WSIR 002 | How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success

Why should someone read a book on sales? I asked myself this question when this book was recommended to me the first time. I didn’t feel that anyone outside of the profession of sales should have to pick up a book entitled, How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling. I realized later, and as the title of this post points out that the title could easily have been, “How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success” and still been entirely accurate. The principles in successful salesmanship are directly tied to the principles of human interaction

Most people think sales is something like this:

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This book, first released in 1947, covers topics all the way from arguing for keeping detailed records to Benjamin Franklin’s program of personal improvement to even how to talk to your barber to look your best.

Three topics addressed in the video are enthusiasm, overtalking, and a correct view of failure. There are certainly more key topics in this book, especially the section on asking questions to effectively listen and on handling objections but you’ll need to go read the book to get those broken down.

1. Enthusiasm!

If there were a single thing in your life that you could change and by changing that one thing you were able to double your results, would you do it?

That switch is called enthusiasm, look at anyone who is successful and in some capacity they have used enthusiasm to help them. Without getting too political, Dr. Ben Carson has been widely criticized for lacking enthusiasm in his campaigning and it has damaged his bid for the White House in 2016.

Bettger recollects to his mindset of nervousness and how he (understandably, I’ve done this too) let nervousness translate into laziness or lack of enthusiasm. This actually got him fired from a minor league baseball team. He discovered however that he could force himself to be enthusiastic regardless of his feelings and he tried this tactic out at his next team.

Three things were a direct result.

  • His enthusiasm overcame his fear, his nervousness began to work for him!
  • Other players noticed his electric manner, and began to match his enthusiasm.
  • Rather than being tired from the heat, he was exhilarated at the end of the game.

Another thing was an indirect result, Bettger gained a reputation of enthusiasm and Frank “Pep” Bettger used that reputation all the way to becoming the third-baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals.

I urge you… to 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. – Dale Carnegie

2. Overtalking

We’ll keep this section short 🙂

Bettger was convinced that the biggest reason salesman lose business was their tendency to overtalk.

I work as the Director of Development for a non-profit so I have meetings with donors quite often. One of my mentors has suggested a 70/30 split on how much the other person should talk in conversation compared to how much the person presenting should talk. This is based on the idea that the more the other person talks the more they like you. You pay them a subtle compliment by listening to their ideas.

Abraham Lincoln had a knack for cutting to the core of an issue in his communication with others. Most people are familiar with the Gettysburg Address. In 272 words, our 16th president started with the founding of the country, reminded those present of the tragedy that took place before them, and cast vision for the future.

Edward Everett, who spoke for 2 hours before Lincoln that day, is quoted as saying,

I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the center of the idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes.

Remember, “We quickly resent the person who is abrupt; but we admire the person who is brief and to the point.”

3. Failure

“Your greatest asset is is the number of strike outs you have had since your last hit.”

Most people, if asked, “what is the opposite of success?” Would immediately respond with the idea of failure. However, this mindset that failure is where someone should stop is far from what should happen in that situation.

When someone fails, the opportunity for learning is present. If you quit because of failure, you’ve in effect said, “This issue will always beat me, and I won’t attempt to win here again.”

Babe Ruth, the baseball star not the candy bar, in his day was known widely for being a man who could hit. His home runs are legendary. Most people don’t know this though but he also led the league in another area, strike outs.

That’s right, the man who is immortalized with 714 home runs, struck out at that very same home plate 1330 times!

Ruth is quoted as saying,

“I just keep going up there and swingin’ at ’em. I know the old law of averages will hold good for me the same as it does for anybody else, if I keep havin’ my healthy swings.”

We need to adopt some of that same attitude, whether in sales, customer service, or engineering. The law of averages is real, and if you have built the correct skills and implement them regularly, your efforts will pay off.

Bottom Line, If you are looking for a book that gives rock solid principles for successful every-day interaction with others, look directly at Frank Bettger’s How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling.

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WSIR 001: Magic of Thinking Big

Welcome to the Why Should I Read series. This is the companion site to the YouTube channel Why Should I Read That.

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I’m Jon DeLange and I’ll be breaking down a concept or two from a series of books in order to answer questions I believe, most of us are asking.

Today we are going to be looking into a book entitled The Magic of Thinking Big, by Dr David J. Schwartz. This book was first published in 1959 and the things that Dr Schwartz talks about in that book are as true today as they were then. I’ll point out a couple things that I learned reading this book, but believe me there are thousands more lessons and applications to get from reading this classic.

Define success… Why?

This step is key in many personal development literature, one of the original works in the genre, Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill, lays out a process of writing down stated goals and creating a mental picture of oneself achieving that goal. This method was pulled from Hill’s interviews of 500 early 1900’s millionaires.

Dr. Schwartz also recommends this process so that by having stated goals, you automatically decide based on your end-game. If I’m driving down the freeway, any exit is the best exit until I know where my destination is. If I drive from Detroit to Chicago, unless I know I’m driving to Chicago, I won’t follow the clearly marked signs that say Chicago.

As you go through this process of defining what your goals are, a great framework can be used, I found it in Launching a Leadership Revolution by Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady. They state that material goals, recognition goals, and missional goals are the three levels of motivation. Each person is motivated differently by items in these categories. For example, I am highly motivated by recognition from those that I have respect for. If a mentor of mine tells me that I have done a good job, I generally respond more strongly to that than the thought of being rewarded with a material bonus of some kind.

Action Cures Fear

This is probably one of the biggest things I learned reading this book. Chapter 3 is entitled Build Confidence & Destroy Fear.

On Pg. 48 of Magic of Thinking Big, Dr. Schwartz states, “The traditional ‘It’s only in your mind’ treatment of fear assumes that fear doesn’t exist. But it does. Fear is real. Fear is success enemy number one.”

In the rest of the chapter, Schwartz goes on to state that there is always some sort of action to take in response to a fear reaction. This conscious exercise of the muscle of courage in the face of fear builds a habit of overcoming that one can use to conquer increasingly larger fears in life.

  • If you fear making a certain phone call, make it! And the fear dissipates.
  • If you fear being out of shape, go to the gym or do exercise and over time your fear disintegrates.
  • If you fear something totally out of your control, pray, and then put it out of your mind by taking a positive action in some other area.

 

In a personal example, when I have told some people that I am starting a youtube channel based on my book-a-week reading list, some have responded by saying “That’s a lot of work to choose to do.” I don’t know if they were trying to put fear into my thoughts of starting, but at some point I had to start this series despite never, repeat: never, filming or editing video.

Eventually, later, some point, those are all failure words. The only acceptable way to not do something now is to have a definite point by which you will do so! If I have a great idea for a blog post or video, but never post it, was it really a great idea??

Thinking Big.

If for no other reason, read this book to expand what you believe to be your potential.

If you have a goal for yourself that doesn’t stretch you or scare you, what kind of thinking are you teaching yourself? Have you ever accomplished far more than you set out to do? I’m not always about cheesy motivational quotes, but it bears repeating, “If you aim for the moon and miss, at least you’ll be among the stars.”

I see people every day that are uninspired or of my generation that give up on the dreams that they have.

If you read this book, define success for yourself, consistently take action towards that goal, check and adjust as you go, there’s no reason you cannot accomplish what you set out to do, regardless of how far it may seem at the present time.

Thank you for your attention, time is the only resource we don’t have the opportunity to reclaim and as such it is the most precious commodity… but that’s a post for another time.

If you haven’t seen the youtube video, click this line!

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Uniquely Yours

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You’re a weird one.

No matter what anyone else says, you know that you’re not like everyone else. You may wish that sometimes, “Oh if only I was more like Sarah, or had an attitude like Timothy.” You can’t get away from the fact that you’re one-of-a-kind.

This is a good thing.

In fact, this is a great thing!

If all of us had similar strengths and weaknesses, there would be an enormous imbalance in certain areas. You should be overjoyed at the gifting that you have been created with. There are four basic temperaments, and each has a wonderful role to play. Today, we understand more about the temperaments and realize that each person has their own mix.

Be glad you live in a society that appreciates these differences. In the Ancient Greek world, they knew of the four temperaments and they thought that they arose from levels of four fluids within your body. Blood, Phlegm, Yellow Bile, and Black Bile. If someone had these four fluids or “Humors” in balance they were considered healthy but there were some who had leeches attached to them to drain off blood! Imagine being in a sour mood, and your doctor prescribes leeches. Gross!

The four basic personalities are, Dominant (ambitious and leader-like), Inspiring (Pleasure seeking and sociable), Supportive (Relaxed and Thoughtful), and Cautious (Analytical and Literal). Most people have a mixture of two or more.

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg! There are theories of Brain-Type, Meyers-Briggs personalities, Choleric/Sanguine/Melancholy/Phlegmatic, and so many more. I have found that most tests end up breaking down the personalities into four categories. Outgoing and People Oriented: Inspiring (top left), Reserved and Task Oriented: Cautious (top right), Reserved and People Oriented: Supportive (bottom left), and Outgoing and Task Oriented: Dominant (bottom right). 

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Knowing your own personality is fun, but the real value is being able to deal with others. We are called to be a blessing to others in the Bible. 2 Corinthians 2:15 calls us,

For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;

You can be a fragrance instead of an odor!

A book that I have read that really opens up the doors to the social styles and personality types is Personality Plus by Florence Littauer. personality-plus-193x300

Check it out! Its a book that I’ve enjoyed reading immensely, and I guarantee that your eyes will be opened to the reasons why that one Weird person is acting that way.

So lets go out and be weird.

Be a Fragrance.

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A Listening Ear

This Christmas Season you will have multiple opportunities, if you haven’t already, to listen to others. This is a fundamental way of being a good conversationalist: letting the other person talk.

The more they talk, the more they like- You! Because all the other bodies are busy talking about Themselves!

-Chris Brady

In the spirit of listening I won’t drag this post on and on. I’d love to hear what you’ve learned about listening.

If you’d like to dig deeper on Listening, artofmanliness.com has a great three part series on listening. Here are the links to the series:

Part 1: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/05/02/how-to-listen-effectively/

Part 2: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/05/08/listen-up-part-ii-15-techniques-to-improve-our-listening/

Part 3: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/05/08/listen-up-part-ii-15-techniques-to-improve-our-listening/

Merry Christmas everyone!

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A Sincere Smile

They're Free

I’ve been reading the classic book, How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie recently. The second way to make other people like you according to this book is to simply smile. Out of the six ways to make others like you, this is the easiest one to start with. You don’t need any special training, you don’t even need any background or experience.

Now think for a few seconds about a smile. The Merriam-Webster Dicionary defines a smile as:

to show or express (something, such as approval, encouragement, etc.) by a smile

 

The thing about smiling is that it’s universal. The enthusiasm that is generated by a sincere smile is contagious. When you know someone who is constantly smiling, you have a hard time being down about seeing that person.

Imagine coming home after a long day. You’re tired, you’re a little sore, the sky is overcast, and you slip a little bit on the front porch giving you that mini heart attack thinking you’re going to fall. Feeling down yet? You think about going inside and all the things you still have to finish up today, and that the house will probably be cold, and that you have to deal with the rest of the family too… You open the door and step inside. And one thing changes, you see a big yellow lab come barreling around the corner, tail wagging, tongue lolling, that doggy smile on her face. Suddenly your day doesn’t seem so overwhelming anymore.

That’s why a loyal dog is so appealing! They are genuinely excited to see you, and you can just imagine the smile that would light up their face if they had all our human characteristics.

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Do you understand now why Proverbs 17:22 says

“A joyful heart is good medicine”

So head on out today and give good medicine.

I’d like to leave you with a quick philosophy of a Smile from the book: How to Win Friends and Influence People

The Value of a Smile at Christmas

It costs nothing, but creates much.
It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give.
It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.
None are so rich they can get a long without it, and none are so poor but are richer for its benefits.
It creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in a business, and is the countersign of friends.
It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and Nature’s best antidote for trouble.
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anybody till it is given away.
And if in the last-minute rush of Christmas buying some of our salespeople should be too tired to give you a smile, may we ask you to leave one of yours?
For nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give!

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WordPress on Words

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Your Words set you apart.

You have a power that goes beyond muscles, or intellect, or even your skills. The words that we say can build up, tear apart, enable others or hold someone back.

Words come at us in all different styles. Writing, speaking, movies, music, school, all these things are based in different ways on words. Those of us that have committed to being excellent dare not overlook the pathway we have to another’s mind.

Think for just a second about how clearly you can remember that stinging insult from years ago as a child, from another kid who perhaps was just messing around. Or the words of praise from a teacher or parent that came out of nowhere on a bad day that instantly made you stand straighter and look brighter. Your words are a portal to someone else’s soul.

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

Here’s a question to think about, how likely are others to uplift you if you’re complaining and being bummed out? If your fruit is “death” so to speak- do you think that other people will paste a smile on their face and compliment you on what a good influence you are? No.

Zig Ziglar, american author, motivational speaker, and widely considered the greatest salesman of all time came up with the gem,

“You can have everything in life that you want if you just give enough other people what they want.”

Just think about your last week, and I’ll bet you that you can remember every single genuine compliment or bit of sincere praise that you received. Think you can figure out what other people want??

Now don’t go around telling bald guys that they’re having a great hair day. You have to be sincere! And if the other person can tell that you’re trying to get something out of them, your compliment loses a lot of its value.

So try it out, next time you see a friend, a coworker, your sister… find something that you can compliment!

If you’re still thinking too much about this, check out this chart.

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I would recommend NOT using the “sexy” ending, your sincere compliment may get you smacked.

Remember, Your words are a portal directly to another’s soul and you have the power to give others what they’re truly looking for. So what are you waiting for? Give honest, sincere appreciation.

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