Saturday, February 5, 2011

Frank Bettgers's "How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling"

One of my favorite books on selling has long been "How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling" by Frank Bettger. Frank was a professional baseball player who was fired from his first team because his manager thought he was lazy, when confronted Frank confessed he was hiding his own fear and anxiety by acting like the veterans who were less enthusiastic, without the credentials to do it. He resolved never to be called lazy again and did everything with enthusiasm rising all the way to the Big Leagues. After an injury he ended up selling insurance, and once again was letting fear overcome his enthusiasm and once again was failing. He had gone to the office to quit and clean out his desk when he got trapped into a sales meeting where he heard the company president say that anyone who will just get in front of 4-5 people every day cannot fail to succeed. Once again turning his career around to one of the most successful insurance men in America.

Anyone who is in the business of sales, or ever needs to help people make a decision, including parents trying to persuade their kids, this book will change your life.

How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling
Frank Bettger

• 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.”
• To become enthusiastic, act enthusiastic.
• Good Morning Lord instead of Good Lord it’s morning.
• Talk faster; stand up when talking on the phone.
• Fake it until you make it.

It’s a Numbers Game, See the People:
• “After all, this business of selling narrows down to one thing, just one thing, seeing the people. Show me anyone of ordinary ability who will go out and earnestly tell his or her story to four of five people every day, and I will show you someone who just can’t help making good!”
Overcome Your Greatest Fear:
• 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 your fear of talking to individuals, no matter how big and important they are.
Get Organized:
• 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 order of their importance. Set aside one day as self-organization day, or a definite period each week. The whole secret to freedom from anxiety over not having enough time lies not in working more hours, but in proper planning of those hours.
• Big Rocks First.
Help Enough People Get What They Want and You Will Get What You Want:
• The most important secret of salesmanship is to find out what the other fellow wants, then help find the best way to get it.
• There is only one way under Heaven to get anybody to do anything. Did you ever think of that? Yes, just one way. And that is by making the other person want to do it. Remember, there is no other way.
• When you show a man what he WANTS, he will move Heaven and Earth to get it.
• Help the other person recognize what he wants, and then help him decide how to get it.
• See things from the other person’s point of view and talk in terms of his wants, needs, and desires.
Analysis of the Basic Principles Used in Making That Sale:
• When you call the purpose of the call is to make an appointment.
• Be Prepared. If you were to speak in front of a huge audience how much would you prepare? Why not prepare before your appointment, today it is easier than ever. Look them up on Social Networking, learn about them. Know their business.
• What is the Key Issue? What is the major point of interest? Or what is their most vulnerable point? Where is their pain?
• Key Word Notes: Do not go into a phone call or meeting without notes or bullet points you want to cover, put them in a logical order, be brief and stay on point.
• Ask Questions: prepare a list of questions that will help you and your prospect to find their point of pain.
• Create Confidence: (A) Be an assistant buyer, in preparing for the interview, imagine yourself in their shoes; what would you want to hear. People do not like to be sold, they like to buy. (B) Praise your competition. Never knock a competitor or someone they are currently doing business.
How Asking Questions Increased the Effectiveness of Sales Interviews:
• They help you avoid arguments.
• Questions, rather than positive statements, can be the most effective means of making a sale, or winning people to your way of thinking.
• Inquire instead of attack.
• Helps you avoid talking too much.
• Enables you to help the other fellow recognizes what he wants. Then you can help him decide how to get it.
• Helps crystallize the other person’s thinking.
• Helps you find the most vulnerable point with to close the sale.
• Gives the other person a feeling of importance. When you show that you respect his opinion, he is more likely to respect yours.
• If you ask enough questions, your client will tell you how to close them.
Find the basic need, or the main point of interest. Then stick to it.
The Most Important Word In Selling:
• Why? Ask any of the greatest sales people on the planet, children.
How To Find The Hidden Objection:
• Biggest mistake most sales people make is to answer each objection. This just confirms you as a “slick, fast-talking” salesperson and causes them to hold on even tighter to their “real” reason.
• “A man generally has two reasons for doing a thing – one that sounds good, and a real one.”
• Two best things to draw them out is “Why?” and “In addition to that?”
• “Feel, Felt, Found” I know exactly how you feel; I felt the same way, let me tell you what I found.”
The Forgotten Art That Is Magic in Selling:
• Listening, be a good listener.
• Show the other person you are sincerely interested in what they are saying, give them all the eager attention and appreciation that everyone craves and is so hungry for, but seldom gets.
How to Create Confidence:
• Deserve Confidence.
• “The wisest and best salesman is always one who bluntly tells the truth. He looks his prospects in the eye and tells his story. That is always impressive. And if he does not sell the first time, he leaves a trail of trust behind. A customer, as a rule, cannot be fooled a second time by some shady or clever talk that does not square with the truth. Not the best talker wins the sale – but the most honest talker… there is something in the look of the eye, the arrangement of words, the spirit of a salesman that immediately compels trust or distrust… being bluntly honest is always safe and best. “ George Matthew Adams
• Know your business and keep on knowing your business.
• Praise Your Competitors.
• Never exaggerate what you can offer. It always comes back to bite you.
• Bring in your witnesses, third party testimonies are powerful.
How Can You Learn from Lincoln on how to Make Friends:
• “If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.” Lincoln
• Encourage people getting started in their careers. Help them see how they can be a success in life.
• Try to get someone to tell you what is their greatest ambition in life, help them raise their sights.
• If anyone has inspired you, or helped you in any way, don’t keep it a secret. Tell him about it.
• Ask a man: “How did you happen to get started in this business?”; Then, be a good listener.
Be More Welcome Everywhere You Go:
• Smile.
The Biggest Reason Why Sale People Lose Business:
• Talk too much. Be brief, don’t waste their time. Get to the point.
• Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
How to Overcome Fear of Approaching the Big Hitter:
• When you are scared admit it.
The Sale Before the Sale:
• Don’t try to throw the “hawser” throw the “heaving line, or monkey paw.”
How to Make Appointments:
• Alternate of Choice Close.
• Never ask when they are available.
• Winning images, even if your calendar is empty, make it “feel” full.
How to Make the Major Leagues:
• The best time to prepare a speech is immediately after you’ve made one. Likewise a sales talk, all the things you should have said, and should not have said, are fresh in your mind. Write them down immediately.
• Write your script out word for word. Keep on improving it. Read it and reread it until you know it. But don’t memorize it. Try it out on family, or co-workers.
Don’t Be Afraid To Fail:
• Babe Ruth hit 714 home runs. He struck out 1,330 times. He batted a career average of .343. So he only hit the ball less than 4 times out of 10 at bat.
• Just keep swinging.
Ben Franklin Secret of Success:
• Ben Franklin’s Autobiography.
• While Ben Franklin was still a small printer in Philadelphia and badly in debt he thought of himself as a simple man of ordinary ability. However, he believed that he could acquire the essential principles of successful living, if only he could find the right method. He developed a method so simple, yet so practical, anyone can use it.
• Franklin chose 13 subjects which he felt were necessary or desirable for him to acquire and try to master, and he gave a week’s strict attention to each subject successively. In this way, he was able to go through the entire list in 13 weeks, and repeat the process four times per year.
His list:
1. Temperance – Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
2. Silence – Speak not but what may benefit others of yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
3. Order- Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
4. Resolution – Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
5. Frugality- Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
6. Industry- Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
7. Sincerity- Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
8. Justice- Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
9. Moderation- Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
10. Cleanliness – Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
11. Tranquility- Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
12. Chastity- Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
13. Humility- Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
Make your own, maybe:
1. Enthusiasm
2. Self-Organization
3. Think in terms of other’s interests.
4. Questions
5. Key Issues
6. Listening
7. Sincerity
8. Knowledge of my business
9. Appreciation and Praise
10. Smile and Happiness
11. Service and prospecting
12. Closing the sale
13. Remembering names and faces.


  1. I have a list of books that can literally launch you to success. I have a web site that need work see the first article and open that to see inspiration. The Magic of Thinking Big, David Schwartz
    The Secret, Rhonda Byre
    How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie,
    How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success through Selling, Frank Bettger
    See You at the Top, Zig Ziglar
    Ask and It Is Given, Jerry & Esther Hicks
    How to Have Power and Confidence in Dealing with People, Les Giblin
    The New Psycho-Cybernetics, Maxwell Maltz
    The Go-Getter, Peter B. Kyne
    The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons, Napoleon Hill
    The Magic of Believing, Claude M Bristol