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Full text of "Selling things"

152 SELLING THINGS 

and introduce yourself, telling just what ser 
vice you are prepared to render. The only 
good reason for being in business is because 
you can render service. You should feel that 
you are the benefactor of the man whom you 
approach. He may be your superior finan 
cially, but in the matter of your particular 
article or articles for sale, you should feel that 
you are his superior, and therefore you should 
approach him with the utmost ease and confi 
dence. The big winners in salesmanship are 
those who possess the initiative, the originality, 
and the poise, which enable them to go out and 
find customers quickly and intelligently, cover 
ing the biggest amount of territory in the short 
est time, and concentrating their energies. 

The use of the telephone in finding customers 
and making appointments is a method that 
requires considerable skill. There are those 
who believe that it is too easy for a man to "turn 
you down" on the telephone. There are others 
who believe that it is foolish to waste carfare 
and time, when you can quickly arrange mat 
ters over the telephone. Experience and 
native ability must guide the salesman in the 
use of the telephone. 



FINDING CUSTOMERS 153 

So, in the matter of letter- writing, often 
where a letter would be thrown in the waste- 
basket, or receive a negative reply, a personal 
call from the salesman might get a big order. 
Yet, in many cases the right kind of letters 
would get the business and save the salesman 
much useless expenditure of time, money and 
energy. 

The day may come when, if our goods are 
exactly as represented, customers will make a 
beaten track to our door, but this will not hap 
pen until human nature has changed very 
much. The human element enters so much 
into sales that it is still quite an important part 
of salesmanship for the salesman to make per 
sonal visits, so as to get the orders. To be 
sure, we have the department stores and spe 
cialty houses which have built up a well-known 
reputation for merchandise of high quality and 
reasonable price. These will continue to draw 
customers, with the help of wise advertising, 
but they must employ the right kind of sales- 
force to handle properly the customers who 
visit their places of business. 

Finding a customer does not mean simply 
inducing him to look over what you have to 





\ 





From the collection of the 



relinger 




San Francisco, California 
2006 




SELLING THINGS 



BY 

ORISON SWETT HARDEN 

AUTHOR or "PUSHING TO THE FRONT," "PEACE, POWER AND 
PLENTY," "THE VICTORIOUS ATTITUDE," ETC. 

WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF 
JOSEPH F. MAcGRAIL 

INSTRUCTOR IN SALESMANSHIP AND EFFICIENCY FOR MANY 
LARGE SALES AND INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATIONS 




NEW YORK 

THOMAS Y. CROWELL COMPANY 
PUBLISHERS 



COPYRIGHT, 1916, 
BY THOMAS Y. CEOWBLL COMPANY 

Thirteenth Thousand 



TO MT FKIEND 

CHARLES M. SCHWAB 

THE MASTER EXECUTIVE, PRODUCER, SALESMAN. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTEB PAGE 

I THE MAN WHO CAN SELL THINGS . 1 

II TRAINING THE SALESMAN .... 6 

III THE MOST IMPORTANT SUBJECTS OF 

STUDY 14 

IV MAKING A FAVORABLE IMPRESSION . . 19 
V THE SELLING TALK OR "PRESENTATION" 28 

VI THE APPROACH AND EXPRESSION . . 33 

VII THE ABILITY TO TALK WELL ... 37 

VIII How TO GET ATTENTION 42 

IX TACT AS A FRIEND-WINNER AND BUSI 
NESS-GETTER 47 

X SIZING UP THE PROSPECT .... 62 

XI How SUGGESTION HELPS IN SELLING . 71 

XII THE FORCE OF CHEERFUL EXPECTANCY . 79 

XIII THE GENTLE ART OF PERSUASION . . 86 

XIV HELPING THE CUSTOMER TO BUY . . 94 

XV CLOSING THE DEAL 105 

XVI THE GREATEST SALESMAN ENTHUSIASM 112 

XVII THE MAN AT THE OTHER END OF THE 

BARGAIN 119 

XVIII MEETING AND FORESTALLING OBJECTIONS 125 

XIX QUALITY AS A SALESMAN 133 

XX A SALESMAN'S CLOTHES 139 

XXI FINDING CUSTOMERS 148 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTEB PAGE 

XXII WHEN You ARE DISCOURAGED . . .155 

XXIII THE STIMULUS OF REBUFFS ... . 163 

XXIV MEETING COMPETITION: "KNOW YOUR 

GOODS" 177 

XXV THE SALESMAN AND THE SALES MANAGER 184 

XXVI ARE You A GOOD MIXER? . . . . 189 

XXVII CHARACTER Is CAPITAL . . . . 207 

XXVIII THE PRICE OF MASTERSHIP . . . . 213 

XXIX KEEPING FIT AND SALESMANSHIP .. . 226 

APPENDIX SALES POINTERS . . ,'' 250 



SELLING THINGS 



CHAPTER I 



Cultivate all the arts and all the helps to mastership. 
The world always listens to a man with a will in him. 

SOON after Henry Ward Beecher went to 
Plymouth Church he received a letter from a 
Western parish, asking him to send them a new 
pastor. After describing the sort of man they 
wanted, the letter closed with the following 
injunction: "BE SURE TO SEND us A MAN 
WHO CAN SWIM. Our last pastor was 
drowned while fording the river, on a visit to 
his parishioners." 

Now, this is the sort of a man that is wanted 
everywhere, in every line of human activity, 
the man who can swim, the salesman who can 
swim, who can sell things, who can go out and 
get business, the man who can take a message 



SELLING THINGS 



to Garcia, who can bring back the order, the 
man who can "deliver the goods." 

The whole business world to-day is hunting 
for the man who can sell things; there is a sign 
up at every manufacturing establishment, 
every producing establishment for the man 
who can market products. There is nobody 
in greater demand than the efficient salesman, 
and he is rarely if ever out of a job. 

Only a short while ago two companies 
actually went to law about a salesman who 
transferred his connection from one to the 
other, his original employers holding that he 
had no right to do so, as he was under contract 
(at a $50,000 salary) to them. 

In spite of the fact that thousands of em 
ployees are looking for positions, on every 
hand we see employers looking for somebody 
who can "deliver the goods"; a salesman who 
will not say that if conditions were right, if 
everything were favorable, if it were not for 
the panic, or some other stumbling block, he 
could sell the goods. Everywhere employers 
are looking for some one who can do things, 
no matter what the conditions may be. 

There is no place in salesmanship for the 



THE MAN WHO CAN SELL THINGS S 

man who waits for orders to come to him. 
He is simply an order taker, not a salesman. 
Live men, men with vigorous initiative and 
lots of pluck and grit, men who can go out 
and get business are wanted. 

It should not be necessary to prove that 
training is needed for success in salesmanship 
or in any business. Yet, because men have 
been compelled for centuries "to learn by their 
mistakes," to pick up here and there, by hard 
knocks, a little knowledge about their work, 
there has been a prejudice against trying to 
teach business by sane, scientific methods. 
Besides, in former times, the working man and 
the mere merchant were supposed to belong to 
a low class of society, apart from the noble 
and the learned, and little attention was given 
to their needs. A man, too, was believed to 
be born with a natural aptitude for salesman 
ship or business building, and this was sup 
posed to be all-sufficient. 

To-day there are many men and women 
attracted by the big profits in salesmanship, 
who would like to become salesmen and sales 
women, but they feel they have not this natural 
aptitude to insure permanent success. 



4 SELLING THINGS 

It is true that, just as certain men and 
women are born with natural gifts for 
music and for art, so certain men and women 
have, in a high degree, the natural qualities 
which enable them to succeed in selling either 
their brain power or merchandise. But while 
it is true that some people have more natural 
capacity than others, it is not true to-day, and 
it was never true in the fine arts, in athletics, 
or in commercial pursuits, that the untrained 
man is the equal of the trained man. 

Man is always improving Nature, or, if you 
prefer, he is always helping Nature. Central 
Park, New York, is more beautiful because 
the landscape gardener has been helping 
Nature ; the farmer is the reaper of bigger and 
better crops because he is following the advice 
of the chemist, who tells him how to fertilize 
the soil; the Delaware River and Hell Gate 
have become more easily navigable, because 
the engineer has removed obstacles which 
Nature had placed in those waters ; Colorado's 
arid lands are irrigated, thanks to the skill of 
the civil engineer; the horticulturist aids 
Nature by grafting and pruning; the scientist 
comes to the help of human nature with anti 
septic methods in surgery; and the inventor 



THE MAN WHO CAN SELL THINGS 5 

shows Nature how electricity can be put to 
numberless practical uses. 

Let us not fool ourselves ; we need to study, 
we need to be trained for every business in 
life. And in these days the training by which 
natural defects are overcome and natural apti 
tude is developed into effective ability can be 
obtained by every youth. No matter how 
great your natural ability in any direction, in 
order to get the best results, it must be reen- 
forced by this special training. 

The untrained man may get results here and 
there because he has natural ability and uncon 
sciously uses the right methods. The trained 
man is getting results regularly because he is 
consistently using the right methods. 

Business men no longer attribute a lost sale, 
where it should have been made, to "hard 
luck," but to ignorance of the science of sales 
manship. 

The "born" salesman is not as much in vogue 
as formerly. Business is becoming a science, 
and almost any honest, dead-in-earnest, deter 
mined youth can become an expert in it, if he 
is willing to pay the price. 

It is scientific salesmanship to-day, and not 
luck, that gets the order. 



CHAPTER II 

TRAINING THE SALESMAN 

The consciousness of being superbly equipped for your work 
brings untold satisfaction. 

Efficiency is the watchword of to-day. The half-prepared 
man, the man who is ignorant, the man who doesn't know his 
lines, is placed at a tremendous disadvantage. 

A STUDENT seeking admission to Oberlin 
College asked its famous president if there was 
not some way of taking a sort of homeopathic 
college course, some short-cut by which he 
could get all the essentials in a few months. 

This was the president's reply: "When the 
Creator wanted a squash,, he created it in six 
months,, but when he wanted an oak, he took 
a hundred years!' 

One of the highest-paid women workers in 
the world, the foreign buyer for a big depart 
ment store, owes her position more to thorough 
training for her work than to any other thing. 
Between salary and commissions, her income 
amounts to thirty thousand dollars a year. 

6 



TRAINING THE SALESMAN 



Speaking of her place in the firm, one of its 
highest members said to a writer: "We regard 
Miss Blank as more of a friend than an em 
ployee; and she came to us just twenty years 
ago with her hair in pig-tails, tied with a shoe 
string; and she was so ill fed and ill clothed 
we had to pass her over to our house nurse to 
get her currycombed and scrubbed before we 
could put her on as a cash girl. Without 
training, she would probably have dropped 
back in the gutter as an unfit and a failure. 
With training, she has become one of the ablest 
business women in the country." 

There are a thousand pigmy salesmen to one 
Napoleon salesman; but if you have natural 
ability for the marketing of any of the great 
products of the world, all you need to make 
you a Napoleon salesman is sound training 
and willingness to work faithfully. With 
such a foundation for success you will not long 
be out of a job, or remain in obscurity, for 
wherever you go, no matter how hard the times, 
you will see an advertisement for just such a 
man. 

The term "salesmanship" is a very broad 
one; it covers many fields, The drummer for 



8 SELLING THINGS 

a boot and shoe house, the insurance agent and 
manager, the banker and broker, whose busi 
ness is to dispose of millions of dollars' worth 
of stocks and bonds all these are "salesmen," 
trafficking in one kind of goods or another 
all form a part of the world's great system of 
organized barter. 

There are three essentials which must be 
considered in deciding on salesmanship or any 
other vocation, namely : taste, talent, and train 
ing. The first is, by far, the most important 
of these essentials, for whatever we have a 
taste for, we will be interested in; what we 
really become interested in, we are bound to 
love, sooner or later, and success comes from 
loving our work. 

To find out whether or not you are cut out 
for a salesman, you must first analyze the 
question of your taste and your talent. In 
this matter, however, it should be borne in 
mind that human nature, especially in youth, 
is plastic, and that we can be molded by 
others, or we can mold ourselves. Even 
though one has not a strong taste, naturally, 
or a decided talent for salesmanship, he can 
acquire both, for even talent, like taste, may be 



TRAINING THE SALESMAN 9 

either natural or acquired. By proper train 
ing in salesmanship, which means the right 
kind of reading, observing and listening, and 
right practicing, we can develop our taste and 
ability so as to become good salesmen or good 
saleswomen. 

The basic requirements for successful sales 
manship are good health, a cheerful disposition, 
courtesy, tact, resourcefulness, facility of ex 
pression, honesty, a firm and unshakable con 
fidence in one's self, a thorough knowledge of, 
and confidence in, the goods which one is sell 
ing, and ability to close. True cordiality of 
manner must be reenforced by intelligence 
and by a ready command of information in 
regard to the matters in hand. It will be seen 
that all these things make the man as well as 
the salesman when coupled with sincerity and 
highmindedness, they can't but bring success in 
any career. 

The foundation for salesmanship can hardly 
be laid too early. The youth who uses his 
spare time when at school, in vacation season, 
and out of business hours, in acquiring the art 
of salesmanship will gain power to climb up in 
the world that cannot be obtained so readily 
by any other means. 



10 SELLING THINGS 

Fortunate is the young man who has re 
ceived the right kind of business training. No 
matter what his occupation or profession, such 
training will make him a more efficient worker. 
Many youths have had fathers whose experi 
ence and advice have been valuable to them. 
Others have been favored by getting into firms 
of high caliber. As a result they have been in 
a splendid environment during their most 
formative years, and in so far have had an 
inestimable advantage in success training. 

Many people have the impression that 
almost anybody can be a salesman, and that 
salesmanship doesn't require much, if any, 
special training. The young man who starts 
out to sell things on this supposition will soon 
find out his mistake. If salesmanship is to be 
your vocation you cannot afford to take any 
such superficial view of its requirements. 
You cannot afford to botch your life. You 
cannot afford a little, picayune career as a 
salesman, with a little salary and no outlook. 
If salesmanship is worth giving your life to, 
it is worth very serious and very profound and 
scientific preparation and training. 

I know a physician, a splendid fellow, who 



TRAINING THE SALESMAN 11 

studied medicine in a small, country medical 
school, where there was very little material, 
and practically no opportunity for hospital 
work. In fact, during his years of prepara 
tion his experience outside of medical books 
was very meager. Since getting his M. D. 
diploma this man has been a very hard worker 
and has managed to get a fair living, but he 
is much handicapped in his chance to make a 
name in his profession. He has a fine mind, 
however, and if he had gone to the Harvard 
Medical School in Boston, or to one of the 
other great medical schools where there is an 
abundance of material for observation and facil 
ities for practice in the hospitals and clinics, he 
would have learned more in six months, outside 
of what he gathered from books and lectures, 
than he learned in all of his course in the coun 
try medical schools. His poor training has 
condemned him to a mediocre success, when his 
natural ability, with a thorough preparation, 
would have made him a noted physician. 

You cannot afford to carry on your life 
work as an amateur, with improper prepar 
ation. You want to be known as an expert, as 
a man of standing, a man who would be looked 



12 SELLING THINGS 

up to as an authority, a specialist in his line. 
To enter on your life work indifferently pre 
pared, half trained, would be like a man going 
into business without even a common school 
education, knowing nothing about figures. 
No matter how naturally able such a man might 
be, people would take advantage of his igno 
rance. He would be at the mercy of his 
bookkeeper and other employees, and of un 
scrupulous business men. And if he should 
try to make up for his lack of early training 
or education, he must do it at a great cost in 
time and energy. 

Successful salesmanship of the highest order 
requires not only a fine special training, but 
also a good education and a keen insight into 
human nature ; it also requires resourcefulness, 
inventiveness and originality. In fact, a sales 
man who would become a giant in his line, 
must combine with the art of salesmanship a 
number of the highest intellectual qualities. 

Yet in salesmanship, as in every other voca 
tion, there is not one qualification needed that 
can not be cultivated by any youth of average 
ability and intelligence. Success in it, as in 
every other business and profession, is merely 



TRAINING THE SALESMAN 13 

the triumph of the common virtues and ordi 
nary ability. 

In salesmanship, as in war, there is offensive 
and defensive. The trained salesman knows 
how to attack, and he knows how to defend 
himself when he is attacked. Everything con 
tained within the covers of this book has for its 
object the most effective offensive and defen 
sive methods in selling. 



CHAPTER III 

THE MOST IMPORTANT SUBJECTS OF STUDY 

"Salesmanship is knowing yourself, your company, your 
prospect and your product, and applying your knowledge." 

The qualities which make a great business man also enter 
into the making of a great salesman. 

Salesmanship is fast becoming a profession, and only the 
salesman who is superbly equipped can hope to win out in any 
large way. 

DIFFERENT authorities agree pretty much 
on the subjects which must be studied or 
understood in the making of good salesmen, 
although they classify in somewhat different 
ways the headings under which salesmanship 
should be studied. 

Mr. Arthur F. Sheldon, for instance, in his 
able Course, has divided the knowledge per 
taining to scientific salesmanship under four 
heads: 1, The Salesman; 2, The Goods; 3, 
The Customer; 4, The Sale. The "Drygoods 
Economist" has some excellent courses on 
salesmanship, in which they use almost this 

14 



MOST IMPORTANT SUBJECTS OP STUDY 15 

identical classification, treating the subject 
under the four general divisions: 1, The Sales 
man; 2, The Goods; 3, The Customer; 4, Ser 
vice. Mr. Charles L. Huff has added to the 
valuable data on salesmanship a book in which 
he gives the following five factors as the head 
ings under which the subject of salesmanship 
should be covered, namely: 1, Price; 2, 
Quality; 3, Service; 4, Friendship; 5, Presen 
tation. 

Every salesman is really teaching the custo 
mer something about the goods. He is, so to 
speak, a teacher of values, or if you prefer, 
"a business missionary." In order to teach 
well he should have these most valuable assets : 
first, right methods of meeting customer; 
second, thorough knowledge of self, of goods, 
of customer and conditions; third, ability to 
meet competition, both real and imaginary; 
fourth, helpful habits; fifth, good powers of 
originating and planning; sixth, a selling talk, 
or something worth while saying; seventh, 
properly developed feelings, which will add 
force to what he says. 

In a brief and helpful course on salesman 
ship "System," a business magazine, gives 



great emphasis to the value of dwelling on five 
buying motives 1, Money; 2, Utility; 3, Cau 
tion ; 4, Pride ; 5, Self-indulgence, or Yielding 
to Weakness. 

If a salesman will keep before his mind 
these five points, and if he appeals to the 
human traits they indicate he will become a 
master in closing deals. 

A great many methods are used to-day for 
rating employees, just as Dun and Bradstreet 
rate firms. According to Roger W. Babson, 
there is a Mr. Horner, of Minneapolis, who 
rates his salesmen and trains them along these 
lines: 

HABITS OF WORK 

1. Idealism 

a. Understanding of business 



2. Intelligence b> Selectin S P olic r to suit a S e and 

condition of applicant 

c. Self-culture. 

3. Hopefulness 

4. Optimism 

fa. To clients 

5. Uniform courtesy -I b. To office force 

[c. To fellow agents 

6. Number of daily inter 

views 

7. Concentration or eifectiveness of work, as to waste of time 

or energy. 



MOST IMPORTANT SUBJECTS OF STUDY 17 

fa. To company 

8. Loyalty -| b. To organization 

[c. To fellow agents 

9. Attention to old policy 

holders 
10. Enthusiasm. 

A final and very vital point to consider is 
this: Why do salesmen meet opposition? 

Mr. Huff, in his very practical and interest 
ing book on salesmanship, has classified under 
six general heads the causes of opposition. 
These are: First, Prior Dissatisfaction; Sec 
ond, General Prejudice; Third, Buyer's Mood; 
Fourth, Conservatism; Fifth, Bad Business; 
Sixth, Personal Dislike for Salesman. 

It is up to the salesman to analyze the cus 
tomer and decide just which of these six points 
of opposition is causing him to lose business. 

Just in the degree that he can locate the 
exact trouble, and then overcome it in the 
proper way, will he be able to get the busi 
ness which may seem at first absolutely beyond 
him. 

Any or all of these six causes of opposition 
will not overwhelm the master salesman, but 
the mediocre or indifferent salesman is bound 
to collapse when confronted with any one of 



18 SELLING THINGS 

them. And if he does not train himself to 
meet and overcome opposition he is doomed 
to failure, or at least to a very poor grade of 
success not worthy the name. 

Remember, Mr. Salesman, it is always up to 
you. Develop your brain power, and then use 
that power for all it is worth. 



CHAPTER IV 

MAKING A FAVORABLE IMPRESSION 

Go boldly; go serenely, go augustly; 
Who can withstand thee then! 

BROWNING. 

The personality of a salesman is his greatest asset. 

A WASHINGTON government official called 
on me some time ago, and before he had 
reached my desk I knew he was a man of im 
portance, on an important mission. He had 
that assured bearing which indicated that he 
was backed by authority in this instance the 
authority of the United States and the dig 
nity of his bearing and manner commanded 
my instant respect and attention. 

The impression you make as you enter a 
prospect's office will greatly influence the 
manner of your reception. It is imperative 
to make a favorable first impression, otherwise 
you will have to spend much valuable time and 
energy and suffer a great deal of embarrass 
ment in trying to right yourself in your pros- 

19 



20 SELLING THINGS 

pect's estimation, because he will not do busi 
ness with you until you have made a favorable 
impression on him. 

Some salesmen approach their prospect 
with such an apologetic, cringing, "excuse me 
for taking up your valuable time" air, that 
they give him the idea they are not on a very 
important mission, and that they are not sure 
of themselves, that they have not much confi 
dence in the firm they represent or the mer 
chandise they are trying to sell. 

Approach the one with whom you expect to 
do business like a man, without any doubts, 
without any earmarks of a cringing, crawling 
or craven disposition. Enter his office as the 
Washington official entered mine, like a high- 
class man meeting a high-class man. You 
will compel attention and respect instantly, as 
he did. 

Your introduction is an entering wedge, 
your first chance to score a point. If you 
present a pleasing picture as you enter you 
will score a strong point. Here is where you 
must choose the golden mean between cring 
ing knd over-boldness. If you approach a 
man with your hat on, and a cigar or cigarette 



MAKING A FAVORABLE IMPEESSXOW 21 

in your mouth, or still smoking in your fingers ; 
if your breath smells of liquor; if you show 
that you are not up to physical standard; if 
there is any evidence of dissipation in your 
appearance; if you swagger or show any lack 
of respect, all these things will count against 
you. If you present an unpleasing picture, 
if there is anything about you which your 
prospect does not like; if you bluster, or if 
you lack dignity; if you do not look him 
straight in the eye ; if there is any evidence of 
doubt or fear or lack of confidence in yourself, 
you will at once arouse a prejudice in his mind 
that will cause him to doubt the story you tell 
and to look with suspicion at the goods you are 
trying to sell. 

A salesman once entered a business man's 
office holding a toothpick in his mouth. You 
may think it was a little thing, but it so preju 
diced the would-be customer against him at 
the start that it made it much more difficult for 
him even to get a chance to show his samples. 
The business man in question was very partic 
ular in regard to little points of manners, and 
was himself a model of deportment. 

I know of another salesman who makes a 



22 SELLING THINGS 

most unfortunate first impression because he 
has no presence whatever, not a particle of 
dignity; he is timid and morbidly self-con 
scious, and it takes him some minutes after he 
has met a stranger to regain his self-posses 
sion. To those who know him he is a kindly 
and genuinely lovable man, but he does not 
appear to advantage at a first introduction. 
He is a college graduate, and was so popular 
and stood so high in his class that he was pro 
posed to represent it at commencement. He 
was defeated, however, on the plea that he 
would make such a bad impression on the pub 
lic that he would not properly represent the 
class. 

Self-possession is an indispensable quality 
in a salesman. It is natural to the man who 
has confidence in himself, and without self- 
confidence it is hard to make a dignified ap 
pearance or to make others believe in you. 

What you think of yourself will have a 
great deal to do with what a prospect will 
think of you, because you will radiate your 
estimate of yourself. If you have a little 
seven-by-nine model of a man in your mind you 
will etch that picture on the mind of your pros- 



MAKING A FAVORABLE IMPRESSION 23 

pect. In approaching a prospect, walk, talk 
and act not only like a man who believes in 
himself, but one who also believes in and thor 
oughly knows his business. When a physician 
is called into a home in an emergency, no mat 
ter how able a man may be at the head of the 
house, no matter how well educated the mother 
and children may be, everybody stands aside 
when he enters. They feel that the doctor is 
the master of the situation, that he alone knows 
what to do, and they all defer to him. Every 
body follows his directions implicitly. 

You should approach a possible customer 
with something of this professional air, an air 
of supreme assurance, of confidence in your 
ability, in your honesty and integrity, confi 
dence in your knowledge of your business. 
Your professional dignity alone will help to 
make a good impression, and will win courtesy. 
It will insure you at least a respectful hearing, 
and there is your chance to play your part in 
a masterful manner. 

A publisher who has a large number of book 
agents in the field, advises his men to act, when 
the servant answers the door bell, as though 
they were expected and welcome. He tells 



24 SELLING THINGS 

them, if it is raining to take off their rubbers, 
if it is muddy or dusty to wipe off their shoes 
and act as though they expected to go in. 

The idea is to make a favorable impression 
upon the servant first of all, for if they were 
to behave as though they were not sure they 
would be admitted, apologizing for making 
so much trouble and assuming the attitude of 
asking a favor, they would communicate their 
doubt to the servant, and would not be likely 
to gain admittance, not to speak of an audi 
ence with the mistress. In short, the carry 
ing of a positive, victorious mental attitude, 
the radiating of a vigorous expectation of 
getting a hearing will get you one. 

The agent who rings a door bell with a pal 
pitating heart, with a great big doubt in his 
mind as to whether he ought to do it, and who, 
when the door is opened, acts as though he were 
stealing somebody's valuable time, and had no 
right to be there at all, will create a prejudice 
against him before he opens his mouth. And 
before he gets a chance to plead his cause he 
will probably find the door closed in his face. 

You should seek admission to a house as 
though you were the bearer of glad tidings, as 



MAKING A FAVORABLE IMPRESSION 25 

though you had good news for the family, as 
though you were conferring a real favor on 
them by calling their attention to what you 
have to sell. 

Whatever you are selling, whether books or 
pianos, hardware or drygoods, your manner 
will largely determine the amount of your 
sales. There are salesmen who approach 
prospective customers just as though they not 
only did not expect an order, but rather ex 
pected, if not to get kicked out, at least a polite 
invitation to get out. 

I was in the office of a business man re 
cently, when a man of this stamp came in and 
crept up to him with a sort of a sheepish ex 
pression on his face, as much as to say, "I know 
I haven't any right here, but I have come in to 
ask for a favor, which I feel sure you won't 
grant." 

"I don't suppose you have an order for me 
to-day, have you?" he said. Of course, the 
man, without a moment's hesitation, said, 
"No." And the salesman crept out as though 
he had almost committed a sin by entering at 
all. 

Now, there is something in every manly man 



26 SELLING THINGS 

which despises this self-depreciating spirit, this 
false self-effacement, this creeping, cringing, 
apologizing attitude, which robs one of all dig 
nity and power. If you approach people as 
though you expected a kick, you are pretty 
sure to get it. It may come in the form of a 
gruff refusal, of a snub, or of a polite invita 
tion to get out, but you are likely to get what 
you invite a rebuff of some kind. 

If you approach a man at all, do it in a 
brave, vigorous, manly way. Do not ruin 
your cause by giving him a contemptible pic 
ture of you at the very outset. At least let 
him see that you are self-respecting, manly, 
that there is nothing of the coward in you. 
Even if he declines to give you an order, com 
pel him to respect you, to admire you for your 
dignified, virile bearing. No one cares to do 
business with a person he cannot help despis 
ing, while a man who creates a favorable im 
pression will at least get a hearing. 

We recently asked a representative of a big 
concern how he managed to do so much busi 
ness with people whom very few salesmen can 
approach. 

"Well," he said, "I will tell you. One 
reason is that I never go to a man as though 



MAKING A FAVORABLE IMPRESSION 27 

I had no right to. I do not creep into his 
office and look as though I expected a kick or 
a rebuff. I walk right straight up to him in 
the most manly and commanding way possi- 
ble, for I am bound to make a good impression 
on him, so that he will remember me pleas 
antly, even if I do not get an order. The 
result is that men who are very difficult to ap 
proach often give me business they refuse to 
others because I am not afraid to approach 
them and to say what I want to say pleasantly, 
without mincing or cringing or apologizing." 

This man says he has little difficulty in 
getting into the private offices of the most 
exclusive business men, presidents of banks, 
great financiers, high officials of railroads and 
other representatives of "big business," and 
that they are his best customers. 

To sum up, your attitude, the spirit you 
radiate, your personality, will have everything 
to do with your salesmanship. The impres 
sion you make will be a tremendous factor in 
your sales. For this reason you should never 
approach a prospect until you feel that you 
are master of the situation. Then you will 
carry the conviction and give the impression of 
mastership, and that is half the battle. 




Talk to the point; talk with reason; talk with force; talk 
with conviction. 

Let your selling talk be direct, natural, and as brief as pos 
sible. 

MUCH has been written on the question of 
a selling talk, and there is no little misun 
derstanding on this all-important subject. 
Every one who has "a story to tell" has what 
may be called "a selling talk"; that is to say, 
a best way of setting forth what he has in his 
mind. Some prefer to call it the "presenta 
tion." A "presentation" may consist of a few 
sentences, or it may consist of a half hour's 
talk. Salesmen in many lines cannot prepare 
a fixed story or address, such as would be 
given by a statesman addressing a legislative 
body, or by a clergyman in a sermon, or by an 
actor giving a monologue, and yet, large num 
bers of salesmen, through failing to have a sim 
ple, clear, carefully worded talk, fail to get a 

28 



SELLING TALK OR "PRESENTATION" 29 

customer interested in their merchandise. 
The question of a selling talk should be left 
to the judgment of the sales manager. He 
will be well qualified, ordinarily, to tell just 
what this should consist of, and, also, when to 
make exceptions to the use of a selling talk. 
Inspiration will not come just when the sales 
man wants it. Many points get lost in the 
convolutions of the brain. Too much or too 
little talk may be indulged in, unless a sales 
man knows just what he is going to say and 
how to say it. Do not be misled, however; 
there are many men who speak poor English, 
and who do not have what would properly be 
called a "selling talk," yet they succeed as 
salesmen. These men do, however, know the 
merits of their goods, and they have a peculiar 
way of putting it up to the customer to judge 
for himself. 

I once saw nearly a thousand dollars' 
worth of underwear sold, with scarcely a word 
spoken. The salesman spread out his goods, 
and the buyer examined them hastily, but 
carefully, and made the selection, simply ask 
ing by what number the goods were known, 
and the price. I saw not long ago, about five 



30 SELLING THINGS 

thousand dollars' worth of furs (muffs and 
neck-pieces) bought, with very few words 
spoken. In both these cases it must be re 
membered that buyers and sellers were well 
known to each other; there was mutual confi 
dence; the houses were reliable, and unsatis 
factory goods would mean loss of future busi 
ness, as well as a return of the goods. 

There are certain main selling points which 
can be selected and should be selected for every 
line of goods. Some of these selling points 
will be more effective with one class of cus 
tomers than with another. Here is where the 
salesman's judgment comes into play. Let 
us take the single example of the white goods 
business. In this line, there are five main 
selling points which I once heard given by 
Charles A. Sherman, of Sherman & Sons, 
leading merchants, of New York. These five 
points are: 

1. Artistic merit of goods, beauty of design, 

etc. ; 

2. Intrinsic value ; 

3. Comparison with rival goods; 

4. Degree of conformity to prevailing 

modes or fashions. 

5. Adaptability to buyers' needs, price, etc. 



SELLING TALK OB "PRESENTATION" 81 

Around these may be woven a brief or a 
lengthy talk, according to the needs and the 
disposition of the customer with whom the 
salesman is talking. Let your selling talk be 
direct, natural, and as brief as possible. 

The presentation of your proposition 
involves, principally, a clear, simple and suit 
able description of your goods. The cleverest 
salesmen arrange the points in a logical order, 
working up from the least importance to the 
strongest. 

Always put the question of price off just as 
long as possible, unless the price is so low that 
this point alone adds much to the other selling 
points, as for instance, setting forth the prices 
in a 5 & 10 cent store, or giving the prices of 
special bargains. 

Be willing to answer all questions and ob 
jections made by your customer, but forestall, 
as far as you can, the objections he is likely to 
make. You can do this by exerting the power 
of a strong personality, especially by showing 
much enthusiasm, which tends to burn up the 
objections a customer is inclined to make. 
No matter how positive or how graphic you 
are in your descriptions, always be natural, 



32 SELLING THINGS 

otherwise your mannerisms will detract from 
the effectiveness of your talk. 

The best authorities consider it a decided 
handicap if the customer "turned you down" 
at the start by a negative answer, or a nega 
tive attitude. When you foresee that the cus 
tomer is about to say, "No," or to turn away, 
strive to keep his mind in the balance until 
you can attract his attention to some new fea 
tures of your goods, or to some old features, in 
a new way. 

The length of time given to a presentation, 
will vary with the goods and with the cus 
tomer. Experience with each particular line, 
and the advice of your sales manager always 
should be followed. 

On the floor of the Stock Exchange there 
is no such thing as a presentation, or the 
getting of favorable attention, in the strict 
interpretation we give to these words. Men 
are there alert to give favorable attention to 
certain securities. They know in advance 
the strong points of these securities, and when 
the right price is quoted the decision to buy 
will come quickly. This holds true in many 
instances where staple goods are offered at 
current prices. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE APPROACH AND EXPRESSION 

No matter how well posted a man may be in the science 
and technique of salesmanship, his actual sales will depend 
very largely upon his personality. 

"THE man or woman wishing to present to 
me a business proposition," said a high class, 
successful merchant, "must have a good 
address and an agreeable manner and appear 
ance, or he will not get a hearing. The reason 
is, it would be impossible for me to see half the 
people who approach me with schemes; there 
fore, I reject without a hearing all those that 
are not presented by people who have an 
agreeable manner and good address. I take 
it for granted that a first-class proposition will 
be presented by a first-class man, and vice 



versa/" 



Whether the customer comes to you, or you 
go to the customer, there are certain very sim 
ple things to keep in mind. The first is the 
important part personality plays in selling. 

33 



34 SELLING THINGS 

The appearance and the manner of a salesman, 
together with the tactful enthusiasm which he 
manifests, and the concentration which he puts 
into his work, all tend to inspire confidence. 
The salesman must consider his customer's 
business, and sometimes his social position. 
The temperament, also, of the customer, as 
well as the best time and place to see him, must 
be taken into consideration. One of the 
things so often neglected by salesmen is to 
get points of contact from the surroundings, 
such as pictures on the wall, books and papers 
on the desk, as well as from the prospect's 
attire. Keep in mind these four aids to a 
right approach: 

First: Entertain a feeling of equality with 
your customer. 

Second: Remember that you have a favor 
to bestow. Assume the role of a benefactor. 

Third: Show friendliness. There should 
be the heart-touch in every real approach. 

Fourth: Be observing. Look for sugges 
tions in your surroundings, for a point of con 
tact. 

We express ourselves not only through the 
words we utter, but by the tone of the voice, 



THE APPROACH AND EXPRESSION 35 

the expression of the face, our gestures, and 
our bearing. All five of these elements should 
be carefully considered, because the salesman 
who would have the greatest success not only 
must be understood, but he must be felt. It 
is important to be clear and forceful in our 
language, and for this purpose a thorough 
knowledge of English grammar and rhetoric 
will aid the salesman. 

The accompanying chart should prove help 
ful. 

EXPRESSION 

"When all is said and done, it is the choice and use of 
words that determines whether or not we succeed in expressing 
our thoughts and feelings clearly and adequately." "Manual 
of Composition and Rhetoric," by Gardiner, Kittredge and 
Arnold. 

The five elements affecting expression of ideas are: 

rRich, 
I Refined, 
1. Voice -JDeep, 

{Modulated, 
Full, distinct articulation. 
Before sale, 
During " 
After " 



fin talking, 
M 



3. Gestures^ " displaying samples, 

I " presenting reading matter or contracts. 

4. Facial expression. 



36 



SELLING THINGS 



5. Language -< 



simple 
Diction . 
suitable 



simple 
Style 
suitable 



a. Purity 



b. Precision 



Violated by 

1. Slang; 

2. Obsolete words; 

3. Provincialisms; 

4. Foreign words; 

5. Newly coined words. 

Results from 

1. Thorough knowledge 

of subject; 

2. Extensive vocabulary ; 

3. Power to discrimin 
ate; 

4t. Use of specific for 
general, or general 
for specific term, as 
idea requires. 
One idea at a time; 
j Stick to subject. 
rHave clear ideas and use 

appropriate words. 

b. Clearness JUse good grammar. 
Beware of technical 
words. 

Results from brevity, 
clearness, directness 
and judicious use of 
figurative language, 
d. Elegance fSmooth, euphonious 

or ^ speech; Alliteration. 
Harmony Read best authors. 



a. Unity 



c. Energy or 
Force 



CHAPTER VII 

THE ABILITY TO TALK WELL 

"Words have worth, only when properly expressed." 

It is the conquest, the conquest of the heart, by words that 
speak kindliness and assure confidence, which distinguishes the 
prosperous salesman, justly proud and progressive. 

HENRY FRANK. 

MANY a man with a good brain fails as a 
salesman, or remains a mediocre one, because 
he has never learned to express himself with 
ease and fluency. A lame, hesitating, poverty- 
stricken speech is fatal. 

The ability to talk well is to a man what 
cutting and polishing are to the rough dia 
mond. The grinding does not add anything 
to the diamond. It merely reveals its wealth. 

It is an excellent thing to cultivate readiness 
in conversation, for this will incidentally 
develop other powers. 

Every salesman should have a good broad 
working vocabulary. To hesitate and feel 
one's way for words in trying to make a sale 

37 



88 SELLING THINGS 

is fatal. The salesman must express himself 
easily, clearly, and forcefully, otherwise he 
will be placed at a certain disadvantage. He 
must be not only a fluent talker, but also a 
convincing one. 

The ability to talk well is a great aid to suc 
cess in any line of endeavor, but if our heads 
are empty, mere facility in words will not help 
us much. Not "words, words, words," but 
"points, points, points" win. This is es 
pecially true in salesmanship. 

A good salesman should be well read on gen 
eral topics as well as in his special line. There 
is no other way in which a person will reveal a 
shallow or a full mind, a narrow or a broad 
one, a well-read or a poverty-stricken men 
tality so quickly as in his speech. 

To be a good conversationalist, able to in 
terest people, to rivet their attention, to draw 
them to you naturally, is to be the possessor of 
a very great and valuable accomplishment. 
It not only helps you to make a good impres 
sion upon strangers, it also helps you to make 
and keep friends. It opens doors and softens 
hearts. It makes you interesting in all sorts 
of company. It helps you marvelously to get 



THE ABILITY TO TALK WELL 39 

on in the world. It sends you customers, it 
attracts business. 

It is a deplorable fact that indifference of 
speech is one of the characteristics of the 
American people. We are not only poor con 
versationalists, but we are poor listeners as 
well. We are too impatient to listen. In 
stead of being attentive and eager to drink in 
the story or the information, we have not 
enough respect for the talker to keep quiet. 
We look about impatiently, perhaps snap our 
watch, play a tattoo with our fingers on a chair 
or a table, twitch about as if we were bored and 
were anxious to get away, and frequently inter 
rupt the speaker before he reaches his conclu 
sion. In fact, we are such an impatient people 
that we have no time for anything except to 
push ahead, to elbow our way through the 
crowd, to get the position or the money we de 
sire. 

Poor conversationalists excuse themselves 
for not trying to improve by saying that "good 
talkers are born, not made." We might as 
well say that good lawyers, good physicians, 
good merchants or good salesmen are born, not 
made. None of these would ever get very far 



40 SELLING THINGS 

without hard work. This is the price of all 
achievement that is of value. 

To be a good talker one must be a good 
observer, a good listener, a good reader, a good 
thinker, arid a clear speaker. It will not do 
to mumble or to slur over your words. You 
should speak distinctly, plainly, and not too 
rapidly. Don't talk like a drone or a parrot. 
Put force, thought and feeling into your 
words ; fill them full of meaning, so that people 
will want to hear what you say. 

You know what an impression a great 
orator makes upon an audience when he 
measures his words and sends them out with 
deliberation, with feeling and force. They 
are infinitely more impressive than the excited, 
impassioned shouting, which comes from an 
over-wrought mind. 

Readiness in conversation is largely a matter 
of practice. But the voice, especially the 
American voice, needs to be trained. 

There is nothing more disagreeable than a 
harsh, discordant voice, unless it be the high- 
pitched, nasal intonation so characteristic of 
our people, or the whine which is frequently 
heard from those who are narrow-minded and 



THE ABILITY TO TALK WELL, 41 

discontented. A low, clear, well-modulated 
voice indicates refinement and should be care 
fully cultivated by the salesman who wishes to 
express himself forcefully. 

It is very difficult to convince a prospect 
that he should buy your merchandise when you 
are pleading your cause either in high-pitched, 
sharp, shrill tones, or in mumbling or nasal 
ones which have no magnetism, no attractive 
ness in them. 

A clear, deep, melodious voice tends to 
unlock minds and to win confidence, while a 
harsh, shrill, discordant voice antagonizes us. 

The ability to talk well, to interest and hold 
others, increases our self-respect, our confi 
dence, and gains us a ready entrance to places 
from which we would otherwise be excluded. 
If you expect to be a first-class salesman, a man 
of power in any line of endeavor you should 
cultivate your voice and practice the art of con 
versation. 



CHAPTER VIII 

HOW TO GET ATTENTION 

You must interest your customer before you can hope to in 
fluence him. 

"Shape your argument in harmony with conditions; don't 
try to force a square block into a round hole." 

THERE are three principal ways in which to 
get the favorable attention of a prospect; the 
first is "affording pleasure;" the second, "ex 
citing admiration," and the third, "arousing 
curiosity." As often as possible we should 
combine all three. 

If our words and our expression radiate 
genuine, cheerful good-will, then the customer 
is pleased to meet us. We can cause him to 
be still more pleased, if we praise, in a very 
tactful way, some of the good qualities which 
we quickly observe in him. 

Our appearance, from head to foot, is what 
causes admiration. We should always be well 
groomed; hair properly cut and carefully 
arranged; teeth well cared for; eyes bright; 

42 



How TO GET ATTENTION 48 

linen immaculate; clothes well pressed; cuffs 
and collar free from frayed edges. Loud 
colors and loud jewelry always detract from 
the power of the salesman. Heels that are 
not run down, and shoes that are well polished, 
are final factors to consider. 

We arouse a customer's curiosity by asking 
him suitable questions. It is a good idea to 
prepare him for the kind of an answer you 
expect, by some positive suggestion, before 
you ask the question. For instance, a man 
who wishes to sell a beautiful piece of jewelry 
can say: "I consider this a very beautiful 
stone, which has been set most artistically." 
Then he can say to the customer; "What do 
you think of that jewel?" Invariably, the 
customer will tend to agree with him, and this 
helps to get their minds together. 

The late Elbert Hubbard used to say that 
he always began an advertisement with the 
statement of an incontrovertible fact. The 
public read it and agreed. It could give rise 
to no antagonistic or opposing train of 
thought. It established a coordinate bond be 
tween the writer of the ad. and the reader. 
Then Hubbard followed with statements con- 



44 SELLING THINGS 

cerning the article advertised. With these 
the reader might not agree, but at least he 
started reading the ad. in a friendly spirit. 

Remember this: it is never best to begin to 
talk much about your goods until you have 
secured real attention, not simply a civil atten 
tion, for courtesy's sake, but the genuine 
thing. Real attention is "a thought spiller 
and a thought filler." The customer "spills" 
his thoughts, and "fills" in the salesman's 
thoughts. 

Some salesmen have found it a big advan 
tage to get the customer to do some little thing 
for them, such as holding a sample, loaning a 
pencil, getting a piece of paper on which to 
figure, etc. Requests for favors of this kind, 
however, must be made in a tactful way. The 
idea back of this ingenious method is to start 
the will of the customer acting according to 
the salesmen's will. 

If the moment seems favorable you should 
take the order at once and dispense with all 
salesman's art; but after taking the order, 
proceed to strengthen the customer in his de 
cision by calling attention to certain strong 
points of merit in your goods, and certain 



How TO GET ATTENTION 45 

strong reasons which you believe will make the 
customer glad he has made his purchase. Be 
careful, however, to avoid over-talking. This 
is a blunder that has cost many a man dear. 

The art of a salesman shows itself in his 
ability to focus his energies quickly and to size 
up his prospect in many respects at a glance. 
He must see what kind of a temperament he 
has to deal with. He must know what to do 
and what to say to each particular man. 
Before entering a strange office he has no idea 
what sort of a man will confront him, whether 
one who is fat or lean, of a nervous or a 
phlegmatic temperament, whether vigorous or 
in delicate health, whether a thin-skirmed, sen 
sitive man or one of a coarse type with a rhi 
noceros hide. 

In calling on regular customers, the sales 
man must be alert for passing whims that 
modify their disposition. He must take in a 
man's mood at a glance. If he is in a bad 
mood, he cannot approach him as if he were 
in a happy mood, as though he had just had 
some good news. He must be able to tell by 
his appearance whether he is pleased because 
business is booming, or whether he is dis- 



46 SELLING THINGS 

gruntled, his mind clouded either by business 
or domestic troubles. In fact, a salesman 
must be able to recognize quickly and deal 
adequately with all sorts of men and moods, 
and business conditions, or he will fail at the 
start to get the sort of attention on which his 
sales depend. 



CHAPTER IX 

TACT AS A FRIEND-WINNER AND BUSINESS- 
GETTER 

Tact eases the jolts, oils the bearings, opens doors barred 
to others, sits in the drawing-room when others wait in the 
reception hall, gets into the private office when others are 
turned down. 

Whether you get an order or not, leave a good taste in 
your prospect's mouth so that he will always have a pleasant 
recollection of you. 

SOME time ago a man and his wife went into 
a large store in an eastern city to buy a chan 
delier. The man, in a rather querulous tone, 
asked to be shown a Renaissance chandelier. 
"Now, be sure," he said to the salesman, "to 
show me a real Renaissance, small and not 
too expensive." The salesman perceived he 
had a difficult customer to deal with, but one 
who appeared to have a fixed idea in mind. 
Being extremely tactful, he knew his first task 
was to humor his customer, and then try to find 
out exactly what type of fixture had been pic 
tured in his mind. By cordiality and an ex- 

47 



48 SELLING THINGS 

change of remarks on general subjects, the 
salesman eased the man's mind, and by skill 
ful questions found out exactly what sort of 
chandelier he wanted. Then he expressed 
himself pleased at having a customer with 
clear ideas about the sort of article he wished, 
as it made it so much easier for the salesman 
to suit him. 

Only tact could ever have won over that 
man and satisfied his whim. 

Blessed are they who possess tact! Let 
them rejoice and be glad in the possession of 
an inestimable gift, and let those who have it 
not bend all their energies to its acquisition. 

Tact is one of the greatest aids to success 
in life. As a friend-winner and business- 
getter it is invaluable. One prominent busi 
ness man puts tact at the head of the list in his 
success recipe, the other three things being; 
enthusiasm, knowledge of business, dress. 

I know a man who solicits subscriptions for 
a periodical, who has such an exquisite way of 
ingratiating himself into others' favor that he 
gets nine subscriptions, on an average, out of 
every ten people he solicits. His tactful 
approach has won you over before you realize 



TACT AS A BUSINESS-GETTER 49 

it, and it is much harder for you to refuse even 
the thing you do not want than to take it. 

Tact enables you to pass sentinels, gates and 
bars, gain an entrance to the very sanctum 
sanctorum where the tactless man never enters. 
Tact gets a hearing where genius cannot ; it is 
admitted when talent is denied; it is listened 
to when ability without it cannot get a hearing. 

As "every fish has its fly," so every person 
can be reached, no matter how odd, peculiar 
or cranky by the one who has tact enough to 
touch him in the right place. 

What is this miracle worker called Tact? 

Tact is variously defined as "Peculiar skill 
or adroitness in doing or saying exactly that 
which is required by or is suited to the circum 
stances"; "It is the gift of bringing into 
action all the mental powers in the nick of 
time" ; "It is a combination of quickness, firm 
ness, readiness, good-nature and facility." 
Webster's dictionary gets at the kernel of this 
wonderful quality. Tact, it says, is "adroit 
ness in managing the feelings of persons dealt 
with; nice perception in seeing and doing 
exactly what is best in the circumstances." 

It is in "managing the feelings" of his cus- 



50 SELLING THINGS 

tomer that the tactful man scores his strongest 
point. It is in sensing his moods, in being able 
to put himself in his place that he is always 
equal to the situation, that he always exercises 
that "nice perception in seeing and doing 
exactly what is best in the circumstances." 

One of the best means of acquiring a tactful 
manner is to try to put yourself in your pros 
pect's place, and then act toward him as you 
would like to have some one act toward you in 
like circumstances. 

You are very busy, troubled about a lot of 
things. You may be short of capital, you may 
have big notes coming due, business may be 
dull, many things may have been going wrong 
with you. You may have come to your office 
upset by domestic troubles, you may not feel 
well, however well you look. Perhaps yester 
day was broken up by all sorts of interrup 
tions. You started out this morning resolved 
to do a splendid day's work, and hoping that 
you would not be bothered with callers. Per 
haps you do not feel like talking business. You 
may have a lot of things on your mind which 
are perplexing you, hard problems to solve; 
the reports of business put on your desk this 



TACT AS A BUSINESS-GETTER 51 

morning may have been anything but encour 
aging. 

In fact, you feel "out of sorts" and wish you 
did not have to see anybody all day. You are 
longing for a little time to yourself to think 
things over, to get your bearings, when in 
comes a salesman's card. You do not want 
to see him and would give most anything to 
get rid of him, although there may be a possi 
bility that he has something that you would 
like, but you do not want to see him at that 
particular time. 

"Why couldn't the man have come some 
other time?" you ask yourself. Against your 
will you say: "Well, tell him to come in." 
You feel grouchy, grumpy, you do not even 
feel like greeting him pleasantly, and you 
growl out a "good morning." 

The salesman sits down. Your whole mind 
is braced against him. You do not care to see 
him, to talk with him. Everybody braces 
against a salesman. He is usually put in an 
unfortunate position. Instead of trying to 
make it easy for your visitor you make it hard 
for him. You make no concession if you can 
help it. You make him fight every inch of his 
way for your favor. 



52 SELLING THINGS 

The tactful salesman sees your mood at 
once, and he knows he has a hard fight ahead of 
him ; he has to win you over inch by inch. You 
begin to make all sorts of excuses; you do not 
need new stock at present, business has been 
dull, your shelves are loaded down with goods, 
and you tell him that times are bad, the out 
look is anything but promising. He does not 
oppose or contradict you. On the contrary, 
he sympathizes with you; he is patient, cour 
teous, affable, but all the time he is trying to 
get the thin edge of his wedge into your mind. 
He knows what would win him over if he were 
in such a mood; his wife or mother probably 
knows. He has to be won over; force, argu 
ment, reason, logic will not do it, only tact will 
do the trick. 

If you have made a study of human nature, 
learned to size up people quickly, you will sense 
a prospect's mood, even though he should try 
to conceal it, and you will have no difficulty in 
imagining yourself in his place. He has the 
same human qualities and the same fundamen 
tal passions as yourself. You must always 
be ready to pour oil on his wounds, not vine 
gar. 



TACT AS A BUSINESS-GETTER 58 

A salesman must not only use all his re 
sourcefulness in business logic, but he must 
bring into play all his powers of pleasing. He 
should always come to his customers in a 
cheerful mood. No matter how upset he feels ; 
no matter what unfortunate news he has had 
in the morning's mail about his sick wife, or 
the children lying almost at death's door, he 
must not show any sign of his troubles. A 
salesman may be in just as unfortunate a 
plight as his customer is, and even worse, yet 
he is forced to hide his feelings, and must try 
to "make good" under all circumstances. 

The tactful salesman is "all things to all 
men." Not that he is deceitful or insincere, 
but he understands different temperaments, 
different dispositions, different moods, and 
readily adapts himself to all. He keeps his 
finger on the mental pulse of his prospect, and 
keeps track of his mental attitude. He knows, 
for instance, that the moment a prospect shows 
signs of being bored the salesman should quit, 
and try later, or otherwise he will prejudice 
his case fatally, so that the next time he calls 
this bored suggestion will come to the mind of 
the prospect, who will refuse to see him. 



54 SELLING THINGS 

> L _ 

I was recently talking with a man who said 
that a salesman who did not know his business 
had just taken a half hour of his valuable time, 
trying to sell him a bill of goods that he really 
did not want. He said the man did not know 
enough to see that he was making no impres 
sion, that he was not convincing him. And 
although he took out his watch several times, 
turned around nervously in his chair, kept 
taking up letters from his desk, making all 
sorts of hints and suggestions for the salesman 
to get out, yet he still kept on trying to make a 
sale. The only redeeming quality about him, 
he said, was his persistency. 

Now, ill-timed persistency is simply lack of 
tact ; there is nothing praiseworthy in it. You 
should be able to tell by the look in your pros 
pect's eye whether you are really interesting 
him or not, and if you are not you cannot con 
vince him that he needs what you have to sell. 

Getting solid with a prospect, making a fa 
vorable impression upon him, unlocking his 
mind, is very much like making love to a girl. 
You cannot browbeat, you cannot be arbitrary 
or disagreeable; only the gentle, attractive, 
tactful methods will win. The least little slip 



TACT AS A BUSINESS-GETTER 55 

on your part may close the door forever. No 
force will answer, it is all a matter of attrac 
tion and conviction. No level-headed man is 
going to buy until he is convinced, and tact is 
the most powerful convincer in the world. 

Tact is never offensive. It is always a 
balm, allaying suspicion, and soothing and 
pleasing. It is appreciative. It is plausible 
without being dishonest, apparently consults 
the welfare of the second party and does not 
manifest any selfishness. It is never antago 
nistic; it never opposes, never strokes the fur 
the wrong way, and never irritates. 

Little seven-by-nine salesmen are constantly 
putting stumbling blocks in their own path. 
They are always "putting their foot in it." 
They persist when persistency is ill timed. 
They make some unfortunate remark or 
allusion. They are not good students of 
human nature; they put up a poor sort of an 
argument, the same sort of talk to every man, 
to men of different prejudices, different ages, 
different dispositions. In other words, they 
are not tactful, and they are all the time trip 
ping themselves up, getting into snarls, and 
making blunders which lose them business. 



56 SELLING THINGS 

Some one says: "The kindly element of 
humor almost always enters into the use of tact, 
and sweetens its mild coercion. We cannot 
help smiling, oftentimes, at the deft way in 
which we have been induced to do what we 
afterwards recognized as altogether right and 
best." There need be no deception in the use 
of tact, only such a presentation of rightful 
inducements as shall most effectively appeal 
to a hesitating mind. 

A public school teacher reproved a little 
eight-year-old Irish boy for some mischief. 
The boy was about to deny the fault when the 
teacher said, "I saw you, Jerry." 'Yes," re 
plied the boy as quick as a flash, "I tells them 
there ain't much you don't see with them purty 
black eyes of yours." The native wit of that 
youngster would make him a good salesman. 
We do not know whether it appeased the 
teacher, but it certainly showed a readiness to 
size up and deal with a delicate situation that 
would have done credit to an older head. 

The following paragraph, in a letter which 
a merchant sent out to his customers, is an 
example of shrewd business tact: 

"We should be thankful for any information 



TACT AS A BUSINESS-GETTER 57 

of any dissatisfaction with any former trans 
actions with us, and we will take immediate 
steps to remedy it." 

Think of the wealthy customers that have 
been driven away from big concerns, by the 
lack of tact on the part of a salesman. A suc 
cessful business man recently told me his ex 
perience in buying a suit of clothes at one of 
the leading clothiers in New York City. "The 
salesman who waited on me," he said, "showed 
me various suits of all colors and styles. He 
did not interest me in any particular one. He 
distracted my attention, being plainly indif 
ferent and showing that he did not care whether 
I bought or not. After spending an hour's 
time, I left the place in disgust. I said to my 
self, 'A house carrying thousands of suits, and 
a good salesman, should certainly sell me one 
suit.' I went to another house. Then the 
purchase became to me more than anything else 
a study of salesmanship, how various salesmen 
handle customers. The salesman at this other 
place gained my confidence right at the start, 
showed me only three suits, interested me in a 
particular one, showed me why I should buy 
that one, and within eighteen minutes' actual 



58 SELLING THINGS 

time I paid the price, and now I am enjoying 
the wearing of that suit." 

This shows how even the best quality of 
merchandise will go back to the shelf unless 
handled by a conscientious, tactful salesman. 

It is true that there are always certain cus 
tomers in every large establishment who are 
very hard to convince. They are suspicious, 
and often very disagreeable and difficult to get 
on with, but their patronage is valuable, and 
every employer prizes the salesman who can 
handle these difficult customers, who can please 
them and send them away friends instead of 
enemies of the house. 

It must be remembered that the real test of 
salesmanship is the ability to handle difficult 
customers. Most people don't realize what is 
best for them to buy ; they can't make up their 
minds without the salesman's help, or they are 
peculiar in their nature and require tactful 
management. 

Many women make a business of going 
about among the department stores, perhaps 
without the slightest idea of buying anything. 
It becomes a sort of fixed habit with them. 
Some of them have a chronic habit of inde- 



TACT AS A BUSINESS-GETTER 59 

cision. They will run about the stores for 
weeks before they make up their minds to buy 
a thing that they need. They are so afraid 
that they will see something cheaper and much 
better suited to their needs after they have 
purchased that they postpone purchasing as 
long as possible. If they want a pair of shoes, 
a dress, a hat, or some other article, they will 
go round all the stores in town looking, or 
"shopping," as they call it, before they buy. 

I know of a very clever saleswoman in a big 
store who has marvelous skill and tact in ap 
proaching these "lookers" or "shoppers" and 
turning them into customers. She begins by 
asking if the lady has been waited upon, and 
if there is anything she can do for her? With 
a pleasant smile, in a very sweet voice, she gets 
into conversation with her, and before the 
habitual "looker" realizes it she has become a 
purchaser. 

To know what to do, what to say, at just the 
right moment is capital a thousand times more 
valuable than money capital, for a man with 
rare tact will start in business without a dollar 
and make a greater success than the tactless 
man who starts with a fortune. How many 



60 SELLING THINGS 

people in this country to-day owe their success 
and fortune more to the possession of tact than 
to ability? Tact will distance ability without 
it every time. 

A man who with a party of friends had been 
fishing a long time became quite disgusted be 
cause he did not get a bite when everybody else 
was pulling in the speckled trout. After 
awhile he discovered that he had no bait on his 
hook. He might have been fishing there yet 
and never have had a bite. 

Everywhere in society and in the busi 
ness world we find men fishing with bait- 
less hooks. They have no use for people 
with fine manners. They are gruff, un 
couth. They do not believe in catering to 
the feelings of others. They have never 
learned the art of baiting things. They call a 
spade a spade. They have no use for frills, 
for decorations. They believe in striking out 
straight from the shoulder every time, no mat 
ter what the conditions. 

Many tactless people go through life trailing 
bare hooks and they wonder why the fish do not 
bite. They do not know how to adjust them 
selves to conditions. They are misfits. They 



TACT AS A BUSINESS-GETTER 61 

appear to have been fitted for some rougher 
sphere and to have been dropped by accident 
to the earth amid conditions totally unsuited 
to them. 

The tactless salesman is a misfit. He must 
either learn how to bait his hook properly, or 
else go into some other business for which he is 
better fitted. 



CHAPTER X 

SIZING UP THE PROSPECT 

The art of all arts for the leader is his ability to measure 
men, to weigh them, to "size them up." 

A GREAT authority on salesmanship said: 
"Any one can call upon a prospective buyer 
and go away without an order." It is up to 
the salesman to get what he goes after. If he 
knows how to size people up readily, he will 
be far more likely to get what he goes after 
than the man who can not do this. The ability 
to read people at sight is a great business asset, 

Marshall Field was an adept in character 
reading. He was always studying his em 
ployees and gauging their possibilities. Noth 
ing escaped his keen eye. Even when those 
about him did not know that he was thinking 
of them, he was taking their measure at every 
opportunity. His ability to place men, to 
weigh and measure them, to detect almost at 
a glance their weak and their strong points, 
amounted to genius. 

62 



If General Grant had had the same ability 
to read politicians and to estimate men for gov 
ernment positions that he had for judging of 
military ability, he would have made a great 
President. Unfortunately, he was obliged to 
depend too much upon the advice of friends in 
those matters. The result was that, as Presi 
dent, he did not maintain the high reputation 
he had made as a general. 

The salesman ought to make a study of his 
power of penetration, of his character-reading 
ability. He ought to make it a business to 
studv men and the motives which actuate them. 

*> 

To be an expert in reading human nature is 
just as valuable to a salesman as a knowledge 
of law is to a lawyer, or as a knowledge of 
medicine is to a physician. The man who can 
read human nature, who can "size up" a person 
quickly, who can arrive at an accurate estimate 
of character, no matter what his vocation or 
profession, has a great advantage over others. 

The ability to read human nature is a culti- 
vatable quality, and we have a great oppor 
tunity in this country, with its conglomerate 
population, to study the various types of char 
acter. It is an education in itself to form the 



64 SELLING THINGS 

habit of measuring, weighing, estimating the 
different people we meet, for in this way \\ 
are improving our own powers of observation, 
sharpening our perceptive faculties, improv 
ing our judgment. 

The salesman who knows anything about 
human nature, for instance, doesn't need to be 
told it won't do to approach a big business man, 
the head of a great establishment, as one would 
approach a small dealer. He will follow a 
different method with each, according to their 
different standing and temperament. 

No two mentalities are exactly alike, and 
you must approach each one through the 
avenue of the least resistance. One man you 
can approach through his fads. If he is 
passionately fond of music or crazy about golf ; 
or if he is a connoisseur in art, in sculpture, or 
in any other line, this may give you a hint as to 
the right line of approach. 

If you see by a man's head and face that he 
has a strong mentality, that he is, perhaps, 
"from Missouri," you must approach him 
through argument, through reason. You can 
not approach him in the same way you 
would an impressionable, fat, jolly-natured 



SIZING UP THE PROSPECT 65 

man. Then the man who is selfish, dom 
ineering, imperious, who thinks he knows 
it all, the man to whom you never can tell any 
thing, must be handled in quite a different 
manner from any of these. 

Some men will take a joke, others will con 
sider it an impertinence. One man is only con 
vinced by logical argument; another by the 
judicious use of flattery. The frigid mental 
temperament will not respond to pleasantry; 
nothing but cold logic will appeal to him; the 
expansive, good-natured man is often reached 
through his fad or hobby. Sometimes you 
get a point of contact with your prospective 
customer by finding that you belong to the 
same lodge. Of course, it is always a good 
thing to find out as much as possible about a 
man before you call on him. Such knowledge 
often gives a great advantage in sizing him up 
properly. 

If you are a good reader of character, how 
ever, you get at a glance an impression of your 
prospect that is fairly reliable. You can tell 
whether you are facing a little, weazened, 
dried-up soul, a man who is stingy, selfish, 
grasping, or whether he is a man of generous 



66 SELLING THINGS 

impulses, magnanimous, open-minded, kind- 
hearted. You can tell whether he is good- 
natured, jolly; whether it will do to crack 
a joke with him, or whether he is austere 
and stern; whether you can approach him 
in an easy, friendly manner, or whether 
you must keep your distance and approach 
him with a proper sense of his dignity and 
importance. Even if your prospect only 
assumes a stiff, stand-off demeanor you must 
treat him as though it were perfectly natural, 
otherwise he will be offended. 

In sizing up a man the first thing to do 
is to make up your mind what kind of a heart 
he has. If you conclude that he has a good 
heart, and that he is honest and above board, 
even though he may be cold in appearance, and 
may prove a bit close-fisted, you will stand a 
much better chance in doing business with him 
than you would with a man with small shifty 
eyes, and the earmarks of shrewd, sharp char 
acteristics apparent in every feature and every 
look. 

You can read a man by his facial expression 
much better than you can by the bumps on his 
head, because the muscles of the face respond 



SIZING UP THE PROSPECT 67 

to the passing thought and reflect the idea, the 
emotion, every phase of the mental state. You 
know how quickly a joke, something funny, is 
expressed in the facial muscles; how quickly 
they respond to any mental state disappoint 
ment, bad news, discouragement, sorrow, 
anger. The muscles of the face, its varying 
expressions, change with the thought. In 
other words, the facial expression indicates the 
condition of a man's mind. By this you can tell 
whether your prospect is in a good or a bad 
humor, whether he is a human icicle, cold, un 
feeling, or a human magnet, tender, kind, 
sympathetic. 

Salesmen who are poor judges of human 
nature, who cannot size people up, often have 
to batter away a long time at a wrong approach 
when, otherwise, they could sail right into a 
man's mind through the right avenue. By 
making head study, face study, man study, an 
art, you can very quickly get your line of 
approach. Then you will not blunder and lose 
time in trying to set yourself right. Many a 
man calls upon a prospective buyer and goes 
away without an order because he didn't know 
how to size him up. He had never studied this 
important side of his business. 



68 SELLING THINGS 

Remember that if you make a wrong 
approach you may have hard work to get a 
hearing at all; your prospect may close his 
mind against you at the start, and you may not 
be able to get into it, no matter how earnestly 
you try, when, if you had approached him 
along the line of least resistance, you could 
have sailed right in. In fact, the man would 
have invited you in. 

Do not be hasty in your judgment or make 
up your mind too quickly in sizing up people. 
Hold your decision in abeyance until you have 
read off the character hieroglyphics written on 
the face and person, and in the manner, for all 
these are significant, and each means some 
thing. In other words, read all the earmarks 
or character labels on a man, get in all the evi 
dence you can before acting on your first quick 
impression, because a great deal depends on 
the accuracy of your judgment. 

Every man's face is a bulletin board; it is 
a program of the performance going on inside, 
and the important thing is to learn to read it 
not only quickly, but accurately. 

The facial expression, the attitude, the man 
ner, the language, the look of the eye, are let- 



SIZING UP THE PROSPECT 69 

ters of the character alphabet which spell out 
the man. Everything that is natural, spon 
taneous, unpremeditated, is indicative of cer 
tain qualities he possesses; and if the man is 
putting on, if he is posing, you can pierce the 
mask of pretense and discount it. 

If you are a good reader of character, after 
a few minutes study you can put together the 
letters of the impressions you have received and 
spell out the sort of a man you have to deal 
with, for he is covered all over with tags visible 
to those who have learned to read them. 

Some people judge character largely by a 
particular feature the mouth, the chin, the 
eye, the nose, etc. Napoleon used to depend 
a great deal upon the size of a man's nose. 
"Give me a man with a big nose," he used to 
say when choosing men for important posi 
tions. A large nose is supposed to indicate 
great force of character. It is said that every 
one resembles in greater or less degree some 
particular animal. Many people base their 
reading of character on this animal clue. 
Look out for the fox face ; beware of the wolf 
face, the bird-of-prey face, for it is believed 
that the man who bears a strong resemblance 



70 SELLING THINGS 

to some animal will also usually have many of 
that animal's characteristics. 

The main point for the salesman is to get 
the right start in approaching the buyer. If 
he makes a close study of human nature he will 
seldom if ever make a mistake in sizing up his 
man. 



CHAPTER XI 

HOW SUGGESTION HELPS IN SELLING 

The ability to influence or induce people to purchase what 
you have to sell is a mental art that will repay cultivation. 

"Salesmanship is the art of selling to the other fellow some 
thing he needs but doesn't know it." 

"A sale is a mental thing. It results from harmonizing cer 
tain mental elements which enter into all common agreements 
between men." 

A SHARP-WITTED lawyer after successfully 
defending a man accused of horse-stealing, 
asked him in confidence, after the trial, if he 
were really guilty. 

"Well, Mister," replied the man, "I thought 
at first I had took the critter, but after listen 
ing to your speech I concluded I hadn't." 

The power of suggestion may be used for 
base and illegitimate ends or for honorable and 
legitimate ones. It is his suggestive power 
which makes the smooth, long-headed pro 
moter dangerous. He uses it to make people 

buy what they do not need, or to palm off on 

71 



72 SELLING THINGS 

them fraudulent or spurious goods. The vic 
tims of these unscrupulous promoters, when 
under the influence of a suggestive anaesthetic, 
will mortgage their homes, their furniture, 
draw their last dollar from the savings-bank, 
borrow every dollar they can, to obtain the 
thing which is made to appear so desirable 
that they cannot see how they can get along 
without it. 

Now, suggestion is just as effective when 
used for a lawful and honorable purpose as for 
an unlawful and dishonorable one. One sales 
man succeeds where others fail, largely because 
of his greater suggestive power. He draws 
such a vivid description of the merchandise he 
is selling, makes it seem so very desirable, that 
his prospect feels he must give him an order. 
The salesman knows he is selling a good thing 
that it is to his customer's advantage to buy. 
The transaction is therefore of mutual benefit 
to both parties, the buyer -as well as the seller. 

Suggestion has been defined as "whatever 
creates or inspires thought." As a science, 
suggestion "shows us how to start and steer 
thought." The five senses are the channels 
which bring us impressions from without. 



How SUGGESTION HELPS IN SELLING 73 

"An act of the will or some association of 
ideas" brings impressions from within; this 
latter is auto-suggestion. 

Suggestion can help you to upbuild and de 
velop yourself, to educate and train yourself 
in spirit, mind, and body. "In building up 
character a man must have spiritual and moral 
backing." "As a man thinketh in his heart, 
so is he." This is the essence of auto-sugges 
tion,. "Thought is a creative force." It is a 
"motive, impelling, sustaining" force. Hence, 
when auto-suggestion keeps thought "working 
in the right direction" we have a powerful 
backing in all our undertakings. By thinking 
definitely, steadily, and strongly on useful and 
exalted sentiments we come into the realization 
of our thought aspirations. Briefly, we create 
within what we mentally desired steadily and 
intently. Thus we may build our charac 
ter, ever "improving, developing, and adorn 
ing." Suggestion is our "working force." 

"It (suggestion) can also help you to shape 
the desires and direct the will of the customers 
you seek to influence." In the first place, we 
direct the will of our customers by our very 
personality, which has been developed through 



74 SELLING THINGS 

auto-suggestion. Then the various steps of 
attention, interest, desire, and, finally, resolve, 
in the customer, must be induced by sugges 
tion. He must forget himself and his own 
senses, ultimately ; or at least, he must have had 
all his faculties so brought into harmony with 
those of the salesman that he readily accepts 
the salesman's ideas. "If you remember that 
suggestion is merely the working of the sub 
jective mental force," says Mr. Sheldon, "and 
if you consider that the activity of the subjec 
tive mind is in ratio to the strength and depth 
of the suggestion, you have a pretty clear idea 
of the use that may be made of suggestion in 
the progress of a sale." 

I have heard the story of a preacher, in 
Washington, who told his congregation so 
dramatically and so convincingly that all 
humanity was hanging over hell by the single 
thread of a cobweb, that, when the climax was 
reached, one man, a very learned one too, was 
clinging frantically to a pillar. 

The simple study of psychology reveals that 
the activities of the will must be stirred up by 
approaching and capturing the outlying sen 
tinels, namely the intellect and feelings. We 



How SUGGESTION HELPS IN SELLING 75 

get attention through the senses, increase atten 
tion to interest through the intellect, change 
interest to desire through the feelings, and 
finally, in decision we have induced the will to 
act. To be sure, there is no mathematical 
dividing line, no architecturally apparent 
flights of steps ; nevertheless, the true salesman 
is perfectly conscious of the different stages 
of progress of the customer's mind, and he 
leads him easily and naturally from one to the 
other. The importance of this point in selling 
is emphasized by a writer in "Business Philoso 
pher," who says: "It is just as reasonable to 
expect your prospect to reach a favorable de 
cision without first having been brought 
through the three earlier stages attention, in 
terest and desire as to expect water to run up 
hill." 

A sale is a mental process, and depends 
largely upon the quality and the intensity of 
the mental suggestion, and the confidence com 
municated to the would-be purchaser's mind. 

Suggestion is properly used in the conduct 
of a sale when it is unobtrusive, and in no way 
savors of the pompous, swaggering, hypnotic 
methods of the impertinent intruder. Sugges- 



76 SELLING THINGS 

tion should be "honest and well aimed." It 
should help the customer's mind and inspire 
confidence. Suggestions to the customer 
should have for their object "not to overcome 
or dethrone the will, but simply to guide and 
influence it." Hypnotism, consisting in de 
throning a man's will, is "the complete setting 
aside of the objective mind." Every salesman 
should study psychology. He should be able 
to understand the mental laws by which the 
mind of his prospect acts, so as to be able to 
read his mental operations. 

Character is largely made up of suggestion ; 
life is largely based upon it. Salesmanship is 
pretty nearly all suggestion. 

The salesman should always keep in mind 
this great truth, "The greatest art is to con 
ceal art." 

Suggestion, by its very nature, is subtle, if 
rightly used. 

The salesman who has great skill in the use 
of suggestion helps the mind of the customer, 
without making him feel that any influence is 
being exerted. He leads his customer to buy 
after the same method by which Pope suggests 
men should be taught: 



How SUGGESTION HELPS IN SELLING 77 

"Men must be taught as if you taught them not, 
And things unknown proposed as things forgot." 

Let the customer feel that he is buying, not 
that you are selling to him. 

Professor Hugo Miinsterberg, in an article 
on the psychology of salesmanship, said: "If 
the customer knows exactly what he wants, and 
has made up his mind, no suggestion is 
needed." It is then a case of letting well 
enough alone. An ill-timed or negative sug 
gestion may spoil a sale, as in the following in 
stance. 

A farmer once went to town to buy a self- 
binder. He looked at one binder and was so 
well satisfied that he was about to buy it. At 
this point the salesman said: "I'll tell you, 
this binder has given us very little trouble." 

Now, this farmer wasn't looking for a binder 
that was going to give him even a little trouble. 
He had troubles of his own. That one sugges 
tion scared him away. He went out and 
bought a binder from a salesman who said, 
"This binder has given us excellent satisfac 
tion." 

In the offices of a New York business house 
there is a quotation framed, which serves the 



78 SELLING THINGS 

purpose of a very effective suggestion. This 
house is in the paper business, and, naturally, 
they wish to impress upon all buyers the value 
of using good quality paper. Here is the quo 
tation which, I am sure, has suggested to many 
customers the advisability of buying good qual 
ity paper: "A printer recently uttered this 
truth: 'Printing doesn't improve the paper 
any, but, for a certainty, good paper adds con 
siderably to the appearance and worth of print- 

ing."' .... 

Psychology in selling is in reality only a new 
name for the principles which good business 
men, expert salesmen, have used in all times. 
Diplomacy, tact, cheerfulness, the good-will 
habit, and the suggestion of confidence all 
these form an important part of business psy 
chology. 



CHAPTER XII 

THE FORCE OF CHEERFUL EXPECTANCY 

The habit of expecting great things of ourselves, expecting 
the best things to come to us, calls out the best that is in us 
and brings the best to us. 

Anybody can get "no" for an answer. A negative attitude 
attracts a negative response and most people become nega 
tive without realizing it. 

If I had a school of salesmanship I would make a specialty 
of the philosophy of expectancy. I would never lose an op 
portunity of driving home this philosophy of expecting to make 
good. I would drive home this lesson of expecting success, 
expecting to win out, until it should become a dominant note 
in the salesman's life. 

WHEN a boy I used to go trout fishing in a 
rough New Hampshire stream with a noted 
fisherman. He understood the trout and their 
habits ; he knew where the good holes were and 
the rocks behind which the big trout were wait 
ing. I would fish on one side of the stream 
and he on the other, and he would catch as 
many trout as he could carry, while I caught 
very few. 

79 



80 SELLING THINGS 

When this man started out to fish he would 
say he knew that he was going to get a big 
string of trout. Whenever he threw in his line 
he expected to get a trout. I, on the other 
hand, had no such hope or confidence, I did not 
know trout and their habits as he did, and I did 
not expect to catch any. The consequence was 
I hardly ever got a bite, while the trout nearly 
always went to his hook. 

This is just the difference between a cracker- 
jack salesman and a poor one. The former 
knows his business thoroughly and expects to 
succeed. He approaches his prospect with the 
air of a conqueror, as a man in the habit of 
winning. The latter is not well posted, or he 
fears he won't succeed. He goes to his pros 
pect in fear and trembling, with doubt in his 
mind. He doesn't believe he will get an order, 
and, of course, he doesn't. 

You should approach every prospect cour 
ageously, confidently, not only at the top of 
your physical condition, but also at the top of 
your mental condition. You positively must 
be hopeful, you must expect to take an order. 
Doubt, fear, or anxiety will queer your sale, 
because you will communicate whatever is in 



FORCE OF CHEERFUL EXPECTANCY 81 

your own mind to your prospective customer. 
We radiate our moods. Our doubts and fears 
are very contagious. 

If you carry your goods in a hearse you will 
not sell them. Do not approach a customer 
with a long, sad, disappointed countenance, as 
though you had just returned from a funeral. 
Remember you are a salesman, not an under 
taker. Go to him with a face filled with hope 
and cheer, with confidence and assurance. 

If you are a winner, your whole canvass will 
be conducted as though you expected to change 
the prospect's mind before you get through 
with him, no matter how antagonistic he may 
be, or how determined at the outset not to pur 
chase. 

There is a good deal of truth in the remark, 
"If you cannot learn to smile, you cannot learn 
to sell." The best salesmen are cheerful, op 
timistic, hopeful. They appreciate the com 
mercial value of a smile, of always looking 
pleasant. Optimism is contagious. Every 
body likes a sunny soul. 

I knew a young man who would not impress 
people as having any marked ability, and yet 
this young man got fifteen thousand dollars 



82 SELLING THINGS 

salary, and did business enough to warrant it. 
He had a perfect genius for making friends. 
People seemed to be drawn to him as naturally 
as iron filings are attracted to a magnet. 
Everywhere he went he was the center of a 
circle, whether on a train, in a store, or in a 
hotel corridor. Everybody wanted to get near 
him. He seemed to radiate a hearty good 
cheer and good-will towards everybody. 
There was nothing mean or narrow about him. 
He was generous to a fault. He was always 
ready to jump up and grip you by the hand 
and shake it as if he was really delighted to 
see you and he was. There was nothing put 
on. He loved everybody and wanted to help 
them. He was in some ways not a good busi 
ness man, but his customers always anticipated 
his visits, and would say, "Isn't it about time 
for Charlie to be around? It does one good to 
see that fellow. He is all sunshine." Every 
body knew him on his Western route, which 
he traveled for years. The hotel clerks all 
liked him and they tried to give him the best 
room possible whenever he came, often saving 
one for him for days. He was always given 
the best seat in the dining-room and the best 



FORCE OF CHEERFUL EXPECTANCY 83 

waiter, and when the orders were called off in 
the kitchen the waiter would say, "Give me an 
Al steak for Charlie, for he is such a good fel 
low." Wherever he went the door flew open 
to him. He did not have to push hard, as 
others do, to get in, for everybody knew that 
when he came it meant a good laugh and pleas 
ant memories. 

A strong determination and tenacious per 
sistence will sometimes enable a man to become 
a fair salesman, even when he lacks a pleasing 
personality or a persuasive manner. He con 
quers from sheer force of continual pounding, 
until he wears his would-be customer out. But 
a pleasing personality, charm of manner, a 
sunny disposition, an optimistic outlook upon 
life, genuineness, honesty of purpose, and sim 
plicity, when accompanied by a positive men 
tality and robust determination, are the quali 
ties which win out in a big way. 

Everything depends upon the attitude of 
mind with which you approach a difficulty. If 
you are cowed before you begin, if you start 
out with an admission of weakness, a tacit ac 
knowledgment of your inability to meet the 
emergency that confronts you, you are fore- 



84 SELLING THINGS 

doomed to failure. Your whole attitude lacks 
the magnetism that attracts success. 

A book agent sometimes comes into my of 
fice, and I know by the way he enters that he 
does not expect to make a sale. Instead of 
walking with his head up, with an air of confi 
dence and assurance, he sneaks in, apologizes, 
and asks me to please do him the honor to give 
him two or three minutes of my valuable time. 
He has lost his first chance by making a bad 
impression upon me, and it takes more time 
than I can give him to overcome it. He is 
beaten before he begins. 

Quite another sort of agent calls on me occa 
sionally, and I always buy from him whether 
I want what he has for sale or not. He enters 
with such an air of modest assurance, such con 
fidence and expectancy in his bearing; he is so 
cheerful and interesting, that I positively can 
not turn him down. He wins at the very out 
set by making a good, quick impression upon 
me, and getting my confidence. 

Dr. Frank Crane, in an article on "A Con 
sumer's Views on Salesmanship," gives the 
salesmen among other valuable points, these: 

"First of all, be good-natured. I here and 



FORCE OF CHEERFUL, EXPECTANCY 85 

now confess that nine-tenths of what induces 
me to buy, is the ability of the seller to jolly 
me along. Cheerfulness and signs that you 
feel good, enjoy life, and are full of glee inside, 
are better than a letter of introduction from 
Mr. Rockefeller. Avoid personal intimacies. 
Let me talk about myself, and look interested 
while I am explaining, but don't speak of your 
self any more than you can help. Take an ax 
and chop the pronoun T out of your vocabu 
lary. What do you care? Jolly me along." 

When Dr. Crane says to "jolly" him along, 
he does not mean that a salesman should be 
frivolous, or deceitful. He simply means that 
he ought to make a customer feel good, make 
him realize his importance. Show your cus 
tomer that you are interested in his needs and 
his problems. 

If you really believe in your heart, and ex 
pect, that you are going to sell, you will com 
municate your faith to your prospect. This 
faith suggestion, if vigorously backed by the 
magic of polite persistence, and consistent 
cheerfulness, will tend to produce results like 
itself, just as the doubt, the failure suggestion, 
produces a failure result. 



CHAPTER XIII 



He is great who can alter my state of mind. 

EMERSON. 

"Don't struggle up hill when you can work on the level." 

WHEN I was editor of a big magazine I sent 
an assistant to interview a young man who had 
had most remarkable success in the life insur 
ance business, to get from him the secret of his 
rapid rise. 

When my assistant returned I asked him if 
he. had succeeded in getting his interview. 
"No," he said, "but the insurance manager got 
me to take out quite a large insurance policy." 

This was a triumph of the art of salesman 
ship. The insurance man actually made his 
would-be interviewer forget what he had gone 
after, and induced him to buy something he had 
not before thought of buying, yet something 
which, undoubtedly, it was to his advantage to 
buy. 

86 



THE GENTLE ART OF PERSUASION 87 

Why is it that one man will so easily change 
our whole mental attitude and make us do vol 
untarily the very thing that we had no idea of 
doing an hour before, and thought we never 
could do, when another might have talked to us 
until doomsday about the same thing, and 
never changed our mind a particle regarding 
it? Why is it that one man will convince us 
that we ought to buy an article which we were 
sure a few minutes before that we not only did 
not need or desire, but under no circumstances 
would buy? 

Because he is a past master of the gentle art 
of persuasion. 

How little we realize what a large part per 
suasion plays in our life. The clergyman, the 
teacher, the lawyer, the business man, the sales 
man, the parent, each is trying to persuade, to 
influence, to win over others to his way of 
thinking, to his principles, to accept his ideas. 

Some characters are so tactful, so sunny, so 
bright, cheerful, and attractive that they never 
have to force or even to request an entrance 
anywhere. The door is flung wide open and 
they are invited to enter, just as we invite 
beauty, loveliness and sunshine to enter our 



88 SELLING THINGS 

mind. Their very presence has a subtle in 
fluence in soothing and pleasing. They know 
how to persuade almost without uttering a 
word. 

Of the many elements which enter into 
scientific salesmanship, none is more essential 
than that of persuasion. 

A salesman often finds a would-be cus 
tomer's mind absolutely opposed to his. He 
does not want the merchandise, or at least he 
thinks he does not, and is determined not to 
buy it. He braces himself against all possi 
bility of persuasion, of being influenced to do 
what he has decided not to do. A little later, 
however, he cheerfully buys the article, pays 
for it, and feels sure he really wants it. His 
entire attitude has been changed by the art of 
persuasion, of winning over, which was all done 
by successive logical steps, each of which had 
to be taken in order, or failure would have re 
sulted. 

The first step was to get the man's attention, 
otherwise the salesman could have done noth 
ing with him. This of itself is often a difficult 
matter to get the attention of a man who is 
determined not to look at your goods, who had 



THE GENTLE ART OF PERSUASION 89 

made up his mind not to buy, and is braced 
against you. But a good salesman does not 
try to persuade a man to buy until he has not 
only secured his attention, but also thoroughly 
interested him in his proposition. Then he 
arouses his desire to possess the thing he has 
for sale, and when this is done, the sale is prac 
tically over. 

I was talking recently with some friends 
about the rapid rise of a young salesman which 
surprised everybody who knew him. One of 
my friends said that the whole secret was his 
marvelous power to persuade people, to change 
their mind, to make a prospect see things from 
his point of view. He said he had never before 
met another man who had such remarkable suc 
cess in changing another's mind to his way of 
thinking. "And this," he added, "is the es 
sence, the quintessence, if you will, of sales 
manship the power to make another see 
things as we see them." 

Persuasive power, the ability to win others 
over to our way of thinking, our way of looking 
at things, is not a simple quality. It is in real 
ity made up of many admirable qualities which 
have more to do with the heart than the head. 



90 SELLING THINGS 

It is one of the lovable traits of human nature, 
which enables one to win out in many instances 
where head qualities would be of no avail. 

The best and most successful teachers are 
not always the most learned, but those who get 
hold of the hearts of their pupils, whose kind 
ness, personal interest, and sympathy inspire 
them to do their best. The same qualities 
which, apart from scholarship, make the best 
teachers, also make the best salesmen. While 
education and intelligence are indispensable, 
it is not so much smartness, long-headedness, 
cunning, as the warm human heart qualities 
which make a salesman popular and successful. 

There is a sort of hypnotic power which 
passes for persuasiveness, and enables a man to 
get orders at the outset, but it is not based on 
honesty, and in the long run seriously hurts a 
man's business. 

A magnetic, spellbinding salesman will 
often bring to his house larger orders than 
some other salesman, but in the end will lose 
customers and injure himself and his concern, 
while the one who does not sell nearly as much 
to start with will make many more friends, and 
will hold his customers, because he looks out 



THE GENTLE ART OF PERSUASION 91 

for their interest, and only tries to sell them 
what is to their advantage to buy. He will not 
work off a large bill of goods upon them which 
he knows in his heart they should not buy. He 
studies their needs, and so wins their confidence 
and good-will. 

The ability to make others think as you do is 
a tremendous power, and carries great respon 
sibility. If it is not kindly and honestly used 
it will prove a boomerang and injure most the 
one who uses it. He will soon become known 
as a "spellbinder," and people will not do busi 
ness with him. 

Mere "palaver and soft soap" do not cut 
nearly so much of a figure in salesmanship as 
formerly. The time has gone by forever when 
a salesman is chiefly measured by his ability 
to tell good yarns and crack jokes with his pros 
pects. Honesty first, is the business slogan to 
day. Spellbinding methods are not in de 
mand. While you may, and should, be as 
affable as you please, you must be thoroughly 
sincere. 

Even in trying to approach a man through 
his hobby, great caution must be used. If he 
is a shrewd, long-headed man he is going to see 



92 SELLING THINGS 

through any subterfuge, and if he gets the 
slightest idea that you are trying to "string" 
him, or if he sees the slightest evidence of in 
sincerity or cunning, if he sees any plot back 
of your eye, your game is up. We must first 
believe in a man's integrity, even though he 
may deceive us, before he can persuade us to 
do what we thought we would not do. 

To-day it is the clean, straight-from-the- 
shoulder talk, cold facts that the average busi 
ness man wants. Yet the men of persuasive 
powers can present those facts in such a way 
that the prospect will be made to feel that the 
salesman is his friend and acting entirely in his 
interest. No man relishes the idea of being 
"managed," and, no matter how much he loves 
flattery, he will question your motive if you 
attempt it. 

Very tactful and just praise, however, will 
help your cause considerably with the average 
man. Remember that your prospect will be 
always on his guard against any sort of deceit. 
He will be looking for evidences of insincerity. 
He has no intention of allowing himself to be 
duped or gulled. Above all, remember that 
there is no substitute for sincerity in any field. 



THE GENTLE ART OF PERSUASION 93 

There is nothing that will take the place in our 
lives of absolute transparency, simplicity, hon 
esty, kindness. The Golden Rule is the only 
rule of conduct that will bring true success in 
any business. 



CHAPTER XIV 

HELPING THE CUSTOMER TO BUY 

Satisfied customers are a perpetual lip-to-lip advertisement. 
"Help your customer to buy. Don't merely sell to him." 

A QUAKER merchant who had made a for 
tune in Liverpool, when asked how he had 
made it, replied, "By a single article of trade 
in which every one may deal who pleases 
civility." 

This self-same "article of trade" has been 
the making of the celebrated Bon Marche in 
Paris. The clerks in this famous establish 
ment are instructed to show people, whether 
customers or not, every possible consideration. 
Strangers in Paris are invited to visit the Bon 
Marche, and are taken in hand the moment 
they enter the store by those who can speak 
their language, are shown over the whole place, 
and every possible attention paid to them, with 
out the slightest influence being brought up 
on them to purchase. A similar courtesy is 

94 



HELPING THE CUSTOMER TO BUY 95 

shown visitors in many well-known American 
concerns. 

It is the service we are not obliged to give 
that people value most. Everybody knows 
that the salesman is supposed, at least, to treat 
a customer decently; but the over-plus of ser 
vice, the extra courtesy and kindness, the spirit 
of accommodation, the desire to be obliging, 
the patience and helpfulness in trying to ren 
der the greatest possible service these are the 
things customers appreciate most highly, and 
these are just the things that tie customers to 
certain houses. 

Whether you are a traveling salesman or 
selling things behind a counter, nothing will 
add more to your success than the practice of 
that helpful courtesy which is dictated by the 
heart rather than the head, or by mere conven 
tion. 

Doing a customer a good turn has proved 
the turning point in many a career. Nothing 
will make such a good impression upon an em 
ployer as the courtesy of an employee who has 
so ingratiated himself into the hearts of his cus 
tomers, and so endeared himself to them, that 
they will always seek him out and wait to buy 



96 SELLING THINGS 

from him even at great inconvenience to them 
selves. Every employer knows that a clerk 
who attracts trade is worth ten times as much 
as one who drives it away. 

It is said that when John Wanamaker went 
into business, he paid a salesman thirteen hun 
dred dollars the first year, which was equal to 
all the rest of his capital. He did this because 
of the man's wonderful personality, his ability 
to attract trade, to please and hold customers 
so that they would come again. 

I know a man who has built up a big busi 
ness largely because he is always trying to ac 
commodate his customers, to save them ex 
pense, or to assist them in buying things which 
he does not carry. 

To-day our large business houses make a 
great point of pleasing customers, of obliging 
them and catering to their comfort in every 
possible way. Waiting-rooms, reading-rooms, 
with stationery, attendants, and even music and 
other forms of entertainment, are furnished by 
many of them. 

There is a premium everywhere upon cour 
tesy and good manners. They are taken into 
consideration in hiring employees just as much 



HELPING THE CUSTOMER TO BUY 97 

as general ability. Great business firms find 
it is impossible to carry on extensive trade with 
out the practice of courtesy, and they vie with 
one another in securing the most affable, and 
most obliging employees possible in all de 
partments. They look upon their employees 
as ambassadors representing them in their busi 
ness. They know that they cannot afford to 
have their interests jeopardized by objection 
able, indifferent clerks. They know that it will 
not pay to build attractive stores, to advertise 
and display their goods, to do everything possi 
ble to bring customers to them, and then have 
hem turned away by disagreeable, repellent 
clerks. 

Many young men going into business seem 
to think that price and quality are the only ele 
ments that enter into competition. There may 
be a score of other reasons why customers flock 
to one store and pass by a dozen half -empty 
stores on their way. Many people never learn 
to depend upon themselves in their buying. 
They do not trust their own judgment, but de 
pend upon the clerk who waits on them. A 
clerk who knows his business can assist a cus 
tomer wonderfully in a very delicate way, by 



98 SELLING THINGS 

suggestion, by his knowledge of goods, of quali 
ties, of fabrics, of durability. 

The courtesy and affability of clerks in one 
store pull thousands of customers right past 
the doors of rival establishments where the 
clerks are not so agreeable or accommodating. 
Everybody appreciates courtesy and an oblig 
ing disposition, and a personal interest goes 
a great way in attracting and holding custo 
mers. Most of us are willing to put ourselves 
to some trouble to patronize those who show a 
disposition to help us, to render us real service. 

What is true in regard to the man or woman 
who sells in a store applies with equal or even 
greater force to the man who goes on the road 
to sell. 

The motto of a well-known salesman, "Help 
your customer to buy, don't merely sell to him," 
is one that it would pay every salesman to 
adopt. Put yourself in your customer's place, 
help him with your knowledge of what he really 
needs; mix sympathy, kindliness, helpfulness 
with your sales ; you can give him a lot of val 
uable points. You are traveling all the time 
and constantly coming in contact with new 
ideas; give him suggestions from other mer 
chants in his line. 



HELPING THE CUSTOMER TO BUY 99 

A wide-awake, progressive salesman, with 
out violating confidences, can help his custo 
mers wonderfully by keeping them posted on 
what his competitors are doing, on the latest 
ideas in his line, the new and original methods. 
You may know of some novel and striking 
methods of reaching the public, of displaying 
merchandise and arranging store windows, or 
of reaching customers through unique local ad 
vertising. Give your customer every sugges 
tion you can. You may see that he is a good 
business man in many respects, but seriously 
lacks something which you could help him to 
supply. If he finds you are always trying to 
help him, that every time you come round you 
give him some good suggestions, it will be 
pretty hard for your competitor to get his or 
der. He will prize a man who gives him help 
ful suggestions. 

For instance, a salesman I know, who travels 
for a cutlery and hardware concern, makes a 
specialty of keeping his customers posted as 
to the arrangement of goods to the best ad 
vantage in window display. He keeps track 
of the latest ideas, new wrinkles in his line, and 
gives his customers the benefit of them. If he 



100 SELLING THINGS 

sees that any of them are getting into ruts, or 
that they do not have good business sys 
tems, very tactfully, without offending them, 
he suggests certain new devices, say, for 
saving expense, little short-cuts in busi 
ness methods, new ideas in filing cabinets, 
or some other labor or time-saving device 
which it will be to their advantage to 
adopt. In his kindly, unobtrusive way the 
man binds his customers to him by bands of 
steel so that no other salesman would have any 
show whatever in getting them away from him. 
He has built up such a large patronage for his 
house that rival houses have made him most 
tempting offers for his services. 

The extra service for which he is not paid 
does more in helping this man to get and hold 
customers than the actual routine for which he 
receives his salary. Business men who are at 
a distance from the big centers of trade fully 
realize what this extra service means to them, 
and are glad to keep in touch with a helpful, 
up-to-date salesman. 

I know a successful merchant who is so afraid 
that his business will get into a rut, that his 
standards will deteriorate through familiarity 



HELPING THE CUSTOMER TO BUY 101 

with his surroundings, that every little while 
he invites friends to go all through his estab 
lishment in order to get the advantage of their 
fresh impressions, their criticisms and sugges 
tions. 

The salesman should always remember that 
he has an opportunity to pick up a great many 
new, progressive ideas which customers, who 
are closely confined to their business or who do 
not have the time to go about much, would not 
be likely to know about, and he can render 
them, as well as himself, a very great service by 
keeping them posted and up-to-date. Travel 
ing salesmen are also traveling business 
teachers. 

I know of no one quality which will help a 
salesman so much as an obliging spirit, the 
desire to be helpful, to accommodate, and to 
assist buyers. 

Large jobbing concerns are finding that it 
is to their own interest to look after the in 
terests of their customers, to aid them in every 
possible way, such as suggesting attractive 
ways of advertising, giving them new ideas and 
suggestions as to the best arrangement of their 
merchandise and advising them on other im 
portant points. 



102 SELLING THINGS 

Many large concerns aid their customers 
financially. Mr. H. N. Higinbotham, Mar 
shall Field's well-known credit man, was noted 
for helping customers, especially when they 
were financially embarrassed. He often as 
sisted them to get mortgages and loans, and, in 
fact, frequently made personal loans to the 
customers of his house. Of course affairs of 
this sort must go to the credit man, but at the 
same time a salesman often leads up to them, 
and thus relieves the embarrassment of custom 
ers. 

Some time ago a manager of a large concern 
told me that he helped a customer to get a 
thirty-thousand-dollar mortgage on his prop 
erty, an accommodation he was not able to get 
at the bank on a strictly business basis. Many 
small houses, especially in the West, have come 
to look upon the jobbing and wholesale houses 
they trade with as real friends, and whenever 
they are hard pushed for money they are the 
first places they go to for help. 

Hundreds of Western concerns, through the 
initiative of the salesman, owe their prosperity 
to-day to the assistance of the jobbing house 
which carried them through hard times. 



HELPING CUSTOMER TO BUY 103 

When they could not have secured the ready 
cash they needed upon purely business grounds, 
firms accommodated through the efforts of a 
salesman become life customers and a perpet 
ual advertisement for the concern which has 
helped them, always saying a good word for it 
whenever possible. 

There are a hundred and one small ways in 
which both wholesale and retail salesmen can 
accommodate their trade. Be alert to do all 
these trifling personal favors, which mean so 
much and cost only a little thought fulness. 

A word of caution in regard to promises. 
Guard carefully against making promises you 
can't fulfill. In your zeal to help the customer 
do not, for instance, promise deliveries that are 
next to impossible or very hard for your house. 
You thereby hurt yourself, your customer and 
your firm. Be accommodating, but always use 
common sense. 

Your customer may forget a lot of things 
which you say to him, but he will not forget how 
you spent your time and energy in trying to 
show him that which would be a real benefit to 
him ; your effort to give him new ideas, to show 
him how he could be a little more up-to-date; 



104 SELLING THINGS 

your explaining to him how other progressive 
men in his own line were doing things. There 
is nothing which makes a better impression on 
a man or woman than the unselfish effort to 
please, to be of service, and the demand for 
salesmen and all sorts of employees who will 
put themselves out to do this is constantly 
growing. There was a time when human hogs 
could do business, provided they had the goods 
and could deliver them, but all this has 
changed; to-day the art of getting on in the 
world is largely the art of pleasing. 



CHAPTER XV 

CLOSING THE DEAL 

Don't talk yourself out of a deal. 

There are many men trying to sell merchandise who are al 
most salesmen. They seem to have about every qualification 
excepting the ability to close a sale. 

"Brevity is the soul of wit." 

A MAN who was waiting impatiently outside 
the church for his family, asked the janitor if 
the pastor was not through with his sermon. 
"Yes," said the janitor, "he is through, but he 
hasn't stopped yet." 

Many a salesman queers a sale by not stop 
ping when he is through his tongue outlasts 
his brain. He has not tact enough to see that 
when he has convinced his prospect it is time to 
close the deal. Others again make the mistake 
of lingering after their object is accomplished, 
squandering their own and their prospect's time 
to no purpose. 

If there is anything a business man appre 
ciates in a caller it is a regard for the value of 

105 



106 SELLING THINGS 

his time. Every minute is precious with a busy 
man, and directness, conciseness of statement, 
saying a lot in a few words, always makes a 
favorable impression. 

"When you get what you went after, quit," 
said one big selling agent of a national con 
cern. "Many a sale has been queered because 
the salesman 'stuck ground' after he had signed 
his man." 

"I knew a salesman who put over a big deal 
one afternoon. Then he lighted a cigar and 
sat talking with the man to whom he had sold. 
Presently the telephone rang. It was a long 
distance call from the buyer's financial head 
quarters. Evidently the president of the con 
cern was advising his representative to econ 
omize, to cut expenses everywhere he could, to 
lay off men, and to buy only necessities. 

"I'm glad you didn't go," said the buyer to 
the salesman, after he had hung up the receiver ; 
"I find my appropriation has been decreased 
and I won't be able to take those goods now. 
This saves my writing you to cancel the order." 

"That salesman always said he talked him 
self out of that deal. He felt sure that if he 
had not been there, the buyer would have kept 



CLOSING THE DEAL 107 

the goods and would have started his economy 
on the next salesman." 

Some salesmen with many splendid qualities 
talk themselves out of business. They tire out 
their prospect, bore him, disgust him. They 
do not have tact enough to see that when a pros 
pect begins to move about uneasily in his chair 
and to look around the room that he wishes 
they would get out. Now, when a man feels 
pressed for time, or when you no longer interest 
him, it is a great mistake to try to hold him or 
to recover his lost interest. It is high time to 
stop and close the deal. 

Brevity and directness are the very soul of 
business, and make a good impression on a 
business man. The roundabout talker, the 
man who prefaces everything with a long intro 
duction, the man who goes around and around 
half a dozen times before he gets to the point, 
tires and irritates a busy man. Good business 
men are direct. They drive right to the mar 
row of things at the first plunge; and when a 
deal is put through, they want to close and go 
on to the next thing. 

The closing step is one of the most im 
portant in any business transaction. There 



108 SELLING THINGS 

are plenty of salesmen who can conduct the 
progress of a sale clear up to the point of clos 
ing the deal quite as well as infinitely better 
salesmen, but here they fall down. They can 
not gather up their threads of persuasive argu 
ment and reasoning to make a successful close, 
and when they become panicky they communi 
cate their fear to the coveted customer, and 
then the game is up. 

Like all other points of salesmanship, the 
quickest and the simplest way of taking the 
final step is the best. Closing a deal is the 
result of having created an earnest wish on the 
part of the customer for what you have to sell. 
He must have the "I want it" feeling or you 
are likely to have trouble. If you have made 
your customer want your goods, made him see 
the profit and the pleasure that will accrue to 
him in buying, then the question of closing the 
deal becomes very much simplified. 

There is a school of experts strongly inclined 
to what they call "Reason Why" advertising. 
I think the "Reason Why" school is strongly 
entrenched. We buy things because there are 
reasons why we should buy them, and the sales 
man who can set forth the strongest reasons 



CLOSING THE DEAL 109 

why, will have the least trouble in closing his 
deals. The goods may be all right in them 
selves, but the sale will not be made unless you 
can make the customer see why he, personally, 
should buy. 

A shrewd salesman will let his prospect or 
customer handle the samples as much as possi 
ble, and let him do the talking. You watch 
him. You will learn a great deal about the 
operation of the man's mind. If he shrugs 
his shoulders and shakes his head when he 
picks up a particular sample you had better 
not talk too much about that ; it will not pay to 
try to convince him; you had better try some 
thing else, at least for the moment. If you 
see that he is anxious to make an impression 
upon you by his skill and his knowledge of 
goods, don't try to switch him to something 
else. If he expresses an admiration for a cer 
tain piece of goods follow it up. If it is re 
garding the color, or shade, do not go too much 
into the quality of the texture. Let him take 
the lead. 

In closing, always look for a peaceful and 
cheerful surrender of the will. If the stand 
ards of the house are high, and if the goods are 



110 SELLING THINGS 

of a high quality, the customer will feel quite 
reassured in surrendering his will to that of 
the salesman. He really thinks his will is 
deciding. Very often he is right, but it is the 
duty of the salesman to guide the will of the 
customer, so that the right decision will be made 
with the least loss of time and energy. 

The "winner" salesman does not wait for his 
prospect to say, "You can put me down for so 
and so. Yes, I'll take that." He uses his own 
positive mind to guide and bring to a focus the 
vacillating, almost-decided mind of the pros 
pect, for he knows from experience that the 
temptation of most buyers is to hang off, to 
wait. Knowing the processes through which 
his prospect's mind is passing, he seizes upon 
the psychological moment to close up the thing, 
to bring the man's mind to a decision. 

Always be ready to close. Have plenty of 
well-sharpened pencils, a fountain pen in good 
working order, clean order blanks, and every 
facility at hand for signing orders. The cus 
tomer should not be expected to fill in name, 
facts or figures any more than is absolutely 
necessary. When asked to sign his name, the 
salesman should indicate clearly the exact line 



CLOSING THE DEAI; 111 

on which the name should be written. The 
idea is to make everything so simple and easy 
that the mind of the customer does not have 
a chance to balk. Human nature is peculiar. 
Very often men are contrary. They will act 
against their own best interests, just because 
they think some one is trying to compel them 
to do a particular thing. We all love freedom. 
In closing a deal, have all minor points made 
clear, such as time of delivery, method of pack 
ing, method of delivery, the way payment is to 
be made, and all similar details. 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE GREATEST SALESMAN ENTHUSIASM 

"What are hardships, ridicule, persecution, toil, sickness, to 
a soul throbbing with an overmastering enthusiasm?" 

Enthusiasm is the best salesman. Cultivate it; it is con 
tagious. 

You can't built a fire with the fuel all wet. 

WHY is it that one salesman can often ac 
complish three or four times as much as 
another? The difference is not always that of 
ability. It is often a difference in the effort 
in the character of the effort. One salesman 
tries harder. He adds enthusiasm and a splen 
did zest to his work, which increases the quality 
as well as the quantity of the result. 

Joyous zeal, dead-in-earnestness, will sell 
more goods than all the technical training in the 
world, minus enthusiasm. 

How often have I heard salesmen say in the 
morning that they fairly dreaded the day's 
work, that the hours dragged and that they 

112 



THE GREATEST SALESMAN 113 

were glad when the ordeal was over. They felt 
no enthusiasm for their employment. 

Can any one hope to succeed in life who 
considers a day's work an ordeal, who goes to it 
as a slave lashed to his task? 

An employer measures his employees largely 
by the spirit in which they do their work. The 
salesman who goes to his task with energy, de 
termination, and enthusiasm, by his very bear 
ing gives assurance that the thing he under 
takes will not only be done, but will be done as 
well as it can be done. On the other hand, 
when a salesman drags himself about as though 
existence were a burden, when he takes hold 
of his work with repugnance, as though he 
dreaded it, it does not take an expert judge 
of human nature to know that he will never 
amount to anything. 

No matter how strongly and perfectly con 
structed, or how powerful a locomotive may be, 
unless the water is heated to two hundred and 
twelve degrees, the train will not move an inch. 
Warm water, water at two hundred and eleven 
degrees will not answer. The water must be 
at the boiling point. 

No matter how fine a brain or how good an 



114 SELLING THINGS 

education a salesman may have, without the 
steam of enthusiasm, which propels the human 
machine, his work will be ineffective. It is the 
enthusiastic man in every trade or profession, 
the man with fire and iron in his blood, whose 
enthusiasm is at the boiling point, who makes 
things move in this world. The half-hearted, 
indifferent, aimless worker, who is never 
aroused to the two-hundred-and-twelve degree 
of live interest and enthusiasm in his especial 
task, is headed for failure. He will never be 
his own manager. He is lucky if he succeeds 
in holding down even a poor job. 

The prizes of life are for the dead-in-earnest 
and enthusiastic. The world has ever made 
way for enthusiasm. It compels men to listen. 
It convinces the most skeptical. As Bulwer- 
Lytton once said: "Nothing is so contagious as 
enthusiasm ; it is a real allegory of the Lute of 
Orpheus; it moves stones; it charms brutes. 
Enthusiasm is the genius of sincerity; and 
truth accomplishes no victories without it." 

Knowledge and skill have never been a match 
for enthusiasm. It multiplies a man's power, 
raises whatever ability he has to its highest. 
One talent with enthusiasm back of it has ever 



THE GREATEST SALESMAN 115 

accomplished more than ten talents without it. 
Enthusiasm is the powder that drives the bul 
let home to its mark. 

To produce the best results, enthusiasm must 
be steady, continuous, not fitful or uncertain. 

I know a man who is a valuable solicitor if 
his employers can only keep him keyed up to 
the right point, supplied with enthusiasm. 
When his enthusiasm is at high tide he accom 
plishes wonders, but the moment it ebbs he is 
good for nothing. And his enthusiasm often 
ebbs ; it is very uncertain. One day he will im 
press you as a powerful man, a man with great 
determination, vigor and push he makes ev 
erything move; then you meet him on one of 
his off days, when the tide is out, and scarcely 
know him. His mentality is flabby, his cour 
age is down. He goes about with a blue and 
discouraged look, and is practically good for 
nothing. But when he rallies and his courage 
and enthusiasm come back, he is a regular 
giant. 

If this man would learn to control his moods 
and get complete possession of himself; if he 
would strengthen his will so that he should 
always be ruler in his mental kingdom, instead 



116 SELLING THINGS 

of abdicating every now and then and allowing 
his pessimism, his blue moods to take control 
and rule him, he would be invaluable a king 
in his line. 

Enthusiasm must be guided by level-headed- 
ness or it may defeat its object. Some people 
allow their enthusiasm to run away with them 
and thus greatly weaken their power and possi 
bilities. While it is an indispensable factor in 
salesmanship, too much enthusiasm develops 
weakness, destroys one's good sense and good 
judgment and one's ability to convince people. 
And the power of carrying conviction to the 
mind of a prospective buyer is the very marrow 
of salesmanship. 

I have known over-enthusiastic young sales 
men to be so completely carried away with the 
possibilities of what they were selling, to ex 
hibit so little judgment and so much fervor in 
their canvass, that they aroused suspicion in 
the minds of their prospects as to their good 
judgment. 

In cases of this sort a level-headed man will 
say to himself: "This young fellow is too 
wrought up over this article; he is hypnotized 
by it and has an exaggerated idea of its merits. 



THE GREATEST SALESMAN 117 

No man in this state of mind is reliable; his 
judgment is warped. He is honest enough, 
but I cannot afford to rely on what he says. 
He is too enthused to be trustworthy." 

You can be as enthusiastic as you please 
without overstepping the bounds of reason. 
The Al salesman knows how to steer his course 
between the enthusiasm that excites suspicion, 
arouses distrust, and the enthusiasm that per 
suades and convinces. There is now and then 
one who with abounding enthusiasm, guided by 
good judgment and horse-sense, pours his very 
life into his sale, just as a great advocate flings 
his life into his pleading. He is the sort of 
man who will win out in any proposition he 
attempts to put through. 

On the other hand, there are lukewarm sales- 
'men who put so little of themselves into their 
sale, so little enthusiasm and zest, so little mag 
netism, so little diplomacy and tact, and so 
little of the art of persuasion, that they remain 
third or fourth rate all their lives. They 
barely get a living in a field where the ener 
getic, enthusiastic man makes a fortune. 

The salesman or other worker who gives 
only his second best instead of his best, who 



118 SELLING THINGS 

gives indifference instead of enthusiasm, who 
doesn't think it worth while to fling his soul 
into his work, never amounts to much. In an 
age when increasing stress is everywhere placed 
on efficiency, and yet more efficiency, there is 
no future for the indifferent. Give to the 
world the best you have and the best will come 
back to you. 



CHAPTER XVII 

THE MAN AT THE OTHER END OF THE BARGAIN 

A Golden Rule for every salesman: "Put yourself in your 
customer's place." 

When you are in doubt as to how your acts will affect an 
other, you must ask yourself this question, "Would I like to 
have some one else do this to me ? " 

NATHAN STRAUSS, when asked what had 
contributed most to the success of his remark 
able career, replied, "I always looked out for 
the man at the other end of the bargain." He 
said that if he got a bad bargain himself he 
could stand it, even if his losses were heavy, but 
he could never afford to have the man who dealt 
with him get a bad bargain. 

There is no one thing that has so much to 
do with a business man's success as the absolute 
confidence of the public. Confidence has 
everything to do with patronage. We like to 
patronize the firm which has a good reputation, 
and many prefer to pay more for articles in a 

119 



120 SELLING THINGS 

reliable store that guarantees their quality 
than to buy similar articles at a much lower 
price in an unreliable store. People are afraid 
to go into unreliable places. They have a feel 
ing that they will be swindled in some way; 
that the lower price only covers up poor qual 
ity. 

You may bring customers to your store 
once by shrewd schemes and advertising, but 
you cannot hold them by this means alone. 
Unless you satisfy them, give them good value 
for their money, you cannot induce them to 
come again. But the satisfied customer is a 
perpetual advertisement. He not only comes 
again, but he sends his friends, and they fur 
nish a perpetual lip-to-lip advertisement which 
gives stability and permanence to a business. 

The man who thinks he is going to make a 
fortune without considering the man at the 
other end of the bargain is very short-sighted. 
In the long run, the customer's best good is the 
seller's best good also ; and, other things equal, 
the man succeeds best who satisfies his custom 
ers best, who gains their confidence, so that 
they will not only come back, but always bring 
others with them, In the same way, the ideal 



THE MAN AT THE OTHER END 121 

salesman must impress his customers with his 
honesty, sincerity and frankness. He must be 
shrewd and sagacious without being deceptive. 
Trickiness, dishonest methods, may procure a 
man's orders at the start, but before long he 
will find that in selling goods, as in everything 
else, honesty is the best policy. 

A little while ago I heard a salesman say to 
a friend, "I don't care whether a man sells my 
goods or not, I sell him every dollar's worth I 
can, just the same. If he is overstocking the 
store, that is his business. I push my sales just 
as far as I can." 

Now, when this young salesman's customers 
find that out, as, sooner or later, they will, they 
will distrust him. They will be on their guard 
against him, and ultimately he will lose their 
patronage. 

Remember, Mr. Brilliant Salesman, that 
stuffed, forced orders are dangerous. They 
are boomerangs. When, by hypnotic over- 
persuasion, you work off goods upon a custom 
er which he does not need, you are likely to 
hear from him again. The profits of a single 
such sale have often lost a salesman the profits 
of a life customer. There is nothing so disas- 



122 SELLING THINGS 

trous as a disappointed or a deceived customer. 

Many people are beguiled into buying what 
they do not need and cannot afford, because 
they do not know how to protect themselves 
from the expertness or hypnotism of unprin 
cipled salesmen. Especially is this true of 
colored people in the South, whose simple, un 
trained minds are the easy victims of the 
smooth oily promoter or salesman. 

I have known of negro families who did not 
have a whole plate, or a knife and fork in the 
house, to buy from unscrupulous agents plush 
autograph albums, books which they could not 
read or understand, pictures, picture frames, 
organs, pianos, etc., when they were so poor 
that every member of the family was ragged, 
and apparently only half nourished. 

Many such agents and solicitors, who travel 
through the country, live upon the gullibility of 
people who are not mentally equipped to pro 
tect themselves against their dishonest wiles. 

Every salesman is familiar with the "tricks 
of the trade" which the unscrupulous practice, 
but to which the conscientious man will not re 
sort. His clean record, his straightforward 
methods, his reputation for reliability, mean in- 



THE MAN AT THE OTHER END 123 

finitely more to him than to get an order by 
driving a sharp bargain, deceiving, taking ad 
vantage of, or hypnotizing his customer. His 
honesty, his character, is dearer to him than 
any gain, temporary or permanent, however 
great. 

Nor is there any great demand for the man 
whose sole aim is to "deliver the goods," re 
gardless of the methods employed. They may 
be hired by cheap- John concerns which have no 
reputation to sustain, but high-class houses will 
have nothing to do with them. They know 
very well that men who practice real dishonesty 
in their mental methods, who use unfair means 
in winning confidence, only to abuse it, who 
make a business of overcoming weak minds for 
the purpose of deceiving them they know that 
such men would hurt their house, injure their 
reputation. .They know very well that the 
tricky, dishonest man who deceives or who 
over-sells his customer, is not a good man for 
his house. 

The high-class salesman, like the high-class 
house, thinks too much of his good name, too 
much of his customers' good opinion of him, 
to attempt to practice the slightest deception 



124 SELLING THINGS 

in his dealings with them. Their implicit faith 
in him, their belief that they can absolutely 
depend upon what he tells them, that it will not 
be the near-truth, but the exact truth, his real 
desire to serve them, these things mean infin 
itely more to him than the taking of an order. 
His reputation for straightforwardness, for 
reliability, his reputation as a man, is his chief 
capital. He is doing business without money ; 
his only assets are his ability and his character, 
and he cannot afford to throw these away or 
vitiate them by dishonest mental practices. 

Aside from the vital question of character, 
he is a very poor salesman who does not study 
the interest of the man at the other end of the 
bargain. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

MEETING AND FORESTALLING OBJECTIONS 

Opposition is the physical culture of determination. 

You must have the courage of your convictions, and if you 
have theories you should be able to put them to a practical 
test. 

Don't canvass too much with your legs use your brains. 

THERE are two kinds of objections which are 
met by all salesmen valid and invalid. Nat 
urally, it is impossible to overcome valid objec 
tions. It would be a mistake on the part of 
the salesman to try to overcome them. The 
important thing is for him to recognize that 
they are valid, and to abide by the decision of 
the prospective customer. 

Very frequently, however, what appear on 
the surface to be valid objections, are merely 
excuses. Never accept an excuse as a real ob 
jection. Do not come out bluntly and tell 
the customer that he is merely making an ex 
cuse, or that he is hedging, but, rather, switch 

125 



126 SELLING THINGS 

the selling talk on to a little different track, so 
that he will see there is no real, good reason for 
the stand he is taking. 

It is not so easy to meet such objections as 
"The goods are not suitable for our needs," 
"The price is exorbitant," or "We cannot af 
ford to buy now." But in some cases, objec 
tions of this sort may not be really valid ; often 
they are merely excuses to put off buying. 
Here is where the salesman must show his 
power of reasoning and persuasion. He 
should make clear to the customer that, at first 
thought, these may seem to be valid objections, 
but that, in reality, if he will only think of such 
and such points and reasons, he will see, after 
all, he should buy. 

No doubt there is far more trouble con 
stantly arising on this score than there should, 
because the salesman cannot gently guide the 
mind of the customer to where all objections 
are forgotten. It is human nature to object, 
find fault, and pick flaws, and the salesman 
must be prepared both for the real or valid, 
and for the unreal, or invalid objections. 
Above all he must be prepared beforehand to 
Answer, and to answer clearly and logically. 



FORESTALLING OBJECTIONS 127 

the many very common objections which are 
brought up in connection with his line of goods. 

The older, more experienced salesmen and 
the sales managers, usually, have thought out 
the most effective answers to the objections 
that are ordinarily made. The young inexper 
ienced salesman must go to them for advice. 
He must be posted, if possible at the start, on 
the right answers to, let us say, the ten most 
ordinary objections that are heard in his line of 
business. 

One of the most successful life insurance 
managers in the United States has given to 
his men a standard answer to this very common 
objection, met by salesmen when trying to sell 
life insurance, "I would like to take the mat 
ter up with my wife." 

The salesman is taught to use the law of non- 
resistance, and to say: "That's a very good 
idea, Mr. Blank. This is such an important 
matter you certainly ought to have your wife's 
opinion about it ; but, allow me to suggest that 
before you take the matter up with her, it 
would be best to have our doctor examine you, 
to make sure that you can pass the physical 
examination, because, if you told your wife 



128 SELLING THINGS 

that you were going to take life insurance, and 
you then failed to pass the examination, she 
would be very much worried about you as long 
as she lives." The prospect will, almost invar 
iably, say "Yes, you're right about that I 
think I ought to take that precaution." It 
is needless to say that nine times out of ten, 
after the doctor has made the examination, it 
is quite easy to close the sale, whereas it would 
have been impossible, or very difficult, had the 
matter first been taken up at home, and a lot 
of objections brought up in the absence of the 
salesman. 

Some say that you should never risk antag 
onizing a customer by departing from the law 
of non-resistance. Ordinarily, this is sound 
logic; but just as there are exceptions to every 
rule, so there are certain types of men, with 
whom at least seeming opposition or an atti 
tude of "take it or leave it" will be most effec 
tive. 

There are men and moods and times when 
only a good knowledge of human nature and a 
thorough sizing up of a customer will enable 
the salesman to get what he goes after. Also 
there are occasions when the most expert sales 
man will meet at least temporary defeat. 



FORESTALLING OBJECTIONS 129 

By the time you have exchanged a few sen 
tences with your prospect, you can size him up 
fairly well and can get a pretty good idea of 
what you are up against, and how difficult a 
task is before you in order to interest him, to 
change his thought, to neutralize his natural 
prejudice against every one who has anything 
to sell, and against you in particular. There 
is a natural barrier, at first, between two people 
who meet under such conditions, and it depends 
largely upon you as a man, upon your talk, 
your ability to open up your nature, to show 
the best side of yourself, the attractive, the 
popular, magnanimous side, whether you grad 
ually change the prospect's opposition to in 
difference, his indifference to interest and his 
interest to desire to possess what you have to 
sell. 

You should never argue with a customer in 
the sense of quarreling or disputing with him, 
but there are times when you must reason with 
him, to show him he is wrong. Do not, how 
ever, make a customer feel "cheap," or humili 
ated, or anger him by opposition, especially in 
matters outside of your business. 

I have in mind a salesman who had practi- 



180 SELLING THINGS 

cally closed a big order with a prospect when 
some allusion was made to the political situa 
tion. The salesman reflected upon the admin 
istration, and the prospect jumped on him with 
both feet and became so angered that he posi 
tively refused to give him the order. 

Now, this salesman was not there to discuss 
politics or to convince his prospect that he was 
on the wrong side of any public question. He 
was there to sell his goods and not to talk poli 
tics. 

No matter what happens never lose your 
head and never, under any circumstances, show 
resentment or disappointment or allow yourself 
to be drawn into an argument. There is 
always a temptation to have the last word, and 
it is of the utmost importance that you should 
leave a pleasing picture of your call. Other 
wise when you return the association of a dis 
agreeable experience may bar you out. 

Some sales managers do not believe in pay 
ing any attention to objections. They say it 
is best to make the salesman so familiar with 
his goods, and so enthusiastic about them, that 
he will forestall all objections, or overcome 
them by ignoring them, in the sense that he will 



FORESTALLING OBJECTIONS 131 

not try to answer objections if they are made, 
and he will not talk or act as if he expected any 
to be made. There is a certain amount of 
sound philosophy in this attitude, but it is my 
opinion that a salesman will have more confi 
dence in himself, and will be better equipped 
for many emergencies, if he has been thor 
oughly coached in the most commonly met ob 
jections, by having good, sound answers right 
at the tip of his tongue. 

Never meet objections by cutting prices. 

It is the easiest thing in the world to preju 
dice a prospect's mind by offering to cut prices. 
He will think you are doing it to get his first 
order, and that you will make it up the next 
time. He is watching you with "all his eyes." 
His perceptive faculties are on the alert, ready 
to catch any unguarded word, the slightest con 
tradiction, measuring up the improbabilities in 
your argument. In other words, he is trying 
to find holes in your proposition. It is human 
nature to brace up against a new salesman and 
to try to down him with objections. Don't de 
stroy confidence at the start by price cutting. 

Remember, objections are, generally, mere 
excuses. More than half the time they are not 



132 SELLING THINGS 

sound reasons for not buying. Therefore, do 
not take objections too much to heart. Know 
how to answer them satisfactorily, but be care 
ful not to magnify their importance. 



CHAPTER XIX 

QUALITY AS A SALESMAN 

Integrity is the ground of mutual confidence. 

Never misrepresent your goods; when it becomes necessary 
to do so it is time to quit the business. 

A. J. LAUVER, General Manager Burroughs' 
Adding Machine, says, "The ideal salesman is 
one who is making an honest and determined 
effort to render a real service to his customers. 
He believes thoroughly in the value of his 
goods and has faith in the honesty and ability 
of the house he represents." 

An unqualified confidence in the value of 
what you are selling will multiply your selling 
ability tremendously, just as a lack of confi 
dence in its merit will greatly diminish your 
power to make a sale. All of your mental 
operations follow confidence. Your faculties 
will not give out their best unless they are led 
by the honest faith in your house and in your 
goods which generates enthusiasm. 

133 



184 SELLING THINGS 

The salesman communicates his faith, or lack 
of it, to the experienced buyer. Whatever 
passes through your mind will be telegraphed 
with lightning rapidity to your prospect's 
mind. He will feel what you feel. He will 
sense mentally what you are picturing se 
cretly, as you imagine, in your own mind. If 
doubt is there, if unbelief is there, he will feel 
them no matter what you may say to the con 
trary. He can tell very quickly whether you 
really believe what you are saying or whether 
you are just talking for a sale. He can tell 
whether you honestly believe that what you are 
trying to sell would be good for him to buy or 
not. 

The consciousness that you are representing 
an absolutely reliable firm, and that you are 
selling a superb thing, something which you 
really believe it would be as advantageous for 
your prospect to buy as it would be for you to 
sell, will not only increase your self-confidence, 
but will also lend wonderful dignity and power 
to your bearing and your manner, and greater 
force to your presentation and persuasion. 

On the other hand, if you are conscious that 
you are selling shams, that you are merely try- 



QUALITY AS A SALESMAN 135 

ing to get a person to buy that which you know 
will not be of much value to him, you are 
immediately shorn of power. The conviction 
that you are not doing your fellow-man a good 
turn, that, on the contrary, you are trying to 
deceive him, trying to palm off on him an ar 
ticle which you would not buy yourself, will 
make you contemptible in your own eyes and 
also in the eyes of the man who is shrewd 
enough to see through you. 

Nothing can take the place of confidence in 
the quality of what you are selling. Quality 
is really the best salesman in the world. The 
article that is a little better than others of the 
same kind that is the best, even if the price is 
higher "carries in its first sale the possibilities 
of many sales, because it makes a satisfied cus 
tomer, and only a satisfied customer will come 
again." 

The salesman thinks more of himself when 
he is conscious that he is giving his customer 
the best that can be had. The assurance that 
it is not possible for another to beat what he 
offers is a wonderful tonic and encourager to 
the seller. He does not need to resort to 
f 'tricks of the trade"; nor does he have to hang 

>.:--* *r 



136 SELLING THINGS 

his head or apologize when he approaches his 
prospect, for he knows that he is backed by 
quality and that there will be no disappoint 
ment or "come backs." 

A superb quality, like good things to eat, 
always leaves a good taste in the mouth, and the 
salesman who deals in the best knows that he 
will be welcome when he goes back for another 
order to a buyer who has once had a taste of the 
quality of his goods. 

The reputation of a house noted for its 
square dealing is of itself a powerful salesman, 
and representatives of such a house have a 
tremendous advantage over those who rep 
resent tricky, sharp -dealing, shoddy houses, 
where the buyer knows that he has got to look 
out for himself, to drive a sharp bargain or get 
taken in and he knows that he is liable to be 
taken in anyway. 

Quality is the best possible advertisement. 
The salesmen of a house thoroughly established 
in the confidence of the public have a compara 
tively easy time of it, because they do not have 
to do nearly as much talking and convincing as 
those who represent unreliable concerns. The 
high reputation of a house is a great business 



QUALITY AS A SALESMAN 137 

asset, and a salesman's best argument. It is 
not so difficult a matter to persuade men to buy 
what they know from experience to be all that 
it is represented to be. 

When a customer has been in the habit of 
buying the best, dealing with a quality house, 
and has acquired a taste for the best, he does 
not like the second-best only the best is good 
enough for him. 

International sales experts tell us that is 
where American salesmen fall down, especially 
in seeking foreign trade in South America for 
instance. They dwell at too great length on 
price, and skim over quality. They dilate on 
cheapness, and the inference is that the goods 
must be low grade to be marketed at such a low 
price. 

No matter how hard pushed you may be, 
never undertake to sell questionable goods; 
never taint your reputation, or smirch your 
character by becoming the representative of a 
shifty, dishonest concern. Resolve that what 
ever comes you will not cheapen yourself by 
stooping to low-down methods, that you will 
not sell shabby goods, or deal in cheap- John 
commodities. Resolve that you will be a high- 



138 SELLING THINGS 

class man or nothing, that you are not going 
to do another's lying for him, that you are not 
going to deceive for a salary, that you are not 
going to do anything which will make you think 
less of yourself, which will make you less of a 
man. 



CHAPTER XX 

A SALESMAN'S CLOTHES 

The apparel oft proclaims the man. 

SHAKESPEARE. 

The consciousness of being well and fittingly dressed has a 
magic power in unlocking the tongue and increasing the power 
of expression. 

IN differentiating the essentials of success in 
selling, a specialty expert said: "I find that 
when I am in prime condition physically, and 
am well dressed, so that I do not have to think 
about myself or my clothing, I can put up a 
much better canvass, because I can concentrate 
my mind with greater force." 

In a letter to his home office, a rising young 
salesman wrote: "To me there is a great 
mystery in the influence of good clothes. 
Somehow I think more of myself when I am 
conscious that I am well groomed, well dressed, 
and I can approach people with much more 
confidence. 

"When I first started canvassing I tried to 

139 



140 SELLING THINGS 

economize too much on my clothing. Some 
stormy mornings I would start out wearing 
shabby old clothes and without fixing up as I 
should, and somehow I felt cheap all day. I 
could not approach a prospect with the same 
air of victory ; I did not feel quite right ; I could 
not put up as good a canvass, and of course did 
not make as many sales as when I was up to 
the mark in clothes and general appearance. 

"I thought at the start I could not afford to 
dress well, but I soon found that this was a 
very great mistake, and that a good appearance 
is a big asset in canvassing. I was going 
through college then, and, as I had to pay all 
of my expenses, a dollar meant a good deal to 
me; but I actually borrowed money to buy a 
good suit of clothes, and I found it paid. I 
felt better when I had that suit on. I could 
take more orders, and in a short time returned 
the amount I had borrowed. This influence 
of good clothes is a curious thing, but it is 
certainly a power." 

Whatever one's business, it is worth while to 
try to ascertain as nearly as possible the paying 
point of your clothes. You cannot afford to 
go much below or above this point. In some 



A SALESMAN'S CLOTHES 141 

cases it pays to dress superbly, right up to the 
mark in every detail, because people judge our 
business standing by our appearance, and we 
cannot afford to give the impression of poverty, 
especially if we are representing a prosperous 
line of business. If a man's appearance indi 
cates lack of prosperity, people naturally get a 
poor impression not only of his own success, but 
also of the quality and success of the firm he 
represents. 

A. T. Stewart was one of the first great mer 
chants to appreciate the tremendous influence 
upon customers, especially women customers, 
of good-looking, well-dressed young men 
clerks. He would not have a clerk in his em 
ploy who did not present an attractive appear 
ance. He knew and appreciated the import 
ance of putting up a good front as an asset. 
He did not care much for human diamonds in 
the rough. He preferred a cheaper stone, 
polished, to a pure gem, unpolished. 

Every progressive merchant knows that a 
first unfavorable impression on a customer is 
a costly thing. He knows that soiled collar or 
cuffs, a frayed tie, unpolished shoes, uncared- 
for finger nails, grease spots on a suit, will not 



142 SELLING THINGS 

only make a bad impression, but will drive 
away trade. 

Most large business houses make it a rule 
not to employ any one who looks shabby or 
careless, who does not at least try to make a 
good appearance, the best his means will per 
mit, when he applies for a position. 

Neatness of dress, cleanliness of person and 
the manner of the applicant are the first things 
an employer notices in a would-be employee. 
If his clothes are unbrushed, his trousers baggy, 
his shoes unblacked, his tie shabby, his hands 
soiled or his hair unkempt, the employer is 
prejudiced at once, and he does not look be 
neath this repellent exterior to see whether it 
conceals merit or not. He is a busy man and 
takes it for granted that if the youth has any 
thing in him, if he is made of the material busi 
ness men want in their employ, he will keep 
himself in a presentable condition. At all 
events, he does not want to have such an un 
attractive looking person about his premises. 

You may say that an employer ought to 
be a reader of real merit, real character, and 
that it is not fair to estimate an applicant for a 
position by such superficial things as the clothes 



A SALESMAN'S CLOTHES 143 

he wears. You may also say that a customer 
should not allow himself to be prejudiced 
against a man, or the house he represents, be 
cause he is not a fine dresser. But that doesn't 
help matters or alter facts. We go through 
life tagged all over, labeled with other people's 
estimate of us, and it is pretty difficult to get 
away from that, even if it is unjust. 

Say what we will, our position in life, our 
success, our place in the business or profes 
sional world, or in society, depends very much 
upon what other people think of us, and our 
clothes, at first especially, while we are making 
our way in the world, play an important part 
in their judgment of us. They have a great 
deal to do with locating us. 

In a way our lives are largely influenced by 
other people's opinion of us, and we should not 
be indifferent to it. This does not mean that 
we cannot be independent and exercise our 
own will, but that we cannot afford to create a 
bad impression. Suppose, for example, you 
are a young business man and that every bank 
official in your town is so prejudiced against 
you that they will not give you credit. You 
need it very much, but while the fact that you 



144 SELLING THINGS 

know you are absolutely honest and absolutely 
reliable gives you great inward satisfaction, it 
does not give you the needed money. The 
prejudice of the bank officials may be un 
founded, but it acts powerfully against you. 

You may know perfectly well that you would 
make a better mayor for your town than any 
body else in it, but if the majority of the voters 
are prejudiced against you, no matter how 
worthy of their confidence, you will not be 
elected. Whatever your business or profes 
sion the impression you create will make a 
tremendous difference in the degree of your 
success. 

"Every man has a letter of credit written on 
his face." We are our own best advertise 
ments, and if we appear to disadvantage in any 
particular we are rated accordingly. 

'You cannot estimate the influence of your 
personal appearance upon your future. Other 
things equal, it is the young man who dresses 
well, puts up a good front, who gets the order 
or position, though often he may have less 
ability than the one who is careless in his per 
sonal appearance. Most business men regard 
a neat, attractive appearance as evidence of 



A SALESMAN'S CLOTHES 145 

good mental qualities. We express ourselves 
first of all in our bodies. A young man who is 
slovenly in appearance and who neglects his 
bath will, as a rule, neglect his mind. 

To save money at the cost of cleanliness and 
self-respect is the worst sort of extravagance. 
It is the point at which economy ceases to be 
a virtue and becomes a vice. In this age of 
competition, when the law of the survival of the 
fittest acts with seemingly merciless rigor, no 
one can afford to be indifferent to the smallest 
detail of dress, or manner, or appearance, that 
will add to his chances of making a success in 
life. 

Remember that the world takes you largely 
at your own valuation; your prospective cus 
tomer will be repelled or attracted by your ap 
pearance, and your clothes are as important as 
your bearing and manners. In fact they will 
to a great extent determine your bearing and 
manner. It has been well said that "the con 
sciousness of clean linen is in and of itself a 
source of moral strength, second only to that of 
a clean conscience. A well ironed collar or a 
fresh glove has carried many a man through an 
emergency in which a wrinkle or a rip would 



146 SELLING THINGS 

have defeated him." Our clothes have a subtle 
mental influence from which there is no escape. 

The consciousness of shabbiness, incomplete 
ness, or slipshodness tends to destroy self-re 
spect, to lessen energy and to detract from 
one's general ability. 

In order to dress properly, you must study 
the colors and the styles that are most becom 
ing to you, that add most to your appearance. 
Don't wear a profusion of rings or flashy 
jewelry; don't indulge in "loud" neckties or 
anything that would make you conspicuous. 
All these things make a bad impression. 

An excellent rule for dress is found in the 
advice of Polonius to his son Laertes, when he 
is about to start for the royal court of France. 

"Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy 
But not express'd in fancy; rich not gaudy; 
For the apparel oft proclaims the man." 

Polonius did not mean that Laertes should 
be extravagant in the matter of clothes. Far 
from it ; he simply meant that he should dress 
in a manner befitting his rank as a representa 
tive of the court of Denmark. 

The salesman is the representative of his 



A SALESMAN'S CLOTHES 147 

firm, and to a great extent both he and his firm 
will he judged by his general appearance, in 
cluding his clothes, 

"For the apparel oft proclaims the man." 



CHAPTER XXI 

FINDING CUSTOMERS 

"Where there's a will, there's a way." 
The King is the man who can. CABLYLE. 

THE hardest problem with any business man 
is to find customers, that is to say, desirable and 
profitable customers. Identical with the prob 
lem of finding customers, is the more difficult 
one of finding the men who can find the right 
kind of customers. 

There's the rub "To find the man who can 
swim." The right kind of salesman will solve 
for himself this problem of getting customers 
as he will most others connected with selling. 
How, you ask? This is how the question 
was answered recently by a little, short, unpre 
possessing salesman who is said to have written 
the largest amount of life insurance in one of 
the largest insurance companies in the world. 

Some time ago this salesman went to Canada 

148 



FINDING CUSTOMERS 149 

and at an influential gathering saw a man 
whom he sized up as a good prospect. He got 
his name and address, found out all about him, 
his habits and hobbies, one of which was the 
success of a big hospital in which he was espe 
cially interested. Next day the salesman went 
to this hospital, and asked to be shown through 
it, after which he called on his prospective cus 
tomer, told him he had heard of his interest in 

Hospital, and said, "I have been studying 

this hospital, also; it is doing splendid work, 
and I would like to make a little contribution 
to its funds." He thereupon wrote out a check 
for $250.00 and handed it to this man. This 
check was the entering wedge for a $250,000.00 
life insurance policy, which this resourceful 
salesman soon after wrote for the man whose 
pet hobby was the big hospital in question. 

The main trouble with most salesmen is that 
they put the problem of finding customers up 
to the sales manager or heads of the company. 
They want them to do all the thinking in the 
matter of where to go, and how to proceed in 
this difficult business. Let me say right at the 
start ; there is no iron-clad rule for finding cus 
tomers. Some say it is just a matter of "plan 



150 SELLING THINGS 

and push," as illustrated in the above instance. 

The Sheldon Course in Salesmanship gives 
five ways for finding a customer, namely ; Ad 
vertising, Window Display, General or Door 
to Door Canvass, Selected List Canvass, and 
Following Up "Leads" or Inquiries. 

Many books have been written on the various 
forms and values of advertising. It is a well- 
known fact that much money is wasted through 
injudicious advertising, but no successful busi 
ness man can dispense with the right kind of 
publicity. Whether he uses the newspapers, 
or the magazines, bill-boards, or cards in street 
cars, or novelties, will all depend on the goods 
and the various conditions which have to be met 
in the marketing of his particular product. 
Different kinds of advertising should be 
adapted to each particular territory. 

A salesman quickly becomes familiar with 
such conditions as affect different places and 
different seasons, so that he plans his cam 
paigns accordingly. Where a man has a fixed 
territory and is handling goods which are used 
by a restricted class of people, then the matter 
becomes relatively simple, although it is impor 
tant to be always alert, so as not to miss any 



FINDING CUSTOMERS 151 

possible customers, and so as to learn well in 
advance about new firms who may want your 
goods. 

A specialty salesman will have to use more 
originality in finding customers than would 
have to be used, ordinarily, in the wholesale or 
retail business, where the home office, or the 
head of the firm, can map out pretty well just 
what people should be reached, and how to 
reach them. Many salesmen lose a lot of val 
uable time, and waste much money chasing 
from one town to another, or from one part of 
a city to another, following up so-called 
"leads." Unfortunately, the majority of these 
"leads" are answers to advertisements which 
were so alluring, and seemed to promise so 
much for nothing, that a large number of cur 
iosity seekers have written to the home office, 
with little thought of buying, and more often 
with little ability to buy, what was advertised. 

The salesman who has the courage "to go to 
it" without any "lead" or point of contact, is 
the one who will ultimately make the biggest 
success. 

If you have something to sell, do not be 
afraid to walk into a man's place of business 



152 SELLING THINGS 

and introduce yourself, telling just what ser 
vice you are prepared to render. The only 
good reason for being in business is because 
you can render service. You should feel that 
you are the benefactor of the man whom you 
approach. He may be your superior finan 
cially, but in the matter of your particular 
article or articles for sale, you should feel that 
you are his superior, and therefore you should 
approach him with the utmost ease and confi 
dence. The big winners in salesmanship are 
those who possess the initiative, the originality, 
and the poise, which enable them to go out and 
find customers quickly and intelligently, cover 
ing the biggest amount of territory in the short 
est time, and concentrating their energies. 

The use of the telephone in finding customers 
and making appointments is a method that 
requires considerable skill. There are those 
who believe that it is too easy for a man to "turn 
you down" on the telephone. There are others 
who believe that it is foolish to waste carfare 
and time, when you can quickly arrange mat 
ters over the telephone. Experience and 
native ability must guide the salesman in the 
use of the telephone. 



FINDING CUSTOMERS 153 

So, in the matter of letter- writing, often 
where a letter would be thrown in the waste- 
basket, or receive a negative reply, a personal 
call from the salesman might get a big order. 
Yet, in many cases the right kind of letters 
would get the business and save the salesman 
much useless expenditure of time, money and 
energy. 

The day may come when, if our goods are 
exactly as represented, customers will make a 
beaten track to our door, but this will not hap 
pen until human nature has changed very 
much. The human element enters so much 
into sales that it is still quite an important part 
of salesmanship for the salesman to make per 
sonal visits, so as to get the orders. To be 
sure, we have the department stores and spe 
cialty houses which have built up a well-known 
reputation for merchandise of high quality and 
reasonable price. These will continue to draw 
customers, with the help of wise advertising, 
but they must employ the right kind of sales- 
force to handle properly the customers who 
visit their places of business. 

Finding a customer does not mean simply 
inducing him to look over what you have to 



154 SELLING THINGS 

sell. It means actually inducing him to make 
a purchase, and satisfying him so thoroughly 
that he will continue to do business with you. 
It is because finding the customer is so vitally 
important that the selling end of a business 
continues to be, by long odds, the most impor 
tant department. 

No better advice can be given, to sum up, 
than this : If you would find customers, study 
all the means and ways in your power; keep 
thinking, thinking, thinking, and the right 
thoughts will come, then act, act, act. Never 
wait for to-morrow. "To-morrow" is a loser. 
It will never find customers. 



CHAPTER XXII 

WHEN YOU ARE DISCOURAGED 

The man who has acquired the power of keeping his mind 
filled with the thoughts which uplift and encourage, the opti 
mistic thought, the cheerful, hopeful thought, has solved one 
of the great riddles of life. 

"Don't hunt after trouble, but look for success, 
You'll find what you look for, don't look for distress; 
If you see but your shadow, remember, I pray, 
That the sun is still shining, but you're in the way; 

"Don't grumble, don't bluster, don't dream and don't shirk, 
Don't think of your worries, but think of your work. 
The worries will vanish, the work will be done, 
No man sees his shadow who faces the sun." 

A YOUNG salesman who has mastered him 
self and also the secret of success recently 
wrote from the field : 

''Yesterday it seemed as though everything 
was going against me. There appeared to be 
something the matter everywhere I called, and 
although I put up a most determined fight 
failure after failure met me, until very late in 
the evening. I had not then taken a single 

155 



156 SELLING THINGS 

order, but I made up my mind that I could 
not go back to my boarding place until I had 
done a decent day's work. It was this resolu 
tion that saved the day, for I took fifteen or 
ders before I got home at nine o'clock. If I 
had given up to my discouragement I should 
simply have said to myself, 'What's the use? 
This day is gone and I might as well go home, 
take it easy, and make the best of it.' But I 
said, 'No, young man, you are not going to bed 
to-night until you have done a good day's 
work/ 

"Many a time such a resolution has saved me 1 
when, otherwise, I would have made a misera 
ble showing. I just make up my mind that no 
matter what attractions come in my way, no 
matter what discouragements I meet, I will 
conquer before the night or I will stay up all 
night. I find that victory usually follows such 
a resolution." 

The prospect feels the influence of such a 
determination on the part of the salesman. 
We radiate our moods, our discouragement, or 
our courage. The man we approach feels what 
we feel, and when we approach him with the 
spirit of a conqueror, when we go to him with 
victory in our face, we generally win out. 



WHEN You ARE DISCOURAGED 157 

A notably successful salesman says that he 
made his first great hit after overcoming a fit 
of deep discouragement, consequent on the loss 
of his position. When he got another place he 
said he started out the first morning with one 
word ringing in his mind, "Determination." 
He resolved not to return without an order. 
He was determined to make that day a red 
letter day in his life, to show his new employer 
what was in him, to convince his prospects. 
He approached every one that day with the 
determination of victory uppermost in his 
mind. 

"One man afterwards told me," he said, "that 
I overwhelmed him with my dead-in-earnest- 
ness, won him by my determination." 

The power of the mind, whether favorable 
or unfavorable, is tremendous. When a man 
gives way to discouragement he loses his grip 
and begins to go down. The bottom seems to 
drop out of things, and everything helps him 
the way he is going. His thought connects 
him with all the thought currents of misfor 
tune, poverty and failure. He attracts those 
things, for it is a psychological law that failure 
attracts failure, discouragement more discour- 



158 SELLING THINGS 

agement, poverty more poverty. To a sales 
man discouragement is fatal, for when a man 
assumes the discouraged, failure attitude, he 
loses power and magnetism, there is nothing 
inspiring in him, and he not only loses confi 
dence in himself but his fellow men also lose 
confidence in him. You will find it next to im 
possible to make a sale with a mind filled with 
discouragement, pessimistic, failure thoughts. 

The exercise of a little will power is all that 
is necessary for the control of our moods, to 
change discouragement and depression into 
courage and hope. 

We all know how quickly a child will work 
itself into a fearful spasm simply by beginning 
to pity itself. The more he indulges in self- 
pity, the louder and louder will he cry, until he 
completely upsets his mind and becomes hys 
terical. 

When inclined to be blue and discouraged, 
men and women are like children. The temp 
tation is to begin to pity ourselves, then we go 
on hanging up more dark pictures on the walls 
of the mind, until we have our whole mentality 
dressed in mourning. It is not very difficult 
at the beginning of a discouraged mood to shut 



WHEN You ABE DISCOURAGED 



it off by resolutely turning our minds in the 
opposite direction. Instead of adding to our 
depression by pitying ourselves the thing to 
do is to tear down the black flags, the hideous 
pictures, the gloomy visions of our imagina 
tion, to clear them all out of the mind, and 
let in sunlight and joy, peace and happiness. 
These will very quickly drive away the gloom 
and discouragement, and they are just as ready 
to enter our minds and to stay with us as their 
opposites, if we will only make room for them. 

When you feel downhearted and mentally 
depressed; when, perhaps, business is dull and 
you begin to fear you won't make any sales 
this trip, go somewhere where you can be alone 
and give yourself an audible self-treatment. 
If this is not possible, then give yourself a 
silent or mental one, the form in both cases 
may be the same. But the audible treatment 
is apt to be more effective, since the spoken 
word makes a deeper impression than that 
which is merely thought or passed through the 
mind. 

Say to yourself something like this: "I am 
a child of God, I have a living, vital connection 
with the great Sourse and Sustainer of all 



160 SELLING THINGS 

things which nothing can sever. Therefore I 
have nothing to fear. I have strength and 
ability to clo whatever it is necessary for me 
to do. I was made to be successful, to be 
happy. This is my birthright and nothing can 
rob me of it. I will succeed in everything I 
undertake to-day. I will be cheerful and 
happy. / am happy, because I was made for 
joy and gladness, not for gloom and sadness. 
They are foreign to my nature, and I will have 
nothing more to do with them." 

Just fill your mind with good, cheerful, up 
lifting thoughts and you will find that your 
feeling will quickly correspond with your men 
tal attitude. After a few minutes of this auto- 
suggestive treatment you will be surprised at 
the complete transformation of your outlook. 
It is astonishing how we can brace ourselves 
up by auto-suggestion, replacing the distress 
ing, blue, discouraging thoughts with cheerful, 
hopeful, optimistic thoughts. 

There are men who are usually quite level 
headed but who do the most foolish things 
when discouraged or suffering from the 
"blues," acting under the influence of their 
moods, when the brain is clouded, inexact, 



WHEN You ARE DISCOURAGED 161 

uncertain in its processes, instead of clear, 
active, and well balanced. 

Discouragement colors the judgment. 

Whenever you see a person who has been 
unusually successful in any field, remember 
that he has usually thought himself into his 
position; his mental attitude and energy have 
created it; what he stands for in his commun 
ity has come from his attitude toward life, 
toward his fellowmen, toward his vocation, 
toward himself. Above all else, it is the out 
come of his self-faith, of his inward vision of 
himself; the result of his estimate of his 
powers and possibilities. 

Self -depreciation is one of the characteristics 
of those suffering from the "blues." Most of 
us do not encourage ourselves enough by 
optimistic thinking, by auto-suggestion. 

If you are a victim of your moods, push 
right into the swim of things, and take an 
active part, as wiell as a real interest, in what 
is going on around you. Associate with peo 
ple. Be glad and happy, and interest your 
self in others. Keep your mind off yourself. 
Get away from yourself by entering with zest 
into the family plans, or the plans and pleas 
ures of others about you. 



162 SELLING THINGS 

The expelling power of a contrary emotion 
has a wonderful effect upon the mind. The 
cure for bad moods is to summon good ones to 
take their places in the thought and thus force 
them out. 

I know of a woman who was prone to fits of 
of the "blues," who conquered them by forcing 
herself to sing bright, joyous songs, and to 
play lively, inspiring airs on the piano when 
ever she felt an "attack" coming on. 

Do not let anybody or anything shake your 
faith that you can conquer all these enemies of 
your peace and happiness, and that you inherit 
an abundance of all that is good. 

If we were properly trained in the pyschol- 
ogy of mental chemistry, we could change the 
state of our mind as quickly as we can change 
our clothing. The simple fact, however, that 
two opposite thoughts or emotions cannot live 
together an instant gives us the key to the whole 
matter. Every sane person can control and 
guide his mind. He can choose his thoughts, 
and the good encouraging thought will neutral 
ize the evil, depressing one. It is just a ques 
tion of holding in the mind the antidote of the 
thought that is torturing us, robbing us of our 
birthright, of success and happiness. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

THE STIMULUS OF REBUFFS 

It is defeat that turns bone to flint, and gristle to muscle, 
and makes men invincible, and formed those heroic natures 
that are now in ascendancy in the world. Do not, then, be 
afraid of defeat. You are never so near to victory as when 
defeated in a good cause. HEXRY WARD BEECHER. 

He only is beaten who admits it. 

Do not allow yourself to think that you are weak. 

The man who has never formed the victory habit is timid, 
because he does not know that he can conquer; he doesn't know 
his strength, because he has never tested it sufficiently to know 
that it will win. 

THE manager of a big insurance company 
not long since asked me what books I would 
recommend for putting stamina into a sales 
man who wilted under a direct "No." 

"We have in our employ," he wrote, "a fine 
mannered, well-educated and very intelligent 
man. We have thoroughly educated him in 
the technical part of our business and have 
done our best to perfect him in salesmanship, 
but he is not attaining the success we believe 

163 



164 SELLING THINGS 

he should. His defect is his inability to con 
tinue a conversation with a party who abruptly 
tells him that he is not interested in life insur 
ance. He states that in a number of such 
instances he has been unable to say a word, 
his throat becoming dry. From the above 
description it might appear to you that the 
man was wanting in courage. We, however, 
do not believe this to be the case as his record 
in the past does not justify that conclusion." 

How do you stand up under a "No"? Do 
you lose heart? Does your cheerfulness van 
ish? Are you conquered then and there? 
Or does it only act as a stimulant to more 
determined effort? Does it brace you to meet 
opposition, put you on your mettle, or do you 
wilt under it? 

A salesman who is made of the right stuff 
thrives upon opposition. He braces up under 
rebuffs, rises to the occasion in proportion to 
the difficulties to be overcome. 

Socrates said, "If the Almighty should come 
to me with complete success in His right hand, 
and an eternal struggle for success in His left, 
I would take the left." It is through struggle, 
through bravely meeting and overcoming ob- 



THE STIMULUS OF REBUFFS 165 

stacks that we find ourselves and develop our 
strength. 

A successful business man tells me that 
every victory he has gained in a long career 
has been the result of hard fighting, so that 
now he is actually afraid of an easily-won suc 
cess. He feels that there must be something 
wrong when anything worth while can be 
obtained without a struggle, Fighting his 
way to triumph, overcoming obstacles, gives 
this man pleasure. Difficulties are a tonic to 
him. He enjoys doing hard things, because 
it tests his strength, his ability. He does not 
like doing easy things, because it does not give 
him the exhilaration, the joy, that is felt after 
a victorious struggle. 

Some natures never come to themselves, 
never discover their real strength, until they 
meet with opposition or failure. Their reserve 
of power lies so deep within them that any or 
dinary stimulus does not arouse it. But when 
they are confronted with obstacles, when they 
are ridiculed, "sat down upon," or when they 
are abused and insulted, a new force seems to 
be born in them, and they do things which 
before would have seemed impossible. 



166 SELLING THINGS 

Whenever a motive is great enough, an 
emergency large enough, a responsibility 
heavy enough, to call out the hidden reserve 
in our nature, latent energies spring forth 
which astonish us. The thin-skinned, sensitive 
salesman succumbs to the first breath of oppo 
sition or discouragement. 

It is unfortunate to allow the customer ever 
to say "No," but do not let a "No" overwhelm 
you. Remember this is your test. If you 
stick to your guns and don't show the white 
feather a "No" will bring out the best that is 
in you. Whenever you hear "No," call to 
mind men like Napoleon and Grant, who 
thrived on opposition and rebuffs. 

It is not an easy matter to find salesmen who 
are capable of coping with all sorts of antago 
nism. But they are the ones in demand. 
Such men are not easily argued down they 
can put up a stiff fight against every kind of 
opposition. Where the weak salesman retires 
from the field beaten, the man with grit and 
stamina is only taking his second breath. He 
does not let a rebuff or two phase him. Some 
salesmen are so weak that they cannot even 
maintain their own individuality in the pres- 



THE STIMULUS OF REBUFFS 167 

ence of a prospect with a strong, vigorous men 
tality. He will annihilate their arguments in 
a twinkle. They fall down before his on 
slaught and say, "Yes, I guess you're about 
right, Mr. Blank. I hadn't thought of that 
before. But I guess you know best." They 
cannot hold their ground, maintain their argu 
ments, because they allow themselves to be 
drawn out of their current of mental vibration, 
to be overcome by the current of the stronger 
mentality. 

I know two salesmen who go out from dif 
ferent houses over similar territory with the 
same line of goods. One of them sells four or 
five times as much in a year as the other. One 
man starts out with the expectation, the deter 
mination to sell, and, of course, he gets a very 
large salary on account of his great ability to 
sell. The other man gets a very small salary, 
just barely enough to enable him to hold on to 
his job, because obstacles seem so great to him. 
He returns of tener with excuses for not selling 
than with orders. He has not the ability to 
annihilate difficulties, to overcome obstacles, 
which the other man has. He brings back to 
his house small orders, or none, because he can- 



not overcome the objections of his customers, 
cannot convince them that they want what he 
has to sell. 

I once saw an advertisement of a big firm 
for a manager, which, after describing the sort 
of man wanted, and saying that no other need 
apply, closed with, "The man must be able to 
cope with antagonism" Now, the trouble 
with the unsuccessful salesman I speak of is: 
he is not able to cope with antagonism. He 
hoists the white flag the moment the enemy 
confronts him. He has no fight in him, and 
surrenders before* a shot is fired. When a 
prospect or customer puts up an objection he 
is done. "Well, I guess perhaps you are 
right," he says, "it may be better for you not 
to buy now." This salesman lacks stamina. 
There is not enough lime in his backbone, not 
enough iron in his blood. He is a good honest 
soul, but he lacks the virility that characterizes 
the great salesman. 

Remember that every weak strand in your 
character, every hindering peculiarity, every 
unfortunate habit, will cripple your sales and 
mar your success. Sensitiveness, timidity, 
shyness, lack of grit or courage, all of these 



THE STIMULUS OF REBUFFS 169 

weaknesses are virtually cutters-down of your 
ability to sell. Timid, shy or sensitive people 
are often morbidly self-conscious. They are 
always analyzing, dissecting themselves, won 
dering how they appear, what people think of 
them. These things keep the mind diverted 
from its real object and are all destroyers of 
concentration and power. 

Over-sensitiveness is a very serious handi 
cap in salesmanship. The man who is not 
able to take his medicine with a smile, who is 
not able to cope with a surly, a cantankerous, 
a quick-tempered or a sharp-tongued cus 
tomer, has no place in salesmanship. In other 
words, a great salesman must be able to carry 
on his selling campaign at the points where the 
ordinary salesman falls down. To do this he 
must not be thin-skinned. He must be able 
to stand all sorts of abusive talk under which 
the sensitive, over-refined salesman quails. 
He must be ready to push on vigorously at 
the point where the salesman who lacks grit 
will quit and turn back. He must be able to 
stand having pepper and salt sprinkled on his 
sore spots without wincing. He should keep 
one thing continually in mind : that his business 
is, at all costs, to make a sale. 



This does not mean that a good salesman 
must have a rhinoceros hide ; that would make 
him unfeeling, unsympathetic, and he would 
lack the human quality which is so essential 
in salesmanship. Nor does it mean that he 
should be pugnacious or over-aggressive. It 
simply means that he must be able to anti 
dote and neutralize the prospect's thrusts, how 
ever cruel or aggravating. In short, while 
keeping perfect control of himself, remaining 
pleasant and agreeable throughout, he must be 
able to put up a stiff fight, a dignified, manly 
fight that will leave him master of the situation. 

This is where the timid or over-sensitive 
salesman falls short. He is thrown com 
pletely off his base by the vigorous thrusts and 
arguments of the rough, energetic business 
man who doesn't stop to choose his words. He 
feels injured at the slightest reflection upon his 
ability, his truthfulness, the character of his 
goods, or his house. I know a salesman of this 
sort who will never make his mark, who flares 
up, "gets up on his ear," as they say, when 
ever his sensitive, sore spots are touched. He 
lacks that masterfulness and superb confidence 
in himself which make a salesman proof against 



THE STIMULUS OF REBUFFS 171 

abuse or opposition. The self-confident man 
is impervious to the slights or slurs that make 
the sensitive man shrink into himself. He is 
too sensible of his own dignity to let them inter 
fere with his business. When the small man, 
the peppery or morbidly sensitive man, feels 
that he must protect his "honor," even if he 
lose a sale, the big, broad man knows that no 
one can hurt his honor but himself, and that it 
is best served by refusing to feel hurt or in 
sulted where in reality no insult is intended. 

Another point that works to the great dis 
advantage of the timid or sensitive salesman is 
this: he is afraid to make what is called the 
"cold" or "straight" canvass; that is, to ap 
proach people without having a "lead" or an 
introduction. This is a great weakness, and 
very often false pride is at the bottom of it. 
The man feels above his task. Again, ignor 
ance of goods or of selling principles will cause 
a man to lack confidence in himself, and then, 
naturally, he is timid, fearful, for he foresees 
the failure that awaits him when he calls on 
a customer. Ignorance is timid ; knowledge is 
bold, courageous. It is not enough to have 
possession of yourself if you don't also have 



172 SELLING THINGS 

possession of your business, that is, if you are 
not thoroughly grounded in the principles of 
salesmanship. Thus grounded, if you adopt 
the right attitude toward your business and to 
ward yourself, nothing can keep you from suc 
cess. 

Throw off your shyness, your morbid sensi 
tiveness, your timidity. Get rid of your lack 
of faith and courage. Confidently expect that 
you are going to be a great salesman, a distinc 
tive one, a salesman with individuality, with 
originality, with inventiveness, a man of re 
source and power. Never allow yourself to 
think that anything is true about you that you 
wish to be otherwise, because the thought you 
hold in mind is the model of your life building. 
Think faith, think courage, think strength, and 
you will develop those qualities. 

The reason why so many of us build so 
slowly and so poorly is because we are con 
stantly destroying our building by shifting our 
model. One day we have confidence in our 
selves, and our mental model is full of courage, 
hope and expectancy, and the life forces build 
accordingly. The next day we are in the 
dumps, have no faith in ourselves, are discour- 



THE STIMULUS OF REBUFFS 173 

aged, and of course these are the models for 
that day's building, destroying the building of 
the previous day, and thus many of us go 
through life, building up and tearing down. 

Be consistently courageous, hopeful, confi 
dent in yourself and in the power of your Cre 
ator to make you what you long to be, and no 
body, nothing on this earth, can down you. 

There is everything in flinging out a superb 
confidence in yourself, a firm belief that you 
are going to win. Expel all doubt and fear, 
all uneasiness, from your mind and approach 
every prospect with the expectation of success. 

"Courage," says Emerson, "comes from 
having done the thing before." Your first 
success will give you the momentum that will 
push you on to the next. Every achievement 
adds to our self-confidence, the great leader of 
all our other faculties. If confidence does not 
go ahead, the other faculties refuse to go on. 

Every time you conquer what you under 
take, you add so much to the power of all the 
faculties you possess. Just as a snowball 
grows larger and larger as it rolls down hill, 
so our lives grow larger, richer, with each ex 
perience. We lose nothing of what we 
achieve. It is all added to the life-ball. 



174 SELLING THINGS 

Not long ago I asked a very successful man, 
really a "born salesman," what he considered 
the essential qualifications for good salesman 
ship. He put in the first category of quali 
fications: confidence in your goods, confidence 
in your firm, and confidence in yourself, plus 
enthusiasm, plus earnestness, plus persever 
ance, plus hard work, plus enjoyment of your 
work. In the second place he put: general 
knowledge of merchandise. In the third place 
he put : personality, and under this heading he 
included, honesty, neatness of appearance, 
poise, courtesy, sincerity, and temperance. 
The natural born salesman, he said, possesses 
all of these things, and in addition, tact, 
shrewdness, and understanding of human na 
ture. 

Now, there is nothing in this list of quali 
fications that is not within the reach of every 
honest intelligent youth who has enough 
stamina and will power to make his life a suc 
cess. 

You are a child of the Infinite ; you bear the 
stamp of the Creator, and you must partake 
of His qualities. It is up to you, then, to 
make good; it is your duty as a man to show 



THE STIMULUS OF REBUFFS 175 

your origin, to stand your ground, to maintain 
your independence, your self-reliance, your 
dignity, against all attacks. It is up to you to 
stand for something in your life work, to be 
counted as one to be reckoned with in any 
transaction. It is your own fault if you are 
sucked out of your own plane of vibrations by 
a bully, a fighter, by any one, be he great or 
small. Selling honest goods is an honorable 
pusuit. Bring out your God-given powers. 
Improve the qualities He has given you and 
make your work, make your life significant. 
Don't be apologetic; don't be afraid; don't 
cringe or wilt under opposition. Feel the im 
portance and dignity of your work and let 
others feel that you feel it. Say to yourself, 
"I too am a son of God, the equal of this or 
any other man. I am going to maintain my 
poise, my individuality, my faith in myself, no 
matter what he says. I am as self-reliant, as 
independent, as forceful as any other man. I 
shall not be cowed by any one. I am not go 
ing to be downed by an obstacle." 

You will find it a wonderful help in over 
coming obstacles in every phase of your work 
to assume a victorious mental attitude, and to 



176 SELLING THINGS 

carry yourself like a conqueror. If you go 
about among your fellows with a defeated ex 
pression in your face, giving the impression 
that you are not much of a man anyway, that 
life has been mostly a defeat, and that you 
don't look forward to any success worth while, 
you certainly cannot hope to, and never will, 
inspire confidence in others; if your face, on 
the other hand, glows with the expression of 
victory, if you carry a victorious attitude, if 
you walk about the earth like a conqueror, a 
man victory-organized, you are headed to 
ward victory. Nothing can keep you from 
winning out, because and don't forget this 
Success begins in the mind. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

MEETING COMPETITION: "KNOW YOUR GOODS" 

"This is the age of push, struggle and fierce competition." 

"Study your competitor his manner and method of doing 
things." 

THERE are certain lines of business in which 
the salesman has no competition; this, however, 
is the exception. There are many lines in 
which the competition is more imaginary than 
real ; that is to say, the quality of the goods of 
the so-called competitor is so much inferior to 
that of the goods carried by a first-rate house 
that there is no real competition. The buyer, 
however, who is usually shrewd, and, unfor 
tunately, is often unscrupulous, will, if pos 
sible, lead the salesman to think that competi 
tors have given better prices or better terms, 
and that their goods are superior. The sales 
man who is not armed at every point to meet 
his tactics runs the risk of being imposed on. 

One superlatively good rule is this: 

177 



178 SELLING THINGS 

"Know Your Goods." That will enable you 
to meet both real and imaginary competition. 
By this we mean, be familiar with the intrinsic 
merits of the goods you are selling, and know 
the market conditions which surround the 
trade. Read very carefully all the literature 
and advertisements put out by your house. 
Nothing will destroy a buyer's confidence more 
quickly than to find a salesman ignorant of the 
claims made by his own house, or of the specific 
qualities of the goods offered for sale. Sales 
men need to keep themselves fresh and enthus 
iastic in regard to their goods, not only by 
thorough reading of their house organs, and 
all literature issued with the view of creating 
patronage, but also by getting information 
from every possible source that will help them 
in their special line. Outside of what a man 
can learn from the printed matter furnished 
by his own house, he may learn much additional 
from leading trade journals and by talking 
with men who are familiar, in a practical way, 
with his line. In getting information from the 
salesmen of a competing house it is best not to 
exchange confidences. Learn all you can in an 
open, fair way, but do not resort to trickery, or 



MEETING COMPETITION 179 

to any methods which you would be unwilling 
to have a competitor use with your house. 

The second rule for meeting competition is 
"Know Competitors' Goods." This again in 
volves not only being familiar with the quality 
and uses of the goods, but with the reputation 
of the manufacturer and his selling agents, as 
well as the class of trade to which competitors 
cater, the class of salesmen they employ, and 
the ethics they observe in doing business. 

Some believe that three-quarters of all busi 
ness is done on a friendship basis. But it is a 
different friendship than that meant by the 
accepted term. It is business friendship, not 
social friendship. 

Naturally, if you do business amicably with 
a man for a long time you are "friendly." 
You call each other Smith and Brown, possibly 
"Charlie" and "Eddie"; maybe you lunch to 
gether occasionally. But such friendship is in 
nowise like that bestowed on your old neigh 
bors, your college classmates, or your club 
brothers. 

Many a man who has started out to do busi 
ness on a real friendship basis has found out to 
his sorrow that it can't be done. 



180 SELLING THINGS 

"Friendship and business don't mix" is an 
old adage and a true one. You can't presume 
on your intimacy with a man to sell him goods; 
and it is seldom you can get his trade away 
from a successful salesman, even if you have 
identical goods and quote the same price. 
The salesman has become the buyer's friend 
too, in a different way to what you are, but still 
a friend and deserving of consideration. No 
doubt business friendship plays a very large 
part in business getting with all salesmen. 
You know how hard it often is, to break in on 
the trade of another man, simply because he 
has won the friendship of his customers. Keep 
this in mind, and do everything to win the 
friendship and merit the continued confidence 
of your trade. 

In this connection, remember that "knock 
ing" is bad. When giving the rule, "Don't 
knock" as a good one for every salesman, I 
mean simply that a salesman should not criti 
cise unfairly or bitterly the goods of another. 
There is no harm in pointing out the real de 
fects or inferiority of rival merchandise, but it 
is a great mistake to show ill-will or to make 
unkind, uncalled-for criticisms. If it is neces- 



MEETING COMPETITION 181 

sary to protect a man from buying what is go 
ing to cause him a loss, we should not hesitate 
in criticizing and pointing out defects, but our 
criticisms should be made in a tactful way, so 
as not to leave the impression that we are "sore 
heads." 

In the next place, avoid the great mistake of 
young salesmen, and of many experienced men, 
who talk their competitors' goods far too much. 
I know a salesman of very pleasing personality 
who frequently hurts his sales in this way. He 
has a way of scattering his customer's attention 
by introducing the possibilities of rival prod 
ucts in his own line. At the present time he 
is selling automobiles, and is constantly com 
paring his car with others, diverting the cus 
tomer's attention, by enlarging on the advan 
tages and disadvantages, the good and bad 
points, of rival cars, confusing a man by bring 
ing into his mind so many things at the same 
time. 

He seems to take delight in exhibiting his 
thorough knowledge of the points of those 
other cars, and, in doing so, he often raises a 
question in the customer's mind as to the de 
sirability of some other than the one the sales- 



182 SELLING THINGS 

man is selling, and will in many instances post 
pone purchasing until he investigates the rival 
cars. 

The best salesmen say very little about a 
competitor's goods. They simply explain and 
emphasize the advantages and good points of 
their own. 

Don't ignore questions about competitors, 
and don't fail to banish from the customer's 
mind all doubts and prejudices, but it is a seri 
ous mistake to spend a lot of time talking about 
competitors' goods, when you ought to be stick 
ing to the merits of your own. Answer 
quickly all questions, and then switch back to 
the excellence of what you are selling. Be so 
enthusiastic about your own selling points that 
rivalry will be forgotten. 

In meeting competition, do not be fooled by 
the question of price. At present, very many 
staple lines are of about the same quality and 
the same price, so that you must bring out, as a 
high-grade salesman should, the fact that serv 
ice is the main consideration. Show what your 
house can do in the matter of prompt deliv 
eries, careful packing, dependability as regards 
uniform quality, correct count, liberal terms, 



MEETING COMPETITION 183 

etc., and do not forget that the general reputa 
tion of your house is a selling point. The 
facilities which you have for keeping abreast of 
the times, like the employing of experts to do 
experimental work, thereby improving your 
product all the time, is a point of service well 
worth consideration. 

Not the least important of the methods to 
meet competition is for the salesman to ana 
lyze both the conditions of the people on whom 
he calls and the territory in which he works, 
Any suggestions that he may make to his house 
will help in the matter of educational adver 
tising, which always can be used to advantage 
in selling. 

Above all, a salesman can meet competition 
most effectively by a strong personality. Re 
member that your goods are judged by your 
self, sometimes, even, unfairly; and remember 
that we are always judged by our weakest 
points; hence, in order to hold your old trade 
from competitors, and to get new trade, you 
must possess "business magnetism," which is 
another way of saying "a strong personality." 



CHAPTER XXV 

THE SALESMAN AND THE SALES MANAGER 

Every salesman should feel that he is a partner in the busi 
ness. 

The man who thinks he knows it all is taking a header for 
oblivion. 

IT is of the utmost importance that every 
salesman should have full confidence in his sales 
manager. There are many peculiar conditions 
which exist in all lines of business. The con 
ditions of the trade are best known to those who 
have reached the position of sales manager or 
general manager, and their advice should al 
ways be sought with an open and receptive 
mind. 

In many lines of business, treating and en 
tertaining play an important part. Often, 
business can be procured through taking your 
customer to the theater, or taking him to your 
club for lunch or dinner, and quite often an 
afternoon playing golf may be the best way to 

184 



SALESMAN AND SALES MANAGE* 185 

"land" a large contract. There is far less en 
tertaining done nowadays, however, than for 
merly. Entertaining is always so agreeable 
for the entertainer, as well as for the customer, 
that many salesmen are likely to overdo in this 
respect. They attach too much importance to 
social meetings outside of the actual getting of 
orders; hence, it is wise to abide by what the 
head of the firm, or the sales manager, may 
think in the matter of just how far to go when 
expending money, even for cigars that are to 
be given with the view, not of bribing the cus 
tomer, but of getting him in a friendly attitude 
of mind. 

Always be open-minded at the weekly or 
daily meetings, when instructions are given by 
the sales manager. Do not refer to his words 
as "hot air" and "bunk." If you have sugges 
tions, do not hesitate to call his attention to 
what you think would be helpful to the other 
men. Remember that if you really know more 
than the sales manager does, it is not going to 
be long before you will have his job. If you 
only think you know more than he does, and 
you persist in showing this, either by words or 
actions, you will soon lose your job. 



186 SELLING THINGS 

Written instructions from a sales manager 
are the best kind. He would always do well 
to sum up briefly the main points of his advice, 
and get them out in the form of a letter or bul 
letin. Half a page of typewritten ideas, con 
taining a few words of inspiration, will work 
wonders, both for the discouraged and for the 
enthusiastic members of his force. 

To get the best results, sales managers 
should always be friendly and sympathetic 
with their men. Harsh criticisms upset a man, 
sometimes, to the extent that he will be worried 
and nervous for several days. Positive and 
emphatic reprimands are often called for, but 
they should always be courteous and tactful. 

And the salesman, when listening to the crit 
icisms of his sales manager, should remember 
this old quotation, "Better the wounds of a 
friend than the kisses of an enemy." 

Sales managers of the old school believe that 
finding fault and harsh, driving methods will 
get the best results. They are mistaken. 
"You can get more flies with molasses, than you 
can with vinegar," is a saying perfectly true 
in its application alike to the salesman and the 
sales manager. This does not mean that the 



SALESMAN AND SALES MANAGER 187 

weak-kneed, spineless manager can get good 
results. Being friendly does not mean losing 
dignity. Different men must receive different 
treatment. There are lazy men, untidy men, 
those who do not try to make the most of what 
ever ability they have, and men with other more 
or less grave faults. In dealing with these, it 
is necessary to "lay down the law" much more 
emphatically than with the timid but ambi 
tious ones. 

Marshall Field was in the habit of saying to 
his employees, "Remember that the customer is 
always right." I would advise every salesman 
to keep in mind these words: "Remember, 
your sales manager is always right." 

A matter you must invariably refer to your 
sales manager is that of swaying your cus 
tomer by gifts. Many people want something 
for nothing, and a salesman often thinks that 
the easiest way to get an order is to use one or 
another kind of bribery. This may take the 
form of rebates, or cash on the spot, or pres 
ents. Be very discreet in such matters. 

As a scientific salesman, do not forget to con 
sider the buyer. He is buying scientifically. 
He is suspicious. Every one is trying to drive 



188 SELLING THINGS 

a very close bargain. He tries to make you 
yield on price, to make some concessions on 
payments, to give special privileges about re 
turning goods, etc. Beware of all these tactics. 
Here, again, you must consult frequently, and 
with confidence, your sales manager. He 
knows the tricks of your particular trade, and 
he will be able to give you proper coaching. 

Be sure, above all things, that if your sales 
manager had a chance to put an epitaph on 
your tombstone it would not be this: "He 
meant well, tried a little, and failed much." 



CHAPTER XXVI 

ARE YOU A GOOD MIXER? 

Charm of personality is a divine gift that sways the strong 
est characters, and sometimes even controls the destinies of 
nations. 

The art of the salesman is akin to that of the orator. Both 
seek the mastery of the mind, the sympathy of the soul, the 
compulsion of the heart. 

Personal magnetism in a man corresponds to charm in a 
woman. 

An attractive, pleasing personality makes a striking first 
impression. 

"GETTING what you want from kings or 
statesmen," De Blowitz said, "is all a matter of 
dining with the right people." Through the 
power of his charming presence, his gracious 
manner, this famous journalist accomplished 
greater things at the dinner table, in the draw 
ing-room or ball-room than any other news 
paper man in Europe accomplished through 
letters of introduction, influence and special 
"pulls." His popularity, his power to interest 
and please others, was his strongest asset. 

189 



190 SELLING THINGS 

The ability of Charles M. Schwab to make 
friends, his strong social qualities, his faculty 
for entertaining, for making himself agreeable, 
played a powerful part in his rapid advance 
ment from a dollar-a-day job to the position of 
millionaire steel manufacturer. It was his so 
cial qualities which first drew Mr. Carnegie so 
strongly to him. 

During the Homestead troubles, according 
to reports, young Schwab used to cheer Mr. 
Carnegie with humorous stories and the sing 
ing of Scottish ballads, and the iron master was 
always in better spirits after a visit from the 
young man. 

There is no other one thing in such universal 
demand everywhere, in social life and in busi 
ness, as the power to attract and please. A 
magnetic personality often commands a much 
bigger salary than great ability with a dis 
agreeable personality. 

I have in mind a young business man, with 
such a captivating manner, with such power to 
interest and please, that there are many firms 
in this country which would pay him a fabulous 
salary for his services. 

We all like to do business with people who 



ABE You A GOOD MIXER? 191 

attract us. If we could analyze cracker- jack 
salesmen in this country, we should find that 
they are men who have a fine magnetic per 
sonality. They are great "mixers," they un 
derstand human nature. They are usually 
men of broad sympathies, are large-hearted, 
and of magnanimous natures. 

"Diamond Jim" Brady James Buchanan, 
he was christened, is a shining example of the 
ultimate salesman. Mr. Brady has advanced 
himself to the position of selling rolling stock 
and supplies to railroads, and occasionally he 
sells entire railroads, making enormous fees as 
broker. He is perhaps the personification of 
"personality" and as a "mixer" he has no peer. 
His name is synonymous with "good fellow," 
and his list of acquaintances is said to be as 
large as that of any other one man in New 
York. 

There is something about one's personality 
which eludes the photographer, which the 
painter cannot reproduce, which the sculptor 
cannot chisel. This subtle something which 
every one feels, but which no one can describe, 
which no biographer ever put down in a book, 
has a great deal to do with one's success in life. 



192 SELLING THINGS 

It is this indescribable quality, which some 
persons have in a remarkable degree, which sets 
an audience wild at the mention of the name of 
a Lincoln or a Blaine, which makes people 
applaud beyond the bounds of enthusiasm. 
It was this peculiar atmosphere which made 1 
Clay the idol of his constituents. Although, 
perhaps, Calhoun was a greater man, he never 
aroused any such enthusiasm as "the mill-boy 
of the slashes." Webster and Sumner were 
great men, but they did not arouse a tithe of 
the spontaneous enthusiasm evoked by men like 
Blaine and Clay. 

A historian says that in measuring Kos- 
suth's influence over the masses, "we must first 
reckon with the orator's physical bulk, and then 
carry the measuring line above his atmosphere." 
If we had discernment fine enough and tests 
delicate enough, we could not only measure the 
personal atmosphere of individuals, but could 
make more accurate estimates concerning the 
future possibilities of schoolmates and young 
friends. We are often misled as to the posi 
tion they are going to occupy from the fact that 
we are apt to take account merely of their abil 
ity, and do not reckon this personal atmosphere 



ARE You A GOOD MIXER? 193 

or magnetic power as a part of their success 
capital. Yet this individual atmosphere has 
quite as much to do with one's advancement as 
brain-power or education. Indeed, we con 
stantly see men of mediocre ability, but with 
fine personal presence, being rapidly advanced 
over the heads of those who are infinitely their 
superiors in mental endowments. 

Walt Whitman used to say that a man is not 
all included between his hat and his boots. 
This is but another way of putting the fact, 
proved by science, that our personality extends 
beyond our bodies. It is not who we are, how 
we are dressed, or how we look, whether we are 
homely or handsome, educated or uneducated, 
so much as what we are that creates that subtle 
mysterious atmosphere of personality which 
either draws people to us or drives them from 
us. 

If you are exclusive ; if you always want to 
keep by yourself and read, even though it be 
for self -improvement ; if you love to get in a 
seat by yourself when you travel ; if you shrink 
from mixing or getting acquainted with others 
on the road or in hotel lobbies ; if people bore or 
irritate instead of interest you, you will never 



194 SELLING THINGS 

make a great salesman. You must be a good 
mixer, a "good fellow" in the highest sense of 
the word (not a dissipater) ; you must be popu 
lar because of your lovable human qualities, 
or you will not have that peculiar drawing 
power which invites confidence and attracts 
business. No matter what other excellent 
qualities he may possess, the exclusive man is 
rarely, if ever, magnetic; he doesn't draw peo 
ple to him; on the contrary, he keeps them at a 
distance. 

I know of an exclusive salesman of this sort 
who for lack of this drawing quality is making 
a very poor showing in his business. Although 
a splendid fellow in many respects, a man of 
high ideals and sterling honesty, he is not 
popular, because he has never learned to be a 
mixer, never learned to be a good fellow, to 
approach people with a smile and a cheery 
greeting, to hold out the glad hand of fellow 
ship. 

When he registers in a hotel, even if he has 
been there many times, he just bows to the 
clerk, secures his room, and retires to it at 
once. He loves books, is quite a student, but 
he does not care to be with people any more 



ABE You A GOOD MIXER? 195 

than he can help. The other traveling sales 
men do not like him. His distant, dignified 
personality repels them. In a word, his ex- 
clusiveness and his lack of magnetism fyave 
largely strangled his effectiveness as a sales 
man. 

It takes warm human qualities to make a 
good salesman. You cannot sell things by the 
use of mere cold technique, however perfect. 
You must establish sympathetic, wireless con 
nection with the prospect's mind by making 
him feel that you are not only very much of a 
man to start with, but that you have a lot of 
human sympathy, and are really anxious to 
serve him, to put a good thing in his way. 

Some salesmen have no more real sympathy 
for their prospect than they would have for a 
Hindoo image. Their voices carry no more 
sympathy, no more real human feeling than a 
talking machine. The house that employs them 
might as well send out phonographs to repeat 
their mechanical salesman story. They may 
hold customers who know that the firm they 
represent has an excellent reputation, but they 
have no power to attract new ones. 

There is no other factor which enters so 



196 SELLING THINGS 

largely into success in business, in social, and 
in professional life, as does personality. 
There is nothing else which has such an influ 
ence in our dealings with others. 

It is one of the salesman's greatest assets. 
It will make all the difference in the world to 
him whether he is sociable, magnetic, with an 
attractive, agreeable, cheerful temperament, or 
whether he is grouchy, cranky, disagreeable 
and arouses antagonism in those with whom he 
deals. 

It is not always the man of the greatest abil 
ity, the greatest mental power, by any means, 
who makes the great salesman. A man may 
be a mental giant ; he may have a Websterian 
brain and yet be a pigmy of a salesman. A 
pleasing, attractive personality is a tremendous 
drawing power. 

It has the same advantage a sweet, beautiful 
girl has when you first meet her. The girl 
doesn't have to try to make a good impression; 
her personality, her charm, her grace do this 
without any effort on her part. I have heard 
merchants say they looked forward with keen 
pleasure to the coming of a certain salesman 
because he was such a good fellow; he was so 
sociable, cheery and agreeable. 



ARE You A GOOD MIXER? 197 

It is a very difficult thing to resist that mag 
netic charm of personality which has swayed 
judges and juries from justice, and has even 
changed the destinies of nations. We have not 
the heart to deny or refuse, to say "No" to the 
man or woman who grips us with the impalpa 
ble force of a magnetic personality. 

When logic and argument fail, when genius 
says "impossible," when pluck and persistency 
give up, when influence has done its best and 
quits, when all the mental qualities have tried 
in vain, the subtle something which we call per 
sonal magnetism steps in and without apparent 
effort wins. 

It makes a tremendous difference whether 
you bring a personality to your prospect which 
makes a striking, pleasing first impression, or 
whether you bring a cold, clammy, unenthus- 
iastic, unresponsive nature, which makes an 
indifferent or an unfavorable impression, one 
that you must endeavor to overcome with a lot 
of long, tedious arguments. It is the personal 
element which makes the chief difference be 
tween the great salesman with a big salary and 
the little fellow with a little salary. The little 
fellow may try just as hard as the big fellow, 



198 SELLING THINGS 

indeed he may try much harder; he may have 
had a better training in the technique of sales 
manship, but because he lacks the warm, sym 
pathetic, human, sociable qualities, his industry 
and hard work are largely neutralized. 

I know a man who through the force of his 
personality is a colossal power in attracting 
business. Men follow him, are attracted to 
him, just as needles are attracted to a magnet. 
They can't very well help dealing with him, he 
gets such a magnetic grip upon them. He 
does not need to make a very strong appeal; 
his personality speaks for him. 

Phillips Brooks had such a personality. 
Strangers who passed him on the street felt his 
power to such a degree that they would turn 
and look after him. In his presence none 
could resist the pull of his magnetism, of his 
most wonderful personality. I was once a 
member of his Sunday School class in Trinity 
Church, Boston, and every one in the class in 
stinctively felt from the first that he was in the 
presence of a great, a superb specimen of hu 
manity. He had such tremendous magnetic 
power that when he wanted money for any 
charitable or philanthropic purpose, he did not 



ARE You A GOOD MIXER? 199 

have to beg for it, he merely suggested the need 
of it, and the closest pocketbooks would fly 
open. Everybody believed in Phillips Brooks 
because of the power of his superb character, 
the magnetism of his remarkable personality. 

Emerson says, "What you are speaks so 
loudly that I cannot hear what you say." We 
cannot conceal what we are, how we feel, be 
cause we radiate our atmosphere, our personal 
ity; and this is cold or warm, attractive or re 
pellent, according to our dominant traits and 
qualities. 

A person who is selfish, always thinking of 
himself and looking out for his own advantage, 
who is cold, unsympathetic, greedy, cannot 
radiate a warm, mellow atmosphere because 
one's atmosphere is a composite and takes on 
the flavor of all of one's qualities. If selfish 
ness, indifference, avarice and greed are domi 
nant in one's nature, this is the kind of an 
atmosphere he will radiate and it will repel be 
cause these qualities we instinctively detest. 

The qualities that attract are out-flowing, 
buoyant ; the qualities that repel are in-flowing ; 
that is, people who have no magnetism are self- 
centered, they think too mush about 



200 SELLING THINGS 

selves; they do not give out enough; they are 
always after something, absorbing, receiving 
some benefit, trying to get some advantage for 
themselves. They lack sympathy, lack cor 
diality, good fellowship; they are bad mixers. 

Some people are naturally magnetic, but 
when you analyze their character you will find 
they possess certain qualities which we all in 
stinctively admire, the qualities which attract 
every human being, such as generosity, mag 
nanimity, cordiality, broad sympathies, large 
views of life, helpfulness, optimism. 

There is not one of these qualities that the 
salesman can not cultivate and strengthen a 
great deal. If he does so he will get a hearing 
where others have thrown back at them the 
fatal words, "No time to see you to-day very 
busy." 

Many upright, honorable young men with 
political aspirations have been thwarted in their 
election campaign because they did not know 
how to make themselves popular. Splendid 
young men, striving for political honors, are 
constantly being beaten by men much their in 
ferior in many respects. And this not because 
of graft or pull on their opponents' side, but 



ABE You A GOOD MIXER? 201 

because the latter are good mixers. They 
know how to meet people, how to be good fel 
lows, how to mix with others; in short they 
know how to make themselves popular. 

We all know what a great demand there is 
in every line of business for traveling salesmen 
who are good mixers, men who have a genius 
for interesting, attracting and holding cus 
tomers. 

Whatever your business, your reputation 
and your success will depend in a great degree 
upon the quality of the impression you make 
upon others. It means everything, therefore, 
to young men, and to young women also, to de 
velop a magnetic, forceful personality. 

This is not a very difficult thing to do. 
Every one can cultivate the ability to please 
and the strength of character that will make 
him felt as a real force in the world. Know 
ing the qualities and characteristics that dis 
tinguish the magnetic and the unmagnetic, it 
is comparatively easy for us to cultivate the 
one and to eliminate the other. That is, we 
can cultivate the generous, magnanimous, 
cheerful, helpful mental qualities and crush 
their opposites ; and in proportion as we do this 



202 SELLING THINGS 

we shall find ourselves becoming more inter 
ested in others, and they in turn becoming 
more interested in us. We shall find ourselves 
more welcome wherever we go, more sought 
after; we shall attract people to us more and 
more, as we make ourselves personal magnets 
by fashioning our aura of the kindly thoughts 
and words and deeds that day by day go to the 
making of a rich, magnetic personality. 

In other words, if you cultivate the qualities 
which you admire so much in others, the very 
qualities which attract you, you will become at 
tractive to others. Just in proportion as you 
become imbued with these qualities so that they 
shall characterize you, will you acquire a mag 
netic, attractive personality. 

A good education is a great advantage to a 
man or a woman, but most of us put too great 
emphasis upon education, upon mental equip 
ment and training. We seem to think that 
this is everything, but our personal atmosphere 
may have more to do with our success in life, 
more to do with determining our place in the 
world, our social or business advancement, our 
standing in our community, than our mere 
mental equipment. 



ARE You A GOOD MIXER? 203 

The first step toward making yourself mag 
netic is to build up your health. Vigorous 
health, coupled with a right mental attitude, an 
optimistic, hopeful, cheerful, happy mind, will 
increase your magnetism wonderfully. 

A person having robust health radiates an 
atmosphere of strength, a suggestion of vigor 
and courage, while one who lacks vitality 
drains from others instead of giving to them. 
Physical force and abounding joyousness of 
health help to create a magnetic, forceful per 
sonality. The man with buoyant, alert mind, 
with a sparkle in his eye and elasticity in his 
step, the man who is bubbling over with 
abundant physical vitality, has a tremendous 
advantage over those who are devitalized and 
are weak physically. 

To be magnetic you must face life in the 
right way. Pessimism, selfishness, a sour dis 
position, lack of sympathy and enthusiasm 
all of these tend to destroy personal magnet 
ism. It is a hopeful, optimistic, sunny, sane, 
large-hearted person who radiates the kind of 
personal magnetism we all admire, the kind 
that commands attention, that attracts and 
holds all sorts of people. 



204 SELLING THINGS 

Above all if you want to have a magnetic, 
attractive personality, cultivate the heart quali 
ties. Intellect, brain power, has little, if any 
thing to do with personal magnetism. It is 
the lovable, not the intellectual, qualities that 
draw and hold people. You must make peo 
ple feel your sympathy, feel that they have met 
a real man or a real woman. Don't greet 
people with a stiff, conventional, "How do you 
do?" or "Glad to meet you," without any feel 
ing, any sentiment in it. Be a good mixer and 
adapt yourself to different dispositions. Look 
every person you meet squarely in the eye and 
make him feel your personality. Give him a 
glad hand, with a smile and a kind word which 
will make him remember that he has come in 
contact with a real force, which will make him 
glad to meet you again. 

If you would be popular, you must cultivate 
cordiality. You must fling the door of your 
heart wide open, and not, as many do, just 
leave it ajar a little, as much as to say to people 
you meet, "You may peep in a bit, but you 
cannot come in until I know whether you will 
be a desirable acquaintance." A great many 
people are stingy of their cordiality. They 



ARE You A GOOD MIXER? 205 

seem to reserve it for some special occasion or 
for intimate friends. They think it is too pre 
cious to give out to everybody. 

Do not be afraid to open your heart; fling 
the door of it wide open. Get rid of all re 
serve ; do not meet a person as though you were 
afraid of making a mistake and doing what you 
would be glad to recall. 

You will be surprised to see what this warm, 
glad handshake and cordial greeting will do 
in creating a bond of good-will between you 
and the person you meet. He will say to him 
self, "Well, there is really an interesting per 
sonality. I want to know more about this lady 
or gentleman. This is an unusual greeting. 
This person sees something in me, evidently, 
which most people do not see." 

Some people give you a shudder, and you 
feel cold chills creep over you when they take 
hold of your hand. There is no warmth in 
their grasp, no generosity, no friendliness, no 
real interest in you. It is all a cold-blooded 
proceeding, and you can imagine you hear one 
of these chilling individuals say to himself, 
"Well, what is there in this person for me? 
Can he send me clients, patients or customers? 



206 SELLING THINGS 

If he does not possess money, has he influence 
or a pull with influential people? Can he help 
or interest me in any way? If not, I can not 
afford to bother with him." 

Cultivate the habit of being cordial, of meet 
ing people with a warm, sincere greeting, with 
an open heart; it will do wonders for you. 
You will find that the stiffness, diffidence and 
indifference, the cold lack of interest in every 
body which now so troubles you will disappear. 
People will see that you really take an interest 
in them, that you really want to know, please 
and interest them. The practice of cordiality 
will revolutionize your social power. You will 
develop attractive qualities which you never be 
fore dreamed you possessed. 

If you cultivate a magnetic personality you 
will increase your sales and lessen your work, 
besides getting a lot more enjoyment out of 
life than you otherwise would. 

Remember, customers are drawn, not 
pushed. Trade to-day is largely a question of 
attraction, and the salesman who is the most 
magnetic, who has the most affable manners, 
who is a good mixer, will attract the largest 
amount of orders. 



CHAPTER XXVII 

CHARACTER IS CAPITAL 

Character is greater than any career. 
Manhood overtops all titles. 

CHARACTER is the greatest power in the 
world. Nothing can take its place; talents 
cannot, genius cannot, education cannot, train 
ing cannot. The reputation of heing abso 
lutely square and clean and straight, of being a 
man whose word is his bond, is the finest rec 
ommendation. 

Simple genuineness, transparency of charac 
ter, will win the confidence of a customer 
whether he is prejudiced or not, and the confi 
dence of the purchaser is half the sale, for no 
matter how pleasing the speech or the manner 
of the salesman, if he isn't genuine, if he doesn't 
ring true, if he doesn't inspire confidence, if 
the customer sees a muddy streak back of his 
eye, he is not likely to purchase. 

Lack of absolute integrity often keeps sales- 

207 



208 SELLING THINGS 

men in inferior positions. Take the average 
salesman in a retail clothing store. A cus 
tomer tries on a coat. "How does it look?" he 
asks the salesman in a pleased tone. 

"Perfect, fine," answers that worthy. 

Then a garment of totally different cut is 
put on. If the customer seems to like it, the 
salesman echoes his view. It is just the coat 
he should buy. 

Pretty soon the customer realizes that the 
salesman's advice is worthless ; he won't tell him 
the truth as to how the garment looks, fits and 
hangs; he is intent only on making a sale. 
When the customer sees this, naturally he will 
not buy there. He will go to another house or 
to a salesman who will tell him the truth, who 
will be honest with him. 

Sincerity, genuineness, transparency, carry 
great weight with us all. Just think what it 
means to have everybody believe in you, to 
have everybody that has ever had any dealings 
with you feel that, there is a man as clean as a 
hound's tooth and as straight as a die; no wa 
vering, no shuffling, no sneaking, no apologiz 
ing, no streak of any kind in his honesty ; you 
can always rely on his word. There is a young 



CHARACTER Is CAPITAL 209 

man who has nothing to cover up; he has no 
motive but to tell the truth ; he doesn't have to 
cover up his tracks because he has lied once and 
must make his future conduct correspond; he 
knows that honesty needs no defense, no ex 
planation. His character is transparent. 
One doesn't need to throw up guards against 
him. 

We all know what a comfort it is to do busi 
ness with such a man, a man who cannot be 
bought, who would feel insulted at the mere 
suggestion that any influence could swerve him 
a hair's breadth from the right. Is there any 
thing grander than the man who stands four 
square to the world, who does not love money 
or influence as he loves his reputation, and who 
would rather be right than be President? 

The salesman who has made such a repu 
tation, a reputation of never misrepresenting, 
never deceiving, never trying to cajole or over- 
influence, who never tries to sell a man what 
he knows he does not want or what would not 
be good for him, who does not try to palm off 
"out of season" goods or cover up defects, is 
certainly a comfort and a treasure both to his 
employer and his customers. 



210 SELLING THINGS 

How much more comfortable and satisfac 
tory it is for oneself not to have to watch every 
step and to guard every statement for fear 
one will let out some previous deception! 
How much easier and how much better it is 
to be honest than always to haye to be on the 
lookout for discrepancies in one's statements, 
to be obliged continually to cover one's tracks ! 

No training, no bluffing, no tricks, will take 
the place of genuine sterling character; your 
prospect's instinct, if he is a sharp student of 
human nature, and most business men are, 
will very quickly tell him whether you are 
shamming an interest in him or whether it is 
genuine. He can tell whether you are pure 
gold or a base counterfeit ; and if your charac 
ter is unalloyed you will establish a friendly 
relation with him which will be of very great 
value. 

A good salesman will not fail to realize that 
the men he approaches have been swindled 
many times, and that a hooked trout is shy of 
new bait. He will not forget that his would- 
be customers probably have had many unfor 
tunate experiences, that possibly they have 
bought many gold bricks, that their confidence 



CHARACTER Is CAPITAL 211 

has been shaken many times by violated 
pledges, so that they will be on their guard, 
and at the outset will look upon every salesman 
who approaches them as a smooth-tongued 
swindler. The experienced man knows that 
business chickens come home to roost, that a 
dishonest policy, any underhand business, any 
effort to take advantage will surely be a 
boomerang for the firm. It is only a question 
of time. Every misrepresentation, every 
mean transaction will sooner or later cost the 
firm very dear. 

Remember that every sale you make is an 
advertisement that will either help or hinder 
your business. It is an advertisement of the 
character and general policy of your firm. It 
advertises the squareness, the honesty, or the 
cunning, the trickery of the whole concern; in 
other words, the man you approach will get 
a pretty good idea of your firm, their policy 
and methods of doing business, by the im 
pression which you make on him. He can tell 
pretty well whether he is dealing with high- 
class men, whether he can absolutely depend 
upon the word of the house, whether he can 
rely upon their statements, whether he will be 



212 SELLING THINGS 

protected, or whether he will have to protect 
himself by watching and guarding every little 
step in every business transaction with the 
house. He can tell whether he can rely abso 
lutely upon its doing the square thing by him 
or not. "A company is judged by the men it 
keeps." 

The best salesmen to-day, besides making a 
study of their business, make a study of their 
customers and their wants. Many customers 
regard such salesmen as their business advisers, 
and they give them their confidence, knowing 
they will receive from them "white" treatment, 
that they will only sell them the merchandise 
which it is to their advantage to buy. 

After he has gained their confidence it would 
be easy enough for the salesman to violate it 
and sell a much larger bill of goods than is to 
the advantage of the customer, but the modern 
salesman knows that this is a poor sort of busi 
ness policy. The old-time method of holding 
up a customer when you get him for every 
dollar you can squeeze out of him, and piling 
onto him just as many goods as he can be 
induced to take, and at the biggest possible 
price, has gone by forever. 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

THE PRICE OF MASTERSHIP 

"Three things are necessary, first, backbone; second, back 
bone; third, backbone." CHARLES STJMXER. 

"When other people are ready to give up we are just getting 
our second wind," is the motto of a New York business house. 
A good one for the success aspirant. 

"Ships sail west and ships sail east, 

By the very same winds that blow; 

It is the set of the sails, and not the gales, 

That determines where they go." 

"WRECKS of the world are of two kinds," 
said Elbert Hubbard. "Those who have 
nothing that society wants, and those who do 
not know how to get their goods into the front 
window." 

The way to succeed in salesmanship is to 
get your goods into the front window and 
hustle for all you are worth. Hard work and 
grit open the door to the Success firm. 

Two college students started out to sell 
copies of the same book. After some weeks in 
the field one wrote to headquarters as an ex- 

213 



214 SELLING THINGS 



cuse for his poor business that "everything had 
been trying to keep him down of late." The 
weather had been so bad he could not get out a 
great deal of the time; then everybody was 
talking "hard times," and no money, and mak 
ing all sorts of excuses for not buying. He 
said he was so disgusted and discouraged that 
he saw nothing for it but to give up canvassing 
as a bad job. 

The other young man, canvassing in similar 
territory, sent in his report about the same 
time. This is what he wrote: "In spite of 
bad weather and the fact that everybody is 
trying to hedge on account of the war scare 
and the general business depression I have had 
a banner week, and my commissions were over 
eighty dollars. I get used to this 'hard times 
and no money,' and 'can't afford it' talk, and 
I just sail right in and overwhelm all these ob 
jections with my arguments. I make the peo 
ple I talk to feel that it would be almost wicked 
to let the opportunity pass for securing a book, 
the reading of which has doubled and trebled 
the efficiency of a multitude of men and 
women and has been the turning point in hun 
dreds of careers. I have made them feel that it 



THE PRICE or MASTERSHIP 215 

will be cheap at almost any price, and that I 
am doing them a great favor in making it pos 
sible for them to secure this ambition-arousing 
book." 

This young man sold, on the average, to 
eight people out of ten he called upon during 
the week. 

A traveling salesman for a big concern got 
it into his head that his territory out through 
the West was played oat. His orders were 
shrinking, and he told his employers that the 
territory had simply been worked to a finish, 
that there was no use in staying in it any 
longer. His sales manager, however, knew 
the section well, and doubted the man's glib 
statement. He put a young fellow in his 
place who had had very little experience, but 
who was a born hustler, full of energy, ambi 
tion and enthusiasm. On his first trip he 
more than doubled his predecessor's record. 
He said he saw nothing to indicate a played- 
out route, and was confident that business 
would increase as he became better acquainted 
with the territory. 

The fact was that, not the territory, but the 
man was played out. The older salesman was 



216 SELLING THINGS 

not willing to forego his comforts, his pleas 
ures, to hustle for business. He was not will 
ing to travel across the country in bad weather 
on the chance of getting an order in a small 
town. He preferred to remain in the Pull 
man cars, to go to the larger towns and sit 
around in hotel lobbys, to take things easy, 
to go to the theaters instead of hunting up new 
customers and making friends for the house. 
He wanted his "dead'' territory changed, be 
cause he had no taste for hustling. His suc 
cessor did not see any lack of life in that 
"played-out" route because he was "a live 
wire." The trouble was not in the territory; 
it was in the man. 

At an agricultural convention while dis 
cussing the slope of land which was best suited 
to a certain kind of fruit tree, an old farmer 
was called upon to express his opinion. He 
got up and said, "the slope of the land don't 
make so much difference as the slope of the 
man" It isn't the slope of the territory that 
counts so much in selling as the slope of the 
salesman; that is everything. In every busi 
ness it is always a question of the sort of a 
man behind the proposition. It is the slope of 



THE PRICE OF MASTERSHIP 217 

the man, his grit, his stick-to-it-iveness, that 
count most. 

No matter how letter perfect you may be in 
the technique of salesmanship, or how well 
posted on all the rules of effective procedure, 
if you lack certain qualities you never will 
make a first-class salesman. 

If you lack grit, industry, application, per 
severance; if you lack determination and that 
bulldog grip which never lets go or knows 
when it is beaten; if you lack sand, you will 
peter out. Having these qualities you will 
overcome many handicaps. 

I have known a little sawed-off dwarf of a 
salesman to wade into a prospect and, through 
sheer grit, get an order where the ordinary 
salesman, with good physical appearance, 
would have failed. 

This fellow said that grit had been his only 
capital in life; that when he found he was so 
handicapped by his size and his ugly features 
that he would probably be a failure and a no 
body in the world, he just made up his mind he 
would not only overcome every one of his 
handicaps, but that he would be a big success in 
his line. He did everything he had resolved 



218 SELLING THINGS 

to do, and through sheer force of grit "made 
good." He had paid the price of success, and 
won out, as will every one who is willing to pay 
the price. 

Only the weakling prates about "luck," a 
"pull," or "favoritism," or any other backstairs 
to success. Your success and your luck are 
determined by yourself and by no other. We 
are the masters of our destiny. We get just 
what we want. To be sure, all of us wish for 
a lot of things; we would like very much to 
have them, but we don't really want them, or 
we would straightway set to work and try very 
hard by every means in our power to get them. 
Many of us wish for a position worth any 
where from ten thousand dollars to one hun 
dred thousand dollars a year, but we want to 
get it without much effort, and to hold it with 
still less effort. What we really want is suc 
cess without effort, an easy job at the highest 
market price, like the cook pictured in a re 
cent cartoon, applying for a place. Her first 
question is: "And what's the wages, mum?" 
"Oh, I always pay whatever a person's worth," 
answers the employer. " No, thank ye, mum. 
I never works for as little as that," replies the 
disgusted would-be employee. 



THE PRICE OF MASTERSHIP 219 

Let us remember that there is no easiest way 
to success in any business or profession. We 
are here to develop ourselves to the highest 
point of our ability; to be the broadest, ablest, 
most helpful men and women we can be, and 
this is only possible through the assiduous cul 
tivation of our highest faculties. We can only 
grow and progress through self -development. 
No patent method has yet been discovered by 
which a man or woman can be developed from 
the outside. 

Abraham Lincoln tells us, "The way for a 
young man to rise, is to improve himself every 
way he can, never suspecting that any one 
wishes to hinder him." 

Hudson Maxim, the famous inventor, has 
formulated ten success rules, the essence of 
which are, study and work. He makes two 
vital assertions: 1. "Never look for some 
thing for nothing; make up your mind to earn 
everything, and remember that opportunity is 
the only thing that any one can donate you 
without demoralizing you and doing you an 
injury." 2. "Man must eliminate from his 
mind any belief that the world owes him a 
living." 



220 SELLING THINGS 

Now, some people differ with Mr. Maxim 
on this last point. They believe the world 
does owe each one of us a living. If they are 
right, it is pleasant to think that the world is 
very ready to pay this debt, when we come 
around to collect it in the right way. If we 
can do any one thing superbly, no matter how 
humble it may be, we shall find ourselves in 
demand. The world will most willingly pay 
its indebtedness to us. 

Men and women who have won distinction 
in every business and profession are unani 
mous in their agreement as to two cardinal 
points in the achievement of success Work 
and Grit. 

The Honorable Thomas Pryor Gore, the 
blind Senator of Oklahoma, who raised him 
self from a poor, blind boy to be an influential 
member of the United States Senate, has this 
to say on the secret of pushing to the front: 
"A fixed and unalterable purpose, pursued 
under all circumstances, in season and out of 
season, with no shadow of turning, is the best 
motive power a man can have. I have sat in 
physical darkness for twenty-seven years, and 
if I have learned anything it is that the dyna- 



THE PRICE OF MASTERSHIP 221 

mics of the human will can overcome any diffi 
culty" 

Here, indeed, is encouragement for every 
youth in this land of opportunity. Think of 
a poor, blind boy, unaided, achieving such dis 
tinction as Mr. Gore has won! Think of a 
blind Milton writing the greatest epic in the 
world's literature! Think of & Beethoven, 
stone deaf, overcoming the greatest handicap 
a composer could have, and raising himself to 
the distinction of being one of the greatest 
composers the world has known! One of this 
wonderful man's sayings is well worth keep 
ing in mind by every young man struggling 
with difficulties: "I will grapple with fate; it 
shall never drag me down." 

It is well also to remember this truth: 
"Usually the work that is required to develop 
talent is ten times that necessary for ordinary 
commonplace success." Men naturally brainy, 
or with some great gift, have to work most 
assiduously to achieve big results. Without 
untiring perseverance, industry, grit, the cour 
age to get up and press on after repeated fail 
ures, the historic achievers of the world would 
never have won out in their undertakings. 



222 SELLING THINGS 

Columbus said that it was holding on three 
days more that discovered the New World; 
that is, it was holding on three days after even 
the stoutest hearts would have turned back 
that brought him in sight of land. 

Tenacity of purpose is characteristic of all 
men who have accomplished great things. 
They may lack other desirable traits, may have 
all sorts of peculiarities, weaknesses, but the 
quality of persistence, clear grit, is never absent 
from the man who does things. Drudgery 
cannot disgust him, labor cannot weary him, 
hardships cannot discourage him. He will 
persist no matter what comes or goes, because 
persistence is part of his nature. 

More young men have achieved success in 
life with grit as capital, than with money capi 
tal to start with. The whole history of 
achievement shows that grit has overcome the 
direst poverty; it has been more than a match 
for lifelong invalidism. 

After all, what do all the other accomplish 
ments and personal decorations amount to if a 
man lacks the driving wheel, grit, which moves 
the human machine. A man has got to have 
this projectile force or he will never get very 



THE PRICE OF MASTERSHIP 223 

far in the world. Grit is a quality which stays 
by a man when every other quality retreats and 
gives up. 

For the gritless every defeat is a Waterloo, 
but there is no Waterloo for the man who 
has clear grit, for the man who persists, who 
never knows when he is beaten. Those who 
are bound to win never think of defeat as 
final. They get up after each failure with new 
resolution, more determination than ever to go 
on until they win. 

Have you ever seen a man who had no 
give-up in him, who could never let go his grip 
whatever happened, who, every time he failed, 
would come up with greater determination 
than ever to push ahead? Have you ever 
seen a man who did not know the meaning of 
the word failure, who, like Grant, never knew 
when he was beaten, who cut the words 
"can't," and * 'impossible," from his vocabulary, 
the man whom no obstacles could down, no 
difficulty phase, who was not disheartened by 
any misfortune, any calamity? If you have, 
you have seen a real man, a conqueror, a king 
among men. 

As we look around at other men, enjoying 



224 SELLING THINGS 

the good things of life, basking in the sun 
shine of success, let us remember that they 
didn't get their place in the sun by wishing and 
longing for it. They didn't get to Easy 
Street by the road of Inertia. When you are 
tempted to envy those people, and long to have 
a "pull" or some one to give you a "boost," 
just call to mind this jingle: 

"You must jump in, and fight and work, nor care for one 

defeat ; 

For if you take things easy, you won't reach Easy Street. 
Don't waste time in envy, and never say you're 'beat,' 
For if you take things easy, you won't reach Easy Street." 

There is no royal road to anything that is 
worth having. Only work and grit will do 
the trick. As J. Pierpont Morgan says, 
"Hard, honest, intelligent work will land any 
young man at the top." 

The great business world is always on the 
hunt for the man who can do things a little 
better than they have been done before, the man 
who can deliver the goods, the man who can 
manage a little better, the man who is a little 
shrewder, a little more scientific, a little more 
accurate, a little more thorough; it is always 
after the man who can bring a little better 
brain, a little better training to his job. 



THE PRICE OF MASTERSHIP 225 

With our constantly widening national in 
terests, our enormously expanding trade, the 
demand for Al salesmen is ever on the in 
crease. The young man who is not satisfied 
with the ordinary required equipments for 
salesmanship, but who will add to this a thor 
ough knowledge of modern languages, espe 
cially those most used in commercial inter 
course German, French and Spanish will 
not have very great difficulty in finding his 
place in the sun. 

The making or the marring of your life 
is in your own hands. "The gods sell any 
thing and to everybody at a fair price." Suc 
cess is on sale in the world market place. All 
who are willing to pay the price can buy it. 
In the final analysis, success in salesmanship, 
as in everything else, is simply a matter of 
"paying the price." 



CHAPTER XXIX 

KEEPING FIT AND SALESMANSHIP 

To keep fit is to maintain perfect health; and perfect health 
depends upon a perfect balance of mind and body, unimpaired 
physical vigor and absolute inner harmony, a mental poise which 
nothing can disturb. 

There is a vast amount of ability lost to the world through 
poor health, through not keeping in condition to give out the 
best that is infolded in us. 

"I WANT you," said Philip D. Armour to 
one of his employees, "to grow into a man so 
strong and big that you will force me to see 
that you are out of place among the little fel 
lows." 

If you want to be a salesman "so strong and 
big" that you will be "out of place among the 
little fellows," you must be as physically fit 
as was John L. Sullivan in his prime. At that 
time the mere sight of Sullivan entering the 
ring struck such terror into the heart of his 
opponent that the fight was half won before 
a blow was struck. It seemed to the small 

226 



KEEPING FIT AND SALESMANSHIP 227 

man like a desperate venture to tackle a giant 
with such a superb physical presence. The 
famous pugilist's appearance had as much to 
do with his success as had his knowledge of 
the technique of the ring. 

If you want to win out (and who does not?) 
you must enter the ring the arena of life 
with all the power you can muster, in superb 
health, at the top of your condition, capable of 
putting up your biggest fight. You can do 
this and come out with your flag flying if you 
are good to yourself, if you keep fit. But if 
you allow all sorts of leaks of power to drain 
away your energy, your brain force, your will 
power, you will be in no condition to make the 
fight of your life. 

You should be as well prepared physically 
for the contest as the prize fighter who is de 
termined to keep his record. Or, like the 
Greek god Hercules, you should be able to 
win largely by the force of your reserve power. 
It was said that Hercules made such an im 
pression of great reserve force on his antagon 
ist that he never had to put forth much 
strength in wrestling. He won as much by 
the impression of confident power which he 



228 SELLING THINGS 

radiated, as by the degree of strength he ex 
erted. 

In other words, if you do not back up your 
general ability and special training with ro 
bust health you will be forever at a disadvan 
tage in the game of life. You must keep 
yourself fit for your job, always in a condition 
to do your best or you will be handicapped in 
the game. 

It is the law of life that the "weakest shall 
go to the wall." Frailness of body is an in 
evitable handicap in life. Physical weakness 
largely discounts the possibilities of achieve 
ment. The slow but striving tortoise may 
beat out the hare in the race. The steadfast, 
plodding student may take the prizes of life 
which his more brilliant competitor never at 
tained. But the tortoise, though slow, is sound 
of body. Cripple him and all his plodding 
will avail him little. 

True, there have been weak men who have 
done wonders in life in spite of frailness and 
physical infirmity. But they are only the ex 
ceptions that prove the rule. Alexander 
Pope, "the gallant cripple of Twickenham," 
sewed up in canvas ; St. Paul, short in stature, 



KEEPING FIT AND SALESMANSHIP 229 

of inferior presence and almost blind, are types 
of the men whose great souls overcame their 
bodily weakness. Csesar, Pascal, Nelson, 
were other types of the indomitable spirit 
which can not be limited by sickness or in 
firmity. But, in the main, the man who 
"makes good" has good health. 

As a salesman you carry all your capital with 
you. You are in business, but you carry 
everything connected with it, your factory, 
your sales department with you. Your ma 
chinery assets are mental, and if you don't 
do your best to keep them in fine condition 
you will show about as much sense as a farmer 
who would leave all his valuable farm machin 
ery out-doors in all sorts of weather, to be 
ruined by wind and dew, rain and snow. 
Your skill, your expertness, your facility of 
expression, your tact, your discretion, your 
power of discrimination, your knowledge of 
human nature, your courage, your initiative, 
your resourcefulness, your cheerfulness, your 
magnetism, in fact, every one of your mental 
faculties is a part of your business capital, is 
an asset, and its condition depends entirely on 
the care you take of the engine which furnishes 



230 SELLING THINGS 

the motor power for all your mental machin 
ery. That engine is your body. 

The physical soil is the soil in which your 
faculties are nourished. If this soil is impov 
erished, if your vitality is low, if you are 
sapping your energies by vicious, ignorant, or 
foolish habits, your faculties will not thrive. 

Some time ago an ambitious young fellow 
came to me and asked me to tell him how to 
increase his ability and his power to achieve 
things. He was pale and emaciated, with 
something like signs of dissipation in his face. 
The young man seemed very anxious to get 
along in the world but, evidently, he had taken 
the wrong path. A few questions brought out 
the fact that although not dissipating in 
the ordinary sense, the course he was pursu 
ing was almost as disastrous to his health. He 
was sitting up till one or two o'clock at night, 
studying, while working very hard in the day 
time, and to brace up his depleted strength he 
was not only drinking coffee and tea to excess, 
but he was also taking whiskey, and even 
drugs. He did not seem to know that this arti 
ficial stimulus to his brain was like a whip to a 
tired horse, and that it was only a question of 



KEEPING FIT AND SALESMANSHIP 231 

time until he would be a physical and mental 
wreck. 

It is amazing how ignorant many otherwise 
intelligent people are when it comes to a ques 
tion of body and health building. Young peo 
ple often ask me to tell them how they can 
increase their ability, and in nine cases out of 
ten I find that, like the young man above, 
they are doing some fool things that defeat the 
very object they have in view. 

Now, the surest way to increase your ability, 
to multiply and strengthen your faculties, is 
to lay a good foundation of health, and to 
guard it as you would your most precious pos 
session for that is really what it is. Vigor 
ous, abounding health will emphasize, reinforce 
and multiply the forcefulness of all the facul 
ties, and the sum of these faculties constitutes 
your ability, the force that achieves, that cre 
ates. 

It will make a tremendous difference to you 
what sort of a man you take to your prospect. 
I say "y u take," because you are the master 
of the salesman. There is something bigger 
back of the salesman, than the salesman him 
self, You are the salesman's manager, his 



232 SELLING THINGS 

trainer, his educator. There is a master in 
you, who, to a very large extent, dictates the 
sort of a man "you take" to your prospect, be 
cause he will be the sort of a man you make 
him. To be a whole man, mentally, physi 
cally, and spiritually is your business. To be 
deficient on any of these planes is to be only 
two parts a man. To be one hundred per cent, 
a man that is your problem. 

The human machine is very complicated, and 
even a little thing may seriously impair its 
harmony and efficiency. A bad fitting shoe 
may cut down your effectiveness temporarily, 
or as long as you wear it, twenty-five per cent. 
A speck of dirt in the eye would cripple a 
Napoleon, as a hair in the works would seri 
ously injure the best timepiece in the world. 
A hasty, bolted lunch, of poor, adulterated 
food, may impair your digestion, cut down 
your brain power and make you ineffective 
when it is of the utmost importance that you 
be effective. 

Efficiency lies in the symmetry and perfect 
functioning of all of your organs. If they 
are not trying to help you make a sale ; if you 
have treated them badly and they are protest- 



KEEPING FIT AND SALESMANSHIP 233 

ing, they will beat you. You may think that, 
no matter how you feel, you can put a deal 
over by sheer will power, but remember that 
your will power is dependent upon the har 
monious action of all your bodily functions. 
It will weaken just as soon as any one of these 
is impaired. If not one, but several of them 
your digestive organs, your liver, your heart, 
your kidneys, your brain, are fighting against 
you, trying to defeat your purpose, you will 
not win out no matter how hard a fight you 
put up. Many a superb salesman has finally 
lost out by making an enemy of all the organs 
which make for health and success. 

Do you realize what goes into every sale 
you make? Did it ever occur to you that your 
brains, your education, your training, your ex 
perience, your skill, your ingenuity, your re 
sourcefulness, your originality, your person 
ality about all your life capital is flung into 
every selling transaction? 

The result of every canvass you make will 
depend very largely upon how much of your 
self you fling into it, and how intensely, how 
enthusiastically, cheerfully, and tactfully you 
fling yourself in. You cannot bring the whole 



234 SELLING THINGS 

of yourself to the sale unless every function 
of your body gives its consent. Your physical 
organism must be in perfect harmony or your 
vitality will be lowered, and you will be robbed 
of a certain percentage of your possible power. 

The great thing when you approach a pros 
pect is to be all there, not to leave ten, fifteen, 
twenty or twenty-five per cent, of yourself in 
the bar-room or in some other vicious resort the 
night before. Do not fling a lot of your abil 
ity away in bad food, or in a too rich and com 
plicated diet, viciously taken. Be sure when 
you call on a prospect that you take a good 
digestion along with you; it is the best friend 
of your brain. If your digestion is ruined by 
over-eating, or if your brain is not well fed, 
no amount of will power, or cocktail or whiskey 
braces, will compensate for the loss you suffer. 

Many a promising salesman has failed to 
make good because he made a habit of turning 
night into day and could take only about half 
of himself to his work. Many a cracker- jack 
salesman has lost a sale by partaking too heart 
ily of dinner, or by a fit of indigestion brought 
on by some indiscretion in eating. 

Multitudes of people go through life work- 






KEEPING FIT AND SALESMANSHIP 235 

ing hard, trying desperately to succeed, but 
are terribly disappointed by the meagerness of 
their achievement, simply because they did not 
take care of their health. They are all the 
time devitalized; they lack blood, or it is of 
poor quality; it lacks fire and force, and, of 
course, the brain and all the faculties deterio 
rate to correspond with the blood. 

The achievement follows the vitality, and 
this in turn depends on the general care of the 
body. The kind of food, its quality and 
amount, the manner in which we partake of it, 
our physical habits, work, rest, recreation, 
sleep, these are the things on which health 
and vitality depend. These furnish our physi 
cal energy and achievement depends upon 
energy. It would be impossible even for the 
brain of a Webster to focus with power, if fed 
with poor ill-nourished blood. 

Everywhere we see bright, educated young 
men and women, with good brains, crippled 
by poor health, mocked by great ambitions 
which they can never realize. A large part of 
their ability is lost to the world because of some 
physical weakness which might be remedied by 
careful, scientific living. 



236 SELLING THINGS 

Just glance over the young men you know 
and see what a small part of their ability goes 
into their life work, because of their impaired 
assets, through foolish or vicious living habits. 
They are selling their integrity, squandering 
their life capital in all sorts of dissipation, 
bringing perhaps not more than twenty-five 
per cent, of their actual ability to their life 
work. 

How often we hear the remark: "Poor fel 
low ! he was always a victim of bad health, but 
for that he would have accomplished great 
things." "Mentally able but physically weak" 
would make a good epitaph for thousands of 
failures. 

A weakness anywhere in you will mar your 
career. It will rise up as a ghost all through 
your life work, at unexpected moments, mor 
tifying, condemning, convicting you. Every 
indiscretion or vicious indulgence simply opens 
a leak which drains off your success and happi 
ness possibilities. There is no compensation 
for waste of health capital. Health raises the 
power of every faculty and every possibility 
of the man, and there is no excuse for losing 
it through carelessness, dissipation or igno 
rance. 



KEEPING FIT AND SALESMANSHIP 237 

Nor can one plead mere weakness or lack 
of energy as a handicap, an excuse for fail 
ure. Nature is no sentimentalist. If you 
violate her law you must pay the penalty 
though you sit on a throne. She demands that 
you be at the top of your condition, always at 
your best, and will accept no excuse or apol 
ogy. 

Whatever your work in life, the secret of 
your success and happiness is locked up in your 
health, in your brain, your nerves, your mus 
cles, your ambition, your ideal, your resolution. 
It is up to you to be a whole man. You 
cannot afford to be less. You cannot afford 
to dwarf your career or botch it by going to 
your task with stale brains. You cannot do 
first-class work with second-class brain power, 
with a brain that is fed by poison, blood 
vitiated by abnormal living or dissipation. 
You cannot afford to go to your work used 
up, played out. Trying to sell merchandise 
with stale brains keeps many a salesman capa 
ble of real mastership in a mediocre posi 
tion. You cannot do a master's work with a 
muddy brain which was not renewed, re 
freshed, by plenty of guad sleep, healthful 



238 SELLING THINGS 

recreation, and vigorous exercise in the open 
air. 

In other words, if you expect to make the 
most of yourself you must be good to yourself. 
Strangled health means strangled ability. If 
you murder your health you murder all your 
chances in life. 

No man ever does a great thing in this world 
who does not protect the faculties he is using 
with jealous care. Watch your generating 
power. Remember that you see the world 
largely through your stomach. Its condition 
will determine the condition of your brain. 
Poor digestion gives you poor blood, and poor 
blood a poor brain. Few people realize what 
a tremendous factor health plays in their suc 
cess. Men give the brain credit for a large 
amount of their success which is due to the 
stomach, which has everything to do with 
physical health and robust vitality. 

Not long ago I was talking to a salesman 
who said he guessed he was losing his grip; 
didn't know how it was, but he was not making 
sales as he used to. He didn't have the same 
grit and enthusiasm; guessed he was sliding 
down hill, going backward instead of forward. 



KEEPING FIT AND SALESMANSHIP 239 

Formerly, he said, he always approached a cus 
tomer with the expectation of getting an or 
der, but latterly he was in great doubt; he 
could not get on full steam, a resolute deter 
mination to win. Now, when a man gets into 
this condition he is not fit to solicit business. 
Nature is calling to him: "Stop, Look, Lis 
ten." It is time for him to call a halt, and see 
what is the trouble with his engine. 

If you would be a master in your specialty 
heed Nature's danger signals, which she puts 
up all through your body. That "tired feel 
ing" is one of them; brain fag, headache, is one 
of them; indigestion is one of them; apathy, 
"don't feel like it," poor appetite, all these 
things are signals to slow down. But instead 
of slowing down and repairing, most of us try 
to speed up with all sorts of stimulants and 
run past these danger signals, with the result 
that we either wreck our life train or very 
seriously injure it. 

No man can afford to ignore Nature's warn 
ings, but least of all can the salesman, on whose 
physical condition everything depends. Other 
men can depute their work, at least for a time, 
to those under them; but the salesman cannot 



240 SELLING THINGS 

do this, for he is strictly a one-man concern, 
and everything depends on his health. He 
must always be at the top of his condition ; and 
every quality needed in his work is sharpened 
and braced by vigorous health. 

How comparatively easy it is, for instance, 
for a healthy man to be hopeful, optimistic, 
enthusiastic. How difficult for a chronic dys 
peptic to be any of these to be kind, gentle, 
generous, cheerful, obliging. His natural dis 
position may not be at fault, for the tendency 
of ill health is to make a man cross, crabbed, 
fault-finding, fretful, hard, pessimistic. 

"Touchiness," a defect which makes so many 
men and women unbearable, usually comes 
from some weakness or physical ailment. A 
great many so-called "sins" are due to a de 
pleted physical condition. It is so much easier 
for a man to control himself when he is well, to 
say "No" with emphasis, when, if he were suf 
fering from some physical disability, he might 
say "Yes," anything to get rid of annoyance 
and to get into a more comfortable condition. 

How much health has to do with one's man 
ners! How easy to be courteous and accom 
modating when one feels the thrill of health 



KEEPING FIT AND SALESMANSHIP 241 

surging through his whole being ; but how hard 
to be polite, gentle, amiable, when one feels ill, 
weak, and nervous, and wants to be let alone! 
How hard to carry on an interesting conversa 
tion when all of one's physical standards are 
down! 

Then again, how the health affects the judg 
ment! The judgment is really a combination 
of a great many other faculties, and the condi 
tion of each seriously affects the quality of the 
combination. 

One's courage is largely a matter of physical 
health. How quickly the ailing man, to whom 
everything looks blue, becomes discouraged! 
Everything looks black to people whose physi 
cal standards are demoralized. 

Horse trainers know that a horse's courage 
during the contest depends a great deal upon 
its being in a superb physical condition. It is 
the same with the horse's master man. Cour 
age, poise, masterfulness, resourcefulness, 
physical vigor go together. Nervousness, tim 
idity, uncertainty, doubt, hesitation, usually ac 
company depleted vitality. 

The bull-dog tenacity which plays such a 
part in every life worth while has a physical 



242 SELLING THINGS 

basis. The will power, which is a leader in the 
mental kingdom, depends very largely upon 
the health. How different, for example, ob 
stacles look to the man who is ailing all the 
time, suffering pain, compared with the way 
they look to a man who is full of vigor and 
energy. The man who is well plans great 
things to-day, because he feels strong and 
vigorous. Obstacles are nothing to him; he 
feels within himself the power to annihilate 
them. But to-morrow he is ill, and the ob 
stacles which were only molehills yesterday, 
loom up like mountains, and he does not see 
how he can possibly conquer them. 

We look at things through our moods, and 
moods are largely a question of physical health. 
The man who is strong and full of the courage 
of abounding vitality wants something hard to 
wrestle with; he feels the need of vigorous 
exercise. But the man whose vitality is low 
has no surplus to spare. Slight difficulties 
look formidable to him ; trifles are exaggerated 
into serious obstacles, which seem insurmount 
able. There is confusion all through his men 
tal kingdom, and his faculties will not work 
harmoniously. There is a tremendous wear 



KEEPING FIT AND SALESMANSHIP 243 

and tear on the physical economy of the man 
in poor health. 

The faculty of humor was given man to ease 
him over the jolts, to oil the bearings of life's 
machinery; but ill health often crushes out the 
sense of humor, and makes life, which was in 
tended to be bright and cheerful, sad and 
gloomy. Loss of good red blood corpuscles 
has much to do with one's sense of humor as 
well as one's manners and disposition. The 
man in poor health is in no condition to appre 
ciate the joys of life. Everything loses its 
flavor in proportion to his lowered vitality. 

Ill health very materially weakens the power 
of decision. A man who, when in vigorous 
health, decides quickly, finally and firmly, 
when in poor health, wobbles, wavers, reconsid 
ers. His purpose, which was once a mighty 
force in his life, lacks virility, has lost much of 
its strength. In fact, all of his life standards 
drop in proportion to the decline in physical 
vigor. 

Again, the quality of health has a great deal 
to do with the quality of thought. You can 
not get healthy thinking from diseased brain 
cells or nerve cells. If the vitality is below 
par the thought will drop to its level. 



244 SELLING THINGS 

What magic a trip to Europe or a vacation 
in the country often produces in the quality of 
one's thought and work. The writer, the 
clergyman, the orator, the statesman, who was 
disgusted with what his brain produced comes 
back to his work after a vacation and finds him 
self a new man. He can not only do infinitely 
more work with greater ease, but his work has 
a finer quality. The writer is often surprised 
at his grip upon his subject and his power to 
see things which he could not get hold of be 
fore. There is a freshness about his style 
which he could not before squeeze from his 
jaded brain. The singer who broke down 
comes back from a vacation with a power of 
voice which she did not even know she pos 
sessed. The business man returns with a firmer 
grip upon 1 his business, a new faculty for im 
proving methods, and a brighter outlook on the 
world. The brain ash has been blown off the 
brain cells which were clogged before; the 
blood is pure; the pulse bounding, and, of 
course, the brain cells throw off a finer quality 
of thought, keener, sharper, more penetrating, 
more gripping. 

Many a salesman could add twenty-five or 



KEEPING FIT AND SALESMANSHIP 245 

fifty per cent, to his power by easing the strain 
of life now and then, especially when Nature 
hangs out any of her warning signals. 

Supposing an Edison or some other great 
inventor should discover a secret for doubling 
one's ability, what would we not all do or give 
to get this secret? Yet every one knows a 
process for doubling ability which never fails. 
It is health-building, vitality-building, by 
simply exercising common sense in the matter 
of living. There is nothing complicated in 
this; it means eating just enough, not too much 
or too little, of the foods that give force and 
power, scientific eating of these foods ; scientific 
care of ourselves, exercise, recreation, play; 
getting out of doors whenever possible and 
absorbing power from the sun and air ; getting 
plenty of sleep in a well-ventilated bedroom; 
regular systematic habits; right thinking, tri 
umphant thinking, holding the victorious atti 
tude toward life, toward our work, toward our 
health, toward everything. Now here is the 
secret of doubling ability. We all have it; 
all that is necessary is to put it in practice. 

There is no other thing that will pay a sales 
man better than putting it in practice every 



246 SELLING THINGS 

day. Keeping himself in superb physical con 
dition will not only give a wonderful flavor to 
life, but it will add great interest and charm 
to his personality. Good health is the founda 
tion of personal magnetism; it is the secret of 
the sparkle in the eye, the buoyant spirit, the 
keen whip to the intellect which sharpens all 
the wits. Many a sale has been clinched by 
the pleasing appearance of a salesman, the 
charm of a bright, flashing eye, a clear skin, a 
firm step, and a straight pair of shoulders. 

How quickly we can tell by the appearance 
of horses on the street what sort of care they 
get. How fine a carefully groomed horse 
looks and how well he feels. He seems to have 
a sense of pride in his personal appearance, 
whereas the horse which is seldom if ever 
groomed, shows his neglect by the sharp con 
trast. 

The same thing is true of individuals. I 
have a friend who takes infinite pains to keep 
himself in prime condition. He says his 
human machine is his most precious asset and 
that he cannot afford to neglect his exercise ; he 
cannot afford to be irregular in his eating hab 
its, or to eat foods which are not body builders, 



KEEPING FIT AND SALESMANSHIP 247 

health and force producers; he cannot afford 
to lose sleep, or to do anything which will lower 
his vitality. He is equally careful about his 
grooming, and always looks fit, in the pink of 
condition. Another friend of mine is just the 
opposite. He will take a hot bath in about 
ten minutes; he dresses in a hurry; never 
bothers about his exercise or his food, and the 
result is the two men present as great a con 
trast as the well-groomed, well-cared for horse 
and the ill-groomed, ill-cared for one. 

It is of little use to have all the qualities 
w r hich make a good salesman if these qualities 
are not kept in prime condition. Yet there 
are a great many salesmen who do not take 
time enough to care for themselves properly, 
to keep their wonderful machine in fine trim, 
in superb physical and mental condition. 

It was said that Ole Bull could never be in 
duced to go on playing unless his violin was 
in perfect tune. If a string stretched the 
least bit, no matter how many thousands were 
waiting for him, he would stop until he had 
put his violin in perfect tune again. Ole Bull 
would not allow himself even for a moment to 
be anything but a master. 



248 SELLING THINGS 

You cannot go to your prospect with the 
brain of a master salesman, victory-organized, 
if your instrument is out of tune. If you do 
not keep yourself tuned to concert pitch; if 
you do not take the trouble to make a fine ad 
justment of your wonderful human instrument 
each day; if you do not put yourself in tune 
each morning for the day's work; if there is 
the least inharmony in any of the marvelous 
mechanism of your body, you will go on all 
day producing discord instead of harmony. 
In other words, you will be a failure instead of 
a success. 

When you approach a prospect be sure you 
are "in tune with the Infinite," (with the high 
est law of your being) that you are all there, 
that you are not sixty, seventy-five, eighty, 
ninety or ninety-nine per cent, present, but 
that you are all there, that you are a hundred 
per cent, present, and that this hundred per 
cent, is ready to strike the blow. More will 
depend upon your body and mind being in 
complete harmony, in perfect tune than on all 
of your special training in salesmanship. 

In this age of fierce competition physical 
vigor plays a tremendous part. It is an age. 



KEEPING FIT AND SALESMANSHIP 249 

of efficiency force, an age which requires 
masterfulness. The victors in the great life 
game to-day, as a rule, are men with powerful 
vitality, tremendous staying power. Whether 
you win out or lose in the game will depend 
largely on your reserve power, your plus vital 
ity. 

Keep yourself always fit so that you can 
do your best, the highest thing possible to 
you, with ease and dignity, without struggle or 
strain, and you will be a master salesman. 
Always be at the top of your condition, and 
you can approach your prospect with the as 
surance of victory, the air of a conqueror, with 
the superb confidence that wins. Keep your 
human machine in perfect tune, and you will 
radiate power, masterfulness; you will exhale 
force and magnetism from every pore; you 
will be the sort of salesman that every customer 
is glad to see A MASTER SALESMAN. 



APPENDIX 

SALES POINTERS 

"THERE are two chief classes of men that 
you will approach. 

"One class is ruled chiefly by reason, the 
other by impulses emotion prejudices en 
thusiasm likes and dislikes. 

' The first class can be convinced only by 
hard matter-of-fact, mathematical arguments 
the kind of evidence that will pass a judge in 
court. The minds of these men are clear, cold, 
logic engines. They are impressed only by 
facts and figures, and will do no business with 
salesmen who offer them anything else. 

"The other class of impulsive or emotional 
men is amenable to heart sway persuasion. 

: 'You will not find it so necessary to con 
vince their reasons. Give them the best evi 
dence you have, but mix it with something 
more. 

"Be careful of their prejudices, watch out 
for the revelation of their likes and dislikes, 

250 



SALES POINTERS 251 

discover their enthusiasm, suit yourself to their 
moods. 

"Sooner or later, if you know your business, 
you will uncover the vulnerable spot in an emo 
tional man and he is yours. Strike him with 
the right kind of persuasion and you can walk 
out with his order. 

"Study your prospects. Learn to read the 
book of human nature. The formulas for 
success in selling are written on its pages." 

$.$.$. 

Don't be a slave of precedent. It is an 
enemy of progress. Know the technique of 
salesmanship, but don't be its slave. Study 
men at the top and then ask yourself, "Why 
can't I do what they have done? RESOLVE 

NOT TO BE A LITTLE FELLOW. 

4- 4^ $ 

No matter how much you know about sales 
manship your personality, your character, will 
be the chief factors in your success. 

While the technique of salesmanship is im 
portant, yet it is the man behind the salesman 
that does the business. It is the human power 
back of the mere technique that makes the sale. 



252 SELLING THINGS 

THREE KINDS OF SALESMEN 
The Heavyweight, 
The Featherweight, and 
Just plain WAIT. Selected. 

$ 4- $ 

"Some salesmen are not always successful 
salesmen BUT, successful salesmen are always 

SOME salesmen." 

$. $. ^ 

"A master salesman is a self-made salesman 
BUT a self-made salesman isn't always a 
master salesman." 

4^ $ 4 1 

Always keep in mind the man at the other 
end of the bargain. If he does not make a 
good bargain you will lose in the end, no matter 
how much you may sell him. 

$. 4. + 

Follow your prospect's mind. Let him do 
much of the talking. If he sees you are trying 
to push him and expecting to change his mind 
he will brace up against you. 

^ 4=> * 

THE SALESMAN'S CREED 
To be a man whose word carries weight at 
my home office, to be a booster, not a knocker, 



SALES POINTERS 253 

a pusher, not a kicker; a motor, not a clog. 

To believe in my proposition heart and 
soul ; to carry an air of optimism into the pres 
ence of possible customers ; to dispel ill temper 
with cheerfulness, kill doubts with strong con 
victions and reduce active friction with an 
agreeable personality. 

To make a study of my business or line; 
to know my profession in every detail from 
the ground up; to mix brains with my effort 
and use method and system in my work. To 
find time to do everything needful by never 
letting time find me doing nothing. To hoard 
days as a miser hoards dollars; to make every 
hour bring me dividends in commissions, in 
creased knowledge or healthful recreation. 

To keep my future unmortgaged with 
debt; to save money as well as earn it; to cut 
out expensive amusements until I can afford 
them; to steer clear of dissipation and guard 
my health of body and peace of mind as my 
most precious stock in trade. 

Finally, to take a good grip on the joy of 
life; to play the game like a gentleman; to 
fight against nothing so hard as my own weak 
ness and to endeavor to grow as a salesman and 



254 SELLING THINGS 

as a man with the passage of every day of 
time. THIS is MY CREED. W. C. HOLMAN. 



Salesmanship is the ability to sell the largest 
possible quantity of goods, to sell an increas 
ing quantity of goods, to get the greatest pos 
sible results from the advertising done by his 
house, to make a regular customer of a new 
buyer, and to hold the friendship of a regular 
customer. H. E. BOWMAN. 

$. 4. $. 

Never sit down or stand, if you can possibly 
avoid it, below where your prospect is seated. 
The man who is the highest always has the ad 
vantage, the superior position. Many sales 
men can do better standing while the prospect 
is sitting. 

$. $. 41 

Approach your prospect as a professional, 
not as an amateur, not as a little fellow, or 
almost a salesman, but approach him with the 
air of a professional. Give him to understand 
that you are no third-rate salesman. Your 
manner will have everything to do with the 
impression you make. 



SALES POINTERS 255 

Establish confidence as quickly as possible. 
Business men are constantly dealing with 
mean, tricky men, unscrupulous men, hypno- 
tizers, bull-dozers, but when they strike the 
real article, the genuine man, they will give 
him their confidence. 

^ 4^ $ 

Remember your whole success will often turn 
on the first two or three minutes of your inter 
view. Just here your knowledge of human na 
ture is a tremendous factor. You must size 
up your man quickly and find the line of least 
resistance, the best approach to his mind. Not 
only his temperament but his health, the frame 
of mind he happens to be in, all must be taken 
in at a glance. 

4- $. 4: 

Be a tactful salesman. You will often be 
told that tact cannot be cultivated, that it is a 
quality that is born in one, but remember that 
every man is tactful when he is courting the 
girl he is dead in love with. If you are dead 
in love with your work and bound to win you 
will be tactful. 



256 SELLING THINGS 

Make it an invariable rule never to use any 
influence or to say anything in the presence 
of a prospect which will lessen your self-re 
spect. If you do, you lose power. You are 
not paid for being less than a man. 

^ $. $. 

A real salesman sells goods. Fakers sell 
customers. Don't be a mere order-taker; be 
a salesman. 

4; 4i $. 

ANOTHER "SALESMAN'S CREED" 

"I believe in the goods I am handling, in the 
company I am working for, and in my ability 
to get results. 

"I believe that honest stuff can be passed out 
to honest men, by honest methods. 

"I believe in working, not weeping; in boost 
ing, not knocking, and in the pleasure of my 
job. 

"I believe that a man gets what he goes 
after; that one deed done to-day is worth two 
deeds to-morrow, and that no man is down and 
out until he has lost faith in himself. 

"I believe in to-day and the work I am do 
ing; in to-morrow and the work I hope to do, 



SALES POINTERS 257 

and in the sure reward which the future holds. 

"I believe in courtesy, in kindness, in gen 
erosity, in good cheer, in friendship, and in hon 
est competition. 

"I believe there is something doing some 
where for every man ready to do it. 

"I believe I am ready right now." 

$.$.$. 

Do you ever go to see a prospect expecting 
to be turned down to meet unanswerable ar 
guments or deep-rooted prejudices that you 
can't overcome? If you do, it's pretty likely 
that that's what happens. 

$.$.$. 

Half-knowledge is worse than ignorance. 

MACAULAY. 

$.$.$. 

This is one business man's motto: "Noth 
ing pays like quality." There is a whole ser 
mon in this motto, for what is there that pays 
like quality? There is no advertisement like 
it. Quality needs no advertisement, for it has 
been tried. Talk quality. A high-class sales 
man tries to convert his prospect from a lower 
to a higher grade, for there is not only greater 



258 SELLING THINGS 

satisfaction but also larger profit both for seller 
and buyer in the high grade article. 

4- 4- 4- 

Did you ever realize that when you are work 
ing for another you are really selling yourself 
to him, that your ability, your education, your 
personality, your influence, your atmosphere 
everything about you is sold for a price? 
Every time you sell goods you are selling part 
of yourself, your character, your reputation, 
what you stand for it is all included in the 

sale. 

4- & 4- 

Progress depends upon what we are, rather 
than upon what we may encounter. One man 
is stopped by a sapling lying across the road; 
another, passing that way picks up the hin 
drance and converts it into a help in crossing 
the brook just ahead. TRUMBULL. 

4-4-4- 

Fate does not fling her great prizes to the 
idle, the indifferent, but to the determined, the 

enthusiastic, the man who is bound to win. 

^ 4. 4. 

How true it is, as some one says, that true 
salesmanship consists in selling goods that 



SALES POINTERS 259 

don't come back to people who do. This is the 
whole story. Selling goods that give perfect 
satisfaction in such a pleasing, attractive way 
that the customer comes back ; leaving a pleas 
ant taste in the customer's mouth, pleasant pic 
tures in his memory of the way you treated 
him, so that he will put himself out to look you 
up the next time, this is the salesmanship which 
every one can cultivate. One doesn't need to 
be a born salesman to do this. Every one can 
treat a customer kindly, pleasantly, with a 
cheerful, helpful manner, in an accommodating 
spirit. The best part of salesmanship can be 

acquired. 

$.$.$. 

Winning back a customer who had quit buy 
ing of your house because you have offended 
him, or because he thinks the house did not 
treat him right, is a tough proposition. It is 
not every salesman who can successfully tackle 
such a job as this. It takes great tact and a 
lot of diplomacy, and yet a diplomacy that 
does not show itself. The art of arts is to con 
ceal art. A great diplomat leaves no visible 
trace of his diplomacy. It will pay to acquire 
the art of the diplomats. It will pay better to 
avoid offending customers. 



260 SELLING THINGS 

"We broke all output records to-day." This 
was the message Andrew Carnegie's superin 
tendent sent him one day. "Why not do it 
every day?" wired back the ironmaster. Why 
not beat your sales record every day? You 
don't know what you can do until you try. 

^ 45- $ 

"The salesman that tries to sell, without 
using his upper story, has a lot of good loft 
space unoccupied." 

$.$.$. 

To be a conqueror in appearance, in one's 
bearing, is the first step toward success. 

Walk, talk and act as though you were a 
somebody. Let victory speak from your face 
and express itself in your manner. 

$.$.$. 

Every dishonest trick, every deception, every 
unfair transaction, is a boomerang which comes 
back to hit the thrower. 

$.$.$. 

You should make your prospect feel that 
you are a real friend, that you are something 
more than an ordinary seller of merchandise, 
that you are trying to be of real service to him, 



SALES POINTERS 261 

and that you would not take the slightest ad 
vantage of him in any way. A man's friend 
ship should be worth a great deal to you, 
whether you get the particular order you are 
after or not. 

4=- $ $ 

The "selling sense" is to the salesman what 
the "nose for news" is to the journalist. No 
knowledge, however profound, of mere tech 
nical salesmanship will make a salesman of 
you if you lack selling sense, into which many 
factors enter, such as tact, spirit of kindli 
ness, good fellowship, good judgment, level 
headedness, horse sense, initiative, courage. 

4. 4f. $. 

Like the good things you eat, a superb qual 
ity leaves a good taste in the mouth. The 
article that is a little better than others of 
the same kind, the article that is best, even 
though the price is higher, "carries in its first 
sale the possibilities of many sales, because it 
makes a satisfied customer, and only a satisfied 
customer will come again." 

$ 4& $ 

Staying power is the final test of ability. 
The real caliber of a man is measured by the 



262 SELLING THINGS 

amount of opposition that it would take to 
down him. The world measures a man largely 
by his breaking down point. Where does he 
give up? How much punishment can he 
stand? How long can he take his medicine 
without running up the white flag? How 
much resisting power is there in him? What 
does the man do after he has been knocked 
down? This is the test. 

Where is your giving up point, your break 
ing point, your turning back point? This will 
determine everything in your career. 

$. $. $. 

If you represent a large house, make a care 
ful study of the top-notchers and cracker- jack 
salesmen in your firm. Study their history, 
their methods; get at the secret of their great 
success and their big salaries. The study of 
men above you will whet your ambition, will 
sharpen your perceptions and will make you 
more ambitious, more determined to win out, 
and this will enable you to make an impression 
of progressiveness upon your firm. They will 
see that you are growing, that you are reach 
ing out, that you have no idea of getting into a 
rut or becoming petrified in your methods. 



SALES POINTERS 263 

Thomas Brackett Reed, the famous Speaker 
of the House of Representatives for many 
years, used to say that one-half of the battle in 
Congress is to get the speaker's eye. Get your 
prospect's eye first of all, and then you will not 
only get his attention, but you will interest and 
hold him. No other feature has such power to 
command and hold as the eye. 

It is said that the moment a wild beast tamer 
shows the slightest signs of fear when he enters 
a cage of wild animals his game is up. They 
will leap upon him and kill him. The animals 
watch the trainer's eye and they can very 
quickly tell when he has lost his courage or 
shows the slightest sign of fear. 

$ 4^ 4^ 

Remember that suggestion is the soul of 
salesmanship. The first thing you should do 
when you go into a prospect's office is to 
suggest harmony, good will. Antidote all 
possible antagonism, kill prejudice. A pleas 
ing personality is all suggestion. Suggestion 
is the soul of advertising, and to sell you must 
advertise. A salesman must be his own adver 
tisement. 



264 SELLING THINGS 

=^ ----- j ------------ __ ^ 

"JUST KEEP ON, KEEPIN' ON." 

If the day looks kinder gloomy 

And your chances kinder slim; 
If the situation's puzzlin', 

And the prospects awful grim; 
And the prospects keep pressin' 

Till all hope is nearly gone, 
Just bristle up and grit your teeth, 

And keep on, keepin' on. 

Fumin* never wins a fight, 

And frettin' never pays; 
There ain't no use in broodin* 

In these pessimistic ways. 
Smile just kinder cheerfully, 

When hope is nearly gone, 
And bristle up and grit your teeth, 

And keep on, keepin' on. 

There ain't no use of growlin', 

And grumblin' all the time, 
When music's ringing everywhere, 

And everything's a rhyme. . 
Just keep on smiling cheerfully, 

If hope is nearly gone, 
And bristle up and grit your teeth, 

And keep on, keepin' on. SELECTED. 



All salesmen may take to themselves the fol 
lowing advice on promises, printed by Gimbel 
Brothers, for the benefit of all employees of 
their New York store. 



SALES POINTERS 265 

"MAKE no promises which you cannot ful 
fill." 

"Every individual connected with this estab 
lishment is hereby instructed not to make 
promises which cannot be absolutely satisfied. 

"You must fulfil at all costs those promises 
you do make, in behalf of this business" 

& 4- $ 

"He who is content to rest upon his laurels, 
will soon have laurels resting upon him." 

$. 4; 4i 

"A sour clerk will turn the sweetest cus 
tomer." 

$. 4i $. 

"A real salesman is one part talk and nine 
parts judgment; and he uses the nine parts of 
judgment to tell when to use the one part of 

talk." 

4; 4& 4& 

Whenever you say "Good morning," "Good 
afternoon," or "Good evening," let your words 
be not only cheerful, but sincere. The only 
was to be genuinely sincere is through culti 
vating a genuinely friendly disposition. It is 
hard to fake sincerity. Many salesmen think 
they can, but they only fool themselves. 



266 SELLING THINGS 

Learn to love mankind as a whole, and you will 
then be able to be genuinely sincere with each 
unit in humanity. 

yp. 4^ 4* 1 

"Never explain the nature of your business 
on the door-step that is, before you are advan 
tageously placed in the presence of your pros 
pect. Expect to get in, and you will." These 
are the words of an expert in salesmanship. 
Every expert realizes how full of truth they 

are. 

$.$.$. 

A salesman must be self-possessed, which 
means that he should have no fears. Keep be 
fore your mind constantly these facts: You 
are all right ; your goods are all right, and your 
house is all right; therefore you have no cause 
for fear ; you have every reason to be serene. 

$ 4- 4^ 

Keep your samples out of sight as much as 
possible, even for your regular trade. Many 
salesmen leave their samples at the hotel, and 
call first on prospective customers, making an 
appointment for a certain hour. This is very 
effective, where possible. The display of 
goods is, unquestionably, very helpful in sell- 



SALES POINTERS 267 

ing, but it is a decided advantage to have part 
of the stock out of sight. The element of 
curiosity comes in, and, as we have explained, 
this helps to get the right kind of attention. 

$.$.$. 

Carrying a cigar or a cigarette, even though 
freshly lighted, usually detracts from a man's 
appearance. A tooth-pick in evidence is al 
ways very bad taste, and often it has been fatal 
to sales. Newspapers stuck into pockets, or 
carried in one's hand, suggest that a man is not 
all there, that he is thinking more of the topics 
of the day than of his business. They are 
evidence of lack of concentration, and more 
often than the salesman may think he handi 
caps himself by having these in sight. 

$.$.$. 

Jake Daubert, the well known authority in 
baseball, has concluded an article on his 
specialty with these strong words of advice: 
"Always know ahead of time what you must do 
with the ball after you get it! 9 To a salesman 
I would say think out all possible difficulties 
that may arise during the progress of a 
prospective sale. Be prepared for every 



268 SELLING THINGS 

emergency. Cultivate patience, calmness, and 
celerity, for they give a powerful advantage to 

their possessor. 

$.$.$. 

Seizing the psychological moment is of great 
importance. Admiral Dewey seized it very 
effectively when he gave the command, "You 
may fire when you are ready, Gridley." A 
salesman can win by "firing" at the right mo 
ment. He can, likewise, and should, stop 
"firing" and close the deal at the right moment. 
It is all psychological a matter of mind meet 
ing mind. 

$.$$. 

Avoid as much as possible technical terms, 
unless you are talking to customers who, you 
are sure, understand them. For instance, a 
Life Insurance salesman makes a great mis 
take ordinarily, to talk about "legal reserve," 
"accrued dividends," "extended insurance," 
"paid-up values," "accelerative endowments," 
"expense ratios," "percentages of increase," 
etc. As a matter of fact, it is quite probable 
that a large number of those to whom he talks 
will not understand even the words "liabilities" 
and "assets." 



SALES POINTERS 269 

Many a salesman has been ruined or ser 
iously injured by carrying a side line. All of 
the great things of the world have been accom 
plished by concentration upon a specialty. 

$. & $. 

A good tip to both young and old salesmen 
is, to study the business producers both in your 
firm and out of your firm. Examine their 
methods; learn to do what they have found 
effective; benefit by their strong points; but 
beware of their weaknesses, for even the most 
successful salesman will be found to have cer 
tain weak points, at times. You can quickly 
and conclusively recognize these. Guard 
against them. While you can learn much 
from older and more experienced salesmen, 
never be a slavish copy of any one. Whatever 
you do be yourself. 

$. 4: $. 

Every time a man who is trying to hold an 
audience turns his eye from it he cuts the 
magnetic current which is flowing between 
them and if he does this often the people will 
get uneasy; they will begin to move in their 
seats and he will lose his power over them. 
His magnetic connection with those he ad- 



270 SELLING THINGS 

dresses is made through the eye. The trained 
speaker knows this, and unlike the amateur 
who, from sheer nervousness, often looks down 
to the floor, or refers to his notes when it is not 
absolutely necessary to do so, he avoids every 
thing that would tend to break the magnetic 
current between himself and his audience. 

Just here is a hint for the salesman. It is 
imperative that you should keep this current 
between yourself and your prospect flowing 
freely. An attractive personality added to the 
constant flow of magnetism through your eye 
will rivet his attention and add immensely to 
your selling power. 



THE SALESMAN'S IDEAL 

I want my Selling Talk to be a Service Talk 
one that will be worth others' time whether 
they buy my goods or not. 

I want it to tell only the truth, and that as 
fully as may be. 

To be a perfectly human statement easily 
understood by others. 

To show simply and plainly how both I and 
my goods can serve. 



SALES POINTERS 271 

To contain Wit only as that conforms to 
Wisdom. 

To be presented in full view of the fact that 
every man's time is his property only to be 
secured by honest methods. 

To result from personal self -persuasion, as 
I would wish to persuade others. 

To prove of such real value to patrons that 
my goods shall be always to the fore rather 
than myself. 

To so demonstrate the Merits of my goods 
and service, that others will crave them when in 
need of either. 

This is my ideal. SELECTED. 

4; $ $. 

WHY THIS SALESMAN DID NOT SUCCEED 

He was too anxious. 

He could not read human nature. 

He did not know how to approach his pros 
pect. 

There was not a real man back of the solici 
tor. 

He scattered too much; could not concen 
trate his talk. 

He knew enough, but could not tell it in an 
interesting way. 



272 SELLING THINGS 

He tired the prospect out before he got down 
to business, and could not see when he was 
boring him. 

He went to his prospective customer in the 
spirit of "I will try" instead of "I will." 

He could not take a rebuff good-naturedly. 

He ran down his competitor and disgusted 
his prospect. 

He did not believe he could get an order 
when he went for it. 

He tried to make circulars and letters do the 
work of a personal canvass. 

He unloaded cheap lines and off-style goods 
on one customer and then bragged about it to 
the next. 

He did not thoroughly believe in the thing 
he was trying to sell, and of course could not 
convince others. 

He was too easily discouraged; if he did not 
secure orders from the first man he solicited, he 
lost heart and gave up. 

He did not concentrate on one line. He 
carried side lines. He thought if he could not 
sell one thing, he could another. 

He did not have enough reserve argument 
to overccne objections. He lacked resource 
fulness, 



SALES POINTERS 273 

He had to spend most of his time trying to 
overcome a bad first impression. 

He gave the impression that he was a beggar 
instead of the representative of a reliable 
house. 

He did not look out for the man at the other 
end of the bargain. 

He overcanvassed. He said so many good 
things about the article he was selling that the 
prospect did not believe they were true. 

He was polite only while he thought he was 
going to get an order, but when turned down, 
got mad and said disagreeable, cutting things. 

He lacked tact or the power of adaptability ; 
he always used the same line of argument, no 
matter what the man's position, degree of in 
telligence, temperament or mood might be. 

He did not have a proper appreciation of 
the dignity of his work. He thought people 
would look upon him as a peddler. 

He did not like the business; his heart was 
not in it; and he intended working at it only 
until he could get a better job. 

He never liked to mix with people, and 
therefore was not popular. 

He did not organize himself, could not work 
to a plan, had no program, 



274 SELLING THINGS 

He introduced politics and his fads in busi 
ness. 

He didn't realize that every sale is an adver 
tisement for or against the house. 

He was always gloomy and despondent. He 
carried his samples in a hearse. 

He did not believe it paid to be accommo 
dating. 

4s. 41 $. 

WHY THIS SALESMAN SUCCEEDED 

He thoroughly believed in the things he was 
trying to sell. 

He was tactful and knew how to approach 
people. 

He did not waste a customer's time but was 
quick to the point. 

He concentrated on what he was selling. 

He was reliable and gave one the impression 
that he stood for good merchandise. 

He approached a customer with the convic 
tion that he would win his order and he usually 
did. 

He worked hard. 



SALES POINTERS 275 



He was always looking out for the man at 
the other end of the bargain. 

He stopped when he had convinced his pros 
pect and did not raise doubts by boring him. 



THE END 



THE MARDEN 
INSPIRATIONAL BOORS 



Be Good to Yourself 

Every Man a King 

Exceptional Employee 

Getting On 

He Can Who Thinks He Can 

How to Get What You Want 

Joys of Living 

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Love's Way 

Making Life a Masterpiece 

Miracle of Right Thought 

Optimistic Life 

Peace, Power, and Plenty 

Progressive Business Man 

Pushing to the Front 

Rising in the World 

Secret of Achievement 

Self-Investment 

Selling Things 

Training for Efficiency 

Victorious Attitude 

Woman and the Home 

Young Man Entering Business 

SUCCESS BOOKLETS 

An Iron Will Ambition Cheerfulness 

Gocd Manners Do it to a Finish Character 

Economy Opportunity Thrift 

Power of Personality 

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"The_ very chapter topics radiate optimism. 
Every theory enunciated is practical, and the au 
thor's views of life deserve to be highly com 
mended." Christian Endeavor World. 

Sure to Appeal 

"The advice given is sound, homely, but sure 
to appeal. Dr. Marden and his publishers have 
contributed a notable service in issuing this 
book." Trenton Sunday Times. 

Standard Literature 

"The chapters constitute standard literature on 
the subjects discussed. No better book for the 
efficiency student is to be obtained." 

Railroad Men. 

For Young and Old 

"Exceedingly practical and highly inspirational. 
Young and old will read it with equal profit and 
pleasure." Christian Advocate. 



THOMAS Y. CROWELL COMPANY 



OPINIONS OF 

Rising in tbe Wlorlb 

" A storehouse of incentive, 
a treasury of precious sayings ; a granary of 
seed-thoughts capable, under proper cultivation, of 
a fine character harvest." EDWARD A. HORTON. 

"A stimulating book 

which is pitched at a high note and rings true." 

EDWIN M. BACON. 

" Has all the excellences of style 

and matter that gave to ' Pushing to the 
Front* its signal success. Dr. Marden's power 
of pithy statement and pertinent illustration seems 
inexhaustible." W. F. WARREN, 

Former President of Boston University. 

Touches the Springs of Life 
" Dr. Marden has touched the springs of life 
and set forth with marvellous and convincing 
power the results obtained by those inspired by 
high resolves, lofty aspirations, and pure motives. 
No one can rise from reading this book without 
cleaner desires, firmer resolutions, and sublime 
ambition." MYRON T. PRITCHARD, 

Master of Everett School^ Boston. 

Its Immortal Possibilities 
"Has the same iron in the blood, the same 
vigorous constitution, the same sanguine temper 
ament, the same immortal possibilities as Push 
ing to the Front.' " THOMAS W. BICKNELL, 

Ex-U. S. Commissioner of Education. 



THOMAS Y. CROWELL COMPANY 



PRESS REVIEWS OF 

ptimietic life 



Holds the Attention 

" The title of this book attracts the attention, 
and the contents rivet it." The Watchman. 

Rich in Thought and Suggestion 
" A book rich in noble thought. Few are those 
who will not wince under the good-natured thrusts 
that Dr. Marden gives their foibles and weak 
nesses, but few also are they who may not find 
much helpful suggestion here." 

San Francisco Chronicle. 

Strengthens Spirit and Body 
41 Dr. Marden has done an immense amount 
of good by this practical advice and encouraging 
insistence upon the essentials of happiness. The 
spirit of the toiler needs strengthening quite as 
much as his body." Christian Advocate. 

Its Wholesome Brain Fare 
"This volume contains quantities of plain, 
wholesome brain fare for the misanthrope and 
the cynic." Des Moines Register. 

Both Uplifting and Necessary 

"'Do not look on life through smoked glasses' 
is Dr. Marden's motto. He believes so enthusi 
astically in cheerfulness, energy, and kindness 
that he can almost persuade one to believe there 
is no necessity for old age, sorrow, or discourage 
ment. Still there is no doubt but his message is 
not only uplifting but necessary." 

Indianapolis News. 



THOMAS Y. CROWELL COMPANY 



attitube 

By ORISON SWETT HARDEN 



A Soul Doctor 

"This book should be read by all discouraged 
people. It is a tonic and a moral bracer of the 
first order. Most of us need to have our self- 
confidence stimulated, and Dr. Marden stimulates 
it. He is a soul doctor." 

Richmond Times Dispatch. 

Buoyant and Breezy 

"Full of fresh ideas, couched in straightforward 
language. Buoyant, breezy and highly stimulat 
ing.'* San Francisco Bulletin. 

A Wallet of Truth 

"There is a crammed wallet of truth in your 
book. May it go forth to inspire men with the 
fine courage of life." Edwin Marbham. 

Excellent Advice 

"The homely truths and excellent bits of ad 
vice contained in Dr. Marden's book will make 
instructive reading. It is written in forcible and 
easily understandable style." Buffalo Commercial. 

Cannot Fail to Help 

"Clear ; direct and rigorous in expression, and 
so uplifting and wholesome in subject matter, that 
it cannot fail to be of help to many people who 
are in need of just such advice." 

Des M vines Register. 

Nothing More Valuable 

"One of the very best books that you ever pro 
duced. The book is like a medicine to me. I 
commended it to our students, put it in our library, 
and it has been in great demand. I know of 
nothing finer or more valuable for young people 
who are struggling for an education.** 

Rev. O. S. Kriebcl, D.D. 



THOMAS Y. CROWBLL COMPABY 



Uife a 

By ORISON SWETT MARDEN 
Welcome as Sunshine 

"Brims over with optimism, and i3 a perfect 
storehouse of apt anecdotes. Welcome as a steady 
gleam of sunshine on a gloomy day." 

Portland Oregonian. 

Teaches Many a Truth 

"Dr. Harden teaches many a plain, common 
truth in, simple but effective epigram." 

Book Review Digest. 

Unforgettable Truth 

"No reader will find difficulty in reading one 
of his books; the difficulty lies in forgetting its 
truth." Norfolh Ledger Dispatch. 

Appeal to Young Men 

"There is much in this book that will appeal to 
the young man whose ambition is to make a suc 
cess of life. It is written so entertainingly that 
it is a privilege, as well as a pleasure, to read 
it." Pittsburgh Gazette Times. 

Antidote for Bad Luck 

"If luck seems to be passing you by on the 
wrong side, read this book." Christian Advocate. 

A Fine Inspirational Book 

"A fine, inspirational book, especially for the 
young. It holds the attention and stimulates the 
reader to want to make his life a masterpiece." 

Baptist Teacher. 



THOMAS Y. CROWELL COMPANY