"How to Sell Your Way Through Life" is a book written by Napoleon Hill.
You probably know of Napoleon Hill through his book “Think and Grow Rich” and maybe you’ve even read “17 Success Principles, Success through Positive Mental Attitude”.
Hill outlines selling strategies for all salespeople. (even though in his day the words were all about salesmen).
He emphasises that we are all salesmen trying to sell our way through our career, education and personal lives. He also emphasises things such as habit, persistence and failure.
Napoleon believes that the biggest secret to success is not on the actual merchandise in question but on issues that revolve around PERSONALITY. He talks about the nine(9) motives (see below) that people respond to and how we can apply them to all areas of our life.
The motive of
Edison failed 10,000 times before he made the incandescent electric light work. Do not become discouraged and quit if you fail once or twice before making your plans work
All anyone needs as a capital on which to start a successful career, is a sound mind , a healthy body, and a genuine desire to be as much service as possible to as many people as possible.
Employers are always on the look for a man who does a better job of any sort than is customary, whether it be wrapping a package, writing a letter, or closing a sale.
Perhaps, by the law of averages, OPPORTUNITY is thrust upon one out of every hundred thousand people. The others must create OPPORTUNITY. Selling is an art of planting in the mind of another a motive which will induce favourable action.
The “go-getter” will have to make room for the “go- giver” in every walk of life, selling included.
The better plan is not to wait to be “DISCOVERed”, no matter who you are or what you have to offer the world. The better plan is to search until you find the one-person best equipped to market the sort of services you have to offer, then give that person a good block of stock in yourself and tell him to go ahead and promote you.
Self-advancement cannot be built on bluff, fear or flattery! Life demands of the successful man sterner stuff than these. Mere words and fine platitudes will never take the place of a practical plan doggedly put into action.
Seek the counsel of men who will tell you the truth about yourself, even if it hurts you to hear it. Mere commendation will not bring the improvement you need.
People buy PERSONALITIES and IDEAS much more quickly than they buy MERCHANDISE.
Being an able salesman, you can be almost anything else you wish to be.
HARDWORK is the only thing that will turn sale training and ability into money.
The mastermind principle refers to “the coordination of two or more individualʼs minds, working in perfect harmony for a definite purpose. (This principle is mentioned in Think and Grow Rich)
With all thy getting, get ENTHUSIASM.
Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. Never, in the history of the world, has there been such an abundant opportunity as there is now for the person who is willing to serve before trying to collect.
For some ideas on using Autosuggestion take a look at "Power Words"
The mastermind principle, the principle of concentration and the principle of autosuggestion constitute a triumvirate that must be used in reaching and influencing the subconscious mind.
PERSISTENCE is merely concentrated effort well mixed with determination and faith
What-ever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Your employer does not control the sort of service you render.
You control that, and it is the thing that makes or breaks you.
PERSISTENCE is the keynote to success for all great leaders.
If you are going to become discouraged at the first sign of opposition or adversity, you will never become a great leader.
A man is paid not merely for that, which he knows, but more particularly, for what he does with what he knows, or that which he can get others to do.
One of the greatest leaders that ever lived stated the secret of his leadership in six words as follows. “KINDNESS is more powerful than COMPULSION”.
Know how to qualify the prospect by finding out about their:
Be capable of neutralising the buyerʼs mind, (resistance) in order words make the buyer receptive.
Always work with a definite sales quota, or goal, in mind.
Never go to work merely with the aim of selling all you can.
You should not only work with a definite goal in mind, but have a definite time in which to attain the object of that goal.
Napoleon Hill explains that when you do something that is more and of better quality than what you are paid for, you get better and more lasting results than by flattering people.
You should always offer a better service and better quality service than you are paid for. Give the best you can give. That is how you attract and please other people. It becomes easier to obtain their cooperation.
You wonʼt get people to like you by flattering them. For Napoleon Hill, to make and keep friends, and become an excellent salesperson, the following is essential:
According to “How to sell your way through life”, someone with a “pleasing personality” is a flexible person capable of adapting to and fitting into any setting. It is also a person who is “magnetic” enough to be able to dominate their environment with the attraction they exercise.
I would call this Rapport
Harmonious cooperation between employees and bosses is the key to the successful business of the future.
The salaried person must sell his way into a job and keep the position ...in other words the art of selling yourself.
Step one: find the job you want and make a comprehensive list of everything that qualifies you for the position.
Step two: sincerely grade yourself on each of the 17 success principles ... these are listed in the longer book summary
Step 1: Decide what kind of job you want
You need to look:
Either for a job with great future prospects, but a modest starting salary.
Or a job that offers maximum opportunities for remuneration, but no promise of a future.
Step 2: Clarify 5 points
These can be found in the more detailed summary
Napoleon Hill suggests that we use a timetable that is efficient and easy to follow.
He breaks down the hours of the day in the following way:
Never regularly spend your time on excessive partying (alcohol, excessive food, sex) and other destructive or energy-consuming habits.
Where you are is the result of how you use your time
The author invites us to:
Take a long, hard look at how you use your personal time, becoming aware that where you are is the fruit of how you conduct yourself.
Observe your daily habits: are they dragging you down or are they raising you up?
Recognise your weaknesses, then adopt habits to eliminate or reduce them.
You Have ... Eight hours a day to change your future!
Remember ... “The time to start is now.”
This is very similar to Chapter 17 "How to Create a Job"
Focus your attention, interest, and desire upon the attainment of a definite end.
Actions become powerful when you know how to efficiently concentrate and direct your energy. All people who encounter extraordinary success in life are people who focussed most of their thoughts and efforts on a single objective.
If you have tried and met defeat, if you have planned and watched your plans as they were crushed before your eyes, just remember that the great men in all history were the products of courage, and courage, you know, is born in the cradle of ADVERSITY.
Faith is the foundation of perseverance.
It is a state of mind:
To find out what Napoleon learned about Faith from Henry Ford go to the more detailed summary
For Napoleon Hill, indecision is one of the major causes of misery.
To achieve success, we need to know how to make fast, definitive decisions.
“Men of decision are of necessity men who think. The man who understands how to reach decisions intelligently is not only the master of his own destiny, but he may also control the destinies of many others.”
Napoleon Hill learned four simple rules from Henry Ford.
You can apply them to make decisions quickly and intelligently.
Having a good sporting mentality is essential to success. Among other things, it means you :
Organising your time and your expenses is very beneficial.
If we believe to “How to sell your way through life”, it is the path to happiness!
Rigorous and balanced time and money management comes down to self-discipline. It allows you to:
Napoleon Hill explains that Henry Ford taught him humility of the heart. Despite his success, his habits, his lifestyle and his attitude to others remained the same as when he lived in poverty.
In fact, says the author, people who have perfect knowledge of the laws of nature are often the most humble.
“All men who have a keen understanding of natureʼs laws are humble at heart.”
Going the extra mile is to “render more service and better service than one is paid to render.” This principle applies to relations with customers as well as with your teams.
Anybody who acts this way will end up being proportionately rewarded.
The principle of Fordʼs sales policy, for example, was to offer the customer the maximum for the minimum price.
“Salesmanship consists very largely in knowing and in showing the prospective buyer the real merits of the goods or service you are trying to sell.”
“Success, let me repeat, is achieved through power! Power is accumulated through organised and intelligently directed knowledge. Organisation and intelligent direction of knowledge require coordination of effort in a spirit of harmony between two or more minds.”
What made Ford an exceptional salesman was his ability to coordinate the efforts of other people in a spirit of harmony. Through the industrialistʼs methods, Napoleon Hill understood that it is possible to accumulate a lot of power simply using the master mind principle
Thanks to Henry Fordʼs incredible calm (even under attack), Napoleon Hill learned the value of self-control.
In Henry Ford, this self-control was characterised by:
Where we are and what we are, financially and spiritually, are because of the dominating THOUGHTS that occupy our minds.
“This simple rule of human conduct means that whatever we do to or for another, we do to or for ourselves.”
This law is reminiscent of the one that says that if we do wrong to our neighbour we are also doing wrong to ourselves, unknowingly.