From Failure to Success in Selling, Part VI

From Failure to Success in Selling


Bob Marshall

(February 2019)

Dear Readers, the following segment is the sixth, and final, part of a six-part, twenty page article based on Frank Bettger’s seminal sales book, How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling.  I am sending out Part VI today.  I hope you have enjoyed this series.

*Note:  As before, the individual book parts and chapters are in bold and my notes on each chapter are in italics.  After the notes, I will add my comments, in normal text, as to how those sections relate to our profession.  I hope my notes and comments are of value to you in your desk/organization operation.


Part 6 – Don’t Be Afraid to Fail


  1. Don’t be afraid to fail!


Are you discouraged by your failures?  Examine your records.  You’ll probably discover the real reason is lack of effort.  Not enough exposure.  You don’t give old-man law of averages sufficient chance to work for you.


Fear of failure is a weakness which is common to all people.  In this world we either discipline ourselves or we are disciplined by the world.  “Cultivate a little of the don’t-care habit; don’t worry about what people may think.  This will endear you to others and make you liked and loved all the more.” 


“My great concern,” said Abraham Lincoln, “is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”


Thomas Edison had ten thousand failures before he invented the incandescent bulb.  Edison made up his mind that each failure brought him that much closer to success.


Courage is not the absence of fear.  It is the conquest of it.


*It is felt by many big billers that recruiters are in a 4% business…that you will place with 4% of the potential clients you call.  If you have a large enough marketplace (1500 client contacts) and you place with 4% of them, you will make 60 placements per year.  Multiply that by an average fee of $20,000 and you have your $1,200,000 year.  It can happen for you!


One of the greatest recruiters in history had a Send Out First to Placement ratio of 8:1.  When asked if that was a negative, he said it wasn’t because every time he arranged a SO1 he was that much closer to his placement.  His goal was to arrange 8 SO1’s per week.  If he did that he would make a placement per week.  And that’s what he did!


  1. Benjamin Franklin’s secret of success and what it did for me


Ben Franklin’s thirteen subject headings adapted for selling:


  1. Enthusiasm.
  2. Order: self-organization.
  3. Think in terms of others’ interests.
  4. Questions.
  5. Key issue.
  6. Silence: listen.
  7. Sincerity: deserve confidence.
  8. Knowledge of my business.
  9. Appreciation and praise.
  10. Smile: happiness.
  11. Remember names and faces.
  12. Service and prospecting.
  13. Closing the sale: action


Follow each subject for one week and then move to the next subject for a week, etc.  In a year, you will cover each subject four times.


*“Practice doesn’t make perfect.  Perfect practice makes perfect.”—Bobby Ross


“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all time thing.  You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time.  Winning is a habit.  Unfortunately, so is losing.”—Vince Lombardi


  1. Let’s you and I have a heart-to-heart talk


It’s later than you think!  You don’t have that much time left.  Start making changes today.  Take the advice of Benjamin Franklin.  He would tell you to take one thing at a time and give a week’s strict attention to that one thing, leaving all the others to their ordinary chance.  By concentrating on one thing at a time, you will get farther with it in one week than you otherwise would in a year.


*“Whatever you can do or dream you can…begin it

Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”—Goethe


And it is later than you think…


In Conclusion


I hope you liked this quick, ‘updated’ version of my ‘take’ on Frank Bettger’s classic book.  I am hopeful that you can use this knowledge on your desk to help you to become more successful in sales.  As UCLA Coach Wooden said, “There is nothing more satisfying for a teacher than watching his students make his lessons their own.”


…That’s it for Part VI and the Bettger total article.  Stay tuned for other articles in the future…


My Best,



Bob Marshall began his recruiting career in 1980 when he joined MR Reno, NV.  In 1986 he founded The Bob Marshall Group, International, training recruiters across the nation as well as in the United Kingdom, Malta and Cyprus.  As 2019 unfolds, Bob begins his 39th year in recruitment and continues to offer his proven training systems throughout the US and in selected international territories.  To learn more about his activities and descriptions of his products and services, contact him directly @ 770-898-5550;; or visit his website @


Bob Marshall


TBMG, International

247 Bryans Drive, Suite 100

McDonough, GA  30252-2513


520-842-5550 (fax)