Ill.) American School (Lansing.

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the writer takes the liberty of suggesting some necessary cjualifications
of a sales manager.

He must be thoroughly imbued with the importance of his work
and have an abiding faith in his ability to get the very best results
out of his department. He must be enthusiastic and capable of im-
parting his enthusiasm to others.

He must know the goods, be they pianos or investment bonds.
He must l>elieve in his goods and his house. Unless he feels that his
houss is the best on earth and offers goods second to none, he cannot
produce the full measure of results of which he is capable.

He must know the goods of his competitor and what methods
his competitors are using. He must be willing to abandon his own
pet schemes when they fail to produce, or to adopt a new plan, even
though originated by another.

He must be a close student of human nature with the capacity
for judging men. He must be a salesman in every sense else he is in
no position to judge the qualifications of those in his employ.



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ADVERTISING ASD SALES 35

On the other hand, the sales manager should be given full con-
trol of his department, until he proves to l)e incompetent, ^\^lile'
other members of the organization will be consulted before a new
campaign is launched, when the plans have been approved he should
be permitted to try thein otd without interference. Assuming that
he is a competent man in the first place, he will be the first to detect
the weak points and set about to find a way to strengthen them.

Many a sales manager has had his usefulness impaired by the
interference of others before he has had an opportunity to give a
selling plan a fair trial. Selling campaigns have been discontinued
before the turning point was reached, because someone higher in
authority lacked faith; when they would have proved successful, if
carried out as originally planned.

This is not an argument for a stubborn adherence to plans,
regardless of consequence — ^any sales committee is liable to make
errors — but before the campaign is launched the extent to which it
shall be tried out should be decided. If the sales manager is given
an appropriation of $500.00, or $5,000.00, for a trial, he can work
intelligently, but if told to go ahead, and then ordered to stop before
his campaign is well under way, he should not l>e charged with a
failure.

Another thing that the salas manager should control is the ques-
tion of salaries paid to the salesmen. We maintain that the amount
of salary paid to a salesman is of no moment provided he is a profit-
able man. A $10,000.00 man who sells goods at a cost of 10% is
more profitable than the $5,000.00 man who sells at 10^, or even
9%, because of the greater volumes of his business. The management
should gauge the sales department by net costs, not by the amount of
individual salaries.

BRANCHES OF SALES DEPARTMENT

The sales department is logically divided into two branches —
mail order and personal salesmaaship. The mail order branch is
that part of the organization which has to do with the promotion of
sales by mail. The personal salesmanship branch is the division
which makes sales by personal contact with the customer.

The work of the mail order branch is conducted by correspond-



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36 ADVERTISING AND SALES

ents — ^letter salesmen — assisted by clerks to look after the routine of
the department.

The personal salesmanship branch is conducted, primarily, by
salesmen who visit the customers and personally sell goods. In
many lines, the personal salesmanship branch is supplemented by
agencies, who come in direct contact with the customer.

There are businesses in which the dealers, who carry the goods
in stock, are assisted by both the mail order and personal salesman-
ship branches in making the sale to the customer. An example is
the piano business in which inquiries are referred to dealers, the
dealer and prospective customer followed up by mail, and the travel-
ing salesman sent to assist the dealer to close the sale.

THB MAIL ORDER BRANCH

When the mail order branch is spoken of it does not refer neces-
sarily to an exclusive mail order business, but the term is used to
identify the department in any concern which uses the mails to promote
sales. While there are many exclusive mail order houses, employing
no personal salesmen, there are practically no exclusively personal
salesmanship houses. There may be no effort to secure direct orders
in this manner, but the mails are used to influence sales. Extensive
circularizing campaigns are conducted for the purpose of making
known to the consumer the merits of certain commodities, which are
sold only through dealers. In the sense here used, such campaigns .
are within the province of the mail order branch.

Form Letters. An important factor in the conduct of the mail
order branch, is the use of form letters. In a campaign intended
to secure direct orders, the form letter takes the place of the personal
salesman.

The form letter presupposes a uniformity of conditions. It is
written to appeal to certain desires of the recipient; its arguments
are based on the supposition that the same desire exists in the minds
of all to whom it is sent, and that the same arguments will cause its
readers, as a class, to yield to those desires.

The result of a form letter campaign depends on the extent to
which the letter fulfills its mission in adapting itself to the conditions
of the class to which it is sent — its adaptability to the mentality and



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ADVERTISING AND SALES 37

environment of its readers. The same argument will not appeal to
the mechanic, farmer, merchant, and banker.

The failure of most form letter campaigns can be traced to one
of two causes — failure to adapt the letter to existing conditions, or
lack of judgment in selecting a list for a trial. The goods offered
may be used by plumbers and lawyers, but the same letter should
not be expected to pidl with both classes. Like the selling talk of
the personal salesman, the letter should be changed for each class.

Other conditions, also, must be studied. Iowa may have har-
vested a bumper crop, while Kansas suffers from a drought; mills
in the Pittsburg district may be running overtime, while Buffalo is
in the midst of local labor disturbances. All of these local conditions
influence the results of the letter campaign.

As to lists used for trials, the more usual mistake is in the use of
too small a list. Some sales managers, who have mailing lists of
from 25,000 to 100,000 names, profess to try out a letter with a list
of 300 to 500 names. A list of this size is not sufficient to give an
actual test of the pulling power of any letter. Some of the most
successful letter salesmen give it from their experience that the very
smallest list from which a safe test can be made is 1,000 names.

Keying Form Letters. It is just as necessary to key form letters
as to key magazine ads. The key makes it possible to trace results.
The question of keying is most important when a series of letters is
used — ^which is true in most campaigns — ^for it then becomes neces-
sary to check the returns from each letter in the series. When one
letter only is sent to a given list, the replies received from that list
can be safely credited to the letter.

There are several methods of keying form letters, among which
are the following: the reader may be requested to address his reply
to a certain department; he may be offered a sample or some novelty;
or the letter may be wntten in the first person singular so that replies
will naturally be addressed to the writer.

The writer confesses to a preference for the last named method.
The average mail order buyer likes to feel that he is receiving per-
sonal attention — that there is someone in the house to whom he can
write, instead of addressing the house. A personal touch can be put
into the letter signed by an individual that is impossible in a letter
signed in the name of the house.



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ADVERTISING AND SALES 39

There are those who contend that only the name of the house
should be used, that the name of an individual should never be signed
to a letter, and who have printed on their letter heads the phrase:
"Address all communications to the company, not to individuals,*'

WTiile it is perfectly proper to use every legitimate means to
keep the name of the house before the public, there is a good deal of
senseless fear that the prestige of the house will be usurped by the
individual. In some quarters this fear has resulted in the adoption
of ridiculously extreme rules and regulations. One incident in the
personal experience of the writer will serve to illustrate the point.
Having occasion to request a favor from a certain manufacturer — a
favor which would be granted, if at all, by the advertising manager —
and knowing the advertising manager personally, he addressed the
request to him, using his title in connection with the name of the firm.
Somewhat surprising was the following letter, received a few days
later:

Dear Sir:

We have your favor of the 12th, ad-
dressed to our Mr. , and your

request will receive the attention of the
proper individual.

Our method of handling correspond-
ence is such that, to insure proper atten-
tion, all communications should be ad-
dressed to the company. We request
that you observe this rule in the future.
Yours truly,

No more reason for the fear that the house will be injured by
the personality of one of its correspondents can be seen, than that
the personality of the salesman will have greater weight with cus-
tomers than the reputation of the house. If the personality of an
employe — ^be he a personal salesman or a correspondent — ^is worth
anything in a business way, the benefit accrues to the house that em-
ploys him.

There is one other objection to the use of the name of the writer
of the letter, and it comes from the United States Statute making it
a criminal offense to open mail addressed to another. But this
objection can be easily overcome; any employe whose name is used
will sign an order authorizing the opening of letters addressed in his
pame, unless marked personal,



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ADVERTISING AND SALES 41

Form Letter Records. A copy of each form letter written should
be kept permanently. The copies should be filed m a manner that
will make it easy to refer to them. For this purpose an arch file or
binder is most satisfactory. The letters themselves may be punched
for the file, or the loose-leaf scrapbook idea can be adopted, pasting
several letters on one leaf.

Each letter should be given a number for the purpose of identifica-
tion, whether or not it appears on the letter itself. The copies should
be arranged in the file in numerical order, but where there are several
departments or divisions using form letters, they should be divided
by departmental indexes.

It is also well to keep a second copy of the letter with a sample
of the enclosures, as the enclosures may have an important bearing
on the results. These copies may be preser\'ed in the manner sug-
gested for filing copies of ads and printed matter.

WTien a form letter is written, a record form, as shown in Fig. 21,
should be started. This may be on a card or loose leaf; the latter is
preferred on account of the larger space for the record. The head-
ing shows the No. of the letter, the subject, name of the writer, its
No. in the series to which it belongs — first, second, or third — the
enclosures, and the names of any special lists used. The body of the
form provides for a record of letters mailed during the year, with a
monthly record of total costs.

The sheets are arranged in the order of letter Nos., in a card file
or a loose-leaf binder.

The reverse of this record form is ruled, as shown in Fig.
22, to provide a record of sales resulting from the use of the letter.
Sales can be entered daily or weekly, but the daily record is recom-
mended.

The methods of obtaining the details for these records is described
later.

Follow-up Systems. A necessary and very important factor in
the success of a business transacted through the mails, is the follow-
up system. And in a business in which sales are made by personal
salesmen, the follow-up is used for certain purposes, and is as impor-
tant as though used to secure orders.

To follow-up is to keep after, to keep in touch with, and to keep
a certain subject before certain individuals. WTiether used to secure



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ADVERTISING AND SALES



orders or make collections, the idea of the follow-up is the same^
though it is better known as a system for promoting sales.

The follow-up arises from the same necessity that compels the
personal salesman to call on a prospective customer more than once
— often many times — before the first order is secured, and continue
to call to hold his trade. The follow-up simply makes use of letters
and other literature to take the place of the personal salesman.

Mechanically, the follow-up system is a system or method that
insures the sending of the right literature at the right time. Letters —




Fig. 23. Vertical File Drawer Equipped as a Tickler

both form and special — catalogs, booklets, folders, circulars, and
mailing cards are all used in the process of following up the pro-
spective purchaser; the automatic method of showing when each piece
of literature in the series should be sent, is the follow-up system
itself.

Tickler Method, The simplest method of handling the follow-
up system is to use a tickler in which to file memoranda or corre-
spondence by dates. A tickler consists of a file equipped with a set
of indexes numbered from 1 to 31 to represent the days of the month,



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ADVERTISING AND SALES 43

and 12 indexes printed with the name of the month. The monthly
indexes are arranged in order, and the daily indexes are placed in
front of the monthly indexes in numerical sequence. The file may
be a vertical correspondence file, a card tray, or a flat desk file.

In using the tickler for a correspondence follow-up, letters are
filed back of the index representing the day on which the subject is
to receive attention. Each day the letters filed behind that day's
index are removed, and after receiving attention, are filed ahead to
the next follow-up date.

If it is desired to have a letter come up for attention in another
than the current month, the day of the month is noted on the letter,
and it is placed back of the monthly index. On the first of the month,
the index for the previous month is placed at the back of the file,
which brings the current month's index to the front. All papers
that have been filed back of the monthly index are then distributed
by dates. A correspondence file drawer, equipped as a tickler, is
shown in Fig. 23.

For a small amount of correspondence, the use of the tickler is
very satisfactory, and it is also used to excellent advantage for keeping
track of the many matters that require attention at a future date.
A tickler should be included in the equipment of every oflSce, no
matter what the line of business.

Card Follotv-up. For most extensive follow-up systems, the
card index is used, for the reason that a card is easy to handle, occupies
but little space, and can be adapted to any classification desired. A
card is used for each prospective customer, or name on the list to be
followed up, and should bear the name and address and a brief his-
tory of the efforts made to secure an order, or accomplish the object
of the follow-up.

In operating a follow-up system — especially if the object is to
sell goods — the correspondent should have before him a history of
the efforts previously made to secure an order. He should know
what letters and other literature have been mailed just as the personal
salesman knows what arguments he has used. A\Tien form letters
have been used it is not necessary to have copies of the letters in each
case, but they should be identified by their numbers, or otherwise.
Records of these letters, by date and number, can be made on a card,
so that the card itself will give the correspondent a complete history



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44



AbVEftTlsING AND SALfig



of the case. The correspondence — letters from the prospective cus-
tomer and copies of special letters to him — can then be filed in the
regular way, and is accessible at all times.

The oldest method of operating the card follow-up is to use the
tickler index in a card file. The follow-up is operated in exactly the
same manner as described for the correspondence file tickler, except
that the cards are filed ahead instead of the original correspondence.

A typical follow-up card is shown in Fig. 24. At the head of the
card is the name and address of the prospective customer, followed
by the credit rating, the business, and the source from which the name



fiame Rating


Address


B(J3/n9^3 Source


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No


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File


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Fig. 24. Card Used for Follow-up

was obtained — whether from advertising, a special list, or from a
traveling salesman. The body of the card is ruled for a record of
letters mailed, form and special letters separated. ^\Tien a letter is
sent the No. and date — if a form letter — is entered, and in the file
column is noted the number of days the card is to be filed ahead —
as 10 days or 30 days. If at the time specified, the next form letter
in the series is to be sent, provided no response has been received,
the No. should be noted on the next blank line in the No. column,
so that the letter can be sent by a clerk, without consulting the sales-
man.

When the cards come from the file, those on which no form letter
is indicated for the next follow-up should be referred to the correspond-



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AbVEtlTlSlNG AND SALfiS



45



ent. If he considers a special letter advisable, he should have all
previous correspondence attached to the card, that he may know just
what has l)een done to land the customer.

Cross"Indexing the Chronological File. One of the disadvantages
of the tickler or chronological index, described above, for a follow-up
is the difficulty of locating a card, when the date under which it is
filed is unknown. A letter may be written on June 10, and the card
filed ahead to June 25; on June IG a reply may be received which
makes it necessary to find the follow-up card, but to do this it is
necessary to look through all of the cards filed between June 16 and



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Fig. 25. Follow-up Card with Alphabetical Tab

June 25. If the card is not found, the chances are that on the 25th
a regular follow-up form letter, which will make the system appear
ridiculous, will be sent.

To so file the cards that any one can be found by name, without
interference with the automatic features of the follow-up system,
is an important consideration. This can be accomplished by the
use of a card like the one shown in Fig. 25. It will be noted that this
card bears a small tab or projection, on which is printed the letter B,
These tabs are cut ^V of the width of the card and are in twenty
positions across the card. This allows for twenty subdivisions of
the alphabet, the A tab being in the first position, B in the second, etc.



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ADVERTISING AND SALES



In filling in a card, one bearing the letter corresponding with
the first letter in the name of the correspondent is selected — a B card
for Brown, an S card for Smith. Now since B is always printed on
a tab in the second position, and this tab is always the same distance
from the end of the card, when the cards are filed, all B tabs will be
in a straight line from front to back of the drawer.

No matter under what date it is filed, if Brown's card is wanted
it will be found by looking through the row of B tabs in the second
position from the left. Regardless of the number, all tabs printed



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Address


Occupation Business


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F\g. 26. Follow-up Card with Movable Tab to Show Dates

with the same letter are found in one row, making it possible to file
cards by date and cross-index by name.

Cross-Indexing the Alphabetical File. An improvement over
the cross-index of the tickler, described above, is the method of cross-
indexing an alphabetical file in a manner to insure a follow-up on a
specified date. A card without tabs, as shown in Fig. 26, is used.
Across the top of the card is printed a series of numbers representing



Online LibraryIll.) American School (LansingCyclopedia of commerce, accountancy, business administration ... [microform] → online text (page 8 of 27)