Join getAbstract to access the summary!

The Giants of Sales

Join getAbstract to access the summary!

The Giants of Sales

What Dale Carnegie, John Patterson, Elmer Wheeler, and Joe Girard Can Teach You About Real Sales Success


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Study the pioneers of the sales. Learn how their revolutionary approaches to selling gave birth to today's techniques.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


Books about selling are seldom considered page turners, but this work by persuasion expert Tom Sant is a rare exception. Sant tells the captivating stories of four sales giants: John Henry Patterson, Dale Carnegie, Elmer Wheeler and Joe Girard, and describes their profound impact on the way products and services are bought and sold. Their sea changes in the once-quiet waters of the sales profession still make waves. Each sales pioneer spawned a new approach to selling. Sant explores their methods, discusses why they worked so well, and gives you step-by-step advice about applying these strategies to your sales practice. If you want to learn from the masters, instead of the self-appointed sales guru of the month, getAbstract feels there is no better place to start. Those who are interested in history - as well as in sales techniques - will find this a fascinating read.


Sales as a Profession

Just like the electric light bulb and the telephone, the concept of selling as a skill had to be invented. In the nineteenth century, selling happened more by coincidence than through a thought-out method of qualifying customers, developing proposals and closing deals. In the first half of the twentieth century, several revolutionary ideas transformed the art of selling and laid the groundwork for the modern sales profession. The pioneers of these innovations were John Henry Patterson, Dale Carnegie, Elmer Wheeler and Joe Girard.

Today, hundreds of self-proclaimed experts offer various approaches to making sales. Some of these methods are relationship-based; others emphasize communication and attitudes. Still others concentrate on tactics and strategy. Which methods work best? What would work for you? The answer is that the impact and effectiveness of these approaches varies depending on the nature of your product or service. Your challenge is finding the best method for your situation. Studying the early sales innovators may point the way.

The Four Basic Sales Groups

The four core sales systems are:

  1. "Process...

About the Author

Tom Sant, who founded and ran his own corporation, is the creator of a popular sales software program and the author of Persuasive Business Proposals. His clients include major technology, accounting and software companies.

Comment on this summary