How I raised myself from failure to success in selling


By Frank Bettger
I think this is one of the best sales book that I have ever read. It is a rare book that can stand the test of time. Ever though the book was published in 1947.
Even though this book was published in 1947, it is based on timeless principles that are just as effective today as the day they were written. I borrowed this book from the library, however after reading it, I bought the book online to keep a copy myself.

Extracts from the book

During my 32 years of selling, I have seen enthusiasm double and treble the income of dozens of salesmen, and I have seen the lack of it cause hundreds of salesmen to fail.

I firmly believe enthusiasm is, by far, the biggest single factor in successful selling. For example, I know a man who is an authority on insurance – he could even write a book on the subject – and yet, he can’t make a decent living selling it. Why? Largely because of his lack of enthusiasm.

I know another salesman who didn’t know one-tenth as much about insurance, yet he made a fortune selling it, and retired in twenty years. His name is Stanley Gettis. The reason for his outstanding success was not knowledge, it was enthusiasm.

Can you acquire enthusiasm – or must you be born with it? Certainly, you can acquire it! Stanley Gettis acquired it. He became a human dynamo. How? Just by forcing himself each day to act enthusiastic. As a part of his plan, Stanley Gettis repeated a poem almost every morning for 20 years.

Poem written by Herbert Kauffman and has a good title:


You are the man who used to boast
That you’d achieve uttermost,
Some day.

You merely wished a show,

To demostrate how much you know
And prove the distance you can go…
Another year we’ve just passed through,
What new ideas come to you?

How many big things did you do?

Time … left twelve fresh months in your care.
How many of them did you share

With opportunity and dare

Again where you so often missed?
We do not find you on the list of Makers Good.
Explain the fact!
Ah no, ’twas not the chance you lacked !
As usual – you failed to act !

1) Force yourself to act enthusiastic, and you’ll become enthusiastic. “Make a high and holy resolve that you will double the amount of enthusiasm that you have been putting into your work and into your life. If you carry out that resolve, you will probably double your income, and double your happiness.”

How can you begin? There is just one rule : “To become enthusiastic, act enthusiastic”

2) Remember the one sentence uttered by Walter LeMar Talbort. “After all, this business of selling narrows down to one thing, just one thing, seeing the people. Show me any man of ordinary ability who will go out and earnestly tell his story to four or five people every day, and I will show you a man who just can’t help making good!”

3) If you want to overcome fear and rapidly develop courage and self-confidence, join a good course in public speaking – not just a lecture course. Join only a course where you make a talk at every meeting. When you lose your fear of speaking to an audience, you lose you fear of talking to individuals, no matter how big and important they are.

4) One of the greatest satisfactions in life comes from getting things done and knowing you have done them to the best of your ability. If you are having trouble getting yourself organized, if you want to increase your ability to think, and do things in the order of their importance, remember there is only one way : Take more time to think and do things in the order of their importance. Set aside one day as self-organization day, or a definite period each week.

The whole secret of freedom from anxiety over not having enough time lies not in working more hours, but in the proper planning of hours.

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