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


PART 1: THESE IDEAS LIFTED ME OUT OF THE RANKS OF FAILURE

 

1) How One Idea Multiplied my Income and Happiness

  • Enthusiasm alone did it; nothing but enthusiasm.
  • Why don’t you talk with a little enthusiasm? How do you expect your audience to be interested if you don’t put some life and animation into what you say?
  • Arouse yourself inside, then I am overwhelmingly for it. I know this: When I force myself to act enthusiastic, I soon feel enthusiastic.
  • I firmly believe enthusiasm is, by far, the biggest single factor in successful selling.
  • Force yourself to act enthusiastic, and you’ll become enthusiastic.

 

2) This Idea Put me Back Into Selling After I Had Quit

  • Without records, we have no way of knowing what we are doing wrong.
  • 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!
  • There is the whole thing in a nutshell. There is the whole foundation of this business of selling-Calls!

 

3) One Thing I Did That Helped me Destroy the Biggest Enemy I Ever Had to Face

  • As profitable as this connection became, it was nothing compared to the self-confidence and courage I gained through the training I got in taking this course in public speaking. It broadened my vision, and stimulated my enthusiasm, it helped me to express my ideas more convincingly to other men; and it helped me destroy the biggest enemy I ever had to face – fear.

 

Summary Part 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 find the best way to get it. In the first minute of your interview with that man, you took a blind stab, and accidentally found what he wanted. Then you showed him how he could get it. You kept on talking more about it, and asking more questions about it, never letting him get away from the thing he wanted. If you will always remember this one rule, selling will be easy. (Clayton M. Hunsicker)

6) Hitting the Bull’s-Eye

  • Try to find out what people want, and then help them get it. That is the one big secret of selling anything.
  • There is one way under high heaven to get anybody to do anything. Did you ever stop to 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 (Dale Carnegie)
  • When you show a man what he wants, he’ll move heaven and earth to get it.

 

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

  • Make appointments.
  • Never try to cover too many points; don’t obscure the main issue. Find out what it is, then stay right on the beam.
  • Advertising men tell us that fear is the most motivating factor where risk or danger is involved.
  • Create confidence. If you are absolutely sincere, there are many ways you can create confidence with people.
  • Be an assistant buyer, I assumed the role of assistant buyer in charge.
  • That idea helped me to be absolutely fearless.
  • People don’t like to be sold. They like to buy.
  • If you were my own brother, I’d say to you what I’m going to say to you now…
  • Praise your competitors. “If you can’t boost, don’t knock” is always a safe rule.
  • I am in a position to do something for you this morning that no other living person can do for you.
  • Put all my chips on a winner.
  • See things from the other person’s point of view and talk in terms of his wants, needs, desires.
  • Write out what you said in your last selling interview. Then see how many places you can find to strike out the personal pronoun “I”, or “we”, and change it to “you” or “your.” Put you in the interview.

 

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

  • By his method of questioning. Socrates did something that few men in all history have been able to do – he changed the thinking of the world.
  • Isn’t your listener likely to have ten times as much enthusiasm if he thinks the idea is his?
  • You can do two things with a question: 1) Let the other person know what you think 2) You can at the same time pay him the compliment of asking his opinion.
  • One of the best ways to get men to think is to ask them questions.

 

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

  • What is the basic need? Or what is the main point of interest, the most vulnerable point?
  • If you just get him to keep talking, he will help you sell him. Why? Because he will pick out of these four or five things, the one thing that is the most important, and stick to it. Sometimes, you don’t have to say a word. When he gets all through, come back to that one point. Usually, that’s the true one.
  • That is salesmanship. He listened until he found out what I wanted, and then sold it to me.
  • The main problem in the sale is to…
  • 1) Find the basic need, or
  • 2) The main point of interest
  • 3) Then stick to it

 

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

  • Dedicated to the philosophy of asking ‘’Why?” If someone says “It can’t be done, say, “Why? Why not?” And kept on asking why until you have all the reasons. Then say, “Now one of us has got to get the answer.”

 

12) How I Find the Hidden Objection

  • A man generally has two reasons for doing a thing – one that sounds good, and a real one. (J. Pierpont Morgan)
  • 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.
  • A famous movie director has said that many actors fail to become stars because they haven’t learned the art of creative listening.
  • 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.
  • Considering that in conversation knowledge was obtained rather by the use of the ears than of the tongue, I gave Silence second place among the virtues I determined to cultivate. (Benjamin Franklin)
  • How about you? Do you catch yourself thinking about what you’re going to say, rather than listening attentively?
  • Salesmen need to listen, and so do preachers. One of my principal duties is listening in on human lives. (Dr. Joseph Fort Newton)
  • The shortcut to popularity is to lend everyone your ears, instead of giving them your tongue. (Dorothy Fix)

 

Summary Part Two

  • 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.
  • 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.

 

PART 3: SIX WAYS TO WIN AND HOLD THE CONFIDENCE OF OTHERS

 

14) The Biggest Lessons I Ever Learned About Creating Confidence

  • The wisest and best salesman is always the one who bluntly tells the truth about his article. He looks his prospective customer 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)
  • Deserve Confidence.

 

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

  • This is the age of specialist. Charm and good manners are worth (x) a week. After that, the pay-off is in direct ratio to the amount of specialized know-how in a fellow’s head.
  • Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. (Henry Ford)
  • Know your business and keep on knowing your business.

 

16) The Quickest Way I Ever Discovered to Win Confidence

  • I will speak ill of no man – and speak all the good I know of everybody. (Benjamin Franklin)
  • Praise your competitors.
  • Clothes don’t make the man, but they do make ninety percent of what you see of him.

 

PART 4: HOW TO MAKE PEOPLE WANT TO DO BUSINESS WITH YOU

 

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

  • If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. (Abraham Lincoln)
  • Encourage young men. Help a man see how he can be a success in life
  • Try to get a man to tell you what is his greatest ambition in life. Help him raise his 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.

 

21) I Became More Welcome Everywhere When I Did This

  • Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.
  • Telephone companies have proved by actual test that the voice with a smile wins. Pick up your phone this instant, open your conversation with a big smile, and feel the difference.

 

22) How I Learned to Remember Names and Faces

  • Impression. Get a clear impression of his name and face.
  • Repetition. Repeat his name at short intervals.
  • Association. Associate it with an action picture; if possible, include the person’s business.

 

23) The Biggest Reasons Why Salesmen Lose Business

  • Overtaking is one of the worst of all social faults. If you have it, your best friend won’t tell you, but he’ll dodge you.
  • A salesman cannot know too much but he can talk too much.

 

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

  • When you’re sacred…admit it!
  • When you’re in a tight spot and scared to death, admit it! When you’re in a bad spot and you’re wrong, just admit it 100 percent.

 

Part 4: Summary

 

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

 

25) The Sale Before the Sale

  • The approach is the most difficult step in the sale.
  • They admire the salesman who is natural, sincere, and honest in his approach, and who comes right to the point about the purpose of his call.
  • If the salesman calls without an appointment, they like him to ask if it is convenient to talk now, rather start right off on a sales talk.
  • There is little use telling a sales story to a prospect who hasn’t first been sold on the importance of listening to you. So use the first ten seconds on every call to purchase the time you need to tell your complete story. Sell the interview, before you attempt to sell the product.
  • The best approach I ever found was to first find out about a prospect’s hobby, and then talk about that hobby.
  • It is all in the approach. A customer is either sold or missed by the approach.
  • The first, and probably the most important, step in selling anything: “Sell yourself first!”
  • 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

  • The foundation of sales lies in getting interviews, and the secret of getting good, attentive, courteous interviews, is in selling appointments. Appointments are much easier to sell than radios, vacuum cleaners, books, or insurance.
  • First, sell the appointment.
  • Second, sell your product.

 

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

  • When a salesman stops making enough calls, frequently the real reason is that he has lost interest and enthusiasm for his own sales story.
  • 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.

 

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

  • 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

  • Never forget a customer; never let a customer forget you.
  • New customers are the best source of new business. New customers!
  • Sell ‘em, don’t forget ‘em.
  • If you take care of your customers, they’ll take care of you. (J. J. Pocock)
  • Prospecting is like shaving…if you don’t do something about it every day, first thing you know, you’ll be a bum.
  • Love HIS property.
  • 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

  • 1) Save closing points for the close
  • 2) Summarize
  • 3) A magic phrase
  • After presenting the plan, and summarizing it, I look at the prospect and ask: “How do you like it?”
  • 4) Welcome objections
  • 5) Why?…in addition to that…? Hold this question back as the final ace in the hole.
  • Say something like this: “If you were my own brother, I’d say to you what I’m going to say to you now”
  • 6) Ask prospect to write his name here
  • X ___________________________________________________
  • 7) Get check with the order. Don’t be afraid of money.
  • Just before going into a sales presentation or interview say to yourself: THIS IS GOING TO BE THE BEST INTERVIEW I EVER HAD.

 

Part 5: Summary

  • Save closing points for the close. The four steps in the average sale:
  • (1) Attention
  • (2) Interest
  • (3) Desire
  • (4) Close
  • Whenever possible, let the prospect summarize. Put him into action!
  • “How do you like it?” After concluding the presentation, ask this question. It’s magic!
  • Welcome objections! Remember – the best prospects are those who offer objections.
  • Why gets the customer talking, brings out his objections. In addition to that? Finds the real reason or the key issue.
  • 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.
  • 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.

 

PART 6: DON’T BE AFRIAD TO FAIL

 

33) Don’t Be Afraid to Fail!

  • Grantland Rice interviewed Babe Ruth, he asked, “what do you do in a batting slump?” Babe replied: “I just keep goin’ up there and keep swingin’ at ‘em. I know the old law of averages will hold good for me the same as it does for anybody else, if I keep havin’ my healthy swings. If I strike out two or three times in a game, or fail to get a hit for a week, why should I worry? Let the pitchers worry; they’re the guys who’re gonna suffer late on.”
  • Why is it, when we read about the great achievements of successful men in sports, or business, we are seldom told about their failures? For example: we now read of the amazing record of the immortal Babe Ruth, with his unapproached total of 714 home runs; but another unapproached world’s record of his is carefully buried in the records, never to be mentioned – striking no more times than any other people in history. He failed 1,330 times! One thousand three hundred and thirty times he suffered the humiliation of walking back to the bench amidst jeers and ridicule. But he never allowed fear of failure to slow him down or weaken his effort. When he struck out he didn’t count that failure – that was effort!
  • Each error, each failure is like a strike-out. Your greatest asset is the number of strike outs you have had since your last hit. The greatest the number, the nearer you are to your next hit.
  • Fear of failure is a weakness which is common to most men, women, and children.
  • Dick Campbell has kept complete and accurate records definitizing his work and his plan of living. Dick said, “In this world, we either discipline ourselves, or we are discipline by the world. I prefer to discipline myself. Dick Campbell believes that adopting this plan enabled him to eliminate all fear of failure. Said he: “Whenever a salesman gets out of the habit of seeing enough prospects, he loses his sense of indifference.
  • That’s what Babe Ruth had – a sense of indifference. Brother Gilbert, who discovered Babe Ruth, said: He looked better striking out than he did hitting home runs.
  • Cultivate a little the don’t-care habit; don’t worry about what people many think. This will endear you to others and make you liked and loved all the more. (Dr. Louis E. Bisch)
  • My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure. (Abraham Lincoln)
  • Thomas Edison had ten thousand failures before he invented the incandescent bulb. Edison made up his mind that each failure brought him that much closer to success.
  • Failures mean nothing at all if success comes eventually. And that’s a thought that should cheer you up and help you keep on keeping on when the going seems hard.
  • Keep going! Each week, each month, you are improving. One day soon, you will find a way to do the thing that today looks impossible. It was Shakespeare who wrote: “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.
  • 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

  • The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Franklin’s life reminded me of that lamplighter. He, too, left a trail of lights behind him so that others could see their way.

 

The 13 Virtues.

  • Enthusiasm
  • Order: self-organization
  • Think in terms of others interests
  • Questions
  • Key issue
  • Silence: listen
  • Sincerity: deserve confidence
  • Knowledge of my business
  • Appreciation and praise
  • Smile: happiness
  • Remember names and faces
  • Service and prospecting
  • Closing the sale: action.
  • I write up a 3” x 5” card, a ‘’pocket reminder,” for each one of my subjects, with a brief summary of the principles. 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. After I completed the first thirteen weeks, and started all over again with my first subject-Enthusiasm- I knew I was getting a better hold on myself. I began to feel an inward power that I had never known before. Each week, I gained a clearer understanding of my subject. It got down deeper inside of me. My business became more interesting. It became exciting! At the end of one year, I had completed four courses. I found myself doing things naturally, and unconsciously, that I wouldn’t have attempted a year before. Although I fell far short of mastering any of these principles, I found this simple plan a truly magic formula. Without it, I doubt whether I could have maintained my enthusiasm…and I believe if a man can maintain enthusiasm long enough, it will produce anything!

 

Franklin’s thirteen subjects

  • 1) Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2) Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or 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, clothes, or habitation.
  • 11) Tranquillity. 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.

 

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