Short & Sweet reviews of our favorite books for entrepreneurs. This weeks review:

NINJA BOOK REVIEW: How I raised myself from failure to success in selling

by Frank Bettger

4 out of 5 NINJA STARS

Here at Invoice Ninja, when we say that like the classics, we really mean the classics – as in sales books from as far back as 1947!  The good thing about old sales books is that they celebrate the human side of sales at a time when relationships were made and sustained in person, or at the most distant over the phone. The funny thing is that many new sales books such as Sales EQ applaud and promote relationship-based sales. At a time when folks are sick of automated telesales and getting passed around from salesperson to salesperson to salesperson in the norm, freelancers and entrepreneurs can leverage interpersonal human relationship as a competitive advantage over bigger companies who treat customers more like numbers than a people. This book has great nuggets of advice that will add value to anyone in sales. There is a reason that Dale Carnegie called it “The most helpful and inspiring book on salesmanship that I have ever read!”


“When Frank Bettger was twenty-nine he was a failed insurance salesman. By the time he was forty, he owned a country estate and could have retired.” He is also the author of “How I Multiplied My Income” and “Happiness In Selling.”


In “How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling,” Frank Bettger shares instructive anecdotes and step-by-step guidelines on how to develop the style, spirit, and presence of a winning salesperson.


  1.  “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.”


  1.  “Nothing but the determination to act enthusiastic increased my income 700% in ten days.”
  2.  “Enthusiasm is by far the highest paid quality on Earth, probably because it is one of the rarest, yet, it is one of the most contagious.
  3.  “Force yourself to act enthusiastic and you’ll become enthusiastic.
  4.  “You are already living on a schedule. And, if it’s not a planned one, it’s probably a poor one.”
  5.  “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.”
  6.  “When you show a man what he wants, he’ll move heaven and earth to get it.”
  7.   “Never try to cover too many points; don’t obscure the main issue. Find out what it is, then stay right on the beam.”
  8.   Turn comments into questions by adding “Don’t you… “This lets the person know what you think while also paying them a compliment.” For example, replace “this could be better” with “Do you think this could be better?”
  9.  “The prospect himself doesn’t always know what his vital need is.”
  10.  “The quickest way that I ever discovered to win the confidence of others is to praise competitors.”
  11.  “Memory troubles are really not memory trouble at alll; they are observation troubles.”
  12.  “Never SAY anything you can DRAMATIZE. Never DRAMATIZE anything yourself that you can get the prospect of customer to do. Let the customer perform. Put him into action. In other words, let the customer help you to make the sale.”
  13.  “Never forget a customer. Never let a customer forget you.”


This book may be from 1947, but that was a time when sales were done in person or, at most, over the phone. Today, knowing how to sell in person or on the phone is a major advantage that freelancers can exploit to win over bigger companies who have tried to automate their sales processes as much as possible. A very good read.

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