The Sage of Sales: Lessons from Og Mandino

In the world of sales and self-improvement literature, one (strange) name is hard to forget: Og Mandino… yeah, exactly. Known as the "Sage of Salesmanship," Mandino's insights have influenced countless salespeople and entrepreneurs over the past half-century, long before the social media gurus came along and stole his thunder, that is. 

Born in 1923 in Coaltown, Ohio, Mandino's path to becoming a recognizable sales name was anything but conventional. As a young man, he struggled with alcoholism and attempted suicide, hitting rock bottom before embarking on a remarkable journey of personal transformation.

It was during this period of darkness and despair that Mandino discovered the power of positive thinking and the world of self-help. Inspired by the works of authors like Napoleon Hill and Emmet Fox, he began to rebuild his life and his career, eventually finding success as a salesman and sales manager.

Mandino's crowning achievement came in 1968 with the publication of his seminal work, The Greatest Salesman in the World. This slim, unassuming book went on to sell over 12 million copies worldwide (!!!), cementing Mandino's status as a titan in the sales and personal development space.

At the heart of The Greatest Salesman in the World lies a set of principles that every salesperson can learn from. Here are a few of the key lessons:

  1. Cultivate an Unshakable Positive Attitude: Mandino believed that a salesperson's mental and emotional state was the single most crucial factor in their success. He emphasized the importance of maintaining a positive, optimistic outlook, even in the face of adversity.

  2. Embrace the Power of Persistence: Mandino knew that true success in sales rarely comes easy. He stressed the importance of perseverance, encouraging salespeople to never give up in the face of rejection or setbacks.

  3. Master the Art of Self-Discipline: According to Mandino, the greatest salespeople are those who have mastered the art of self-discipline. He advocated for the development of habits and routines that foster focus, consistency, and a relentless commitment to one's goals.

  4. Prioritize Personal Growth: Mandino believed that the most successful salespeople were those who were constantly striving to improve themselves, both personally and professionally. He emphasized the importance of continuous learning, self-reflection, and a genuine desire to grow and evolve.

  5. Cultivate an Abundance Mindset: In contrast to the scarcity mentality that plagues many sales professionals, Mandino encouraged his readers to adopt an abundance mindset. He believed that by focusing on creating value for others, salespeople could unlock limitless opportunities for success.

These principles, coupled with Mandino's engaging storytelling, have made him a beloved figure in the world of sales and personal development.

We’ll leave you with some of Mandino’s most famous quotes: 

  • "You were not created for a life of idleness. You cannot eat from sunrise to sunset or drink or play or make love. Work is not your enemy but your friend. If all manners of labor were forbidden to thee you would fall to your knees and beg an early death."
  • “To learn and master anything, one has to pay the price in time and concentration, until it becomes part of one’s personality and habit in living.”
  • “No other trade or profession has more opportunity for one to rise from poverty to great wealth than that of a salesman.”
  • “Rewards are great if one succeeds but the rewards are great only because so few succeed.”
  • “Obstacles are necessary for success because in selling, as in all careers of importance, victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats.”

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