How Scientific is “Scientific Selling”?

by Jacques Werth

I got my first college degree in 1955, with a major in Industrial Sales.  They were calling it Scientific Selling back then, which is just another form of needs based selling.  The “science” was from a real scientific study of how most people make buying decisions.  The result of that study was a simple buying decision model, showing how a buyer goes through these 5 stages:  Attention, Interest, Desire, Conviction, and Action (AIDCA).

The original scientific study did not include anything about how to use the AIDCA buying decision model to create a selling process.  Nor did it suggest that this model could be used as a basis for manipulating people’s minds.  However, that is exactly how most salespeople began using it.

The Information Age and the Internet have made the alternative to needs based selling much more attractive.  Today, most top sales producers use some form of wants based selling.

Author: Carl Ingalls

Administrator for High Probability Selling Blog

3 thoughts on “How Scientific is “Scientific Selling”?”

  1. Agree that ‘wants’ are an increasingly more salient point than the far more sujective ‘needs’. The key to the process is finding a way (Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing, or some form of ‘Drip-Marketing’) to ID those who genuinely Want what you sell. Or, better yet, have a unconfrontive way of identifying themselves and ‘raise-their-hand’. Having read you book ten years ago and parts of it over and over, I have had good success with it. The work, of course is on the front end of Identification/Disqualification. Also wonder just how this works best with Network Marketing Opportunities? Thoughts?


  2. I’ve read to shreds two copies of “High Probability Selling” and have not taken a course from Mr. Werth so my understanding comes from the book and forum/blog entries. The reason I read the copies to shreds is that I didn’t get it at first even though I had been given much the same wisdom from a friend a few years earlier. I was also stuck on AICDA and it made little sense to look at it differently or ignore it – and I had to admit I was doing a kind of manipilation not in anyone’s best interest.

    Today I can find out in minutes if not seconds if the person I’m speaking with wants my offer which is concise and includes a couple of benefits. I can also find out quickly if it’s a NO, YES, or MAYBE. How? I ask. What I learned was to not beat around the bush, to not rattle on making a friend, to not mask fear by talking in circles, and to respect mine and the prospect’s time and wants with honesty and politeness.

    Today a gal called saying she wanted to send me information for “a business opportunity” just like that. I said, “I’m not looking for a business opportunity.” She said, “That’s OK I’m not suggesting we get into it now but if you would just let me send you . . .” I told her NO a second time then she hung up. She should have the first time.

    I’ve got another example from today and two days ago when a guy knocks on my door and his refrain was, “I’m sure you agree.”

    My point is: I’m a busy guy and got a lot on my mind and a lot to do. Just tell me what you got, give me a couple of clear, factual benefits no hype, and a chance to say YES or NO and respect whichever I say.

    That’s the only way to keep the door open to potential business down the road.



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