Friday, October 30, 2009

"Helping Clients Succeed" is world class

A year ago I browsed through the ES Research report on their thorough analysis of sales systems and vendors. When I learned that Franklin Covey's Helping Clients Succeed clearly came out as the best among them all - second year in a row - I just had to find out more!

Today I'm a certified facilitator and trainer in this system too, and yes, I understand why it came out on top, again! ;-)

--removed chart--

The high-end evaluation is measuring a combination of Solutions Range and Solutions Effectiveness. Mahan Khalsa and his book Let's Get Real or Let's Not Play is a winner!

In Grenland I'm delivering this training 9th - 11th of November. If you're in sales, you just don't want to miss it. To get other dates for training e.g. in Oslo and Bergen, send me a request.


  1. Remove this chart from your blog immediately. It is copyrighted information and you don't have ESR's permission to display it.

    Also, we don't have a record of you purchasing our report. Where did you get a copy?

  2. Oops! My sincere apologies. I removed the chart the moment I read your comment, Dave.

    I had the chance of browsing through the report while at a training event with FC in Sweden. Feel free to ask me more questions if you have any. My email is

  3. Geez Dave, what a furious reaction to a blog post that gives your organization credits for a job well done and in fact is a direct advertisement for your company and its products. Wasn't there a more friendly way to communicate?

    If I where Vidar I'd consider not only removing the chart, but any reference to the source that lies behind this interesting article. Such a reaction is usually not the way to attract customers, agree?

  4. Hi Karel,

    Thanks for your comment. I mean that. I'm not afraid of someone calling me out.

    Let me give you a bit of background. ESR has found our copyrighted content pirated and broadly distributed in the U.S., Europe, and in other parts of the world. For example, there have been sales training firms who have purchased a single ESR write-up about their companies (for $29) and then posted those documents on their websites for all their prospects to download for free, without permission from, or compensation to, ESR.

    We have found sales training companies that have pirated, word-for-word, documents we have published, and represented them as their own. Any business that we might have generated as the result of our work, might well have gone to the trainer who did the pirating.

    Those of us who are in the research business have one thing to sell. That's knowledge. If someone either buys (or takes) that knowledge and then freely distributes it, it leaves us at a severe disadvantage, as I hope you can see.

    Regarding Vidar's positive comment: He had nice things to say about Mahan's book. I agree with those comments. Hypothetically though, what would we say if someone (not Vidar) praised that book, and at the same time provided a downloadable PDF with critical content from the book--potentially enough so that someone might not have to purchase the book? That would be wrong, correct?

    The sales training industry has been rife with the theft of intellectual property for decades. It is something I and some colleagues are working hard to stop.

    So, was I furious? Yes. Was posting that chart a direct advertisement for my company? No. Because that chart is the summary of the what's in the 180-page report. We know that when some companies have obtained that chart for free, they didn't buy the report which contained it. They made their decision just based upon a vendor's position on the chart, something that Vidar highlighted regarding FranklinCovey. It wasn't an advertisement, because in my opinion, Vidar was saying, look where FranklinCovey is on ESR's chart. So go with FranklinCovey. Not invest in ESR's report and learn why FranklinCovey is on top.

    So, that's why I was so infuriated. But I appreciate Vidar having taken down the chart and I sincerely wish both of you good luck and good fortune!

    Dave Stein
    CEO & Founder
    ES Research Group, Inc.

  5. Hi Dave,
    I'd like to thank you for your gracious approach with regards to me wrongfully posting that chart. I should've known better.

    My intent was exactly that which Karel pointed out, thinking it would drive more attention to your excellent work. I also thought the chart itself actually was "publically available knowledge". I was wrong. Sorry!

    Most importantly, I'd like you to know that I'm a great admirer of what you and your team are doing and have accomplished so far. I'm very much in favour of the effort you're putting in to bringing out in the open the best sales training available.

    The past nine years I've spent much of my time researching what could be done to improve sales training, knowing perfectly well that:

    a) there's a lot of dysfunctional and poor training and coaching going on, and

    b) that a lot of GOOD training never is adopted by sales professionals.

    Your work effectively dismantles flaws and highlights what's needed out there. What a wonderful way to stimulate individual talent in organizations and to improve communication skills.

    Finnaly, thank you for elaborating on why protecting intelectual property is important.

  6. Hi Dave!

    Thank you for your reply and for taking time to explain this matter to me. Although I completely understand your point of view, I still don't agree with you about this particular situation. But let's not discuss that here. After all, Vidar's blog isn't a discussion forum. Besides, it's quite usual two people not agree on a thing and live in peace together, isn't it (unfortunately the opposite happens too often already).

    If your interested in further communication with me, contact me at