The Greatest Salesman in the World (Book Summary)
Written by Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman in the World is a self-help book that helps you achieve success in life and become a better salesperson. It is not a manual that teaches you how to earn the top spot as your company’s salesperson.
The book looks at sales in a somewhat philosophical manner. It teaches you life habits that lead you to success involving a lot of self-reflection. It shows you how you can turn your life 180 degrees with the correct principles in life.
In this article, I am going to give you the summary of The Greatest Salesman in the World.
Augustine ‘Og’ Mandino II was an American author. The Greatest Salesman in the World is his bestselling creation. The late author’s books have witnessed a sale of more than 50 million copies with translation to more than 25 languages. Till 1976 he was the president of Success Unlimited magazine.
The Parable: The Greatest Salesman in the World
The story is about Hafid, a young man living in ancient Jerusalem. He comes across a wealthy trader who has a chain of stores and wants to know the secret behind his success. The trader is on his deathbed and shares the secret of his success.
The man reveals that a rich, elderly person guided him with 10 scrolls when he was a young lad. The promise was to guard them all his life and pass them on to the next generation before dying. The aged man reveals the 10 scrolls to Hafid and asks him to preserve them for the next generation.
How does the book help?
By reading The Greatest Salesman in the World, you will realize how powerful love can be, making you become a good salesperson. It will help you understand why laughing in the face of difficulty can help you and how you can stand up again when you feel demotivated.
The book has a series of fundamental truths and laws that are easy to understand and implement in everyday life. The author makes use of a simple tale to explain ten life lessons and their importance.
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The Greatest Salesman in the World Summary
The book conveys key principles that lay a strong foundation in building a strong salesperson. The principles are relevant to this day and age as well and help master the craft of selling.
Each scroll is a lesson itself and the 10 scrolls are the following:
- Scroll I – I will form good habits and become their slave
- Scroll II – I will greet this day with love in my heart
- Scroll III – I will persist until I succeed
- Scroll IV – I am nature’s greatest miracle
- Scroll V – I will live this day as if it is my last
- Scroll VI – Today I will be master of my emotions
- Scroll VII – I will laugh at the world
- Scroll VIII – Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold
- Scroll IX – I will act now
- Scroll X – I will pray for guidance
The Greatest Salesman in the World Summary: Scrolls
Here is an insight to all the scrolls mentioned above:
The first scroll is about making a fresh beginning and learning good habits. This would help one rise above mediocrity and get rid of bad habits.
A salesperson would have to face several failures and setbacks in his journey. However, every failure gives you a chance to sharpen your capabilities. Moreover, patience is the key when it comes to success. A plant that multiplies may not last long. On the other hand, a tree that takes a century to mature can last for quite a long time.
In selling, you should stick to principles that have stood the test of time. One has to not only learn good habits but also make them active habits. They have to become a part of everyday life without having to put in any effort.
With the correct principles and good habits, you can enjoy success. That is primarily why you have to replace bad habits with good ones.
In the second scroll, there is an emphasis on the power of love.
Love has to be the source of all your actions and thoughts. Though there will be many adversities in life, love will always function as a shield to protect you from harm.
As a salesperson, you should set aside a part of your profits to help those underprivileged. It can be challenging for those who have never done so, but this act of kindness will provide a sense of fulfilment and happiness. If you do good for others, it will come back to you in different ways.
While at times, you get burdened with negative thoughts. But a successful salesperson has to act with a focus on the positivity around. The virtue of love can help you build relationships with people and accomplish goals.
There is a specific timeline for each day, and we have limited time to interact with people each day. When you spend your time acting in a way that doesn’t have love involved, the day is wasted. It can fan your ego but cannot take you to your goals. All your actions should be out of love to find true success in life.
Acting out of love must be a habit and become an inseparable part of the thought process.
The third scroll is about persistence. Here the author describes the method by which the bravery of the bull is tested. People give a rating to the bull based on how many times it runs towards its goal despite the pain ahead. The more the charges, the braver the bull.
Just like the bull, being persistent is a quality that a successful salesperson should have. No matter how many times you fail, it would help if you looked at it as an opportunity to learn new things. Don’t let failure make you give up on your dreams.
At times a challenge will be a simple bump on the road, but it can also be a colossal mountain that requires you to work hard for days together.
Success doesn’t come easily. It doesn’t come to you when you begin putting in efforts; it is only at the end that you can enjoy it. In short, just don’t quit no matter what happens.
The fourth scroll is based on the confidence you have in yourself.
Turn your qualities into assets. Every human is unique and has different strengths and capabilities, and you must be proud of yours. Your qualities differentiate you from others, and nobody else in this world has what you possess. It would be best if you did not imitate others so that you fit in.
Instead, try to sharpen those skills that make you unique. It is because of your strengths that you can succeed in life no matter what your endeavour is.
There has to be persistence and the passion for winning from within.
The fifth scroll is about the importance of time.
We all have to live on this planet as though each day is our last one on this planet. We shouldn’t dwell on yesterday or worry about what will happen tomorrow. Staying focused on what is lying before us and what is within our control is essential.
In other words, the focus should be to live in the present moment as it is the only thing we can control. That is the fact that most people know but are not able to follow.
Instead of thinking about the past and the future, you have to live in the now. Only then can you be a successful salesperson. Learn to live one moment at a time and see the difference.
Emotions like doubt, fear, and procrastination can disrupt things for you. The author offers a way to handle them, and that is by looking at them straight in the face and charging at them like a bull.
In scroll VI, the author refers to the importance of mastering one’s emotions.
There is no bigger helplessness for an individual than being unable to control his emotions. To handle challenging situations and emerge from them successfully, you have to master your emotions. It is crucial for anyone who is into the business.
As a salesperson, you cannot absorb the feelings a customer offers. You have to turn into a positivity source that attracts customers, and they do business with you. Also, when you understand your emotions, you can understand the feelings of people around you.
In the 7th scroll, the author, Og Mandino, emphasizes the importance of laughter. This may seem more like a life skill. When you follow all of the principles mentioned earlier, laughter is the element that brings a balance to it all.
When you can laugh, you can connect with people around you and see the funny side of life. It helps you stay in cheerful spirits and lets you know that failures are not permanent. You can carry on with life laughing away your worries. It can give you a chance to look at matters from a different perspective.
Remember how difficult a situation is; it shall pass. Everything in life, the good and the bad, is the same, and they will pass.
Scroll VIII is about making it a habit to be a better version of yourself.
You have to get better with each passing day. The easiest way to do so is by doing better than yesterday and gaining skills to move forward confidently. It has to be a part of the psyche never to go backward. This is a difficult task but something worth the effort.
You have to move one step ahead every day than you did the previous day. This way, you will be inching towards your goal with each passing day, no matter how minor the progress is.
Also, don’t have a cap on self-improvement as you cannot keep a limit to it. One keeps learning and keeps improving throughout life. There is no benchmark to reach. Trying to beat peers can only rob you of your possibilities. You compete with no one else; it is just that you have to be a better version of yourself.
You can begin by simply trying to do better than the previous day and achieve what you need to keep moving forward. Your nature should be such that you never take a step backwards and don’t ever try to remain stagnant. Doing this is not easy, but you can do it. No matter how little your progress is, you will inch closer to your goal with every passing day.
Also, you should make self-improvement a part of your life without placing any ceiling.
You must try to improve your abilities and set the benchmark based on your own performance.
In this scroll, the author talks about the importance of action.
Taking action is most important because if we don’t act, we cannot achieve anything. Remove whatever stops you from taking action, such as feelings of procrastination or hesitation. It can make you give up on your dreams. When you choose to stay in action, you out beat those waiting for a while longer. Action makes you improve yourself in every possible way.
Prompt action helps one spend more time improving themselves and shows that you value time. The author says that a person who is following all the principles mentioned here can do wonders but not without taking action.
The last lesson of this book is unique. It teaches us how to ask for help from the heavens above. In your prayers, you shouldn’t ask for anything materialistic. Instead, it would help if you were asking for guidance. You will not appreciate all the worldly things in the world if you don’t work hard to get them. It is pretty natural for you to be in a dilemma regarding what your next step should be.
In such times, people tend to take the easy route, which is often not the right decision at the end of their journey. You should never choose such a path even if it seems easy to tread on.
So, you can ask God for guidance and not for worldly possessions. The same applies to mentors, friends and those who counsel you.
Continuing with the parable…
Hafid almost nears his end and has been successful all his life. Along with earning a lot of wealth, he stayed noble throughout his life. He wishes to sell what he possesses with him at the last stage of his life. As per God’s instruction, a traveller comes to meet the greatest salesman that has ever lived and wants to learn from him the craft of spreading Christ’s message across the world. This traveller is Apostle Paul, who will use the principles to touch billions of lives for 1000s of years.
The Greatest Salesman in the World: Takeaways
Here are 5 lessons you can learn from The Greatest Salesman in the World and apply them in your life in the modern times.
Every day brings new opportunities
You can allow yesterday’s mistake to teach you a lesson but not let it burden your mind. Each new day brings new hope and an opportunity to do things better. You have to give each day your best shot.
Spread love and be kind
What you do will come back to you. So better do something good so that you get the same in return. It would be best if you were loving and kind to every person who crosses your path. Keep love at the core of all your actions, and it will take you a long way.
You cannot avoid failures but what you can do is never give up. Nobody can defeat you unless you yourself accept your defeat. Being persistent is one way of achieving your goals in life.
Don’t waste time
Value time is a limited resource. You must live every day as though it is your last and have a purpose to fulfill. This way, you can make the most of the time you have at hand.
You are what you do
Your actions define who you are about to become. By controlling your efforts, you are shaping your future. While this is difficult, it is not impossible.
The book The Greatest Salesman in the World is an exciting read with great principles that show you a new life path. It can guide you and help you meet a new you if you put in the effort.
However, it may not be the best book for people who aren’t willing to bring positive changes to their lives.
For others who want to see a change in themselves and believe that they can succeed with the proper habits and choices, this book can be a great way to start. The scrolls lay an excellent foundation for building your life, even if they don’t teach you everything you require in life’s journey. The principles will help you grow personally and professionally.
The book will be successful in making you take the first step and propelling your journey forward.