Tag Archives: Sales

How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger (1947)


The book has some great endorsements from people such as Norman Vincent Peale and Dale Carnegie and contains some timeless wisdom on how to sell.  It doesn’t matter what you are selling the principles remain the same.  I am not a salesman by profession but in many ways we are all salesmen and saleswomen.  We are selling our skills at job interviews, selling ideas and trying to get people to buy into them.  Therefore this book about sales is for everyone.  I saw the book recommended somewhere and I bought it.  I am happy I did as it has given me a number of great ideas to experiment with in my life. Frank Bettger’s own life story is also very interesting and forms the backdrop to the book.

Ideas for Experiment

Chapter one opens with an intriguing title:  “How One Idea Multiplied my Income and Happiness”.  What was the idea?  To act enthusiastically.  In order to become enthusiastic you have to act  enthusiastic.  Frank gives examples on how this changed his life for the better.   Frank mentions a man called Stanley Gettis who repeated the following poem every morning for twenty years:


“You are the Man who used to boast
that you’d achieve the uttermost,
some day.

You merely wished to show,
to demonstrate how much you know
and prove the distance you can go..

Another year we’ve just passed through.
What new ideas came to you?
How many big things did you do?

Time left twelve fresh months in your care
how many of them did you share
with opportunity and dare
again where you so often missed?

We do not find you on the list of makers good.
explain the fact!
Ah No, ‘Twas not the chance you lacked!
As usual – you failed to act!”

by Herbert Kauffman

The above poem helped generate enthusiasm for Stanley’s day ahead.  In order to become enthusiastic you have to act  enthusiastic – Bettger recommends putting this rule into action for 30 days and and says “be prepared to see astonishing result”.  Wow sounds like this is a ready made experiment for me (and you) to try out!

Another brilliant idea that Frank used to become a great salesman was to keep records on exactly what he was doing.  For example how many sales calls he actually made, how many people he was actually talking to, what were the results of his sales calls, how much time he was spending.  Frank noticed that when he did this his performance went up.  He was creating accountability for himself and was able to measure his performance and improve on it.  When he stopped keeping records his sales went down!  There is an important lesson here for all of us.  We can delude ourselves that we are really busy.  However are we really busy working on what matters?  One way to address this is to actually record what you are doing.  How much time in a week are you and I really working on important tasks? There are endless opportunities in today’s world for distraction – checking emails, surfing the web and chatting with co-workers etc.  We may be at work all day but how much time are we really working?

Another great idea for experiment – keep a diary for a week of what you actually do and then analyse it.  What insights have you learned about your work habits and productivity?

There is so much more to this book and I have just highlighted two great ideas above.  In fact there are so many great ideas in the book that it deserves a second reading!

I really liked Claude Whitacre’s review of the book on YouTube:

If you would like to buy this great book from Amazon please click on the link below:


Disclosure: The book link on this page is an affiliate link meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. I also honestly believe that it is a great book! Thanks for your support in this way!