HPT Video 2020: Neil Rackham

Neil Rackham

Neil Rackham is known throughout the world as a speaker, writer and seminal thinker on sales and marketing issues. Three of his books have been on the New York Times best seller list and his books have been translated into over 50 languages.

He has been Chairman and CEO of three international research and consulting firms.

He first gained international recognition in the 1970s when he led the largest ever research study of successful selling and sales effectiveness. This massive project, supported by major multinationals including Xerox and IBM, involved a team of 30 researchers who studied 35,000 sales calls in over 20 countries. The research took 12 years. From the results of these studies he published the classic SPIN® Selling (McGraw-Hill, 1988) and Major Account Sales Strategy (McGraw-Hill, 1989). He is also the author of over 50 articles on marketing, selling and channel strategy.

His sales training has won you the Instructional Systems Association lifetime award for Innovation in Training and Instruction.

Neil has worked closely with many leading sales forces such as AT&T, Citicorp, IBM, Motorola, Siemens and Xerox. And he has worked with senior partners in some of the world’s most successful professional services organizations … including McKinsey.

He is a sought after conference speaker who receives top reviews from participants for his capacity to take complex issues and make them accessible and interesting. His use a combination of humor, passion and group interaction to stimulate and challenge your audiences.

Neil’s other business books include: Managing Major Sales, and Getting Partnering Right: How Market Leaders Are Creating Long-Term Competitive Advantage, Major Account Sales Strategy, and Rethinking the Sales Force.

More than half the Fortune 500 train their salespeople using sales models derived from his research. He is Visiting Professor to several Universities in Europe and the USA.

His Awards include:

– Lifetime Contribution Award, University Sales Education Foundation, 2010, for outstanding contributions to professional selling

– Lifetime Achievement “Stevie” award, 2010, “for his unique contributions to the sales profession”

– Honorary Doctorate of Laws, Portsmouth University, 2009 “for his distinguished contributions to methodology, research and writing that have transformed our understanding of sales.”

– Innovative Contribution Award, Instructional Systems Association-The Association of Learning Providers, 2002

– Patron, Association of Professional Sales; Patron, Sales Leadership Alliance; Patron, Sales Performance Association; Honorary Fellow, Sales Performance Association

– Honorary Doctor of Science, University of Sheffield, 2017, in recognition of his internationally renowned research in many areas of business development including management training, sales and team-work

1981 at Motorola

I first met Neil on my first day on the job at MTEC – Motorola’s Training & Education Center in June 1981. He was brought in by Bill Wiggenhorn for a 1 day workshop on Training Design Criteria – and I’ve also posted that video below.

I had opportunity to work directly with Neil in 1981 and 1982, but not on sales or SPIN Selling, but on his Win Win Negotiations training program, and he trained me for my role as a Behavior Analyst in the Pilot Session.


Neil accepted my invitation to be the Keynote Speaker at ISPI’s 2004 Conference in Tampa when I was the outgoing President of ISPI. One of the perks of office. That was the last time I saw him or spoke with him, until a week and a half ago. That’s when he agreed to do an HPT Video with me.

So I made the long drive yesterday – as his Writing Cabin doesn’t have a great Internet connection for using Skype, as I have been using the past 2 years. And I’m so glad I got to see him in person again. He is simply one of the smartest, and most generous people I’ve ever met.

On the drive I re-listened to 2 audio files I have – made when I started panicking about the degradation of two audio cassettes given to me back in 1981 by Ed Bales – who was working closely with Neil at MTEC. I was amazed at what I was listening too (again) as it parallelled what I am currently reading in Jeffrey Pfeffer’s “Leadership BS”.

Back in January 2013 I did a post on Neil in my series of First Friday Favorite Gurus – to honor my 42 mentors – people who I know who have had a tremendous impact on my professional practices.

Click on the link to that post about Neil, next…

1st Friday Favorite Guru: Neil Rackham

Driving to Neil’s Writing Cabin

It was a 6.5 hour drive into Virginia from North Carolina – then 2+ hours with Neil – and then another 6.5 hours driving back home. A long day that wasn’t over until I did the video editing, and posting to YouTube, and the creation of this post. Well worth it friends. Well worth it.

Once I found the road to the Writing Cabin, I started taking some pictures… and on my way back home…

Webp.net-gifmaker (12)

One of 4 neighboring squirrels came for a quick visit after the video interview.

Listen to the video for Neil’s explanation of his Writing Cabin and the proximity to his house, and his favorite mode of transportation between the two.

Neil Rackham – HPT Video 2020

This BTW is the 99th video in my series of Videos on HPT Practitioners and their HPT Practices. And thanks to Sales Enablement Guy Mike Kunkle for an assist with some question suggestions!

This video is 83:52 minutes in length.

If you’re not a fan of Neil’s work in Sales, or Partnering – you should be. He has many videos out on the Internet, plus articles, etc. Check it out!

Webp.net-gifmaker (13)

Neil in 1981 at MTEC: Training Design Criteria

This video is 57 minutes in length.

Neil Signed a Stack of His Books That I Brought to the Video Session

I already had him sign my copy of SPIN Selling back in 2004. But I also had all these other books – so I brought them along for the ride – and for his signatures!


Thanks Neil!

Guy with Neil’s Latest Book

Neil graciously gave me a signed copy of his newest book – a book telling the stories, or rather legends, from Scotland, of the seeing stones – A Telling of Stones.

From: http://lanntair.com/events/event/telling-stones-neil-rackham/

In the tradition of classic storytelling, Neil Rackham’s new book gathers many stories and names round ‘second sight’ and one powerful ‘seer stone’. Most famously the prophecies of Coinneach Odhar the semi-mythical Brahan Seer – ‘the Gaelic Nostradamus’.

Get it from Amazon – here.

A Telling of Stones is a compilation of Scottish legends, stories and inventions that relate to ‘seeing stones’.


It was just published yesterday. Thanks again Neil!

Neil’s Website

See Neil’s website – here. You can connect with Neil there.

My HPT Video Series

The HPT Practitioner and HPT Legacy Video Series … now the HPT Video Series …was started by Guy W. Wallace in 2008 as a means of sharing the diversity of HPT Practitioners, and the diversity of HPT Practices in the workplace and in academia. The full set of videos may be found and linked to – here.

HPT – Human Performance Technology – is the application of science – the “technology” part – for Performance Improvement. As the late Don Tosti noted, “All performance is a human endeavor.”

Whether your label for HPT is that, or Performance Improvement or Human Performance Improvement, it is all about Evidence Based Practices for Performance Improvement at the Individual level, the Team level, the Process level, the Department level, the Functional level, the Enterprise level, and at the level of Society/World.

HPT Practitioners operate at all of these levels, as this Video Series clearly demonstrates.

Although ISPI – the International Society for Performance Improvement is the professional home of many HPT Practitioners – the concepts, models, methods, tools and techniques are not limited to any one professional affinity group or professional label.

ISPI just happens to be where I learned about HPT – and has been my professional home since 1979.

# # #

One comment on “HPT Video 2020: Neil Rackham

  1. Pingback: New HPT Video: Neil Rackham – HPT Treasures – for Evidence Based Performance Improvement

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.