Dale Breckenridge Carnegie (1888 – 1955) is considered to have set-up the basis of selling skills: be friendly, win people over to your way of thinking and be a leader who persuades people. His first job after college was selling correspondence courses to ranchers. He moved on to selling bacon, soap, and lard. He was successful to the point of making his sales territory of South Omaha, Nebraska, the national leader for the firm. He was the author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” (1936) a massive bestseller that is still a popular book in business and Business Communication skills.

Much of the early development of selling skills was mainly Seller-Focused and the value defined in seller’s terms: “If we don’t have it, they don’t need it!”




From the 1980 until 1990 was a time of mass-customization. Customers had many more choices than before and they were empowered to have access to a lot more information. The value of the product or service was based on:

  • The Perceived Value: Reality in the mind of the buyer (the qualitative features of what you sell: style, reputation, packaging, knowledge)…getting the “warm and fuzzy” and
  • The Performance Value: quantitative proof behind the promise of perceived value



Today what does Added Value Selling mean? Just being an expert is not enough; selling is about establishing rapport, building credibility not only understanding customers’ needs but creating value for each customer’s unique situation. Customer-Focused Value means walking in the customer’s shoes and identifying what they want…everything you do to something from the moment you buy it, sell it, and service it. Becoming a confidante, friend, consultant and advisor are vital in value-added selling.


Nowadays Sales people today have become broad thinkers with a thorough knowledge of the organization and its customers they must also demonstrate strategic thinking in order to be able to synthesize the right solution for customers.


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