Frank Bettger’s life is a classic rags-to-riches tale. As a child Bettger earned money to feed his family by selling newspapers on street corners, and he left school when he was only fourteen. His career as a professional baseball player was short-lived and he spent several years unsuccessfully trying to sell insurance. Yet despite his deprived background by the time he was forty Frank Bettger was one of the most highly-paid salesmen in America. His momentous decision to undergo a complete personal transformation by putting enthusiasm into everything he did helped him achieve legendary status as an insurance salesman. His 1947 book How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling reveals the secrets of his phenomenal transformation, and is a best-seller to this day. In this inspiring new interpretation Karen McCreadie demonstrates why Bettger’s ideas are still relevant. Twenty-first century readers will discover: • Why honesty really is the best policy; • How enthusiasm can be infectious; • The importance of creating confidence; • Why smiling and sales go hand-in-hand; • How to always remember your clients and make sure that they always remember you. McCreadie explains why selling is still ultimately about people rather than business. This lucid, concise and jargon-free book shows you how you can adopt Bettger’s original techniques and become a real sales ace. Frank Bettger’s How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling illustrates the timeless nature of Bettger’s insights into the sales process and human nature by bringing them to life with modern examples. This brilliant interpretation of How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success in Selling is an inspiring reworking of one of the most influential sales books ever written.
About the Author
Karen McCreadie has written books for business executives and international speakers on topics ranging from sales, coaching and wealth creation to the mind/body connection and psychological profiling. She is the author of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, Frank Bettger’s How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success, George S. Clason’s The Richest Man in Babylon, Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, Robert Collier’s The Secret of the Ages and Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.
Table of ContentsIntroduction 1. Lazy gets you nowhere 2. Act as if 3. Find the opportunity in adversity 4. The power of coincidence 5. Anchor enthusiasm into the way you operate 6. If you want to improve something - measure it 7. Devil’s in the detail 8. Just do it! 9. Speak your way to success 10. Self-organisation 11. Find out what people want and help them get it 12. Keep on learning 13. Don’t talk about yourself 14. Make appointments and be prepared 15. What is the key issue? 16. Ask questions 17. Explode dynamite and arouse fear 18. Create confidence 19. Express honest appreciation 20. Assume a close 21. Put you in the interview 22. Set goals 23. Don’t argue 24. The importance of ‘why?’ 25. The power of silence 26. Honesty really is the best policy 27. Admit your faults 28. Know your business 29. Praise your competitors 30. Don’t exaggerate your offering 31. Find reliable witnesses 32. Dress to impress 33. Smile! 34. Action follows feeling 35. How to remember names and faces 36. Master the art of brevity 37. Admit when you’re scared 38. The sale before the sale 39. Be respectful of the gatekeepers 40. Practice makes perfect 41. Demonstrate your product or service 42. Never forget a customer; never let a customer forget you 43. Source new leads from past clients 44. Appeal for action 45. Gather momentum 46. Positive expectation 47. Assess your failures 48. Thoughts tend to pass into action 49. Discipline 50. Foster indifference 51. Have courage 52. Franklin’s thirteen subjects Conclusion Reference material Index
I must confess that I owned Bettger’s How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling for years before I finally got around to reading it. It was about sales, after all. I’ve read more books on sales than I care to mention and I have yet to be pleasantly surprised by any. Everything that there is to say on the subject has been said on the subject a million times before. So I was thrilled to find that Bettger’s book is every bit as good as its reputation suggests. What makes this little book a revelation is not necessarily exactly what he says but the authenticity of the message. I don’t know what Bettger looked like but he was sixty-one when he wrote the book, and it has the air of a kindly grandfather passing on hard-won lessons. It is a conversation between you and a man who found success in what is, as far as I’m concerned, one of the hardest professions in the world. Sales has, in the years since he wrote it, been elevated to an art form with books and theories about how to get past ‘gatekeepers’, how to sell to CEOs and how to get repeat business. Every conceivable angle has been covered. And yet, despite the sophistication that has emerged, we still instinctively know when we’re being sold to – which, ironically, makes his authentic and simple approach even more relevant in the modern world. So if you are looking for a turn-key, do-nothing, minimal-investment approach to selling then this book (or the original that inspired it) is not for you. There is nothing easy about what Bettger recommends. It is, for the most part, simple, but it’s not easy. How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling was first published in 1947. And despite the advances in technology and the emergence of a global marketplace since then, nothing much has changed at all. You and I don’t buy from businesses – we buy from people. There is no such thing as business-2- business selling – it’s just a buzz phrase that makes people in business feel as though they can approach selling with a little more finesse. Just think about it for a moment. If you are a buyer in a business, do you have preferred suppliers? If you are honest, do you choose those preferred suppliers based on price – or on price, quality and personality? I defy anyone to tell me it’s all about the money. It’s never about the money, not when you break it down. I remember when I used to work as a senior project manager for a marketing agency. Part of my role was to co-ordinate the printing and distribution of direct mail campaigns. I always got three quotes from a variety of suppliers, but the final decision rarely came down to price alone. It was about the relationships I had with those suppliers. Which ones did I like? Which suppliers were willing to go out on a limb for me and fix things without a fight? Who could I phone up and ask questions of without being made to feel like an idiot? Who did I laugh with? Those were the issues that made the difference! These are people issues, not business-2-business – and that’s what makes Bettger’s advice timeless. Selling offers an unprecedented opportunity for security and financial reward, and you don’t need a university degree to excel in it. If you are good at sales you will never be out of work and you can effectively write your own salary cheque. And Bettger tells you how to be really good in sales.