Guaranty Trust Company of New York.

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if it is shown to him, but you have got to show it to him
pretty strong if you want to sell him."

The new man made a note of this on a card which he
headed: "Smith Plumbing Company, Newark, Ohio,"
and put it in a small covered card file after a guide card
labeled "Newark,"

Several months later his route took him to Newark.
Before calling on the Smith Plumbing Company he
looked up this card and it at once brought to his mind
the retiring salesman's description of Smith's peculiar-
ities. When he entered the store. Smith was talking to
the Novelty Iron Works man. Without a word the new
salesman picked up a flat iron from one of the shelves
and with as much force as he could command, threw it
directly into the most expensive enameled bath tub in the
establishment. Smith rushed at him in great indigna-



tion, threatening to hand him over to the police, where-
upon the new salesman introduced himself and explained
that he was merely trying to show that the bath tub,
which was of the firm's make and was wholly uninjured,
was of the superior quality claimed for it. Smith saw the
point and the Novelty Iron Works did not get the order.

The Advantage in Knowing Just How to Approach

a Buyer

This bit of information, obtained months before he
had ever seen Smith, and easily forgotten but for the
record he had made of it, had shown the new man that he
could not sell him by means of the usual selling argu-
ments for his goods but must do something extraordi-
nary, and it got him the order.

It is just this thing of promptly giving the right argu-
ment to the right man one that will appeal to him by
fitting his conditions, his circumstances or his peculiar-
ities that constitutes real salesmanship and brings or-
ders. Out of the many arguments presented by the sales-
man to his prospective customer or the many ways of
approaching or handling them, there is generally but one
out of all of these that gets the order ; or if the order is
not obtained, there is one that might have gotten it and
this is the one that suits this particular customer in one
or more of these respects. Ability to judge these things
on first acquaintance is rare. Usually it requires a
longer study of the customer than the circumstances of
one call will permit and the knowledge gained from one
visit is ordinarily lost from the memory before the next
one comes around.

A foreknowledge of the conditions under which the
customer buys, easily found out and easily forgotten is
often the controlling point in selling. > oal salesman


negotiated for weeks regarding a year's contract with the
purchasing agent of a railroad with which his mine had
done business for years. Good service was the main con-
sideration sought, and when he had come to terms with
the purchasing agent, he was reminded that the general
manager always approved awards of so large a contract.

Form 1: The little card case file of customers' names which may be conveniently car-
ried by the salesman on his route

In the meantime the competing mine's representative
had been working on the general manager, convincing
him of his mine's ability to furnish the service and he
secured the contract. The other salesman knew of this
requirement, but he had forgotten it.

These points of information regarding his customer i*
all of these respects are too valuable for the salesman to
trust to his memory or to leave to the more general


records of the sales manager. He should make prompt
records of them for his own use, both from his own obser-
vation and from what he otherwise learns from time to
time and from trip to trip. In a few years he will have
a collection that will be of enormous aid to him. It will
help him judge his customers in advance, select the sell-
ing arguments which will appeal to them, or the way of
handling them which will suit their conditions and their

Points Worth Remembering Should be Systematically

Kept for Reference

This information should be persistently and syste-
matically kept. It should be arranged in such a manner
that the different items can be easily recorded as they
come up and easily referred to whenever necessary. A
good method of accomplishing this is to use a small cloth-
covered card file with a lid on it, of the style carried in
stock by stationers generally (Form I). One box may be
used for each state, or for two or more states by using
prominent division cards. A state should be divided into
different towns and cities on the route by guide cards
marked with the name of each one and arranged alpha-
betically. A card should be used for each customer, filed
under the town or city in which he is located and likewise
filed alphabetically. Thus all names of the salesman's
customers in any one location will be together in the file
in alphabetical arrangement, so that any one of them can
be instantly picked out.

Each of the customers' cards should be headed by the
name and address, the commercial rating, and whether
he is a regular customer, an intermittent purchaser, or
merely a prospect (Form II). Following this should be
the buyer's name, the approval necessary for purchases,



. to

} ff.








Form II: Customer's card on which the salesman enters particulars regarding person^
characteristics to guide him in later approaches

if any is required, and any special conditions attached
to the method used by the customer in buying. The per-
sonality, character and other peculiarities of the buyer
should be recorded, including the arguments and methods
of handling him which have been found effective; and
any weakness or leanings he may have which can be
played upon successfully or any other points or sugges-
tions as to how he should be approached and handled.
To this information should be added from time to time
various other kindred points and suggestions that come
to a salesman, on his rounds in the way of stray bits of
gossip or other points affecting his customer.

This card file is readily carried in the salesman's
valise. If a rubber band is placed around it there is no
danger of any of the cards becoming misplaced. When
he arrives at a certain town he can remove the cards un-
der the name of that town and carry them in his pocket
as he makes his calls. This will enable him to consult
each card before he makes his visits, thus posting him


accurately as to all of the different points of information
which he has previously gathered concerning the cus-

If this record shows that his customer is inclined to be
a very religious man, he should naturally be guarded in
the freedom of language used. If it shows him to be
specially fond of baseball or motoring, or golf, it will
give him a talking point interesting to the customer with
which to open his interview. In this and various other
ways it will direct his efforts along the lines which would
appeal best to the peculiarities and conditions of each
customer visited.

The cards might include on the back a chronological
record of the visits made, the orders obtained, or where
an order is not secured, the reason for it (Form III).
Any objections which the buyer has given regarding the
salesman's goods, when he will likely be in the market
again, and other points of this nature may also be re-








Form III: Reverse of the personal record card, on which is en tered a report of each

call made on the customer

The Salesman's Memory Partner


District Sales Manager, The Shaw-Walker Company

One of the greatest helps to the salesman in enabling
him to deal intelligently with his customers is a com-
plete record of the orders that each buyer has given him.
To serve its purpose, however, such a record must be
readily accessible, so that it can be turned to imme-
diately when the salesman's memory regarding past
orders fails him. By a simple system this convenience
may be provided without the necessity of any copying.

When the salesman returns to his office from his
route, he makes out the orders he has taken on a quad-
ruple order sheet. These cards are all printed and ruled
exactly the same in the most simple possible manner.
The first card is the office copy, from which bills and
so on are made; the second copy is shipping clerk's
copy ; the third, which is a white sheet, is the copy which
the salesman keeps himself ; the fourth is the copy which
is sent to the factory and from which the goods are picked
out of stock or specially made.

The third copy, then, the salesman keeps. This he
places in a folder of heavy manila paper, on the
upper flap of which lie enters the name and address



of his customer. The lower flap is ruled like the cus-
tomer's ledger card; here is entered the amount of each
individual order, together with its date and the order
number. The credit column is not for the entry of col-
lections, with which the salesman has nothing to do, but
for recording charge-backs or rebates of any kind that
may be made to the customer.

Salesman's Copy of Actual Orders is Preserved for


The copies of the orders are placed in these folders,
the latest one always in front, as this is the one which
the salesman refers to most frequently. One is made
out for each customer who has given two or more orders ;
they are filed alphabetically in a card drawer. In front
of each guide card, besides folders for the individual
customers, there is a folder labeled "miscellaneous," in
which are filed orders of customers who have placed
not more than one order.

This file gives the salesman a complete record of all
his sales, itemized. If a customer demands a better
price, giving as his reason that he has given big business
to the salesman, the salesman can at once go to this file
and find out what his business with this house has been.
It also gives him all the information that is necessary
in soliciting new orders.

This order file is a real customer's file, in distinction
from the alphabetical files usually kept, which contain
the names of prospects as well as customers. If he
wishes to send a new catalogue, a new price-list, or any
advertising literature to his customers, the addressing
clerk will address from the order file. If he wishes to
address both prospects and customers, the clerk will ad-
dress from the card file.


Most salesmen, even though they are on a salary,
receive some commission on their sales. Unless the sales-
man keeps close account of these commissions he is liable
to get into constant trouble with the house, not only
on account of the firm 's mistakes, but also his own.

In this system this is taken care of by means of what
amounts to a card ledger. The salesman is paid his com-
mission every quarter. Suppose one of his quarters be-
gins on January 1st ; he makes out a regular 4x6 ledger
card with his name at the top, and enters here his sales
as he makes them day by day. A column is provided
for charge backs, and the balance is shown in the third
column. This card is filed in front of a guide marked
"Jan. to Mar." It may need one card, it may need
twenty, to hold all the sales for this period. They are
all filed in that one place.

At the end of the three-months' period the salesman
simply hands the cards in front of the proper guide to
the clerk, who copies them off on a sheet of paper, which
he sends to the office.


Handling the Force

HE successful sales manager is pri-
marily a manager of men not
things. He must judge them, influence
them, train and develop them, and
above all, "handle" them "handle"
in that subtle meaning that implies sin-
cerity and tact and force, and that gains
confidence and co-operation.

Walter H . Cottingham.

Part V


















This chart outlines the several ways by which the house, directly or through
the salesman, can co-operate with the dealer

The Come-back That

Success isn't made up of orders. It is
made up of re-orders. And a good cus-
tomer, wrongly treated, lasts no longer
than the shoddy he buys.

There is always a "come-back" on every
sale. Whether it is a "come-back" in
re-orders, or a "come-back" in returned
goods depends entirely upon your product

"Value received 9 is the most potent
salesman after the first order is filled.

Every cent saved in shortened value, is
lost in shortened trade. To keep up the
sales keep up the quality.

Aim first to sell Satisfaction; and the
goods that give it will re-sell themselves.

Getting the Re-orders

Sales Manager, The Royal Tailors

Te get closer to the retailer that is the constant aim
of the wholesaler and manufacturer. To learn his diffi-
culties and help him master them; to see with him his
opportunities and help him take advantage of them; to
help him build new business where it had not existed
before. In fact, to construct between house and dealer
a connecting link called co-operation and to compel the
dealer to feel that in this co-operation lies his own success.

The Salesman is the Personal Connecting Factor Between

Wholesaler and Dealer

But all these negotiations, which lead ultimately to
the enrolling of the dealer as a regular buyer, can be
conducted best through but one medium, the ambassador
of business, the salesman. He learns first hand the
conditions of the dealer 's business, his needs, his spe-
cific trade troubles. Knowing these, he is in position to
assume the role of a business doctor and prescribe for the
retailer's ills.

This help to the dealer, while it comes through the
salesman, really emanates from the house itself. It is



drawn from the emergency stock of retailers' remedies
which the concern has accumulated through years of con-
tact with the dealers and intimate study of their prob-
lems. Scarcely a wholesaler or manufacturer these days
but has his service bureau for the customer's benefit. It
may not always be established as a separate department,
but there is at least a special provision made whereby
each dealer is given the best advice and information the
rm has to fit his case.

This stock of ammunition for the man behind the
counter is gathered from varied sources by the salesman,
who notes the vital points of successful schemes and
plans worked by dealers on their routes, from the col'
limns of trade papers, from letters of retailers them-
selves, and many selling plans are worked out originally
by the members of the service bureau.

How the House Fortifies the Dealer by Teaching Him

His Goods

When a house transacts its first business with a new
customer or when it sells an old customer a new line
of stock, it can help the dealer in his handling of their
goods by first of all teaching him the product itself.
To do this, the salesman goes over the points and qual-
ities of the article from A to Z; he gives the customer
a whole reserve battery of information regarding it
the raw materials that enter into it, the process of manu-
facture, the part and purpose of each ingredient, the
varied uses of the article itself.

'To sell these goods you must know them," says the
salesman to the dealer. "You want to build up the
greatest possible volume of trade with the greatest profit
to yourself. You want to sell more of these goods than
your rival across the street sells of the rival line. You


want to convince your customers not only that this stock
is the best to be had, but you want to tell them why.'

Thus the salesman fortifies the dealer with informa-
tion regarding his goods. On his first few calls this
educational talk is long and detailed, later, as other
products are added to his line, he explains them.

But this is only the first step. The house goes further,
it brings to the dealer more advice in printed form.
For example, one house which handles a staple line aims
to supplement the work of the salesman in explaining
a product verbally. It publishes for the retailer's bene-
fit a "text book" of its goods, in which every article
is described in detail, its make-up analyzed, its uses
pointed out, its superior features, its best talking points

Courtesy a Trade Builder

OHOW me a house where all the em-
^ ployees are educated to think kindly
of the customers, so that in speaking of
them even they use courteous phrases,
and I can safely predict for that house
rapid and continuous success so long as
that policy prevails.

Daniel Louis Hanson.


The Salesman as the Customer's Partner


Sales Manager, Marshall Field < Company.

Help for the dealer, the kind which cements the busi-
ness relationship and really creates a spirit of co-opera-
tion between house and retailer, is generally known to
be of two kin Is, that which originates with the house
itself and that which the salesman himself furnishes
independently from his own fund of information in his
daily calls. There is no questioning the ultimate value
of both kinds, but the latter capacity brings the sales-
man into so much closer touch with the customer that
it frequently proves of far greater and more immediate
concrete value to him than he would ever derive through
adapting methods on his own initiative from the printed
ammunition of the house. In fact, some wholesalers and
manufacturers recognize this to the extent that they
depend entirely upon their salesmen to aid the trade
in a purely personal way.

The Salesman, Through Observation, Understands Per-
fectly the Retailer's Problems

And the salesman can do this because he is virtually
not only a salesman, but a retailer. He may never



have taken an inventory or sold, a dollar's worth of
groceries to the consumer, but h? -a^je-'stands tne game
and he understands it from .the retailer's, standpoint
He knows the difficulties which .the .fabler has\ to, cork-
tend with, the problems of the store. He knows him-
self the best methods of advertising certain goods, of
planning certain sales and arranging displays. He
acquires this knowledge of the game not through an
apprenticeship behind the counter, but through con-
stant contact with the needs and methods of the men
he meets daily. That is to say, he is a retailer neither
by training nor design, but by observation.

Salesman Becomes a Retailer's Clearing House for
Sales Ideas and Suggestions

Tims Ee almost unconsciously becomes a clearing house
of ideas for the retailer. He observes in Brown's
store on Monday a sale on glassware conducted in a
strikingly novel way. He observes the significant points
in the advertising, the manner of display and ascertains
accurately the results. Next day or a week later he
drops in on Jones, fifty miles down the road. Glancing
around the store he notes that an over plentiful stack
of glassware has accumulated. Instantly his mind goes
back to the sale and he sees an opportunity to help
Jones out.

"Jones," he says, "you're getting loaded up on the
glassware there. I'm afraid if you don't move it
soon you'll get stuck. Now, I can tell you how to clean
those shelves in three days. Brown, down at Tren-
ton, got overloaded that way. But he got busy and
pulled off a bargain sale that had them standing in
line waiting to buy water sets that had been in the
store for two years."


He then goes on to describe in detail how the other re-
tailer planned Higgle; how he advertised it and how it
was actually conducted in the store.

Mor<? of tea, however, the salesman has some scheme
for successfully handling a large quantity of goods ID
one of his own lines.

"We've got a great old trade-winner for you in
these negligee shirts," he may say. "They certainly
are the best value we've ever had for the money, Wil-
son, over at Elmwood, took a big bill of them and 1
happened to get around to his place the tenth, just as
they arrived. So Wilson and I got together and fig-
ured out a special offer on them that worked with a
vengeance. Got a letter from him this morning; said
he had sold sixteen dozen in three days and they were
still coming. Tell you how we did it.'

Not all dealers expect or are willing to receive such
help from the salesman. They feel themselves capable
of running their own business, and like to pride them-
selves on it. But the average progressive dealer is on
the lookout for suggestions, and he welcomes the traveler
as a real counselor. In fact to a certain extent he de
pends upon him.

As a case in point, a salesman for a general line house
told me recently of a personal experience in the store
of one of his Iowa customers.

"I got into Waterloo one Tuesday evening, and on
the way to the hotel dropped into the store of one of
our good, old, faithful buyers not to take any orders,
for I would do that in the morning, but just to say
* hello.' The boss was out, but the first clerk met me
with a smile and outstretched hand.

" 'How are you, Jackson/ he said, * you 're just in
time. The old man will be glad to see you. He's got


a clearance sale on for next week and wants some help
on the plans. Just this morning he was saying he
hoped you wouldn't miss fire this trip, because you
always have such corking good ideas on such things/

"It made me feel good,' said the salesman, 'to
know that that dealer actually looked to us for help.
Next morning I took off my coat, and we laid out the
sale. I gave him a lot of good ideas I had picked up,
and when we got through, my taking his order, one
of the biggest he had ever given us, was mere for-
mality. '

Opportunities for a salesman to help his customer
are practically unlimited. The sale and advertising
aids are but a beginning. Advice as to probable con-
ditions of the market, coming fashions, tl e available
supplies of certain goods, the amount of stock he could
carry in certain lines, the evidence of activities on
the part of competitive goods and how to meet them
all these he can give the retailer if the spirit of give
and take has been established.

Personal Interest

LET your customer know that a per-
sonal interest attaches to him a
real personal interest that is not mea-
sured wholly by his orders and his dol-
lars and you will win in return that
closed personal association and active
support that build up business.

George H. Barbour.

Giving the Customer a Lift

Sales Manager, The Royal Tailors

Tight places come in all fields of business they
thwart and threaten the prosperity of the retailer, the
wholesaler, the manufacturer. And when they halt the
business progress of the first of those three, they affect
in turn the other two, for, on the dealer, the outpost,
depends the activity of the first two factors in the
production and distribution of goods.

The thing for the producer and wholesaler to do
then is to lend a hand in helping their customer over
the tight places, to school him to do his business better,
to give him a lift in the crises of his trade.

To do this they naturally turn first to their go-
between, the sales force, for they are the only part of
the organization coming in direct contact with the deal-
er; and work of this kind is always more effectively
done by personal contact. The traveling salesmen,
hence, are made the company's schoolmasters.

I want in this chapter to show nothing more than the
extent to which this help to the dealer can be developed,
and I shall do it merely by the citation of two actual
instances of such work.



A large furniture house has a department devoted to
giving the dealer advertising and selling advice and
plans, made specific to each advertiser. A dealer writes

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Online LibraryGuaranty Trust Company of New YorkPersonal salesmanship .. → online text (page 6 of 8)