Today, I want to share 48 Frank Bettger quotes from his best-selling book, “How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling.”
Selling is an art-form. No one is born a salesperson. It is a skill that is learned and developed over a period of years.
When I first joined the home business industry 16-years ago, I was a lousy salesman. I couldn’t sell ice to an Eskimo. I lacked confidence. I had worthiness issues. And, I had a horrible attitude.
However, I was extremely committed to become a good salesperson. I decided that I would master this skill, even if it killed me.
I became a student of selling. I read every book I could on the subject. I was obsessed.
Out of all those great “sales training” books I studied there is one book by Frank Bettger that really stands out. It’s titled “How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling.”
This book is a masterpiece. I’ve read this book countless times now and I learn something every time I re-read it. What I want to do in this post is share some of my favorite Frank Bettger quotes from the book.
The book is old. It’s been around for at least 50 or 60 years now, maybe even longer. But don’t let that fool you; the content is still extremely relevant and helpful.
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Top 48 Frank Bettger Quotes
Listed below are some of my favorite Frank Bettger quotes from the book. Each quote is in bold and italics. After each quote I will provide my own two cents on the subject. Enjoy.
# 1 This business of selling narrows down to one thing – just one thing…seeing the people! Selling is a numbers game. What you lack in skill you can make up for in numbers.
# 2 I became aware that my time was worth something, and I determined in the future to waste as little of it as possible. Plan your week ahead of time and be disciplined enough to stick with your plan. Manage your time wisely. It’s your most valuable asset.
# 3 The records showed that 70 per cent of my sales were made on the first interview, 23 per cent on the second, and 7 per cent on the third and after. But listen to this: 50 per cent of my time was spent going after the 7 per cent. Figure out how many times you have to see a prospect to make a sale and then be disciplined with your time.
# 4 Without records, we have no way of knowing what we are doing wrong. Keep stats of everything you do, so you know where you need to improve. If you don’t track it, you can’t measure it!
# 5 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. If you see a lot of people you will make a lot of sales.
# 6 You can’t collect a 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! Smile and dial baby. Without the call, nothing else will happen.
# 7 I would urge any man or woman who is being held back by fear, and who lacks courage and self-confidence, to join the best public-speaking course in his or her community. I can speak from personal experience and tell you that Toastmasters helped me immensely. I’ve also learned that the best way to conquer fear is to take all out massive action.
# 8 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. People want to do business with people who are successful and have a great self-image. Work harder on improving yourself than you do on your business.
# 9 It is surprising how much I can get done when I take enough time for planning, and it is perfectly amazing how little I get done without it. Plan your time in 15-minute intervals and stick with your plan. Master your time management skills.
# 10 I don’t think anybody is cut out to be a salesman – or anything else. I think we’ve got to cut ourselves out to be whatever we want to be. If you want to succeed at something, you must take the time, money and effort to develop the right skill-set and right mind-set.
# 11 Most of the successful men I’ve met are absolutely ruthless with their time. You only get 24-hours in a day. Manage it wisely. Keep the main thing the main thing and focus on the money producing activities, not busy work.
# 12 Whatever success I’ve had in this business has been due to the fact that I refuse to allow anything or anybody to interfere with the schedule of the week which I devote every Friday to preparing. Make a schedule and stick to it, no matter what. Don’t let life get in the way.
# 13 One of the greatest satisfactions in life comes from getting things done. Be productive, whenever possible. Don’t confuse being busy with being productive.
# 14 The most important secret of salesmanship is to find out what the other fellow wants, then help him find out the best way to get it. Think of yourself as a consultant. Ask your prospect questions, identify a need and offer your products, service or opportunity as a way to fill that need.
# 15 Top salesmen are all hungry for new ideas and always hunting for ways to do their job better. Strive to learn something new each day and improve yourself each day. Be a student of your business.
# 16 When you show a man what he wants, he’ll move heaven and earth to get it. Figure out what the other person wants and show them how what you are offering will help them achieve that.
# 17 You gain a big advantage when you make an appointment. Be the welcomed guest not the uninvited pest. Always work by appointment, just like professionals do.
# 18 Never try to cover too many points; don’t obscure the main issue; find out what it is, then stay right on the beam. Keep the main thing the main thing.
# 19 There are only two factors that move men to action: desire for gain, and fear of loss. There are no other valid reasons that someone buys something. Also, the fear of loss is much more powerful than the desire for gain.
# 20 People don’t like to be sold. They like to buy. Great advice here.
# 21 Praise your competitors. Never speak ill of anyone, especially your competition. Also, explain what differentiates you and the competition.
# 22 Everyone likes to feel important. People are hungry for praise. Give honest, sincere praise whenever possible. Be specific when you give it. Don’t try to flatter people either.
# 23 Assume a close. Assume that everyone you talk to WILL buy from you.
# 24 See things from the other person’s point of view and talk in terms of his wants, needs and desires. Focus on what your prospect wants, not what you want. If you help people get what they want you will naturally get what you want.
# 25 Write out what you said in your last selling interview. Then see how many places you can find to strike out the personal pronoun “I”, or “we”, and change it to “you” or “your”. Put you in the interview. This is some amazing advice.
# 26 Putting my ideas in the form of questions showed him how I felt about what he should do, but at the same time kept him in the buyer’s seat. Each time he offered and objection or comment, I passed the back right back to him with another question. Answer every question with a question.
# 27 The “don’t you think” habit is a little aid which I find helps me avoid making so many positive statements. Get the other person’s opinion about things whenever possible. The more you can get your prospect to say YES, the better.
# 28 Encourage your prospects to talk. Ask questions and listen.
# 29 The main problem in the sale is to:
- Find the basic need, or
- The main point of interest.
- Then stick to it!
# 30 Nothing will take the place of complete honesty. Never lie, use hype or pressure. Be sincere, genuine and treat everyone as good as you would want someone to treat your kids.
# 31 I’ve always noticed that the leaders are men who know their business. Work on your product knowledge. Be a student of your own business.
# 32 Clothes don’t make the man, but they do make ninety percent of what you see of him. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Dress to impress.
# 33 I find that people love to hear that they have helped you. When someone helps you, let them know about it. Send them a handwritten note or give them a call to tell them so.
# 34 Try to get a man to tell you what is his greatest ambition in life. Help him raise his sights. Get other people talking about themselves. Learn how to ask questions and listen.
# 35 Action and feeling go together. Let your actions control your emotions, rather than letting your emotions control your actions.
# 36 I’ve found it pleases people when I pass them on the street to give them a big, cheerful smile. Your smile is your best-selling asset.
# 37 Overtalking is one of the worst of all social faults. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Use them in that proportion.
# 38 When you’re scared…admit it! Always be honest with your prospect. If you feel intimidated by their success, tell them.
# 39 The approach is the most difficult step in the sale! Prospecting sucks, but without prospects you won’t have any sales.
# 40 There is little use telling a sales story to a prospect who hasn’t first been sold on the importance of listening to you. Find out what the other person wants first before you offer them what you have. Sell the appointment and let the appointment sell your product or service.
# 41 The approach must have only one objective: selling the sales interview, not your product, your interview. It is the sale before the sale. Enough said.
# 42 The foundation of sales lies in getting interviews, and the secret of getting good, attentive courteous interviews, is in selling appointments. Sell the appointment first.
# 43 Some of the best contacts I ever made were men who were extremely difficult to see. Busy people are the people you want to do business with.
# 44 First, sell the appointment. Second, sell your product. Don’t try to sell your product the first time you meet someone. Get them to schedule and appointment with you first.
# 45 Looking back over my own career of selling, the biggest regret I have is that I didn’t spend twice as much time calling on, studying and servicing my customers’ interests. Find out what the other person wants and show them how to get it.
# 46 The best prospects are the ones who object. Every prospect will have a few objections. It’s a normal part of the sales process. You must learn how to overcome objections and close your prospects.
# 47 Nobody will remember the times you struck out in the early innings if you hit a home run with the bases full in the ninth. Win when it counts. It’s not how you start that matters, it’s how you finish that matters.
# 48 Failures mean nothing at all if success comes eventually. You must fail your way to success. Most successful people have failed 9 times out of 10, but because they stuck with it, they eventually made it big.
About the Book
This book was published more than 50 years ago. It has sold millions of copies and is still available in print. You can buy it anywhere books are sold. Order a copy here.
About Frank Bettger
Frank was born in 1888 and died in 1981. He was a former professional baseball player with the St. Louis Cardinals. After baseball he became a salesman with the Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Company. After a successful career in sales, he later met Dale Carnegie, and then authored his best-selling book “How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success.”
In conclusion, these Frank Bettger quotes are my top 48 selling tips. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did. Please leave a comment below to tell me which one of these Frank Bettger quotes is your favorite and why. I look forward to hearing from you. Have a great day.
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