A Lesson About the Value of Purpose and Internal Competition

Creating a fun, exciting and positively charged sales environment that fosters healthy competition in your sales team will ultimately result in success.

Below is a great story from Charles Schwab in Dale Carnegie's book, How to Win Friends & Influence People about the need to stimulate competition in your sales team. Sales people are fierce competitors and there is nothing more thrilling than to accept a challenge to compete.


"Charles Schwab had a mill manager whose people weren't producing their quota of work. How is it, Schwab asked him, that a manager as capable as you can't make this mill turn out what it should? I don't know, the manager replied. I've coaxed the men, I've pushed them, I've sworn and cussed I've threatened them with damnation and being fired. But nothing works. They just won't produce.

This conversation took place at the end of the day, just before the night shift came on. Schwab asked the manager for a piece of chalk, then, turning to the nearest man, asked: How many heats did your shift make today?



Without another word, Schwab chalked a big figure six on the floor, and walked away.

When the night shift came in, they saw the 6 and asked what it meant.

The big boss was in here today, the day people said. He asked us how many heats we made, and we told him six. He chalked it down on the floor.

The next morning Schwab walked through the mill again. The night shift had rubbed out 6 and replaced it with a big 7.

When the day shift reported for work the next morning, they saw a big 7 chalked on the floor. So the night shift thought they were better than the day shift, did they? Well, they would show the night shift a thing or two. The crew pitched in with enthus