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How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling
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How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  13,039 ratings  ·  289 reviews
A business classic endorsed by Dale Carnegie, How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling is for anyone whose job it is to sell. Whether you are selling houses or mutual funds, advertisements or ideas—or anything else—this book is for you.

When Frank Bettger was twenty-nine he was a failed insurance salesman. By the time he was forty he owned a country estate and
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 9th 1992 by Touchstone (first published 1947)
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4.26  · 
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 ·  13,039 ratings  ·  289 reviews

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Apr 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business-sales
This is a book my father read. It was first published in 1949. Lots of stories, energetic writing, an easy read.

I. These Ideas Lifted Me Out of the Ranks of Failure
1. Force yourself to ACT enthusiastic and you'll become enthusiastic
2. SEE THE PEOPLE to at least 4-5 people everyday
3. Practice public speaking - club or organization
4. TAKE MORE TIME TO THINK and do things in the order of their importance

II. Formula for Success in Selling
5. Find out what the buyer wants, then help him find
Add Some To Your Income
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Any salesman that hasn't read How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie should read this book. It has caused me to finally start the program that Benjamin Franklin did of applying one subject each week for 1/4 of the year (equals 13 subjects and Franklin's 13 subjects are Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Chastity and Humility.) Bettger kept 6 of these and added 7 of his own: Enthusiasm, Order: se ...more
David McClendon, Sr
Nov 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Maybe you aren’t intending on a career in selling. Perhaps your business has little to do with selling. The bottom line is that everyone sells something to someone, no matter what.

If you are a child, you sell getting to stay up late to your parents. As a child you may sell going to a particular movie or event or even watching a television program. We all sell. If you are a preacher or priest or other type of clergy, you sell salvation to your congregation. If you are a teacher, you sell educati
Oct 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013, life-curriculum
It is a shame that I've grown up with disdain for salesmen. This book along with others like Think and Grow Rich, The Magic of Thinking Big, and How to Win Friends and Influence People have taught me to love the world of sales.

I avoided such books for years because I thought they were books about techniques to get people to do what you want. I was so wrong.

What I learned from these books is that true sales is about connecting with people and serving them. They taught me that integrity, honesty,
Daniel Taylor
Given the crappy appearance of the cover of the Amway edition, I thought this book would be filled with advice that has been deservedly long-forgotten. I was wrong.

An associate of Dale Carnegie, of "How to Win Friends and Influence People" fame, Bettger's book is of that standard, but for salespeople. He gives you some ideas to change how you think about selling, provides a formula for sales success, shows how to gain a prospect's confidence, offers five things you can do so the prospect sells t
Evy Hanson
Jul 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Classic advice from (at the time) the highest paid salesperson in America. I have given this book as a gift several times. Includes the inspiring poem by Herbert Kauffman which Bettger shared hundreds of times through his professional career.


You are the one who used to boast
That you’d achieve the uttermost
some day.

You merely wished a 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
Joel Valdez
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read in terms of attitude towards selling, particularly for people that don't consider themselves as sellers. Highly recommended.
Apr 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
From the time we first learn to cry to get fed or changed, we are selling. This is the best book I've found to teach how to sell properly.
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an incredible story. This is one of the most inspiring non-fiction books i’ve read so far. Packed with concrete advice on how to sell and ultimately how to live a more fulfilling life. Frank Bettger, pronounced ’Bet-cher’, has managed to share all of his knowledge in a story so interesting that I actually read this book on a 6 hour flight. back home from Dubai. This is one of the few books i will surely reread at some point, but for now i’m going to make sure that I follow the advice given ...more
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I hate the title but like the book. Some people cringe from any form of the word "sales, selling, etc." Anyone could benefit from this book. It was originally published in 1947 but so much of the key elements are relatable today. I would recommend this book to anyone that is open minded and wants to improve themselves. It truly shows how human nature is the same over time, people are people.

It is important for all people to continue learning and bettering themselves, no matter what their curren
Ryan Kyle
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-10
GOLD! Absolutely GOLD! This book is great for everyone. Even those who are not in the sales industry. After all, we are all salesmen to some degree. This is great for developing relationships, building trust, and general leadership skills. For those who make their living selling, this is a MUST READ! I have worked in sales most of my life and have managed many sales teams. This book has more useful information in it than any sales training or book I have ever seen. It is simple, well worded, and ...more
Larry Zhou
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Frank and Dale Carnegie are good friends - and it shows in the book. Lots of references to each other throughout the book, similar concepts as "how to make friends and influence people". TLDR: smile, be genuine, take interest in your clients' work, think from their perspective and help them realize their goals.
David Skinner
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
This is the best sales book I’ve ever read. I would recommend it at the same level as “How To Win Friends and Influence People.” Every chapter has intensely practical tips that are just as relevant and that was they were 100 years ago. Could not give a higher review.
Ash Lanser
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't know how exactly, but ever since I read this, I have no problem striking up conversation with people in the street. There was no particular chapter - it just clicked.
Michael Holloway
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If your going to deal with people and you are then you need to read this book.
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Tell the story of your own life. Put the word ‘I’ in every sentence. Don’t lecture. Just tell the story of your life as a salesman.” I really enjoyed this book. It’s easy to read with applicable stories and well-defined tactics that can be implemented now. It’s the story of a man who had to quit baseball and go into selling. He recorded his journey and how he went from a failure to one of the most successful sellers of his day. His advice applies to sales reps of all types and also has valuable ...more
Pablitomix  Online
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is most interesting in the world
Jeff Hodson
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm not in sales, but I found a lot of useful information in this book about communication, relationships, and business. I really enjoyed the author's principles of honesty, continual education, and data-based decisions. Although our culture has changed since the author's time, the principles taught in this book still resonate. Overall, an enjoyable and productive read.
Moses Garza Jr.
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Great for pocket reminders
Sep 22, 2011 is currently reading it
Franklin Lyle Bettger
wrote "How I raised myself from

failure to success in selling."
* Though he would seem egotistical

by writing this book.
* failed at selling life insurance
* made 40,000 sales calls in 25years.
* = made enough to buy a 70,000 estate and retire at 40
* "I would walk [1,000 miles] to get this book." ~Dale Carnegie~
- My stupid blunders
- My mistakes
+ lifted my self up
= this book is about What this ideas did for me.
Ch. 1 these ideas lifted me out of the ranks of failure
-nervous -sc
Michael Owens
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great Read for you to understand YOU. It is not particularly about SELLING...yet anything you do in life... you are selling yourself. Understand WHY having all the knowledge in the world may not afford you The Great Results than HE who may have less knowledge. WHY that individual excels and some slight adjustments YOU can make in your daily life (rather personal or business) to see better results. One clue gained from the book is EXCITEMENT. Read the book for all the other great nuggets. I have ...more
Rajesh Arumugam
I read this book based on a review from a my friend though I am usually not a fan of self-help books. I took it up because I thought I could learn about selling. After reading, I don't regret reading it.

It has good number of practical ideas though in the middle I felt that this is old fashioned selling (conditioning the customers). But giving deeper thought into the ideas, I understand it is more of insightful selling. And I really love the Benjamin Franklin plan and would genuinely give that pl
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is a great sales book. Whether its reiterating helpful tips that some salespeople lose sight of or giving you a new perspective on things, it's a good tool overall. I gave it 4 stars strictly because some of the practices are a little outdated (this book is olddddd) and it's not quite as engaging as some other sales books I've read, BUT overall the lessons in her are great to implement into any industry and any technique.
Jesse Jones
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
If you read only one book on sales, make it this one. The writing style is in the same vein as "How to Win Friends and Influence People"; the author was mentored by Dale Carnegie. Overall it's a solid read that dives into the psychology of selling and changing your mindset/approach to selling.
Jan 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Definitely dated, but good advice for any business owner.
Apr 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book was one of the best books I have ever read. It does have a focus in the area of business/sales, but it applies to everything in life.
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I actually REALLY enjoyed this book. There is so much about life in here...even if you're not interested in selling. I like people who are genuine and real. There are neat lessons here.
Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good strong fundamental sales book.
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
It has been said that for every new book you read, you should then read an old book. Frank Bettger’s book was first published in 1949 and reprinted seventeen times by 1954 and published in ten other languages by that time as well. The edition I read was printed in 1954. The book was a good seller and very popular in its day. How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling made its mark in the professional world of its day, and the truths he puts forth are still good today, almost 70 years ...more
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I doubted sales was such a big deal back in 1953 and started paging the book to get some amusement out of it. Soon I discovered I was very wrong...

Bettger tells many fundamental methods and thoughts that have helped him growing, as the title suggests, from failure to success. He mentions how he actually got to learn every lesson, and always elaborates his teachings with examples. The book introduces instructions all the way from self-motivation to gaining the customer's trust, and from the impo
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Franklin Lyle (Frank) Bettger (1888-1981) was a salesman and self-help author. He was the father of longtime actor Lyle Bettger. He played Major League baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1910 under the name Frank Betcher.

After his brief baseball career, Bettger returned to his native Philadelphia, where he started collecting accounts for a furniture store on a bike. He then started selling l
“Henry Ford said: “Anyone who stops learning is old—whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” 7 likes
“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.” 4 likes
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