How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling - Frank Bettger

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Rated: 6/10

Available at: Amazon

ISBN: 067179437X

Related: To Sell is Human, SNAP Selling

Summary

Similar to How to Win Friends & Influence People in that the advice in this book is relatively basic or common sense knowledge if you’re at all familiar with traditional sales.

That said, it’s timeless knowledge and valuable when put in one place.  Worth absorbing the principles.

Notes

Part 1: These Ideas Lifted Me Out of the Ranks of Failure

1: How One Idea Multiplied My Income and Happiness

  • I firmly believe enthusiasm is, by far, the biggest single factor in successful selling.

  • To become enthusiastic — act enthusiastic.

  • Put this rule into action for thirty days and be prepared to see astonishing results. It easily may revolutionize your entire life.

  • Stand up on your hind legs each morning, and repeat, with powerful gestures and all the enthusiasm you can generate, these words:

  • Force yourself to act enthusiastic, and you’ll become enthusiastic!

  • - Dale Carnegie

2: This Idea Put Me Back Into Selling After I Had Quit

  • Selling is the easiest job in the world if you work it hard — but the hardest job in the world if you try to work it easy.

  • You can’t collect your commission until you make the sale; You can’t make the sale’ til you write the order; You can’t write the order’ til you have an interview; And you can’t have an interview’ til you make the call!

3: One Thing I Did That Helped Me Destroy the Biggest Enemy I Ever Had to Face

  • The best way I ever found to help overcome fear and rapidly develop courage and self-confidence is by speaking before groups. I discovered that when I lost my fear of speaking to audiences, I lost my fear of talking to individuals, no matter how big and important they were.

4: The Only Way I Could Get Myself Organized

  • He said: “Mr. Bettger, we furnish our salesmen with certain tools which we know are essential to their success. Our number - one tool is the “Weekly Work Sheet,” which must be completed by the salesmen, giving the names of all the people they plan to see during the coming week, and a copy must be turned over to us in advance of each week’s work.”

  • Exhibit of one month’s record cards, showing actual results of planning and commissions earned (p.30)

SUMMARY PART ONE

Pocket Reminders 

  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 Talbot. “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 selfconfidence, 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.

  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.

Part 2: Formula for Success in Selling

5: How I Learned the Most Important Secret of Salesmanship

  • The most important secret of salesmanship is to find out what the other fellow wants, then help him find the best way to get it.

  • Finding out what people want, and helping them get it.

  • I can’t begin to tell you the new kind of courage and enthusiasm this gave me. Here was something more than a sales technique. It was a philosophy to live by.

6: Hitting the Bull’s - Eye

  • When you show a man what he wants, he’ll move heaven and earth to get it.

Summed Up 

  1. The most important secret of salesmanship is to find out what the other fellow wants, then help him find the best way to get it.

  2. 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.

  3. When you show a man what he wants, he will move heaven and earth to get it.

8: Analysis of the Basic Principles Used in Making That Sale

  1. Make Appointments.

  2. Be Prepared.

  3. What Is the Key Issue?

  4. Or, what is the major point of interest?

    1. Or, what is the most vulnerable point?

    2. That sale taught me a big lesson: Never try to cover too many points; don’t obscure the main issue. Find out what it is; then stay right on the beam.

  5. Key Word Notes.

  6. It is an unusual person who can go into an interview or conference or even make an important telephone call, and Remember points he wants to cover. Cover them in logical order. Be brief and stay on the main point.

  7. Ask Questions.

  8. Explode Dynamite!

  9. Do something startling, surprising.

  10. Arouse Fear.

  11. Basically, there are only two factors that move men to action: desire for gain, and fear of loss.

  12. Create Confidence.

  13. I believe there were four rules that helped me gain this stranger’s confidence:

    1. (a) Be an Assistant Buyer.

      1. (b) “ If you were my own brother, I’d say to you what I’m going to say to you now …. ” A powerful confidence - gainer, if you can use it with absolute sincerity.

      2. (c) Praise Your Competitors.

      3. “If you can’t boost, don’t knock” is always a safe rule.

      4. (d) “I am in a position to do something for you this morning that no other living person can do for you.”

  14. Express Honest Appreciation of Your Listener’s Ability.

  15. Assume a Close.

  16. Put YOU in the Interview.

  17. See things from the other person’s point of view and talk in terms of his wants, needs, desires.

9: How Asking Questions Increased the Effectiveness of My Sales Interviews

  • You can do two things with a question:

  • Let the other person know what you think.

    1. You can at the same time pay him the compliment of asking his opinion.

    2. A famous educator once said to me: “One of the biggest things you get out of a college education is a questioning attitude, a habit of demanding and weighing evidence … a scientific approach.”

  • Six Things You Can Gain by The Question Method

  • Helps you to avoid arguments.

    1. Helps you avoid talking too much.

    2. Enables you to help the other fellow recognize what he wants. Then you can help him decide how to get it.

    3. his Helps crystallize the other person’s thinking. The idea becomes his idea.

    4. Helps you find the most vulnerable point with which to close the sale — the key issue.

    5. Gives the other person a feeling of importance. When you show that you respect his opinion, he is more likely to respect yours.

10: How I Learned to Find the Most Important Reason Why a Man Should Buy

Summed Up

  • The main problem in the sale is to

  • Find the basic need, or

    1. The main point of interest.

    2. Then stick to it!

11: The Most Important Word I Have Found in Selling Has Only Three Letters

  • Why - keep asking why.

12: How I Find the Hidden Objection

  • I kept a record one time of more than five thousand interviews to try to find out why people bought, or failed to buy. In 62 percent of the cases, the original objection raised against buying was not the real reason at all. I found that only 38 percent of the time did the prospect give me the real reason for not buying.

Summed Up:

  • Remember these wise words of J. Pierpont Morgan: “A man generally has two reasons for doing a thing — one that sounds good, and a real one.”

  • The best formula I ever found to draw out the real one is built around those two little questions: “Why?” and  "In addition to that…?”

13: The Forgotten Art That Is Magic in Selling

  • This taught me a lesson which I’ve had to learn: the importance of being a good listener, showing the other person you are sincerely interested in what he is saying, and giving him all the eager attention and appreciation that he craves and is so hungry for, but seldom gets!

  • Try looking straight into the face of the next person who speaks to you, with eager, absorbed interest (even if it is your own wife), and see the magic effect it has both on yourself, and the one who is doing the talking.

  • Experience has taught me that it is a good rule to make sure the other fellow does a liberal share of the talking in the first half. Then when I talk I am more sure of the fact, and more likely to have an attentive listener.

SUMMARY PART TWO 

Pocket Reminders

  • The most important secret of salesmanship is to find out what the other fellow wants, and then help him find the best way to get it.

  • If you want to hit the bull’s-eye, remember the sage advice of Dale Carnegie: “There is only one way under high heaven to get anybody to do anything. 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.

  • Cultivate the art of asking questions. Questions, rather than positive statements, can be the most effective means of making a sale, or winning people to your way of thinking. Inquire rather than attack.

  • Find the key issue, the most vulnerable point, then stick to it.

  • Learn how to use the most important word in selling, that powerful little one-word question, “why?” Remember that Milton S. Hershey, who failed three times before he was forty, thought this word was so important in business that he dedicated his life to it.

  • To find the hidden objection, the real reason, remember what J. Pierpont Morgan said: “A man generally has two reasons for doing a thing — one that sounds good, and a real one.” It is probably two to one that something else is in the picture. Ask those two little questions: “ Why? ” and “ In addition to that..? ” Try using them for one week. You will be surprised with your results in overcoming objections.

  • Remember the forgotten art that is magic in selling. Be a good listener. Show the other person you are sincerely interested in what he is saying; give him all the eager attention and appreciation that everyone craves and is so hungry for, but seldom gets. It is one of the most important principles of the formula for success in selling. Yes, it is magic in selling!

Part 3: Six Ways to Win and Hold the Confidence of Others

14: The Biggest Lesson I Ever Learned About Creating Confidence

  • To win and hold the confidence of others, Rule One is:

  • Deserve Confidence.

15: A Valuable Lesson I Learned About Creating Confidence from A Great Physician

  • So if you want to have confidence in yourself, and win and hold the confidence of others, find it an essential rule to:

  • Know Your Business and Keep On Knowing Your Business.

16: The Quickest Way I Ever Discovered to Win Confidence

  • So, Rule Three is:

  • Praise Your Competitors.

18: I Found This an Infallible Way to Gain a Man’s Confidence

  • So an infallible way to gain a man’s confidence quickly is to:

  • Bring On Your Witnesses.

19: How to Look Your Best

  • So here’s the most practical idea I ever heard on how to improve your appearance: “Put yourself in the hands of an expert.”

  • Look Your Best.

SUMMARY PART THREE 

Pocket Reminders 

  • Deserve Confidence. The real test is: do you believe it, not will the other person believe it?

  • To have confidence in yourself, and win and hold the confidence of others, an essential rule is to: Know your business … and keep on knowing your business!

  • One of the quickest ways to win and hold the confidence of others is to apply the rule of one of the world’s greatest diplomats, Benjamin Franklin: “I will speak ill of no man — and speak all the good I know of everybody.” Praise Your Competitors!

  • I’ll Cultivate the habit of making understatements; never exaggerate! Remember Karl Collings’ philosophy: “Yes, but I’ll know it.”

  • An infallible way to gain a man’s confidence quickly is to: Bring on your witnesses. And they are as close as the telephone.

  • Look Your Best. “Put yourself in the hands of an expert.”

Part 4: How to Make People Want to Do Business with You

20: An Idea I Learned from Lincoln Helped Me Make Friends

Pocket Reminders 

  1. “If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend ….” — Lincoln.

  2. Encourage young men. Help a man see how he can be a success in life.

  3. Try to get a man to tell you what is his greatest ambition in life. Help him raise his sights.

  4. If anyone has inspired you, or helped you in any way, don’t keep it a secret. Tell him about it.

  5. Ask a man: “How did you happen to get started in this business?”; then, be a good listener.

21: I Became More Welcome Everywhere When I Did This

  • I know it may sound incredible that they can cultivate happiness with a smile, but try it just for thirty days. Give every living soul you meet the best smile you ever smiled in your life, even your own wife and children, and see how much better you feel and look. It’s one of the best ways I know to stop worrying, and start living. When I began doing this, I found I became more welcome everywhere.

22: How I Learned to Remember Names and Faces

  • For one week, carry a three - by - five card with you, with the following three rules written on it. Determine just for one week to apply these rules:

  • Impression Impression Get a clear impression of his name and face.

    1. Repetition Repetition Repeat his name at short intervals.

    2. Association Association Associate it with an action picture; if possible, include the person’s business.

23: The Biggest Reason Why Salesmen Lose Business

  • I don’t mean we should be abrupt. We quickly resent the person who is abrupt; but we admire the person who is brief and to the point.

24: This Interview Taught Me How to Overcome My Fear of Approaching Big Men

  • So whether you’re talking to one person, or a thousand, if that strange demon fear, public enemy number one, suddenly steals up on you, and you find yourself too scared for words, remember this simple rule:

  • When You’re Scared, Admit It.

SUMMARY PART FOUR 

Pocket Reminders 

  • “If you would win a man to your cause,” said Abraham Lincoln, “ first convince him that you are his sincere friend. ”

  • If you want to be welcome everywhere, give every living soul you meet a smile, an honest-to-goodness smile, from down deep inside.

  • You will have much less difficulty remembering names and faces when you remember these three things:

  • a. Impression: Get a clear impression of his name and face.

    1. b. Repetition: Repeat his name at short intervals.

  • c. Association: Associate his name with an action picture; if possible, include his business.

  • Be brief. A salesman cannot know too much, but he can talk too much. General Electric’s vice president, Harry Erlicher, said: “At a recent meeting of purchasing agents, we took a vote to find out the biggest reason why salesmen lose business. It is very significant the vote was three to one that salesmen talk too much.

  • If you have any fear of approaching big men, turn that liability into an asset! Go to see the man you’re afraid to call on, and admit you’re scared. You pay a big compliment to a man when you tell him you are scared in his presence. If you have an idea he can use, he will help you make the sale.

Part 5: Steps in Sale

25: The Sale Before the Sale

  • If I should drop in on a man, without an appointment, I simply say: “Mr. Wilson, my name is Bettger, Frank Bettger, of the Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Company. Your friend, Vic Ridenour, asked me to stop in and see you the next time I was in your neighborhood. Can you talk for a few minutes now, or would you rather I call later?”

  • Usually he will say: “Go ahead” or, “What did you want to talk to me about?”

  • “You!” is my reply.

  • “What about me?” he generally asks.

  • Right there is the critical moment of the approach. If you’re not prepared to answer this question immediately, and satisfactorily, you had better not make the call at all!

Summed Up

  1. Don’t try to throw the “hawser” — throw the “heaving line.”

  2. interview. sale before the sale. The approach must have only one objective: selling the sales interview — not your product, your interview. It is the sale before the sale.

26: The Secret of Making Appointments

Difficult Men to See

  • Practice will improve anyone’s technique in making appointments. Of course, there are always some men who are difficult to see. However, I’ve found them the best prospects if I can get to them. Just as long as I am courteous, I find they do not resent persistency. Here are a few questions I use, and ideas that have helped me:

  • “Mr. Brown, is there any best time to see you — early morning, or late afternoon?”

    1. “Is early in the week, or late in the week better?”

    2. “May I see you this evening?”

    3. “What time do you go to lunch? Let’s have lunch together one day this week. Will you have lunch with me tomorrow at the Union League, say about twelve or twelve-thirty?”

    4. If he is extremely pressed for time, but sincere about being willing to see me, I sometimes ask: “Have you got your car in town today?” If he says “no,” I offer to drive him home in my car. I say: “It will give us a few minutes together.”

    5. I’ve been surprised how many men who are unwilling to make a definite appointment will agree to see me if I set the time far enough in advance. For example, on Friday mornings when I am planning my week’s work ahead, if I phone and say: “Mr. Jones, I will be in your neighborhood next Wednesday; do you mind if I stop in and see you?” he will generally agree. Then I ask him whether morning or afternoon is better, and sometimes he will name an hour.

Important Things I Learned About Using the Telephone

  • After I came to recognize the importance of first selling the appointment, I was able to get all the interviews I could handle. Let me repeat once more the rule it took me so long to learn:

  • First, sell the appointment

    1. Second, sell your product.

27: How I Learned to Outsmart Secretaries and Switchboard Operators

  • I realize that many secretaries and receptionists feel as though it is their duty to get rid of salesmen. But I don’t believe trickery and subterfuge is the way to handle them. A clever man with a dominating personality may often get by the secretary without stating the purpose of his call; a salesman with lots of nerve and a fluent tongue may get away with it once in a while; but I believe the best way to outsmart secretaries and switchboard operators is never to try!

28: An Idea That Helped Me Get Into the “Major Leagues”

  • If you want to be a star in the selling game, you’ve got to have your fundamentals — the A B C’s of your job, so firmly in your mind, that they are part of you. Know them so well that no matter at what point a prospect breaks away from the path to closing, you can get him back on the track again without either of you consciously realizing what has taken place. You can’t develop that perfection by looking in the mirror and congratulating your company for taking you on. You’ve got to drill and drill and drill!

Summed Up

  • immediately! 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!

  • she’ll Write your talk 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 your wife. If it’s bad, she’ll tell you. Deliver it to your manager. Deliver it to another salesman. Give it until you love it.

  • “Drill … Drill … Drill.” Knute Rockne said it: “ Drill … Drill … Drill. ”

29: How to Let the Customer Help You Make the Sale

  • There’s an old Chinese proverb that says: “ One demonstration is worth more than a thousand words. ” A good rule, I learned, is never to say anything that you can dramatize. Better yet: never dramatize anything yourself that you can get the prospect or customer to do. Let the customer perform. Put him into action. In other words: Let the customer help you make the sale.

Summed Up

  • “One demonstration is worth more than a thousand words.” If possible, let the customer perform the demonstration. Let the customer help you make the sale.

30: How I Find New Customers and Make Old Ones Enthusiastic Boosters

  • Well, here is the motto one large sales organization has given to its salesmen: Never forget a customer; never let a customer forget you.

Appreciation

  • Here is a courtesy which I have found equally as important as procuring the name itself. Whatever happens, good or bad, I always report back to the friend who had the confidence in me to give me the lead.

Summed Up

  • “Never forget a customer; never let a customer forget you.”

  • “If you take care of your customers, they’ll take care of you.”

  • HIS Love HIS Property.

  • new New customers are the best source of new business … new customers!

  • minutes, best. When is the best time to follow a referred lead? Within six days … or six weeks? … Six minutes, I found best.

  • Never fail to show appreciation for a lead. Report results whether good or bad.

  • Play position for the next shot.

31: Seven Rules I Use in Closing the Sale

SUMMARY 

Pocket Reminders

  • THIS IS GOING TO BE THE BEST INTERVIEW I EVER HAD

  • Save closing points for the close. The four steps in the average sale: (1) Attention, (2) Interest, (3) Desire, (4) Close.

    1. Summarize. Whenever possible, let the prospect summarize. Put him into action!

    2. “How Do You Like it?” After concluding the presentation, ask this question. It’s magic!

    3. Welcome objections! Remember — the best prospects are those who offer objections.

    4. “Why? … In addition to that?” … Why gets the customer talking, brings out his objections. In addition to that? finds the real reason, or the key issue.

    5. Ask Prospect to Write His Name Here. Get application or order blank out early. Try to at least have his name already filled in at the top. You will never know whether you could have closed the sale unless you actually tried to get the order signed.

    6. Get check with the order. Don’t be afraid of money. Successful salesmen say asking for money is one of the most powerful factors in closing the sale.

  • Check yourself every day on these closing rules.

  • Apply them until they become habits.

32: An Amazing Closing Technique I Learned from a Master Salesman

  • Summary of the Steps in This Close and Pocket Reminder

  • Write up the order blank, application, or contract, in advance, even though you may only have the prospect’s name and address to put on it.

    1. Mark a heavy “ X ” each place where he is to sign, if his signature is required.

    2. Your first words: “ Is that right, Mr. Blank? ” laying the paper on his desk directly in front of him. If it is a standing - up interview, place the unfolded paper in his hands.

    3. The ball is now down on his one - yard line. Momentum is with you! One of the greatest services one man can render another is to help him come to an intelligent decision.

SUMMARY PART FIVE

Pocket Reminders

  • Don’t try to throw the hawser — throw the heaving line. The approach must have only one objective — selling the sales interview. Not your product — your interview. It is the sale before the sale.

  • The foundation of sales lies in getting interviews. And the secret of getting good, attentive, courteous interviews is in selling appointments! The secret of making appointments is to stop swinging for a home run, and merely try to get on first base. First, sell the appointment. Second, sell your product.

  • The best way to outsmart secretaries and switchboard operators is never to try! Be honest and sincere with them. Take them into your confidence. Never use trickery or subterfuge.

  • If you want to be a star in the selling game, you’ve got to have your fundamentals — the ABC’s of your job — so firmly in your mind, that they are part of you …. ” Write your sales talk 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 your wife, your manager, another salesman. Give it until you love it. Knute Rockne said it: “Drill … Drill … Drill.”

  • Make the most of dramatization. “One demonstration is worth more than a thousand words.” Let the customer perform. Let the customer help you make the sale.

  • “Never forget a customer; never let a customer forget you.” New customers are the best source of new business … new customers! Follow up referred leads while they are sizzling hot. Report results — whether good or bad. Play position for the next shot.

  • Check yourself each day on the rules for closing the sale. Apply them until they become as natural as breathing. Review “Pocket Reminders” page 170 after an unsuccessful interview, to see what you have done wrong, or what you might have done differently. That is the acid test.

Part 6: Don’t Be Afraid to Fail!

33: Don’t Be Afraid to Fail!

  • Courage Is Not the Absence of Fear, It Is the Conquest of It.

34: Benjamin Franklin’s Secret of Success and What It Did for Me

  • Franklin chose thirteen 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 his entire list in thirteen weeks, and repeat the process four times in a year.

  • Here is my list, and the order in which I used them:

  • Enthusiasm.

    1. Order: self-organization.

    2. Think in terms of others’ interests.

    3. Questions.

    4. Key issue.

    5. Silence: listen.

    6. Sincerity: deserve confidence.

    7. Knowledge of my business.

    8. Appreciation and praise.

    9. Smile: happiness.

    10. Remember names and faces.

    11. Service and prospecting.

    12. Closing the sale: action.

  • I made up a 3″ x 5″ card, a “pocket reminder,” for each one of my subjects, with a brief summary of the principles, similar to the “pocket reminders” you have found throughout this book. The first week, I carried the card on Enthusiasm in my pocket. At odd moments during the day, I read these principles. Just for that one week, I determined to double the amount of enthusiasm that I had been putting into my selling, and into my life. The second week, I carried my card on Order: self-organization. And so on each week.

  • FRANKLIN’s THIRTEEN SUBJECTS ( just as he wrote them down, and the order in which he used them )

  • Temperance — Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

    1. Silence — Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

    2. Order — Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

    3. Resolution — Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

    4. Frugality — Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.

    5. Industry — Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

    6. Sincerity — Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

    7. Justice — Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

    8. Moderation — Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

    9. Cleanliness — Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.

    10. Tranquility — Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

    11. Chastity — Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.

    12. Humility — Imitate Jesus and Socrates.