Next comes the implanting of the germ of confidence.
It is not enough to interest the buyer in the shoe and
show its value to him; he must interest the retailer in
the house, and prove its value to him. Here the adver-
tising question enters into the sale. Rarely does a
country merchant buy a bill of shoes unless he is con-
vinced that the line will be thoroughly advertised. He
wants to feel that we will do more for him in this respect
than the other fellows. So Mr. Smith is given full in-
formation regarding the advertising which the house is
doing in a general way and he is also posted on the
special advertising which we are willing to do for him.
This consists of a great variety of outdoor signs, store
signs, indoor advertising of various sorts; and he is en-
couraged to co-operate in his own advertising with the
work we do in general and for him in particular.
Here he feels that the house will stand by him not
only in this respect, but in others as well "for,' he
says to himself, "a concern which will do so much to
get my trade and then spend money to build it up, will
surely stand by me." And with this feeling the ordi-
nary notion of l ' Oh, he is trying to get my money, ' ' is
at once dissipated.
Co-operating with the Dealer in the Preparation
of Advertising ~
We further co-operate with our customers in ths
preparation of good advertising matter which he may
38 HOW TO M A KF, THE SALE
send to Ms own customers. This advertising matter is
designed to create an interest in the goods in the mind
of the customer, and to establish the fact that Smith
sells them. In fact all the advertising we do, either in
a general way, by painted signs or conspicuous walls or
bulletin boards, by newspapers, and by the work done
in direct co-operation with a customer, is intended to
"play into his hands.' TVe realize fully that our in-
terests are best served by serving his.
On each sample shown is a small tag addressed to the
wearer of the shoe. This tag is intended primarily to
gain his confidence through an obvious appeal to the
wearer. The moment Mr. Smith sees the tag he feels
at once that the house is trying to do the right thing by
the person who buys the shoes, and this being so he will
do the same by him. On the reverse side of the tag the
following paragraph appears:
"Be as honest with the shoes as they are with you;
then if they go wrong we will make them right. We
expect to pay for any mistakes we make.'
In this little tag we offer our customer what amounts
to a guaranty to the wearer that the shoe to which it is
attached will prove as good a shoe as the money will
buy: and it is an agreement to make good anv shoe
. l C v
which does not come up to this standard. This goes far
to demonstrate to the dealer and to his trade that they
may safely put confidence in us and in our goods.
The argrument is constantlv advanced that "we look
to a man's foot instead of his eye.' In selling to coun-
try customers this argument carries weight. And it ia
one of the best arguments in making a sale.
In this connection the element of competition comes
up. Mr. Smith will make reference to the fact that he
has had the same offer from other houses and that their
SELLING A LINE 39
TOWN <~~ STATE -V,/" - SALESMAN,, _,
' j->*s ^T^- __ -l_^,..*^s- _ ^-i->
Form II: Promotion card made out and filed in the home office for each prospect
whose name is sent in by a salesman. Space permits of a subsequent record
of his dealings with the house
shoes look just as good. But the general make-up of
the line of shoes, the advertising campaign carried on,
and the impression formed by the series of letters,
generally make it unnecessary to say much about other
lines. He is left to draw his own conclusions, depend-
ing entirely on the first impressions made.
Showing tlie Dealer the Advantages of Handling
The germ of concentration follows next in the process.
If Mr. Smith can be made to feel that it is money saved
to buy his shoes from one house instead of going from
one house to another, the prospects of making the first
sale are vastly strengthened.
A line ranging from men's fine dress shoes to heavy
work shoes, from women's and misses' dress shoes and
slippers to heavy every-day shoes, and from infants'
and children's shoes to schoolboys' and rubbers, is held
out to Mr. Smith as representing the complete stock.
40 HOW TO MAKE THE SALE
For concentrating his purchase we offer additional dis-
counts, larger advertising, quicker service, special
brands, and personal attention to the wants of his cus-
The germ of curiosity then has succeeded in getting
the salesman into Mr. Smith's store with a line of sam-
ples suggested by the promotion letters. The germ of
confidence is established by showing just what the shoes
are, by comparison and what the house will do, by ad-
vertising, to assist his sales and to draw people to his
store, while the germ of concentration has been planted
deep enough for all practical purposes. This accom-
plishes the sale.
How the House Endeavors to Make a Customer
After the first order is received, how does Mr. Smith
become a permanent customer? If the house allowed
him to shift for himself after the first bill of goods were
in his store, he might not be able to state their merits
with full success. So it is necessary that certain things
be done to hold him as a customer.
And in doing so the house has to sell the shoe twice
first, to Mr. Smith; then to his customer. It is always
better to spend one dollar out of a possible two-dollar
selling expense to get the shoes out of the retailer's store
than the whole two dollars to get them into the retailer's
store. And this means a campaign of general adver-
tising. In this respect no regard is taken of the local
community. The entire country, or that part of it
which is our territory, is thoroughly covered with good
We use a large list of newspapers in the principa.1
cities in our territory ; using page ads. and smaller copy.
SELLING A LINE 41
Our list of newspapers is being extended each season.
In these advertisements the one central idea is to circu-
late our name. This is repeated so much that people
everywhere become acquainted with the name. And in
passing different stores our signs and store advertise-
ments are so plain that the individual gets our shoe
pretty well fixed in his mind. Why, then, should he fail
to be drawn to the store handling the shoes 1
There are two catalogues issued yearly which describe
all the styles in shoes and rubbers. These are sent Mr,
Smith, and are supplemented with a price list on sea-
sonable goods issued during the interim.
A monthly letter in the form of a house organ, ' ' The
Shoe News," is sent Mr. Smith and acquaints him with
the latest doings and happenings in the shoe world.
How the House and Salesman Keep in Touch with
Peculiarly, only one letter of thanks is sent Mr. Smith,
and that on the receipt of his first order. The method
of getting the people to his store, or the selling of his
shoes for him, is evidence of the appreciation or at least
of the effort to do the right thing by Mr. Smith; and
he perceives this instantly.
The advantage of being an exclusive dealer in our
shoes is given Mr. Smith, provided he will buy enough
shoes to make it worth the effort to build up his trade.
In addition to the advertising efforts directed from
the house, the traveling salesman is constantly in touch
with Mr. Smith. He sees that every piece of shoe
information, in one form or another, is sent him; he
writes him at certain times inquiring if there is anything
he can do for him, or if there are any complaints from
his trade, or if any fault is found with the shoes. There
42 HOW TO MAKE THE SALE
are times also when the traveler will send souvenirs and
the like to Mr. Smith in order that his personal interest
may be sustained. In one way or another the salesman
is in touch with Mr. Smith from the time he left his
store with the first order.
Everything is prepared now for the second call. The
first bill of goods has been sold largely through the
efforts of the house; the interest of Mr. Smith has not
been allowed to flag; the salesman has shown his own
personal enthusiasm, so the path has been prepared for
the second visit. And when he makes the second call
Mr. Smith visits him at his hotel. The tide has turned.
Instead of having to take a small sample case to his store,
Mr. Smith gladly goes to the sample room, where a com-
plete line is on display.
And in this way he is made a permanent customer.
In the first instance curiosity, confidence and concentra-
tion have germinated sufficiently to make the sale. The
efforts made by the house to sell the goods and the per-
sonal interest taken, both by the salesman and the house,
keep these germs growing with the one result a lasting
WHEN you talk to a man in his
office, make your sentences the
shortest possible distance between two
points. Remember that when a man's
listening he is not telling on himself
and he is flattering the man who is.
Alexander H. Revell.
Selling to the User
BY F. C. GILBERT
In these days of keen competition it does not take long
for the news to travel that there is a prospective pur-
chaser in the automobile field.
If a man is favorably inclined toward the purchase of
an automobile the task of the salesman resolves itself
into an effort to convince him that the particular car the
salesman has to sell is the proper one for him to buy.
To sell automobiles requires men of high qualifications,
as the class of people who are purchasing cars at the
present time are persons of means, prominent in business
or social circles, and usually people of education and
refinement. While it is not necessary that the successful
automobile salesman be a practical mechanic, those who
have been the most successful have had either a mechan-
ical education or a natural inclination for mechanics.
The average person possesses a surprising amount of in-
formation on mechanical subjects, and many a sale has
been lost because the buyer has been better posted than
the salesman himself.
Prospective purchasers may be divided into three mam
classes: First, those who intend to purchase; second,
those who are interested in a general way, but are not
44 HOW TO MAKE THE SALE
thinking of purchasing at the present time ; third, those
who have the means to buy, but are apparently indif-
ferent to the sport.
What the Salesman First Seeks to Learn in Handling
We will suppose, for the purpose of this article, that
the prospective customer has expressed an interest in an
automobile and desires to own one.
The first step of the shrewd salesman is to find out all
about the prospective buyer, his personal characteristics,
his likes and dislikes, his financial ability to pay for a
car and the kind of vehicle in which he would be apt to
be the most interested. A visit is then made to the pros-
pective customer 'and every effort is put forward by the
salesman to get the first demonstration, if possible. As
a rule, the salesman who secures the first interview with
a customer is able to influence him strongly in his favor,
and if his concern is prominent and responsible, and his
car a good one, he can present his arguments in such a
manner that any other salesman who attempts to sell
the same customer will be put on the defensive. In other
words, a shrewd salesman can induce the prospective
buyer to unconsciously accept his company and his goods
as the standard by which any competitors who may ap-
proach him will be judged.
Each man has his own method of securing business:
hence, a plan which could be successfully followed by
one salesman might prove a failure in the hands of
another. The general method given here has been fol-
lowed with success by many salesmen.
We will assume that the salesman learns that the
prospective purchaser wants a machine of a certain class
at a certain price.
SELLING TO THE USER 45
The method of attack depends somewhat on the grade
of goods represented, the standing, reputation and ex-
perience of the company and of its car. If the com-
pany represented by the salesman is an old and well
established one, the salesman has the strongest of argu-
ments in Iris favor, and these may be used to advantage.
The financial responsibility of the company, its liber-
ality in the interpretation of the guarantee, the nearness
of factory to the buyer, the ability of a local agent to
care for repairs, are all strong arguments, but the heart
of the whole matter is a good car and a thorough knowl-
edge of it by the salesman and an ability to place this
knowledge before the customer in a convincing manner.
The Steps by which the Salesman Presents His
We will assume that the prospective purchaser has
narrowed his choice to a definite number of makes, among
which he is undecided, and we will assume that this
prospective customer has entered the salesroom for the
purpose of inspecting our particular product.
First, the salesman calls the customer's attention to
the superiorities of this particular make.
Second, and incidentally, he calls attention to the
peculiarities of mechanisms or functions which other
makes claim as points of excellence, but which in many
cases are mere talking points, elaborated for the purpose
of influencing uninformed customers.
Unless a customer is already well posted concerning
automobiles and wants information only on definite mat-
ters, the salesman demonstrates the following points in
his machine in their order :
The motor, the transmission, the control, the driving
mechanism, the upholstering and finish.
46 HOW TO MAKE THE SALE
To the average customer, the motor is, of course, of
primary importance. This is the point, consequently,
which the salesman attacks first.
After taking off the hood which covers the motor, he
explains the peculiar construction of his particular make,
which, for example, may embody four separate cylinders,
instead of sets of cylinders constructed in pairs, an ar-
rangement which is characteristic of many machines on
the market. He then explains why this construction is
held by his firm to be superior. In the first place, it al-
lows the water to circulate freely around the entire
cylinder, instead of two-thirds of the way around, as it
does in the cylinders constructed in pairs. This is a
point of superiority because such a construction allows
a uniform expansion and contraction of the cylinders,
owing to the uniform distribution of the water supply.
In the second place, this construction allows for five
instead of three crank shaft bearings an advantage
which even the layman may appreciate.
In the third place, the jacket of the cylinder wheels
is made of copper. The salesman goes on to emphasize
the advantage of this.
In the fourth place, the valves are operated automati-
cally, instead of mechanically. Its superiority is ex-
In like manner the other points are explained, and ex-
plained in such a way that will show the why, how and
because of each point.
Salesman Explains Carefully the Car's Technical
Points of Advantage
The next function to explain to the prospective cus-
tomer is the method of power transmission. As prac-
tically all motor cars are constructed alike, as far as this
SELLING TO THE USER 47
transmission is concerned namely, by means of sliding
gears this point resolves itself into a matter of satis-
fying the customer as to the material and workmanship
used in its construction. Specific details are shown and
explained; generalities do not impress the careful in-
The next feature to take up is the control of the par-
ticular machine. It is distinguished by a mechanism
which is similar in results to the control of a railway
locomotive. The speed of a locomotive is controlled by
admitting more or less steam through a throttle. The
mechanism of his car is explained and its distinguishing
points brought out.
The fourth feature is the "driving.' The driving is
the mode of transmission of power to the rear wheels.
The same detailed explanation follows.
The fifth and final feature to be taken up in the de-
monstration of a motor car is the finish. But unless a
prospective customer is particularly inexperienced or de-
sires a machine primarily for the purpose of display,
this point is not of marked importance and is last to be
It will be noticed that throughout the entire demon-
stration the peculiar mechanism of the product is ex-
plained on the following basis:
First, the customer is impressed with the necessity of
the functions which a motor car's mechanism must per-
Second, the customer is impressed with the complete-
ness with wkich this particular motor car's mechanism
performs these functions.
Third, the customer is shown why the functions thus
performed by this particular make of cars are the funda-
mental functions and that features which are not em-
18 HOW TO MAKE THE SALE
bodied in these ears, but which are claimed for compet-
ing makes, are either unnecessary or even weakening to
more important functions.
After the arguments have been presented, the customer
usually requires a road demonstration to learn for him-
self whether the car will come up to the claims that are
made for it.
If the demonstration is successful and the customer is
pleased, an effort is made to clinch the sale before the
customer's enthusiasm has a chance to cool off. A cash
deposit of part of the retail price is usually insisted upon
as a provision against cancelation of the order and as an
evidence of good faith. The balance on the car is paid
The Selling Foundation
IVE me a man with a good back
" bone, susceptible to instruction,
willing to absorb, and with a disposi-
tion to obey orders, and I will assume
the responsibility of his becoming a
good salesman. It is true that he must
have a foundation upon which to build.
I will call the stones of that foundation
intelligence, education, appearance,
persistence, self-control, and diplom-
acy. None of these is a gift, but an
accomplishment that can be developed
more or less, according to the individ-
ual. W. A. Waterbury.
HOW TO HANDLE THE
GETTING PROSPECTS VIEWS
MAKING STRONG POINTS
OUTWEIGH WEAK ONES
CRITICISMS TO ADVANTAGE
SHOWING DELAY MEANS
, MONEY LOSS
ADHERING TO FIXED PRICE
SETTING THE SIGNATURE
GETTING A CASH DEPOSIT-
REGARDING OTHER PROSPECTS
Here are presented in analyzed form the points that make greatest demand
on the salesman in handling his customer
Know Your Ground
Before you make any man a proposition,
be sure of your course, the end you desire
to reach. Know yourself, know your
goods, know your man.
No friendly wind is going to pilot your
ship into the port of profit. You must
map out your entire business voyage be-
fore you lift the anchor of initiative or set
the sail of action.
It is the minute of talk after the hour
of thought, the ounce of effort after the
ton of preparation, that steers a business
project into the harbor of success.
Before you step look ahead. Before you
fire aim. Before you act plan.
Getting Past the Outpost
The biggest fish always get away in the camp fire
narratives of Isaac Walton's clan. But it is one of the
compensations of a salesman's career strenuous, every-
day sport it is that, once he takes your bait, the
big man is as handily brought to the landing net as the
fellow who will never figure in c ' Who 's Who. '
Once he takes your bait, I say. There shows the big-
gest difficulty the problem. The wary old trout at the
bottom of a shotgun guarded pool is more easily reached
and enticed than the big man in business or profes-
sional life. Money-captain, railroad general, specialist
in law or medicine, he is so hedged about with defences
that the task of getting speech with him becomes a battle
of wits against clerks, secretaries, assistants, hired to
insure his working hours against interruptions. In no
other occupation is the game so keen and close, does
knowledge of men and instant judgment count for so
much, are victory and defeat divided by a line so nearly
Some years ago I was one of a crew of canvassers
selling an important dictionary in conjunction with a
Chicago newspaper. Five of our younger solicitors had
broken themselves on the office fortifications of Presi-
52 HOW TO HANDLE THE BUYER
dent E. P. Ripley of the Santa Fe road, reporting that
it was impossible to break in on him.
Now, "impossible' ' is a word that shatters discipline
in a company of canvassers, and the crew manager as-
signed me to the task of selling Mr. Ripley and showing
the younger men their mistake. Besides the lesson for
the crew, we wanted Mr. Ripley 's subscription and com-
mendation to use as an advertisement and selling point.
Locating the Prospect The First Step in Getting
Next to a Big Man
When I marched into the outer office, my first move
was to make sure that my big man was inside. I had
only this one chance to land him and it would be fatal
to my plan to ask if Mr. Ripley was in. So I busied my-
self with some memoranda as I entered, and, turning my
back, pretended to add up a column of figures while I
listened to the talk of the clerks and the other visitors.
In a minute I had my cue. Mr. Ripley was in. A
railing divided the outer office. One of the two clerks
was seated at the desk beside it. The other was talking
to three railroad men probably a committee across the
Pocketing my memoranda, I stepped quickly to the
gate. The clerk rose, inquiry in his eye. I thrust out
my hand. He met it automatically.
* ' Why, hello, old man ! ' I said, cordially as I knew
how. "You're looking better than you did last time I
was up.' As we shook hands I threw up the bolt of the
gate and stepped inside.
My clerk was puzzled. He had never seen me before,
but he didn't know it. He feared to make a mistake.
And while he shuffled the photographs in his mind's
gallery he was at my mercy. There had been a little
GETTING PAST THE OUTPOST 53
story of new Santa Fe extensions in the morning papers.
I talked lightly of them as I edged toward the open door
of the second office.
The other clerk bore down on us. I met him with a
smile and the same compelling motion of my right hand.
He, too, was at a loss. I knew him, I was glad to see
him, but he couldn 't identify me. The advantage was al]
I brought him into the gossip about the road while
we shook hands. Then while the problem of placing
me still engrossed them, I turned toward the inner
"I'll be out in a minute," I called gaily. Their
momentary hesitation put me beyond their reach.
Working a Ruse to Get Past the Prospect's
The man in the second office was busy with a filing
case in the farthest corner. I nodded to him with a
smile and steered straight for the door leading to the
office at right angles. He was too far away to cut me
off and my friendly greeting paralyzed his brain for
that one vital moment I needed. The door was open.
I saw a young man at the central desk. Mr. Ripley's
private office must be beyond, and this was his per-
1 'Hello!" I said, "E. P.'s in. I've a letter he'll want
to see. I'll just hand it to him.'
In another moment I had penetrated the citadel. The
secretary was as powerless to stop me as the men outside.
Mr. Kipley looked up prepared to listen. His outside
men were efficient and the fact that I stood there was
guarantee that my business was important and for his
54 HOW TO HANDLE THE BUYER
One glance and I had my line. This man's natural
dignity, his habit of command forbade even an approach
to equality. There is subtle flattery in admitting with-
out argument another man 's superiority. No man is big
enough to recognize it as flattery or too big to be un-
consciously influenced by it. My role must be that of a
"Mr. of the Morning ," I said, offer-
ing the letter, "sent me down to ask what binding you