How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success – Frank Bettger

Book Summary

How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success – By: Frank Bettger

Eduttainable Idea 1

Think in terms of the other persons interests. If you are always thinking in terms of the other persons interests you can’t go wrong. What does the other person truly want? How does the other person want to be approached? Who does the other person want to do business with? When you think in terms of the other persons interests, you inevitably start with questions. The better the questions the better the outcome. Does the person you’re dealing with want to do business with someone who is indifferent about the work that they do or enthusiastic? Is it in the other persons interest that they deal with someone who is disorganized or organized? Is it in the interest of the other person to be talked at and feature pitched or listened to and understood? The author Frank Bettger, was born in 1888, and he wrote this book in 1949, and the ideas in the book hold as true today as they did back then. In his book, Frank writes that his ability to see busy people did not rely on tricks but common sense. Frank makes a point of mentioning that some of the best contacts that he ever saw were people that were incredibly difficult to meet with. When you think in terms of the other persons interests, deliberate practice will make the process that much more enjoyable. When booking appointments with busy people, the most important thing to do is to sell the meeting, not what you’re selling. If you can get the meeting then you have an opportunity to learn from the prospect and only if there is a good fit will you have the chance to sell. When you think in terms of the other persons interests, the first step is to always “Sell yourself”. It is in the approach that the customer is either sold or lost.

“I’ve found that what I do in the approach usually determines where I stand in the mind of the prospect: “order taker” or “adviser.” If my approach is right, then when I give my sales presentation I am master of the interview. If I fail in my approach, the prospect is master of the interview.” says Bettger.

I believe truer words have never been spoken. If you think in terms of the other persons interests you will naturally approach them with the utmost care as to do otherwise could be fatal in your business relationship.

Eduttainable Idea 2

“A salesman cannot know much but he can talk too much.” said Bettger in 1949.

The biggest reason why a sales rep loses a sale is that they talk too much. Frank Bettger admired Abraham Lincoln because he was the master of brevity. We tend to admire people who are brief and to the point. This isn’t to say that we need to be abrupt. It is more an intention of being deliberate and thoughtful and sharing only what is truly important. Frank shares that during his career he developed the habit of talking less and less. This deliberate choice made him a better salesman. Although he did admit to struggling with the new habit, he found that by talking less it leaves plenty of room for listening. Listening is probably the greatest skill that any salesmen can possess. The only way to listen is to have someone else doing the talking. Most sales people are so intent on what they have to say that they are not really listening. They are waiting for their turn to tell the prospect about their products and services. Without listening we can’t truly understand the needs of our prospective customers. Without asking questions we don’t get the opportunity to listen intently. Use the power of talking less in combination with asking great questions to help you build trust and increased sales.

“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!” says Bettger.

10,000 feet view

This is definitely one of the best sales books I’ve ever read. It was written so many years ago but the ideas in it will help anyone in sales put their best foot forward. Frank worked closely with Dale Carnegie and I look at this book the necessary companion piece to “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. The book is well written and full of stories that illustrate why Frank was able to succeed at such a high level. From simple ideas like smiling and dressing your best to more uncommon ways to get meetings with busy people. Frank does not hold back from providing tremendous value that will resonate with anyone looking to grow personally and professionally in their sales career. This book should be required reading for anyone in sales.

To get the book: How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success – By Frank Bettger

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Mark Latimer

Mark Latimer

Mark Latimer is the Host of the EDUTTAIN Podcast. Join us weekly as we interview leaders, speakers, authors and more.

Mark uses his expert knowledge to coach, consult and speak with B2B organizations looking to dramatically increase sales.

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