you know it is a slow process. If you don't ... well, you would then agree that we are just as perceptive as God intended.

Either way you know this – the thought that people have changed dramatically in just two or three lifetimes - is total and absolute - to use one word- bunk.

Definitive response (the short version), for those who believe “that doesn’t work any more”;

If it doesn’t work now, it never did!


- by Gold Calling
It's not an either/or issue, in my opinion.
Skip, I totally understand how this 'hit' you. I also understand very well the thought process that has influenced the comments Thomas made.

In is my considered opinion that Thomas was referring to those radical sales trainers who are the self appointed discoverers of human interaction. And they are - though not a SCAM - certainly a SHAM.

In addition, though I agree with almost everything that comes from your corner Skip, having great respect for you as a person and a sales trainer, disagree with one of your points. That is that most sales trainers are not a sham today.

The kind of radical sales trainers Thomas refers to are certainly sources of bad information (misinformation). And, there seems to be more of them in the "lone wolf" trainer web page category, if I may call it that, than good ones like yourself.

I would not want to hurt the reputations of the good trainers out there due to THE BAD and THE UGLY but there is just so much crap that it is like we are living through a veritable hell on earth in this period of sales training and business development. So much so that I am quite a bit of the way through writing a "consider the source" article for this site.

What can I say, I agree with both of you.

I love this ... I have said nearly exactly the same thing myself on this forum.

I don't know what bugs me more, the lack of respect for those who blazed the trail like Edwards, Bettger and Hopkins or the self-congratulating and self-appointed sales guru's giving sales a bad name by peddling misinformation.
While Skip is correct that we ought not to lump all trainers together, I believe we have to admit that the sales training industry is at an all time low. And, unless you do not have the experience of what it was like in the late seventies, eighties and nineties in sales training, I cannot imagine a single person disagreeing.

Carnegie knew just about all there was to know about relationship building. Bettger was a true great in many areas of sales. Edwards was a great closer and Burke is still alive and still on the phone, perhaps the greatest prospector who ever lived (not me, my father).

You would be hard pressed to find any definitive proof that what these guys taught is not applicable today - heck one of them, a man who met Edwards, is still using his knowledge today some 57 years later!

The trouble is, that many today say; "That doesn't work any more." And, to that I can say, not only did it never work but what kind of shoddy training were you exposed to in order to think the way you do? - by Gold Calling
This discussion look like it has run its course so I am closing the thread. - by Jeff Blackwell
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