in that he wishes during the spring months to adver-
tise rattan furniture. The " retailer's help" depart-
ment asks him for full information regarding his stock,
the class of his customers, buying-conditions in his
town, the mediums he intends using, the amount of
money he is ready to spend. Much of this informa-
tion the house already has from its salesmen and from
general knowledge of its customers.
A special series of advertisements is then prepared
and sent to the retailer with specific instructions re-
garding their handling. It then posts the salesman on
the situation, and he, on the occasion of his first call
on this particular dealer, takes his own active part in
making the sale a success. On the ground, he sees
first-hand opportunities to make the dealer and his clerks
more efficient. He suggests a special touch to the ad-
vertisinG 1 to meet local conditions, he instructs the store
salesmen in the best selling points of the furniture, and
possibly jumps into the game himself and puts in half
a day decorating a window.
Salesman and Dealer Together Lay Out the Campaign
and Pick the Ammunition
Somewhat different from this, but no less successful
in actual demonstration, is the plan of a large stove
manufacturing concern. Before the salesmen take to
the road they go carefully over the company's selling
plans for the season. They carry samples of all the
new advertising booklets, letters and form advertise-
ments, and explain to each dealer and his clerks just
how these should be used to get the greatest results.
106 HOW TO KEEP CUSTOMERS IN LINE
They also demonstrate how a sale should be made, and
enlarge on the improved novelties in their line.
With the dealer, they go over conditions in his terri'
tory and outline the season's campaign. Together they
determine what booklets and how many will be needed
to cover the district, how various classes of prospects
shall be handled and what advertising the dealer him-
self will need to do. All this is reported to the main
office. On the salesman's regular order blank for the
customer he lists also the advertising supplies which
the dealer needs, and makes any further recommenda-
tions he deems necessary, such as that a window trim-
mer be sent or that he be given special plans to meet
such and such conditions. And throughout this rela-
tion with the dealer he never for a moment allows him
to forget the spirit of co-operation that lies back of it
all, the desire of the house to be an actual help to him
in his business.
Planning the Second Sale
WHEN the scientific salesman sells
a bill of goods he applies his
mind to a consideration of the surroun-
dings and conditions governing that
sale to ascertain how he can duplicate
it with less expense of time, labor or
money, and with a prospect of a greater
amount of profit.
W. A. Waterbury.
The Salesman's Follow-up Between
The accumulated force of varying selling arguments,
the final effects of persistency, the principle of gradual
persuasion, apply just as strongly to direct as to mail
order selling. And the salesman needs a follow-up, for
there is not one who can call upon his customers and
prospects as often as he would like to.
The mails offer as elastic a medium and the letter is
as effective a bait for the salesman as for the mail-order
To conduct such a personal letter follow-up on his
prospects and customers between his personal calls, a
salesman must have three things : he must have a file of
his customer; he must have a system for handling the
work ; and he must have printed matter to send them.
In all of these he needs most of all the co-operation
of the house. The principles of a correspondence follow-
up on customers are being appreciated more and more
by the sales manager; but he must necessarily plan his
follow-up on more or less general lines. The salesman
himself comes in direct contact with his prospect and
customers. He has fewer to follow up and he is on a
more personal footing with them, so he can make his
108 HOW TO KEEP CUSTOMERS IN LINE
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FOLLOW-UP BETWEEN CALLS 109
follow-up much more special and direct. But he needs
material and he needs advice ; and these he can get from
the home office.
To conduct a follow-up accurately and systematically
an attention-calling record is the first essential.
The listing of each customer's or prospect's name and
history on a card file affords the best possible record for
follow-up purposes. Because of its great elasticity of
expansion or contraction and the ease of removing dead
or worked out names, the salesman can carry it around
with him in compact form.
System for Handling the Records of the Salesman's
Such a card index must give two kinds of references.
The cards should be arranged alphabetically by name
so that the card of any particular prospect or customer
may be at once located in the files if the salesman wants
any information regarding him. The files must also
be arranged chronologically, so that automatically atten-
tion will be called to those names which are to be fol-
lowed up on any particular line.
This chronological purpose can be accomplished with
alphabetically arranged files by using cards which have
either the thirty-one days of the month or the weeks
or months arranged across the top of the form, as shown
in Form I. Movable clips are placed on that figure on
the card indicating the date the salesman wishes the
name called to his attention. As the cards are all
printed alike, the clips for any particular date are in
the same line across the top of the file and all can
thus be quickly picked out on that date. When a name
has been attended to the clip can be moved to the next
date and it will come up in the same manner. At the
110 HOW TO KEEP CUSTOMERS IN LINE
same time the alphabetical arrangement of the cards
allows any prospect or customer's name and record to
be found at once.
The covered card file shown in Form II serves very
conveniently for the salesman's follow-up purposes. The
cards themselves can be alphabetically arranged in it,
following such division guide cards as are most suitable
for each particular purpose. The city salesman may
divide his file by district guides, the traveling man by
states and towns, and the insurance solicitor by the kind
of policies he is trying to sell.
Such a card file is handy to get at, and takes but
little work to keep up. By placing a rubber band around
it the file can be carried in a valise or in the coat pocket
without any risk of disturbing the arrangement of the
cards, and the salesman then has immediately at hand
an accurate record of what he has done to persuade his
prospective customers, and what he must do further to
secure their orders.
On these cards are listed the various stages of the
follow-up, what circulars, letters, catalogues, and other
matter have been sent, what other means used, and the
results. The salesman will naturally go over the cards
just before he makes a call on the customer or prospect
to freshen his mind with the facts concerning each pros-
pect's business. After the call the salesman should add
to the result any suggestion for future work, and should
then put a clip on the card at the date when he wishes
to follow the man up, anywhere from two days to two
The salesman can go through these cards every morn-
ing, so that when this card comes up, in a week or
two weeks or ten days, no matter if the salesman is
twenty miles away, he can write to the customer or
FOLLOW-UP BETWEEN CALLS 111
follow him up in any other way he sees fit. In this
manner, even though he does not call on a customer
once in two months, he really is keeping the customer
in mind and bringing himself to the customer's atten-
tion every few days.
Success in getting results out of such a follow-up sys-
tem will depend upon the cleverness of the salesman's
literature, just as his personal work depends upon his
ability as a seller. While a regular system of form
letters and follow-up literature can be used to some
degree, especially on prospects, the salesman should
not get into the lazy habit of using forms entirely ; par-
ticularly with his customers, he should try to make the
follow-up as personal and individual as his time will
While most of the letters that the salesman puts into
his follow-up must be written by him, and be to a great
extent personal, advertising literature of one kind and
another will play a large part. And here he needs the
co-operation of the house. He should keep very closely
in touch with all booklets, catalogues, and other adver-
tising literature that the home office is getting up, and
he should look at it first of all from the view-point of
the possibility of its fitting into his follow-up. When-
ever he believes a piece of literature issued by the house
might be of value to him he should send for the num-
ber of copies he needs.
An Example of a Successful Application of the Fol-
low-Up in Making a Sale
Promptness in the follow-up is always essential, and
many an order has been lost through delay in the effort
to supplement the salesman's work by this means. A 1
New York house dealing in supplies for saddlery manu-
112 HOW TO KEEP CUSTOMERS IN LINE
facturera directed one of its road men who was making
his route in Texas, to use special efforts to secure the
business of a former customer in Houston, who had pre-
viously taken offense at some past unsatisfactory hand-
ling of his orders.
The salesman was tartly rebuffed on his first call,
but he did ascertain that the saddler contemplated plac-
ing a large order with a rival house in two weeks ' time.
Although success seemed hopeless he began a follow-up
on his own initiative. He repeated his call the second
day and the third day and then proceeded on his route.
The next day he mailed the saddler a new catalogue,
and then each succeeding day from the small towns at
which he stopped he wrote him, sent him a special price
list, wrote him again, and finally at the end of a week
doubled back on his route to Houston and again called
This time he had the satisfaction of noting that his
persistence had produced some result, but the saddler's
prejudice had not yet been entirely overcome. The fol-
low-up was repeated for another week, when the sales-
man again doubled back to Houston and obtained the
order. If the follow-up had been left to the direction
of the sales manager at New York, no matter how well
executed by him, it could not have been prompt enough
to have secured the sale.
The salesman's follow-up should bring big results,
because he knows his fish individually, and he has only
to select the right bait to catch them. The follow-up
enables him to present argument after argument to his
prospect, and to keep himself before his attention be-
tween calls, and this accumulated process and varying
theme in the selling argument will eventually strike the-
responsive chord that will land the order.
HOW TO USE THE CO-OPER
ATION OF THE HOUSE
MONTH S SALES
CHANGES AND IM-
NAMES OF NfcW PROS-
PECTS FIRMS ES
SAMPLES OF LITERAT-
URE SENT TO CUS -
NEW SELLING POINTS
HOUSE HELPS TO
ON WORK DONE
DAILY AND WEEKLY
An outline of the methods which may be used by house and salesman in
co-operating with each other to increase sales
Shoulder to Shoulder
Share the burdens of the men on the fir-
In the old days, when war was the busi-
ness of men, the leader's authority came
from more than the power to direct .
His men knew that wherever the fight
was thickest, he himself would do battle
with his strong arm and keen wit.
And the same principle holds good today.
The leader in modern battles of business
who gets the most loyal service and best
results, is he who stands ready to help and
work with his men as well as direct them .
Drop at times the policy of simply dicta-
ting instructions to your subordinates.
Get into the battle with them shoulder
Furnishing the Salesman Ammunition
BY T. CHANNING MOORE
District Manager, TJie International Time Recording Company
It has come to be an accepted principle in selling that
to build up an efficient body of salesmen necessitates
keeping them in touch with the business, giving them
up-to-date information regarding its progress in fact,
furnishing them sales help of all kinds.
This means that a business house must devise a system
for giving to salesmen such facts concerning business
conditions, the progress of the company and its com-
petitors, and any openings for sales that will make them
more intelligent and efficient representatives.
The methods here described are such as have been
put into operation by concerns of this character.
'What concerns are using the machines you recom-
mend so highly?" is usually the first question that is
put to the salesman. And it is a list of the representa-
tive concerns using the machines which paves the way
to attention and puts through many a large deal.
The list of concerns that are using a machine or a de-
vice shows plainly to the prospective purchaser just
what standing the company has, and what the article in
question is and can do. The company which has a good
116 HOW TO USE HOUSE CO-OPERATION
list of this kind, a list containing the names of well
known and acknowledgedly well conducted business
houses, has the best possible argument against com-
petitors. Even though a competitor has sold concerns
just as big, the prospect doesn't know it and he is at
once impressed by learning of the people who are using
List of Past Purchasers Powerful Means of
The first thing for a concern to do, therefore, is to
compile a list of all the users of its machine according
to towns, and the number in use by each concern. An-
other list should be prepared, classified according to line
of business, and notations should also be made as to the
particular work for which the concern is using the ma-
chine. On each of these lists provision should be made
for additions from the monthly list sent the salesmen
by the company.
Very valuable, too, is a monthly list of sales and of
acceptances of machines on trial, giving the class of
business the concerns are engaged in and the work for
which the machines are to be used. It is often a good
argument for a salesman to be able to say: "Only day
before yesterday Smith & Jones accepted three of our
machines after they had been on trial for a month.'
Salesmen should also be kept informed of the facili-
ties of the house and the shipping conditions for in-
stance, when it becomes impossible to fill orders for any
style of machine or for any part, tell the salesman this
fact ; if the manufacture of any particular style or part
of the machine is discontinued, the salesmen should be
notified. When they are allowed to go on taking orders,
delays and grievances are bound to result.
FURNISHING SALESMEN AMMUNITION 117
The company should attempt to convey to its repre-
sentatives any suggestion or arguments which will aid
them in making sales. The short statement means a
great deal; such information would include everything
from a new method of approaching a prospect, to full
lines of argument based on the new needs of the con-
sumer, new uses to which it has been found the machine
can be put, new ideas or schemes for selling, and so on.
The salesman should be kept informed of all literature
sent out by the company to its customers or its pros-
pects. This not only gives him all the new selling argu-
ments which have been devised ? the new applications to
which the machine is to be put, the up-to-date wrinkles
in the business in general, but it will also show him how
far the prospect has been developed and enable him to
conform his line of argument to this material.
If there is any educational feature in the sale as is
the case in almost all office appliances, for instance
the salesman should be told of every new system made
up and every new form and blank which is devised. It
may be just exactly what he is looking for, what he
has studied out for himself. Or, while he may not be
able to use such suggestions now, there is bound to come
a time when just that information will be the last straw
to break the prospect's objection.
How Salesmen May Collect and Send in Valuable
But the company should not be expected to get to-
gether all the information which is sent out. The sales-
men themselves must do their reciprocal part. In order,
however, to get the best and fullest information from
the salesmen and place it to the best advantage with
their fellows, all such data should come through the
118 HOW TO USE HOUSE CO-OPERATION
home office for distribution. This brings up the second
system necessary for keeping salesmen informed.
In the first place, what kind of information is a sales-
man likely to gather that will be of interest to other men
in the force ? In actual experience it will be found that
the classes of information are almost innumerable, but
most of the facts which a salesman can report may be
included under these classifications:
Name of any firm giving up the use of machines and
the reasons for so doing, as nearly as the agent can
get at it.
Concerns taking out any of the company's machines
and substituting those of a competitor.
Concerns taking out competitors' machines and put-
ting in the company's.
The names of concerns selling the company's supplies.
Advertising matter sent out by a competitor which
may fall into the hands of the agent.
Faults in the construction of the company's machine
and of the competitor's machine as found by users.
Large orders placed by competitors or competitors'
machines taken out.
Any news items which the agent runs across for in-
stance, there are almost every day in the papers notices
of new corporations. Information of this kind, not
applicable to the territory of the salesman who sees the
notice, but which may be of interest to salesmen in
other fields, should be clipped and sent in.
The salesman should also supply suggestions in regard
to improving machines or extending their use the
thousand and one ideas he may secure in constantly
rubbing up against the customer.
Still another class of information may be grouped
under the head "Selling Points": any new arguments
FURNISHING SALESMEN AMMUNITION 119
which the salesmen find working well stories of how
he landed hard sales; in fact, a system may be made
whereby agents are instructed and trained to report
anything that in any way relates or is of value to the
When this reaches the office, the process of distribut-
ing, classifying and sending it to the salesmen whom
it will most interest, begins.
In what form this information should be given to the
salesman is a matter of detail which each house should
work out in the manner most adaptable to its con-
ditions. Some houses publish this material in the form
of a daily paper sent to all its men. Others use a weekly
paper. Many houses distribute matter at odd times as.
it comes in. Some sales managers put this data in the
form of circular letters sent to their salesmen at regu-
lar intervals, daily, semi-weekly, weekly, or monthly.
The Salesman off Duty
scientific salesman is industri-
ous. When he is not selling he is
thinking. He constitutes himself a
standing committee on ways and means
to devise new plans and execute new
schemes to promote his business. He
keeps in close touch with his superior
officers, seeks their confidence and gives
them his, and establishes a closer bond
of friendship between his customers and
the house he represents.
Helping the Salesman Hold Customers
BY GEORGE B. SPENCER
A man traveling the Mississippi Valley in the interest
of a large manufactory in Ohio, was given six weeks'
vacation for a pleasure trip to the Pacific Coast. Re-
turning, he began at St. Louis to cover his territory.
When he arrived at the Planters' Hotel, the mail clerk
handed him a package of letters nearly a foot thick and
tied with cord, saying, "We have been expecting you.
All these have come from your concern during the past
six weeks and they are marked, 'To arrive.'
It took the man nearly a whole day to read what the
bunch contained. He learned from it that there had
been changes in prices of various of his goods that
some of the lines had been enlarged others had been
dropped and yet other and new ones had been added.
He learned that Brown & Jones had consolidated with
Smith & Robinson, and that his old friend, the buyer at
Black's, would place orders for the new concern. He
learned that White & Co. had had a fire that Green
Bros, had made an assignment that Brown & Brown
had increased their capital.
He found that he might expect samples of a new line
at Louisville that his usual stopping place IB Cincin-
HELPING HOLD CUSTOMERS 121
nati had been burned that Urban had moved his store
to a new location in Columbus. He discovered that a
new man had been made manager of his concern's Chi-
cago branch that the treasurer of his company would
be in Indianapolis the same time he was there, and would
expect him to furnish an introduction to Vest & Co.
that West & West had had trouble with strikes and were
just getting on their feet again.
Then there were copies of quotations made during his
absence to different customers he must visit memor-
anda of orders sent in to his credit and a lot of new
catalogues of competing manufacturers. There was also
a long personal letter from the manager, saying how
he had been missed, hoping his vacation had been pleas-
ant and beneficial, and how gratified the department
would be to have "a good wheel horse " in harness again.
The man started work feeling good, thoroughly posted,
and knowing that the same old finger was on the key
at the other end of the wire. He made a splendid trip.
Upon arriving in a town, a salesman of this concern