My rating: 80/100
See Book Notes for other books I have read.
Part 1 These Ideas Lifted Me Out of the Ranks of Failure
Chapter 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.
Chapter 2 This Idea Put Me Back Into Selling After I Had Quit
Bettger’s boss said, “Gentlemen, after all, this business of selling narrows down to one thing – just one thing … seeing people! Show my 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 hep making good!?
[Bettger’s] records showed that 70 percent of my sales were made on the first interview, 23 percent on the second, and 7 percent on the third and after. But listen to this: 50 percent of my time was spent going after the 7 percent. “So why bother with the 7 percent,” I thought. “Why not put all my time on first and second interviews?” That decision alone increased the value of each call from $2.80 to $4.27.
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!
Chapter 3 One Thing I Did That Helped Me Destroy the Biggest Enemy I Ever Had to Face
All the leaders and successful men I’ve ever met have had courage and self-confidence, and most of them, I notice, are able to express themselves convincingly.
Chapter 4 The Only Way I Could Get Myself Organized
Most of the successful men I’ve met are absolutely ruthless with their time.
Summary Part One
- 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.”
- Remember the one sentence uttered by Walter LeMar Talbot. “After all, this business of selling narrows down to one thing – just one thing … seeing people! Show my 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 hep making good!
- 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 love your fear of speaking to an audience, you lose your fear of talking to individuals, no matter how big and important they are.
- 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 thing and do things in the order of their importance. Set aside one day as self-organizations 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
Chapter 5 How I Learned the Most Important Secret of Salesmanship
Find out what people want, and help them get it.
Chapter 6 Hitting the Bull’s Eye
When you show a man what he wants, he’ll move heaven and earth to get it.
- 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.
- There is only one way under heaven to get anybody to do anything. Do 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.
- When you show a man what he wants, he will move heaven and earth to get it.
Chapter 7 A $250,000 Sale in Fifteen Minutes
How to meet objections? Ask questions.
He didn’t attempt to tell his objectors that they were wrong, and show them how much smarter he was than they. He simply asked questions with which his objectors had to agree. And he kept on asking questions until the answers added up to just one conclusion – a sound conclusion based on facts.
Chapter 8 Analysis of the Basic Principles Used in Making That Sale
- Make appointments.
- Be prepared. There is no difference between an audience of four hundred, and an audience of one.
- What is the key issue?
- Key word notes. Write down the key points you want to cover.
- Ask questions.
- Explode Dynamite! Do something startling, surprising.
- Arouse Fear.
- Create Confidence. (a) Be an assistant buyer for your potential customer. Think from their point of view. (b) “If you were my own brother, I’d say to you what I’m going to say to you now …” (c) Praise your competitors. (d) “I am not in a position to do something for you this morning that no other living person can do for you.”
- Express honest appreciation of your listener’s ability.
- Assume a close.
- Put YOU in the interview. See things from the other person’s point of view and talk in terms of his wants, needs, and desires.
Chapter 9 How Asking Questions Increased the Effectiveness of My Sales Interviews
The “don’t you think” habit is a little aid which I find helps me avoid making so many positive statements.
Don’t you think we should …
Don’t you feel we should …
Six things you can gain by the question method
- Helps you to avoid arguments.
- Helps you to avoid talking too much.
- Enables you to help the other fellow recognize what he wants. Then you can help him decide how to get it.
- Helps crystallize the other person’s thinking. The idea becomes his idea.
- Helps you find the most vulnerable point with which to close the sale – the key issue.
- Gives the other person a feeling of importance. When you show that you respect his opinion, he is more likely to respect yours.
Chapter 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 on 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. When he gets all through, come back to that one point. Usually, that’s the true one.
I use two simple little questions to determine whether an objection is real (in the next two chapters)
The main problem in the sale is to
- Find the basic need, or
- The main point of interest.
- Then stick to it!
Chapter 11 The Most Important Word I Have Found In Selling Has Only Three Letters
When faced with objections, ask “Why?”
Chapter 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.
Remember these wise words of J. P. Morgan: “A man generally has two reasons for doing a thing – one that sounds good, and the 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 …?”
Chapter 13 The Forgotten Art That Is Magic in Selling
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 inmportant 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. P. Morgan said: “A man generally has two reasons for doing a thing – one that sounds good, and the 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
Chapter 14 The Biggest Lesson I Ever Learned About Creating Confidence
My greatest source of courage, whenever things have looked dark, has come from believing in the wisdom of this philosophy: Not – Will the other person believe it. The real test is, do you believe it?
To win and hold the confidence of others, Rule One is:
Chapter 15 A valuable Lesson I Learned About Creating Confidence from A Great Physician
I try to favor any salesman who is absolutely honest about his goods, and who sees their limitations as well as their virtues.
I’ve always noticed the the leaders are men who know their business.
Chapter 16 The Quickest Way I Ever Discovered to Win Confidence
Praise your competitors.
Chapter 17 How to Get Kicked Out!
Chapter 18 I Found This an Infallible Way to Gain a Man’s Confidence
Bring On Your Witnesses.
My note: Get customer testimonies.
Chapter 19 How to Look Your Best
Summary Part 3:
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!
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
Chapter 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 … – 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.
Chapter 21 I Became More Welcome Everywhere When I Did This
Dorothy Dix has said: “There is no other weapon in the whole feminine armory to which men are so vulnerable as they are to a smile … It is a thousand pities that women put no stress on cheerfulness as eigher a virtue or a duty, because there is no other quality that goes so far toward making marriage a success and keeping a husband nailed to his fireside. There is no man who doesn’t hasten his footsteps to his own home at night if he knows he is going to find in it a woman whose smile makes sunshine within it.”
Chapter 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.
Chapter 23 The Biggest Reason Why Salesmen Lose Business
General Eletric’s vice president Harry Erlicher, one of the biggest buyers in the world says: “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.”
Chapter 24 This Interview Taught Me How to Overcome My Fear of Approaching Big Men
if I wanted to become more successful, I’d have to call on some bigger people.
When you’re scared, admit it.
Sumary of Part 4
If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. – Abraham Lincoln
If you want to be welcome everywhere, give every living soul you meet a smile, an honest-to-goodness smile, from down deep inside.
Be brief. A salesman cannot know too much, but he can 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 cared in his presence. If you have an idea he can use, he will help you make the sale.
Part 5 Steps in Sale
Chapter 25 The Sale Before the Sale
Use the first ten second on every call to purchase the time you need to tell your complete story. Sell the interview, before you attempt to sell the product.
My note: Create a questionnaire like this for eng. services.
Chapter 26 The Secret of Making Appointments
If he says no, I offer to drive him home in my car.
Would you mind if I sit alongside of you while you drive? … Let me worry about how I’ll get back; that’s no problem.
Chapter 27 How I Learned to Outsmart Secretaries and Switchboard Operators
Chapter 28 An Idea That Helped Me Get Into the “Major Leagues”
Chapter 29 How to Let the Customer Help You Make the Sale
Never 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.
Example: Mr. Heinze, will you write these figures down as I give them?
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.
Chapter 30 How I Find New Customers and Make Old Ones Enthusiastic Boosters
Never forget a customer; never let a customer forget you.
My note: How to do this? Postcards? Email?
When is the best time to follow a referred lead? Within six days? Or six weeks? Six minutes, I’ve found best, or just as soon as it is possible for me to get there. A new lead is sizzling hot!
Whatever happens, good or bad, I always report back to the friend who had the confidence in me to give me the lead.
If I am not successful in making a sale, I report back, and tell exactly what happened. It’s surprising how frequently he’ll dig up another lead that is better.
Examples Appreciation letter:
Dear Mr. Brown,
I want you to know how greatly we appreciate your bringing Mr. Smith to our bank. The spirit of friendliness and cooperation which you have shown by introducing Mr. Smith and other friends to the First National Bank has been a source of a great deal of pleasure to us. You will always find us eager to render the kind of service you would like to have us give you and your friends.
Chapter 31 Seven Rules I Use in Closing the Sale
Seventy percent of my sales had been closed on the first interview. Twenty-three percent had been closed on the second interview. And only seven percent on the third, forth, fifth, etc., interviews.
Immediately I cut out all visits beyond the second.
For a large industrial concern, they were astonished to find that 75 percent of the business produced by their salesmen was sold after the fifth interview!
What does this prove? It proves again the importance of keeping complete records, and studying them regularly.
Salesman: Why don’t you sign it now?
Salesman: In addition to that, isn’t there something else in the back of your mind? … Isn’t there something else holding you back from making this important decision?
When is the right time to close? Sometimes in the first minute. Sometimes not for an hour – or two hours!
THIS IS GOING TO BE THE BEST INTERVIEW I EVER HAD
Just before going into a man’s office, I repeated those words to myself. It became a habit. And, even to this day, I often find myself repeating them.
Save closing points for the close. The four steps in the average sale: (1) Attention, (2) Interest, (3) Desire, (4) Close.
Summarize. 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? … 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.
Ask prospects to write his name here:
My note: add this X to contracts.
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.
Get a 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.
Chapter 32 An Amazing Closing Technique I Learned from Master Salesman
Write up the order blank, application, or contract, in advance, even though you may only have the propect’s name and address to put on it.
Mark a heavy “X” each place where he is to sign, if his signature is required.
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.
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.
Part 6 Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
Chapter 33 Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
Babe Ruth] stuck out more times than any other player in history. He failed 1,330 times!
Examine your records. You’ll probably discover the real reason is lack of effort. Not enough exposure.
I was inspired by studying this record of failures:
A young man ran for legislature in Illinois, and was badly swamped.
He next entered business – failed – and spent seventeen years of his life paying up the debts of a worthless partner.
He was in love with a beautiful young woman to whom he became engaged – then she died.
Reentering politics, he ran for Congress, and was badly defeated.
He then tried to get an appointment to the United States Land Office – but failed.
He became a candidate for the United states Senate – and was badly defeated.
Two years later he was defeated by Douglas.
One failure after another – bad failures – great setbacks; but in the face of all this, he kept on trying and became one of the greatest men in all history.
Perhaps you’ve heard of him. His name was Abraham Lincoln.
Babe Ruth had a sense of indifference [about losing].
Dr. Louis E. Bisch, one of the nation’s leading psychiatrists, wrote: “Cultivate a little the don’t-care habit; don’t worry about what people may think. this will endear you to others and make you liked and loved all the more.”
Shakespeare wrote, “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”