The Benefit of Rereading Great Books Multiple Times

Robert Terson

On August 14, 2013 I posted a blog entitled “Are you Capable of Being Audacious When you need to Be”; in it I told a story from Frank Bettger’s How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling. Soon after, my dear friend and STA-Sales-Mastermind-Group colleague Gary Hart commented:

Bob, this is one of my favorite sales stories from one of my favorite books. As many times as I’ve read it, I enjoyed it as though reading it for the first time. Frank went beyond the standard operating procedure knowing he was likely the only one who went the extra mile to get his ducks in a row prior to the sales call.

He assumed the close and supported his assumption.

Audacious may be a little strong; I prefer to call it confidently prepared. By comparison, the other salespeople were lazy. Frank knew that and took advantage of their SOP complacency by investing time and effort into a well-prepared carefully planned call.

How many times have you read his book?

My response to Gary’s comment:

That’s a terrific analysis of the story, Gary; much Gratitude for taking the time to offer it. To an–you should pardon the expression–old pro, “Audacious” may indeed be a bit strong, but to the vast majority of salespeople out there, what Bettger did would, I think, be viewed as “Audacious.” Perhaps now they’ll see it less so, emulate Bettger.

I’ve read that book, or parts of it, dozens of times; more than I can count.

Gary came back with:

Bob, I think you have a great follow-up post in your last comment.

I replied:

I think you’re right, Gary, which is par for the course.

When I love a book, when I find that it provides incredible value, I don’t just read it once and then toss it aside; I keep it handy so I can grab it and reread it, study it—multiple times! I’ve probably read Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich at least 100 times, no exaggeration. I keep going back to it over and over again. I read it every time I begin a major project, like writing a book.

I reread, study, favorite novels; to not only enjoy again, to learn technique, as well. I’ve honed my storytelling ability by this kind of study.

I’m considered a sales expert. People pay me to coach/train them. They’ll tell you that I’ve provided great value to them, and, modesty aside, it’s true. But…as I approach the ripe old age of 70, one of the great lessons I’ve learned is this: the more I know, the more I realize what I don’t know. That there are others out there who have knowledge that will help me help my clients even more. Right now, for example, I’m rereading Mike Weinberg’s New Sales. Simplified. and Kelly Riggs’s Quit Whining and Start Selling. They’re both fantastic books, and, although I’ve already read them both, I’m rereading them now as “text books” that I want to learn from, feverishly making notes as I come across invaluable information.

I created Selling Fearlessly hoping you’d treat it the same way: as a resource you’d keep coming back to time and again.

How many sales books do you have in your library that could be helping you on a consistent basis, that are gathering dust? Do yourself a huge favor: pull them off the shelves, start rereading, studying.

I don’t care how smart you are, how deep your reservoir of knowledge. Make yourself smarter, deepen your reservoir of knowledge.

You’ll provide more value to your clients/customers, make more money!


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