Mastering the Art of Selling

Three times as many Fortune 1000 CEO’s come up through sales and marketing than through management and finance, yet the overwhelming majority of business school grads ignore sales and stack up sheepskins with management and finance degrees. If you check the Forbes 400 List of the richest men and women and carefully analyzed what they did to get there and even what they do now, you’ll clearly see that most of the ones on that list sold their way onto the list.

In high school, I wasn’t tall enough to play basketball and I was too small to play football. I was an average student, wasn’t part of the in crowd or any of the popular cliques. I wasn’t popular enough to be a member of student government nor was I voted most popular or most likely to succeed during my senior year.

What I did possess was an ability far greater than all of the above combined. That ability was one of being able to sell things to people. As an elementary student, I sold flower seeds and greeting cards door-to-door. As a junior high student, I sold newspapers door-to-door. And in my junior year of high school, out of a class of 249 students, I was the number one fund raising sales person for the senior prom.

Turning Point

It wasn’t until I was 30 years old that sales became a profession for me. When I first started I sucked. I was even fired once from a sales job for poor performance. It wasn’t until I got serious and began to take professional sales training that I became competent and started to make money.

Napoleon Hill is most famously known for writing “Think and Grow Rich”. One of his most obscure and forgotten books was “Why and How To Sell Your Way Through Life”. In this book he pointed out that despite all the evidence of the value, power and necessity of mastering selling, it is something the vast majority of business people refuse to make a serious study of, try to avoid, and harbor unproductive attitudes about…… so making a serious study of it, embracing it and liking it gives one a superior advantage. One of the main reasons to master selling skills is that most of your competitors never will. Most will never take a sales training class or a sales management class. Most will major in incompetency which should make them easy pickens for someone who takes the profession seriously.

To embrace the profession of selling and live as a salesman will give you a profound competitive advantage against those who refuse to do so.

If you have kids teach them to master the art of selling. They’ll never go hungry and the world will be their oyster. And they need not pile up huge student loans for education. If they do not master selling, they will forever be dependent upon whatever those who HAVE mastered selling are willing to let them have.

We value your opinion so please comment on this article so we can tell if you are finding value here.

Mike Treacy


Curious is “Why and How to Sell Yourself Through Life” still in print?

As to the article I could not agree with you more. I too was too short for basketball and too small for football. I was the perfect size, however, for wrestling and got pretty good at it.
My Dad was my inspiration. He was a successful salesman that started as a Fuller Brush Man. He maintained, until his dying day, that Fuller was the most fun job he had and the one where he learned how to “deal with people”.
No sooner had he had built his own agency when it was virtually swept away when interest rates zoomed to 16%. He did not complain about it. He turned up a few days later with a stationwagon of odd lot merchandise and sold it wholesale usually by the car load. He simply matched the product to the market. One day I heard him the garage. He was spraypainting by hand apartment mail boxes. I said Dad, what do have going? He said I picked up these brass plated mailboxes and already have a buyer for them at a tidy profit. I said so why are you painting them. He said they wanted silver so I am giving them silver. He handed me a spray can and with a smile and said get started spraying. Mike Treacy

Henry Evans

Couldn’t agree more. I sold cutco cutlery door to door after high school and it was a great education on selling. Thanks for the heads up on the other Hill book, I will have to check that out!


Steve Clark


You can find the book at

Loren Malenke

I am not really sure if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your great job is clearly identified. I was wondering if you offer any subscription to your RSS feeds as I would be very interested and can?t find any link to subscribe here.

Carroll B. Merriman

Hi, I came across this blog on Twitter 🙂 Just wanted to share that its great and I am going to subscribe to your RSS! All the best :))


I have to get my wife to read this- Thanks

Steve Hilliar

You have a great blog here, however most sales training material available today is missing something serious.
Being able to understand the different skill set required to make a major sale as opposed to a simple sale is the key. There is a very big difference in skill set between the two.
More can be found on my blog. All the findings are based on serious years of research.

Hip Hop

I don’t often agree with the information that are given on sites but in this case I agree.


Very educating write up, bookmarked your blog with hopes to read more!

Robbi Muto

hey great information your site contains will return when I have time to read more.

Pauletta Mentnech

I’ve read some good stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting.

Galen Olliff

Love the information, thanks

Brice Veenstra

I have been to this blog before but this is just about the best articles yet. keep writing!

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