How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success Through Selling by Frank Bettger
Interviewer: You found this book by Frank Bettger. What was it about this book that impacted your life?
Kevin: How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success Through Selling by Frank Bettger was a book that changed my life back in the days when I was a groomed-for-Oxford cum failure-drop-out and very broke, crazy kid.
When I first read this book in the dark days I practically ate the pages off the book. I was sitting in a restaurant, all I could afford was the cheapest egg curry and rice. I was that broke. And as soon as I'd got through maybe 12 pages of this book, I knew my life had changed for ever. So it had an impact on me to say the least!
Obviously, this is a very personal thing, but why is it relevant today? Well I'll tell you why it's relevant today.
Every so often, we all need to go on a pilgrimage. A Muslim goes to Mecca, a Jew goes to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, a Catholic goes to Rome. As professional business people we have to revisit the heart of selling because we're so lost in a world of data, which is great and it tells us so much about our selling and the same for our marketing, but somewhere we can get lost in data and we've lost the soul of what it all means. AI has no soul.
So anybody who's in selling, especially sales managers or sales directors who want to get back to their roots, or marketing managers who want to understand what selling is about as apart from a clinical conception of how-many-people-to-generate-how-much-revenue thing, or even an operations or IT manager who wants to understand what makes this selling thing tick that’s more than a bunch of weekly performance stats - then this is the book to read.
Now there are many better books in terms of technique or how to analyze this sales situation or how to do that type of selling. There's tons of them and Frank Bettger’s book doesn't compete with them because this is the pilgrimage to the soul of selling.
Why did Frank Bettger get this right?
Well he was an extraordinary guy because during the great depression in America, where one in four people were unemployed, Frank Bettger sold life insurance, which is a joke, it’s about the hardest thing in the world to sell and yet Frank Bettger was a massive success.
He wrote this book in the '40s once he was really established at the top. He was one of the highest-paid salespeople in the whole of America. And in this simple book, he put down the simple elements of what makes great selling.
It’s a classic from the great age of American salesmanship.
And it’s so infectious that if you need to make that pilgrimage to the soul of selling and go beyond the data, just read this book.
Author Kevin Rossiter has been producing business video for 30 years, won 14 awards, worked in many countries around the World, and is a regular blogger on business video topics.