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coolness I did not feel. "I've been sent down to ac-
quaint you with our plan of supplying our readers with
the Universal dictionary, with the merits of which you
are of course familiar."

For a moment his eyes probed mine. John W. Gates
has power physical and mental power as well as finan-
cial and his steady glance left me limp. When he
turned without a word and re-entered his office. I was
glad, I felt as though I had been offering a manicure
set to a grizzly bear during the bear's business hours.

The First Defeat Furnishes Ammunition for the Second

Charge

Defeats like this come to every salesman. But the
first repulse is not always final. The test of his selling
ability comes when, after analysis of the causes of his
failure, he decides whether or not he can hammer out
of his first reverse a plan for a second charge up to
the firing line.

F. H. Peavey of Minneapolis, who collected grain ele-
vators as some men gather in etchings or corner lots,
was one of the suavest diplomats I ever met in an inside
office. In our first encounter he mastered me as easily
as a great lawyer might silence a police-court cub. Even
now I haven't a clear idea of what happened to me i* 1



LANDING THE ORDER 71

his Minneapolis fortress. He was courteous, gentle, ap-
parently interested up to the very moment when I found
myself again in the ante-room.

I have since come to the conclusion that he was so
impregnable because he knew the salesman's game and
beat it. He understood that it is the agent's first pur-
pose to lift the prospect into his own atmosphere, to
guide the trend of the interview in his direction. This
Mr. Peavey combated.

My team-mate went after Mr. Peavey after my rebuff,
He had no better luck ? despite my coaching. Mr. Peavey
would have seen no more of us, if, passing on the street
a few days later, he had not saluted us with a smile and
a flourish plainer than words :

"Gentlemen, behold your master!'

That smile was Mr. Peavey 's undoing. It suggested
a new approach to me. Mr. Peavey prided himself on
his victory. He could be flattered, so I would give him
a chance to air his satisfaction. Perhaps I might find
the weak place in his armor, after all. I left Billings at
the corner and Mr. Peavey hadn't settled to work before
I was before him again.

He was intrenched behind desks his own broad and
flat, his son's at the left, his stenographer's at the right
But I wedged between them and took his hand.

'Mr. Peavey,' I said, pumping gently at his hand as
I talked, "my business is to sell books, but I didn't come
this time on business. That was my mission the last
time. Apparently I forgot it. I know I was in here
I recognize you and your surroundings. But I don't
know how I got out. It's my livelihood to know how to
handle men but this time you did the handling. And
you did it in a way that left me speechless, amazed-
and, later, curious. Will you tell me how you did it?"



72 HOW TO HANDLE THE BUYER

His smile, his patent amusement, told me I had struck
the right chord.

Of course, he couldn't tell me what I asked. But we
had a lively and interesting debate for three minutes
and each second Mr. Peavey felt better about his ex-
ploit. Then I saw my chance.

"By the way, the Pan-American is in your library,
I suppose, Mr. Peavey.' We were selling the Pan-
American Cyclopedia in conjunction with one of the
Minneapolis papers.

Off guard, he considered for a minute.

' ' I don 't know, ' ' he admitted. ' ' Son, ' ' he asked, turn-
ing to young Peavey, "have we the Pan-American up at
the house?"

"I don't know," the answer came, "but I can 'phone
and find out.'

"Don't trouble yourself," I protested, "the servant
might make a mistake. Just sign here" I slipped the
order book down on the table with the fountain pen at
the provocative angle "and I'll deliver the books this
evening. If you have them, you can send the new set
back. I presume you'll want the morocco binding/

And I got away with Mr. Peavey 's check and sold
several sets on the strength of his order.

Trying the Plan of Rushing a Prospect Off His

Feet

"Tom" Lowrie, president of the "Soo" line, traction
magnate and all-round captain of industry, was another
Minneapolis man who failed to fall to my first assault.
I knew Mr. Lowrie must be rushed off his feet or I'd
get no order. So I marched into his private office he
was democratic enough to make that easy and laid the
order book down before him.



LANDING THE ORDER 73

"Mr. Harper of the ," I declared with convic-
tion, "isn't going to press until he has your name down
for the Pan- American, St. Paul" one of the St. Paul
papers was backing us in that city and we were making
the most of the "twin cities' rivalry "is twenty
sets ahead of us. '

Mr. Lowrie refused to be rushed. Those words, "your
name down" the idea of an order antagonized him.

"Not for a holy second/ he retorted. "Buying a
subscription book is like giving a half dollar to an In-
dian. Do it and the whole tribe camps on your door
step. '

Evidently I had taken the wrong tack. I went away
and communed with myself for ten minutes. Then I
sent Billings down to Lowrie 's office not a quarter
hour later, to try a new method of approach.

"Mr. Harper wants you to take the Pan-American,"
he declared. "You needn't sign an order. Jus\, give
me a check for nine dollars and the books will be at your
home tonight."

Lowrie grumbled that It was a hold-up but wrote the
-:heck. That sliglri, change in th^ approach the switch-
ing of the emphasis from the order to the books landed
him, I think.

Taking the Proposition Over the Head of the

"Small Boss"

Another perplexing problem every salesman encount-
ers is the "Easy Boss" the department head who be-
lieves in "letting well enough alone," whose good nature
is often abused by subordinates he trusts too generously.
Convincing such a man of the merit or money-making
quality of what you have to sell is labor lost. He will
listen to your arguments, show interest in your demon-



74 HOW TO HANDLE THE BUYER

stration, even take your device on trial, but in the end he
will deny the order, usually with the explanation that
his clerks or assistants do not like it or fail to get re-
sults with it.

There are two ways of handling such a department
manager either educate his assistants to the idea that
your device will help them and make their work easier
without chopping any names from the payroll, or go
boldly over the manager's head to the president and
sell him. The first method is slow and frequently
barren of results. If it is possible to come at the real
executive, I prefer direct appeal to him.

Bucking the Opposition of Employees in Fear of
Losing their Positions

In the missionary days of an important office ap-
pliance, I had a strip of Chicago's loop district for my
territory, and one of the largest clothing houses in the
world for a prospect "The Hub.' Our office records
showed that the company had put in one of our models
on twenty days ' trial the previous year and had returned
it. Self-confidence, however, figures in every young
salesman's outfit, and I promptly called on this com-
pany's office manager and auditor. The store's methods
were so up-to-the-hour in every other respect that I
felt reasonably sure of a sale.

With an improved model to talk about, my approach
went swimmingly. The manager was interested, but
warned me that our appliance had failed to give satis-
faction the year before. He consented to a second test,
however, and I installed the new model and explained its
uses to his clerks.

I found dust on the keys when I dropped in again a
fortnight later. The clerks all women gave me short



LANDING THE ORDER 75

answers, and I sensed the sticking point. They saw the
labor-saving possibilities of the appliance and were mak-
ing common cause in opposing an innovation which might
set one of them adrift. Argument was useless, so I
took it up with the manager.

He was considerate, kindly, full of regret that the
office force could not use the appliance. The girls
couldn't get the hang of it, didn't like it, he assured
me; and intimated that our delivery wagon could call.

Henry C. Lytton was the president of the company.
I had read and heard enough of him to know that he
was the most progressive type of modern business man.
Also I had observed, during my two talks with the aud-
itor, that Mr. Lytton 's private office was guarded always
by a secretary. It would be absurd to attempt to reach
him except when the secretary was off duty.

Leaving the store by one entrance, I went around to
the other and asked the first floorman what time Mr.
Lytton got down in the morning. He named an hour a
bit earlier than the average. The following day, I fol-
lowed Mr. Lytton into the store, took the next elevator
after his to the office floor and entered his reception
room. I was trusting to luck to dodge his secretary.
He didn't stop me because he was waiting beside Mr.
Lytton 's desk when I pushed into the inner office.

An ordinary approach would invite disaster. So I
plunged almost to the verge of impertinence, staking
everything on the effect.

"Mr. Lytton, " I asked boldly, "what sort of office
manager have you? I've offered him a time-saving,
labor-saving appliance and he rejects it on his clerks'
.say-so.'

The great merchant's eyes snapped.

"What do you mean?" he demanded.



76 HOW TO HANDLE THE BUYER

Briefly I told him what had happened outlined what
my device would do in money-saving, in preventing
errors, in enforcing system and urged that clerks who
feared displacement were not fair judges of its worth.

He led the way into the outer office.

"Mr. P ,' he said, "why aren't we using these

appliances ? You are paid to keep us in touch with the
newest accounting methods. Why haven't you ordered
this man's device?'

"The girls don't like them they can't use them to
advantage, ' ' the office manager protested.

"Explain to the girls that they must learn to use
them," Mr. Lytton announced. 'If they will not, em-
ploy other clerks."

Then he thanked me and went back to his office. The
manager was big enough to see his mistake without re-
senting my actions and signed the order the minute we
determined what equipment the work demanded.

Where Versatility Counts Adapting Methods to the

Prospect's Mood

Rapid-fire argument is not the salesman's only re-
source. Order-taking is not always a problem of gal-
loping in on a prospect, rushing him off his feet and
galloping out again. Instead, both approach and argu-
ment must be carefully adapted, not only to the man,
but to the circumstances, the mood in which you find
him. In this lies the value of team-work. The ex-
perience of the defeated comrade frequently points the
way to final victory.

While I had the trans-Mississippi territory for the
collection of modern orations which President McKinley
and Mark Hanna purchased from me, I was breaking in
a local agent at Omaha. He had canvassed before my



LANDING THE ORDER 77

arrival some of the most prominent men in town, fail-
ing in a majority of cases to get their orders. One man
we wanted particularly was Judge -, perhaps the
leader of the local bench. The agent had done more than
fail. He had antagonized him. So we started out to

bring Judge into line.

We found him in his chambers, in a grumpy mood. The
local man went at him. The Judge fairly stormed in
reply.

I waited till he had vented all his ill-humor on the
local man. When the reaction came, I said firmly :

II Judge , you have received an altogether er-
roneous notion of this work. In justice to yourself as
well as to the publishers, I want to give you a compre-
hensive idea of what it contains. I'll not quote prices
to you. I simply want a chance to show you what we
have. ' '

"You can show me,' he conceded, "but I'll tell you
right now you can't sell me. Understand that.'

The prospectus contained splendid portraits of our
orators and only a few excerpts from their speeches. He
showed grudging interest in the pictures.

"I want to see the text/ he demanded. I explained
that in a prospectus, it was possible to include only
sample pages of text. Without a word, he dumped my
portfolio down on his desk and, marching over to a
lounge, threw himself down full-length. I had lost him
apparently as definitely as had my Omaha man. But I
hung on. To acknowledge defeat would be to give the
local man excuse for a hundred failures.

'Have you ever been mistreated by a book man?" I
asked.

He opened his eyes, but evaded direct reply to my
question.



78 HOW TO HANDLE THE BUYER

"If you saw my library," he answered, "you'd think
I was pretty good to book agents. I don't want your
books because I've got Brewer's 'Orations' and the War-
ner library and everything of the sort I want or need.'

His tone was past dispute. I must find another way.

"Have you read Henry W. Grady's speech on 'The
Race Problem?' "

His grunt was negative.

I'm no elocutionist, but long practice has made my
voice flexible, perhaps sympathetic, and Grady's oration
is one of the few that will live. When I finished, the
judge's eyes were on me and the knot between his eye-
brows had disappeared. I had hit on the right treat-
ment.

"Then there's General Gordon's 'Last Days of the
Confederacy, ' ' I went on. ' ' You know it, Judge .

" 'Ah, my friends, every ragged soldier that sur-
rendered that day, from the highest to the lowest, from
old veteran to beardless boy every one of them car-
ried a heart of gold in his breast '

Pathos, tears for a cause loved and lost make up the
fabric of that speech. Ending it, I found the judge
fumbling for his handkerchief. I had won him, had
lifted him out of the atmosphere of hostility and dis-
trust. I saw that the order was mine for the taking.

I crossed to the lounere, put the portfolio again in his
lap, open at General Gordon's picture. He turned to
the bindings himself. I was pledged to quote no prices
to him. I kept my word until he released me of his own
accord.

"How much are the books in this binding?" he asked.
It was the full morocco. His check and the stirring note
of endorsement he gave me were the beginnings of pros-
perity for our Omaha man.



Part IV



HOW TO KEEP CUSTOMERS'

LISTS



CUSTOMERS'
LISTS



DIRECTORY
OF PROS-
PECTS AND
CUSTOMERS



PROSPECTS
SALESMAN IS

TRYING
TO INTEREST



SEASONABLE

BUYERS



REGULAR
BUYERS



PERSONAL

INDEX OF

CUSTOMERS



PERSONAL
CHARACTER-
ISTICS



POINT OF
CONTACT



RECORD OF

CUSTOMERS'
PURCHASES



FOR REFERENCE

IN
MAKING PRICES




AS MAILING
LIST



Here are outlined the various kinds of customers' lists by which salesmen
and sales managers can keep in touch with their trade



Make Details Automatic

If you cram the memory with detail, there
is no room for creative material. If the
brain is to do creative work it cannot
handle detail.

The acme of system is to automatically
care for routine and matters that occur
with mechanical regularity to remove
from the brain the superfluous detail and
leave it free to plan and create.

No Niagara of business was ever engi-
neered by a detail man; no mind filled
with routine ever conceived an epoch-
making idea.

Make your mechanical system handle
and execute the detail use your human
brain to conceive the new idea, to develop
the new plan.




CHAPTER X
The Salesman's Directory of Buyers

.BY CHARLES W. NORTON

District Sales Manager, The Shaw-Walker Company

The salesman who wishes to keep all information re-
garding his customers and prospects in systematic record
form, needs two kinds of records: first, index of all the
individuals and firms who are likely to buy from him
whom he is to keep in touch with, whether they be cus-
tomers or merely prospects; and secondly, a follow-up
system which will tell him every day whom to call on
and permit him to neglect no one.

By the system here described, all this can be done on
one card. It can be used either by the city salesman
or the traveling man it is, in fact, used by a salesman
who has both a city trade and an out-of-town trade. The
method of handling the city trade will be described first.

When an inquiry is received from an individual or
firm in the salesman's territory, or when he learns that
a firm in his territory is in the market for goods, or
when a first order is received, a card, as shown in
Form 1, is at once made out for this individual or firm.
On this card is entered the firm name and address, the
line of business done, telephone number, the buyer, the
name of the salesman, amd the catalogues sent to him .

81



82



HOW TO KEEP CUSTOMERS' LISTS





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CE.



SALESMAN'S DIRECTORY OF BUYERS 83

In the upper right-hand corner the salesman records
the kind of equipment in his particular line which the
prospect is using. This the salesman can discover for
himself, if he has a sharp eye, when he calls upon the
prospect, or he learns it in the course of his 'dealings.
It tells the salesman what he is competing against.

How the Salesman's List of Customers is Also Used

for Follow-Up

There is also a space left for entering remarks or
any kind of information worth recording, such as the
general needs of the firm and any peculiarities in its
conditions. At the bottom of the card the salesman
also enters any quotations he makes the firm, the result
of calls, notes as to further calls to be made and the
future needs of the house.

The card is then filed in a card file an index which
contains a card for every customer and every prospect
in this salesman's territory.

The cards in this file are divided into three classes;
first, those whom the salesman is trying to interest
these may be either prospects who have never bought
from him, or old customers whom he is trying to sell
further; the second class includes the firms who will be
in the market for certain goods at a certain definite
time; those big firms who are buying right along and
whom the salesman must call on periodically to solicit
trade, make up the third class.

Now, instead of dividing his cards to correspond with
these three classes, and thus breaking up his alpha-
betical index, the three classes are designated by clips
placed on the cards in three different positions. The
cards of firms in the first class have a clip put over
the first day of the month. The cards for the second



84 HOW TO KEEP CUSTOMERS' LISTS

class have a clip over the fifteenth, and the cards of the
third class, on the thirtieth.

On the first of every month, the salesman goes over
the records which have clips on that day. These are
firms whom he is trying to interest in his goods; they
have shown an interest in certain articles either by in-
quiry or in some other manner, and he wants to follow
them up. The cards of those firms which he thinks it
necessary to see during this month he takes out of this
alphabetical file and distributes in a daily follow-up
file, which is kept in another drawer. This follow-up
contains 31 daily guide cards and 12 monthly cards. He
places the cards he takes out of the file behind the dates
on which he wishes to call on the firm in question.

Salesman Goes Over Cards Regularly and Knows
How to Treat Each Class

On the 15th of the month the salesman goes over in
a similar way the cards which have a clip on the 15th
day the second class of prospects, those who will be
in the market at a particular time and for particular
goods. If that time is within the next thirty days, the
salesman takes out these cards and distributes them to
the proper date in his daily follow-up file, where they
will come up on the proper days.

Likewise on the last of the month he goes over the
cards having the clips on that date, which belong to
the class whom he calls on regularly. These cards he
also files in his follow-up files on the days which his ex-
perience tells him are the best to call on the firms in
question.

The follow-up file is, therefore, the active working file
of the salesman. He refers to his regular alphabetical file
only on the three days of the month mentioned, or when



SALESMAN'S DIRECTORY OF BUYERS 85

an inquiry comes over the telephone or by letter from one
of his prospects or customers.

Each morning he takes from the follow-up file the
cards in front of the guide of the corresponding date.
These represent the people he is to call upon that day.
He glances over these cards, arranges them in the order
in which he wishes to make his calls, places them in a
little case, which he carries to fit his pocket, then he is
ready for his day's work. There is needed no copying of
data from cards to a book.

When the salesman calls on a customer he enters on
the card the quotations he makes, any further informa-
tion, and when he is to call again. If he is to call again
within a month he places the card in front of the proper
guide in his follow-up file; if he is not to call within
that month the card goes back into the alphabetical
file with the proper clip over it, and it will come up

the next month when he goes over these cards again.



The Brain Partner

THERE are more men than you
might suppose who owe their repu-
tations for mighty intellects to the pres-
ence in the upper right hand drawers of
their desks, of a small filing case, with
carefully selected subjects inscribed on
index cards. Henry M. Hyde.




CHAPTER XI

i

The Salesman's Album of Customers

"Now Smith is a hard man to sell," said the retiring
salesman, coaching his successor who was about to start
on the Ohio circuit for the plumbing supply house. * * He
is immune against the general selling arguments for our
bath tub ; you will have hard work to make him believe
they are any better than the cheaper ones he has been get-
ting from the Novelty Iron Works. He can see a point


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