Why Am I Doing This?

One of my dearest friends, Barry Thalden, exhorted me to write a sales book for 25 years.  Thalden is an architect; his firm, Thalden, Boyd, Emery Architects—Las Vegas, St. Louis, Tulsa, Phoenix—has been designing prodigious buildings in the spirit of Ayn Rand’s Howard Roark since 1972.  If you’ve ever been in The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas, you’ve seen their incredible artistry on display: Thalden, Boyd, Emery Architects provided the detailed technical drawings for the interior and exterior themed facades that make it look like Venice.

We’ve been friends for 50 years now, a half-century, and we’ve talked about selling more times than Bobby Cox got thrown out of baseball games.  Thalden speaks to architects about the business side of running an architectural firm, especially the importance of selling themselves to prospective clients.  For decades the subject of selling has fascinated us both, and we’ve both read everything about selling we could lay our hands on.

Our favorite selling book is Frank Bettger’s How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling.  Published in 1947, it’s apropos today as the day it was written; I recommend it every chance I get.  What makes it such a captivating read is that Bettger shows how to sell through his personal stories—it’s like watching role-playing.  Thalden once told me Bettger’s book, which he read in his early 30s, was, in a business sense, the pièce de résistance inspiration to his success as an architect.

“I went out and applied the principles Bettger talked about and projects started coming our way like never before, it was amazing.  That book changed my business life.

“You could do that and more for people,” he’d say, “I know you can; and the same way Bettger did—with all those phenomenal stories you’ve told me over the years—so the average guy can comprehend and apply it to change his life, the way Bettger changed mine.  How many times have you told me there’s never been a sales book—even Bettger’s—that addresses all the elements of selling, especially the all important fear factor that 80% of salespeople who only do 20% of the business must face every time they make a call or give a presentation?  Maybe you won’t invent the wheel, but you and I both know you’ve got something to say and are itching to say it.”

I heard this theme multiple times a year for, as I said, 25 years.  I’ll admit—he was sure right about the itch, which is why I finally wrote the book.

So now you know how Selling Fearlessly:A Master Salesman’s Secrets for the One-Call-Close Salesperson came into being.  Once the book was penned, a website and blog became a natural byproduct of creating the book.  What is a writer without an audience?  I’m telling all this because I want you to know the entire project’s purpose is to help you become a better salesperson than you are now (or if you’re not a salesperson, a better you in whatever your endeavor is).  My name is up there but you’re the focus.  You have my email address and telephone number.  Contact me; I’m here for every one of you; to assist you in any way I can.  Other than my family, friends, other books I’m going to write, and the Cubs, it’s the centerpiece of my life.  I want to make a difference in your lives.  So please, anytime, reach out to me—I’m “retired” (my wife rolls her eyes at that word “retired”) and here to help you.