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How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  14,199 ratings  ·  333 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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 ·  14,199 ratings  ·  333 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
Tony  Bradshaw
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.
Lorraine Haataia PhD
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: salespeople
Whether you're a business owner, entrepreneur or salesperson, I highly recommend putting this on the top of your reading list. I've read this book several times in the past few years. After reading it again this week, I'm convinced that this classic will endure for many more decades and beyond. Although "selling" is on the front cover, this book goes much deeper into the human psyche. It's full of tips that can benefit your relationships and your perspective on buying and selling. Bettger is a m ...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
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.
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, business, sales
I'm quite involved in the world of non-fiction readers on Instagram and when I first started diving in I began saving posts referencing books I was interested in. I would slowly add these books to my Amazon Wish Lists and overtime—as they went on sale—I would pick them up.

This was the first book I saved in that collection and I only recently purchased, and finally read, this book. I have to say, I'm so disappointed in myself for waiting so long to pick this one up.

A very easy and enjoyable read,
Bryon Brandt
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book, from the 37th printing in 1972 has been in my library for Years, dare I say Decades now.
And I'd be much better off in life, and my Primerica sales career, if I'd read it much sooner.

So have already started the reread and review to ingrain the principles.
Not so that they are memorized, but so they become part of me.

Make More Calls.
Hit 300 baseballs every morning.

Before each call starts, say to yourself:

Based upon Frank Bettger's recommenda
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
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.
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.
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.
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
"How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling" by Frank Bettger is a book dealing with the sales techniques. Although the book was first published in 1947, the techniques stated in the book are still valid. Since the author himself was a successful insurance salesman, he has put all his knowledge about the sales gained from his first-hand experience into this book. The instructions given in this book are not merely the ideas and opinions popped up in the mind of an author while sitting ...more
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
Walter Sylesh
Apr 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well, this is exactly the kind of book you should read before bed. I usually refrain from self-help and a book from the 1940s with such a corny title would have never amused me ever. But I am happy I made the call to see the ideas Frank had- very interesting for anyone looking to turn their life around especially if you've been in the rut for a while.

Salesmanship is universal. We all sell ourselves. There is nothing you can lose from checking this part anecdotal, part-doctrinal book.
Tyler Lee
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Without a doubt one of my absolute favorite books on selling.

Was give to me as a birthday gift-I tend to avoid the old school selling manuals because so much of it is outdated, but I was promised this was a good one. And my God was it.
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
Shelves: business, 2019
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
Tanner Butterfield
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
this book helped me make commissions working at radioshack. useful if you are trying to pracrice the art of persuasion.
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.
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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

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