Sunday, July 26, 2009

'The Greatest Salesman in the World' by Og Mandino

"The Greatest Salesman in the World" is a mighty big book in a small package. The book is a classic, yet it is contemporary. It is fiction, yet it is truth. It is a self-help book, a sales training book, a romance, a spiritual book and an entertaining story, all at the same time.

Og Mandino first published "Salesman" in the late 1960's. Since then it has been reprinted and re-released numerous times. I first encountered the book in the mid-1970's, when I heard the late Mr. Mandino being interviewed on a talk radio program. The book sounded so interesting, I immediately bought a copy. It was my first Mandino book, but not my last. I am on my third copy of "Salesman," having worn out or given away the others.

The little book opens with a young camel boy, Hafid, seeking a means to improve his lot in life. He wants to become a salesman and to earn wealth and happiness. His first test is to sell a single blanket in the town of Bethlehem, a village bypassed by the experienced salesmen as not worth their time. Through his experiences there, Hafid shows himself to be the chosen student to study ten scrolls of success.

Mandino himself was a salesman for many years. Following a time of personal desperation, he became a student of motivational writings, especially those of W. Clement Stone. Taking and applying what he learned, he changed his situation, even going to work for Stone. Later, he synthesized his theories into several books, the first of which was "The Greatest Salesman in the World."

By couching the lessons in a fictional framework, Mandino makes the book very palatable. The story gives the details of the ten "Scrolls of Success," passed to Hafid from his employer. This is no dry text. It is a workbook for change without making the change a torture.

The first scroll gives instructions for using the other nine. Each of the follo
wing scrolls focuses on a principle of success, both in business and in life. Lessons of caring, perseverance and appreciation of what one has are only a few of the offerings of the scrolls.

Whether you are in sales or not, you will find "Salesman" satisfying on some level. If nothing more than a historical romance, it is worth your time. It is a quick read and a lifelong study tool, as you prefer. Enter Hafid's world. You will not leave it without experiencing something very special.

"The Greatest Salesman in the World" by Og Mandino is available in paperback. The official Og Mandino website calls it the #1 selling self-help book of all time. Mandino's legacy will work change in the world for generations to come.

© 2007 Mary Beth Magee

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