Norval A. Hawkins
Author of "The Selling Process"
1920 DETROIT, MICHIGAN
TO BEGIN WITH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 HOW TO STUDY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 I. THE UNIVERSAL NEED FOR SALES KNOWLEDGE. . 29 II. THE MAN-STUFF YOU HAVE FOR SALE . . . . . 63 III. SKILL IN SELLING YOUR BEST SELF . . . . . 108 IV. PREPARING TO MAKE YOUR SUCCESS CERTAIN. . 137 V. YOUR PROSPECTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156 VI. GAINING YOUR CHANCE . . . . . . . . . . . 179 VII. KNOWLEDGE OF OTHER MEN. . . . . . . . . . 209 VIII. THE KNOCK AT THE DOOR OF OPPORTUNITY AND THE INVITATION TO COME IN . . . . . 239 IX. GETTING YOURSELF WANTED . . . . . . . . . 270 X. OBSTACLES IN YOUR WAY . . . . . . . . . . 298 XI. THE GOAL OF SUCCESS . . . . . . . . . . . 332 XII. THE CELEBRATION STAGE . . . . . . . . . . 368
To Begin With—
[Sidenote: Salesmanship Essential to Assure Success]
There are particular characteristics one can have, and particular things one can do, that will make failure in life certain.
Why, then, should not the possession of particular opposite characteristics, and the doing of particular opposite things, result as certainly in success, which is the antithesis of failure?
That is a logical, common-sense question. The purpose of this book and its companion volume, "The Selling Process," is to answer it convincingly for you.
Success can be made certain; not, however, by the mere possession of particular characteristics, nor by just doing particular things.
Your success in life can be assured; but only if you supplement your qualifications and make everything you do most effective by using continually, whatever your vocation, the art of salesmanship.
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[Sidenote: Why Are Some Men Failures Who Deserve to Succeed?]
Life can hold nothing but failure for the ill-natured, unsociable, disgusting tramp who is known to be ignorant, lazy, shiftless, a spendthrift, a liar, and an all-around crook. Such a worthless man will make a complete failure of life because he is so dis-qualified to succeed.
On the other hand certain success ought to be achieved by the good-natured, intelligent, reliable man who continually wins friends; the truthful man who has a fine reputation for thrift, honesty, neatness, and love for his work. He seems entirely worthy of success. Yet for reasons that baffle himself and his friends it sometimes happens that such a man is unsuccessful.
The defeat in life of one who appears so deserving of victory seems to prove that success cannot be assured by the development of individual characteristics and by doing specific things. But such a wholly negative conclusion would be wrong. When a worthy man fails, he loses out because he lacks an essential positive factor of certain success—the ability to sell his capabilities. By mastering the selling process this failure can turn himself into a success.
[Sidenote: Self-advertised Disqualifications Unrecognized Capabilities]
We are sure of the failure of the man who is utterly disqualified to succeed; not because he has particular faults, but because they self-advertise and sell the idea of his disqualifications for success. His characteristics and actions make on our minds an impression of his general worthlessness. Defects are apt to attract attention, while perfection often passes unnoticed.
Millions of worthy men, otherwise qualified for success, have failed solely because their merits were not appreciated and rewarded as they would have been if recognized. Capabilities, like goods, are profitless until they are sold. Therefore the man who deserves to win out in life can make his victory sure only by learning and practicing with skill the certain success methods of the master salesman.
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[Sidenote: The Duty to Succeed]
Down through all the ages has come the duty to succeed. It was enjoined in the Parable of the Talents. No one has the right to do less than his best. Then only can he claim full justification for his existence. The Creator accepts no excuses for failure. Every personal quality, and every opportunity to succeed that a man has, must be used, to entitle him to the rewards of success. He owes not only to himself and to his fellows, but also to God, the obligation of developing his utmost capability. If he does not pay dividends on the divine investment in him, his dereliction is justly punished by failure in life. Sometimes he even forfeits the right to live.
[Sidenote: Success Cannot be Copied]
Many ambitious people, who recognize their duty to succeed but do not know how to go about it, make a common mistake in thinking. They believe the secret of certain success can be learned from examples; that success can be copied. So men who have succeeded conspicuously are often asked to state and explain their rules, for the benefit of other men who regard them as oracles.
[Sidenote: Other Men's Formulas]
Doubtless you have read much about Marshall Field, J. Pierpont Morgan, Charles M. Schwab, and similar outstanding business men. You have studied their principles of success. You have tried to practice their methods. But somehow the most careful following of their directions has not made you a multi-millionaire, nor can you see riches as a prospect. Naturally you are both disappointed and puzzled. Perhaps you have tested faithfully for years various formulas of success extracted from the advice of successful men. Yet you have failed, or have achieved only partial and unsatisfying success. You have been unable to solve the problem that you once felt so sure could be worked out by the rules you mastered.
Maybe you have become discouraged and have given up, in disgust, your ambition for achievement. Very likely you have said to yourself, "Success is so much a matter of luck and circumstances, there's no way to make sure of it. I've done everything that Marshall Field, J. Pierpont Morgan, and Charles M. Schwab have counseled; but I'm still plugging along on an ordinary salary. Rules for certain success are bunk. Luck has to break right for a man."
[Sidenote: The Element of Luck]
Unquestionably good luck has brought success to some men who would have failed without its aid. It is equally beyond doubt that bad luck has prevented other men from achieving their ambitions. Of course such successes and failures do not fall within any rules. They are altogether exceptional, and neither prove nor disprove general principles.
Eliminating the factor of luck, good or bad, the success of any normal, deserving man can be made certain to the extent of his individual capacity. Some men have different or bigger capacities than others; hence not all successes will be of the same kind, or alike in extent. But any normal, deserving man can assure himself as great a success as he is fitted to achieve. It is necessary, however, that he do more than develop his utmost capability. He must learn to employ skillful salesmanship, in order to market his "goods of sale," or personal qualifications, most profitably.
[Sidenote: Sales Skill Necessary]
Each of us has to make his own pattern of success. "The individual should develop his individuality," instead of attempting to imitate anybody else. It is even more necessary for him to use most effectively all the natural powers he builds up.
A man can assure his success only if he learns how to utilize his personal qualifications so as to create and control his opportunities to succeed. He should be able to bring himself to good luck, and not expect anybody or any event to bring good luck to him.
One cannot make the most effective use of his capabilities, he cannot create and control his chances to succeed, until he develops skill in salesmanship, which is necessary to market his qualifications profitably. He must practice "selling himself" until the habit of using sales skill in everything he does and says becomes second nature to him. Sales skill is the dynamic factor of success. It transforms potential powers into actual accomplishments. It enables the qualified man to turn his individual capabilities to best account.
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[Sidenote: Opportunity A Constant Companion]
Sometimes a man says, as an excuse for his failure, "I never had a chance." The truth is that Opportunity is a constant companion to every man. Each of us has within himself limitless wealth. All normal people are rich in ability. It is possible for anyone to become more prosperous. He need only turn his possibilities into realities. When a man capable of accumulating riches continues poor, he is like the shipwrecked discoverer of a bonanza gold mine on an uncharted island. He cannot exchange his potential wealth for the things he desires; because he is unable to market his raw gold.
Similarly you who have not yet succeeded are potentially rich. If you possess the generally recognized fundamentals of success; such as characteristic honesty, intelligence, energy, etc., you are not handicapped for want of a market. Even though you now may seem to lack some of the essential qualifications, you are capable of succeeding. Every necessary characteristic of the successful man is latent in your nature and can be brought out by development. You have not yet done your utmost with the best that is in you.
[Sidenote: Your Market Not Lacking]
First you should resolve to make yourself completely worthy to succeed. Meanwhile you should be learning how to sell your "goods." On every hand there are markets in which qualities like yours are being sold successfully by other men. Undoubtedly there will be a purchaser for the best that is in you when you bring it out; provided you present your "goods of sale" in the most skillful way. All about you are highly prosperous people with no more innate merits than you have. Certainly the market for your particular abilities is within reach. Golden opportunities of which you have not taken the fullest advantage surround you and touch your daily activities. If you have not grasped your chance, it was because you did not know how to reach out with all your capabilities. In other words, possessing the fundamental qualifications for success, you have stood in the midst of the world's need for such capabilities as yours, but you have not gone through the selling process.
You have failed thus far to achieve your ambition, simply because you have been an unsuccessful salesman of yourself to the world.
Perhaps you never have thought of yourself as a salesman. You may not have realized the importance to you of knowing and practicing the principles of skillful selling. Only one per cent of the people in the United States call themselves salesmen or saleswomen. Yet in order to succeed, each of us must sell his or her particular qualifications. Your knowledge and use of the selling process are essential to assure your success in life.
* * * * *
[Sidenote: Master Salesmen Made, Not Born]
The best commercial executives agree that the most effective selling representative of a house is not the "natural born" salesman, but the salesman who is made highly efficient by training. So every big, successful business conducts a course in salesmanship. Thorough tests have proved that particular principles and methods of selling are sure to produce the highest average of orders. Therefore these principles and methods are followed as standard practice in the sales department.
That is, in order to assure the success of an individual salesman, he is required and aided to develop particular qualifications and to do certain things that master executives have learned will get the orders and hold the trade of buyers. The qualified professional salesman is drilled thoroughly in tested principles and methods of selling. He is trained to use this standard sales knowledge skillfully. As a result he works in the field with complete confidence.
Why should he doubt that he will succeed? He knows his own limitations and capabilities; knows the true worth of his line; knows there is a market in his territory; knows how to sell in the ways that have been proved most effective; and knows that practice of right salesmanship will make him skillful in getting and holding business. Verily such "knowledge is power."
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[Sidenote: Certain Success With the Selling Process]
Your success in selling yourself can be made as certain as is a successful career to the first-class professional salesman. This book and its companion volume will explain in detail salesmanship ways to develop your best capabilities most effectively. You will be given the principles and methods employed by the expert salesman in marketing any kind of right goods. You will also be shown how to sell yourself by adapting his practices to your "goods of sale."
When you comprehend, and employ as second nature, the usages of the finest sales art, your success in life, like that of the master professional salesman, will be certain.
[Sidenote: Ideas of Goods Not the Goods Themselves Are Sold]
If you have not called yourself a salesman, perhaps you doubt the value to you of skill in selling. All you have to market is the best that is in yourself. Your ambition may be to succeed as a doctor, or lawyer, or preacher, or clerk, or mechanic, or farmer, or banker. You do not see how salesmanship could assure your success, however much it might help some one with commercial ambitions.
If you think it would not be worth while for you to master the selling process, since you do not expect to engage in the profession of selling, you misconceive the functions and work of the salesman. You have thought he sells "goods;" and that as you do not deal in commodities, you would have no practical use for the selling process he employs to assure his success. But even the shoe salesman, or grocery salesman, or real estate salesman, or insurance salesman does not really sell goods. He sells ideas about goods. Similarly you sell ideas about yourself in order to succeed.
[Sidenote: When the Goods and the Ideas Are Different]
A sale is often completed in business without any inspection of the actual "goods" by the purchaser; as when a quantity of standard sheet copper is specified, or when the salesman describes a piece of machinery or shows a picture of it with a catalogue number. The "goods" are to be delivered later. However, the selling process is finished; though only the mind's eye of the buyer has seen what he anticipates getting on his order. The salesman has presented nothing except certain ideas to the mental vision of the prospect. But these ideas have been sold so realistically to the imagination of the purchaser that he gives his order for what he expects.
Suppose the goods delivered later do not correspond with the particular ideas about them that have been sold. For example, the sheet copper furnished is not as specified in the contract, or the machine shipped is not the same as the salesman pictured when he got the order for it. Then there has been no sale of the different "goods." The intending purchaser bought particular ideas. He will not accept the delivery of goods unlike the ideas sold to him.
[Sidenote: Know Your Prospect's Idea]
Another illustration. A real estate salesman describes a bungalow to a prospect for a home. He shows plans and specifications, with accurate dimensions; there is no misrepresentation of any detail. The salesman especially emphasizes, what is his own belief, that the bungalow would make a "cozy" home. The prospect decides to buy the property. He says, "If it is as you describe it, I'll take that place." The sale to his mind has been completed. All that remains is delivery of a bungalow corresponding to the ideas sold. The delighted salesman escorts the buyer to the "cozy home." But the empty rooms do not confirm the idea emphasized to the prospect. The salesman cannot furnish them convincingly with his imaginative "cozy" word pictures. He has made the mistake of omitting to learn the other man's conception of a cozy home before selling the expectation of coziness. He is shocked when the sale is declared annulled with the prospect's contradiction of his description, "There's nothing cozy about this place." The intending buyer of a home feels there has been a misrepresentation; though the bungalow is exactly like the plans and specifications shown to him. He was sold an idea that "the goods" have not delivered; so he declares the sale off. A sale is a success only when true ideas are sold, and afterward are delivered by the goods.
[Sidenote: Selling Ideas About Yourself]
If you "have the goods" and would succeed certainly in your chosen vocation, you must sell to the world or to individual buyers true ideas about your particular qualifications for success—true ideas regarding your best capabilities and the value of your services. Your "goods of sale" may be your muscular power; your brain energy; your talents, skill, integrity, and knowledge in this capacity or in that. Whatever qualities you possess, it is necessary that some one be sold the idea of their full worth, or you cannot succeed. No matter how valuable your services might be, they have only potential worth until another man, or some business, or the world at large perceives desirable possibilities in you and buys the expectation that you will "deliver the goods."
Probably you have said to yourself, "If I had the chance, I know I could deliver the goods." We will grant that you are able to make delivery. However, before you will be given a chance you must get across to the mind of some prospective buyer of muscular power, or brain energy, or other capabilities such as you could supply, the true idea that you have "the goods" he needs and that your qualifications would be a satisfactory purchase for him.
In other words, it is necessary that you use the selling process effectively, with thorough scientific knowledge and a high degree of art, in order to make certain of gaining your opportunity for success. You have no doubt that you can succeed if you get the chance. But you have not realized, perhaps, that you can make yourself the master of your own destiny by first learning and then practicing until it becomes second nature to you the sure, salesmanship way to gain the opportunities you deserve. After you comprehend the sure process, you can soon develop skill in actually selling to other men true ideas of the best that is in you.
[Sidenote: The Secret of Certain Success]
The secret of certain success in life for you, then, whatever your vocation or ambition, lies in knowing HOW to sell true ideas of your best capability in the right market or field of service. The chapters of the present book, supplemented by the contents of the companion volume, "The Selling Process," should reveal to you clearly every principal detail of this secret.
[Sidenote: No 100% Salesmen]
Before you proceed further with the study of successful salesmanship as analyzed in these pages, avoid a possible misconception of masterly selling. Even the most efficient salesman does not get all the orders for which he tries. By his knowledge and skill his average of failures is minimized; therefore everybody recognizes him as a great success.
So, however well you comprehend the selling process, and however skillfully you use it in your career, you will not always accomplish the particular purpose to which you apply your salesmanship. But you will markedly lessen the number and importance of your failures to do the things you attempt. You will also increase to an extraordinary degree the quantity, quality, and profitable results of your successful efforts. You will make a grand average so high that you will feel you are a real success. Others, too, will so regard you.
[Sidenote: The Master Key]
Therefore, whatever your life ambition, study the selling process until you understand it thoroughly; then perfect your skill by daily practice in selling your ideas, and ideas about yourself, to other people. When you know HOW to sell true ideas of your best capability in your chosen market or field of service, and have become expert in applying what you have learned, you can use salesmanship continually in your everyday work. You should feel absolute assurance that with its aid you can open the treasure house of your desires.
This universal master key that fits all locks now between you and success can be made by your own hands and head. You have begun to shape it for your future use.
How to Study Certain Success with The Selling Process
[Sidenote: Suggestion To Salesmen]
The professional salesman or saleswoman who undertakes the thorough study of both this book and its companion volume, might better read first "The Selling Process," the chapters of which apply especially to his or her vocation.
If you are a "salesman," therefore, begin your study with the introduction to that book. When you have read "The Selling Process" once, start "Certain Success" and master it. Then re-read the other book in the light of the new ideas that will have been shed upon its contents by the present text.
The practical value of "Certain Success" and "The Selling Process" to you as a salesman will be multiplied a hundredfold if both are kept handy for continual reference. The marginal index should enable you to find quickly any point regarding which you want to refresh your recollection. This set of books was not written to collect dust on a library shelf. No salesman can get the full worth out of the pages unless he uses "Certain Success" and "The Selling Process" as working tools.
[Sidenote: If Your Vocation Is Not Selling]
If you are not engaged in selling as a vocation, and have not realized before that you must be a good salesman or saleswoman in order to achieve your life ambition, commence mastering the secret of certain success with the selling process by reading thoroughly the book now in your hands. This preliminary study will increase your ability to read intelligently the more technical contents of "The Selling Process." Do not skip or slight any portion of either book. You cannot afford to miss a single bit of information regarding the sure way to succeed.
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[Sidenote: Purpose and Scope of the Two Books]
This is the first publication of "Certain Success," but five large editions of "The Selling Process" were required in 1919 and 1920 to supply the demand from all over the world. The two books, each complete in itself, now are issued together under the double title, CERTAIN SUCCESS WITH THE SELLING PROCESS; though either "Certain Success" or "The Selling Process" may be ordered alone.
My chief purpose in preparing this set has been to stimulate each reader's comprehension of the value of skillful salesmanship to him. All of us who are ambitious to make the most of the best that is in us need to be first-class salesmen, whether we market "goods" or our personal capabilities. As has been emphasized repeatedly in this preface, every one who would succeed in life must know HOW to sell his qualifications to the highest advantage. Poor salesmanship is responsible for most of the failures of people who really deserve to succeed. It is almost surely fatal to ambitious hopes in any trade, profession, or business.
CERTAIN SUCCESS WITH THE SELLING PROCESS covers in outline the whole subject of Salesmanship. But the scope of this set does not afford room to give here a minutely detailed exposition of the special processes of making sales in particular businesses. I have compiled for you, rather, the general principles of effective selling that may be universally applied. "Certain Success" and "The Selling Process" are handbooks of fundamental ideas which each reader, by his individual thinking, should amplify and fit to his own work or ambition.
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[Sidenote: Real Study Required]
The fine art of successful salesmanship cannot be mastered in a few hours of casual reading. You will not be able, immediately after glancing through these books, to unlock every long-desired golden opportunity with absolute assurance. CERTAIN SUCCESS WITH THE SELLING PROCESS must be studied out. You should keep them always at hand like your bank books, and draw on the contents for your salesmanship needs from day to day.
You will get only a smattering of the secret of certain success if you just skim over the chapters, and skip whatever requires you to think hard in order to comprehend it all. But if you dig into the meaning of each sentence for the full idea, you will enrich yourself with constantly increasing power and skill in selling. So you will surely become a real success.
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[Sidenote: Tested Working Tools]
The principles and methods of successful salesmanship summarized in these companion books, though they will be new to most readers, are not mere personal theories. They all have been demonstrated and tested in actual practice during my twelve years experience as Commercial and General Sales Manager of the Ford Motor Company. Under my direction in the course of that period Ford sales were multiplied one hundred thirty-two times—from 6,181 to 815,912 cars a year. The fundamental principles and methods that I have tested and proved to be most successful in selling automobiles and good will should work equally well in any profession, or business, or trade; and for any normal, intelligent man or woman who uses them continually.
[Sidenote: Dollars and Cents Value]
Since the first publication of "The Selling Process" thousands of enthusiastic readers of the book have voluntarily borne witness to its practical, dollars-and-cents value to them in their daily work. Preachers, doctors, lawyers, bank officials, clerks, book-keepers, mechanics, laborers; as well as business executives and sales managers and salesmen—men and women in scores of widely different vocations—unite in testifying to their increased earning power and fuller satisfaction in living and working. They credit these results to their study and continued use of "The Selling Process." The value of that book will be at least doubled by the supplemental reading of "Certain Success." Therefore the two are now published as a set of working tools for any ambitious man or woman who is resolved to earn success.
NORVAL A. HAWKINS
Majestic Building, Detroit, Michigan.
The Universal Need For Sales Knowledge
[Sidenote: Analysis of Secret of Certain Success]
The Secret of Certain Success has four principal elements. It comprises:
(1) Knowing how to sell
(2) The true idea
(3) Of one's best capabilities
(4) In the right market or field of service.
Your success will be in direct proportion to your thorough knowledge and continual use of all four parts of the whole secret. No matter how great your effort, an entire lack of one or more of these principal elements of Certain Success will cause partial or utter failure in your life ambition. You will be like a man who tries to open a safe with a four-combination lock, though he knows only two or three of the numbers.
No one, however well fitted for success elsewhere, can succeed in the wrong field, or in rendering services for which he is not qualified. Nor is complete success attainable by a man unless he develops the best that is in him. Even if he brings to the right market his utmost ability, he may fail miserably by making a false impression that he is unfitted for the opportunity he wants. Or he may be overlooked because he does not make the true impression of his fitness.
Evidently, in order to gain a chance to succeed, anyone must first sell to the fullest advantage the idea that he is the man for the opportunity already waiting or for the new opening he makes for himself. Of course he cannot do this surely unless he knows how. Therefore sales knowledge is universally needed to complement the three other principal elements of the complete secret of certain success.
[Sidenote: Reasons for Failures]
When we try to explain the failure of any man who seems worthy to have succeeded, we nearly always say, in substance, one of three things about his case:
"He is a square peg in a round hole;" by which we usually mean he is a right man in the wrong place.
Or, "He is capable of filling a better position;" a more polite way of saying that a man has outgrown his present job but has not developed ability to get a bigger one.
Oftenest, probably, we declare, "He isn't appreciated."
Very rarely is a worthy man's failure in life ascribed to the commonest cause—his personal inefficiency in selling to the world comprehension of his especial qualifications for success.
[Sidenote: What Failures Realize]
If a man is a square peg in a round hole, he should realize that his particular qualities must be fitted into the right field for them before he can succeed. A natural "organizer" cannot achieve his ambitions if he works alone at a routine task.
No sensible man would aspire to fill a better position than he holds, unless he had developed a capacity beyond the limitations of his present work. The shipping clerk who craves the higher salary of a correspondent knows he cannot hope for the desired promotion if he has not learned to write good business letters.
However deserving of advancement a man may be, he realizes he has but a slim chance to succeed if his worth is unrecognized. So he wants appreciation from his chief. He knows that unless his worth is perceived and truly valued, some one else, who may be less qualified, is apt to be selected for the "Manager's" job he desires. Such "injustices" have poisoned countless disappointed hopes with bitterest resentment.
The deserving man who fails because he is a misfit in his particular position, the worthy man who is limited to a small career because the work he does lacks scope for the use of all his ability; the third good man who has been kept down for the reason that his chief is blind to his qualifications for promotion—all three of these failures understand pretty clearly the reasons for their non-success.
[Sidenote: When Lack of Salesmanship Causes Failure]
It is very different in the case of the capable man who fails because he has been inefficient in selling true impressions of his qualifications for success. A private secretary, for illustration, might be thoroughly competent for managerial duties; but by his self-effacement in his present job he might make the false impression that he was wanting in executive capacity. He would be given a chance as manager if he were effective in creating a true impression of his administrative ability. Such a capable man, if he has little or no scientific knowledge of the selling process is apt also to lack comprehension of the value to him of knowing how to sell ideas. He does not happen to call himself a salesman. Therefore he has never studied with personal interest the fine art of selling. He does not realize that ignorance of salesmanship, and consequent non-use of the selling process, almost always are responsible for the merely partial success or the downright failure in life of the man who deserves to win, but who loses out.
[Sidenote: Who Is To Blame for Failure]
One may feel able to "deliver the goods," were he given the chance. He may know where his best capability is greatly needed and would be highly appreciated if recognized. Yet the door of opportunity may not open to his deserving hand, however hard he tries to win his way in. His failure seems to him altogether unfair, the rankest injustice from Fortune.
If a man knows he is completely fitted to fill a higher position, he feels considerable self-confidence when he first applies for it. But his real ability may not be recognized by his chief. The ambitious man may be denied the coveted chance to take the step upward to the bigger opportunities for which he rightly believes himself qualified. If his deserts and his utmost efforts do not win the promotion he desires, he grows discouraged. He loses the taste of zest for his work. His earlier optimism oozes away. After awhile his ambition slumps. Then he resigns himself sullenly to the conviction that he is a failure but is not to blame.
[Sidenote: Dynamic Quality Lacking]
Leaving out of consideration most exceptional, unpreventable bad luck, the worthy man who fails in life is to blame. He is not, as he thinks, a victim of circumstances or ill-fate. His failure is due to his ignorance of the first of the four principal factors of the secret of certain success. Potentially qualified to succeed, he does not have the absolutely necessary dynamic element. He lacks an essential characteristic of the self-made successful man, a characteristic which any one of intelligence can learn how to develop—a high degree of capability in gaining his own opportunities to succeed.
He does not know how to sell true ideas about himself; though he may realize the importance of making the best impression possible. So, however, he tries, he cannot get his deserved chances to succeed. He could secure them easily if he comprehended the selling process of the master salesman, and used it with skill. This process of masterly selling is the key to certain success for the fully qualified man in any vocation.
[Sidenote: Making and Governing One's Own Good Luck]
A capable applicant will invariably be given a chance to succeed, if he takes the best that is in him to a man who has need of such services as he could render, and then sells the true idea of his ability. He has mastered all four principal elements of the complete secret of certain success. Consequently he is able to create and to control his opportunities to succeed. He makes and governs his own good luck.
Everywhere the most desirable positions in the business world are in need of men who can fill them. Only the poorer jobs are crowded. But when Opportunity has to seek the man, the right one is often overlooked. The golden chance is gained by another—less qualified and less worthy, perhaps; but a better salesman of himself. The fully competent man, however, can assure his success by becoming proficient in selling true ideas of his best capability in the right market or field of service. The master salesman of himself makes his own chances to succeed, and therefore runs no risk of being overlooked by Opportunity.
[Sidenote: Success Way Is Charted]
Master salesmen of ideas about "goods" use particular selling processes to get their ideas across surely to the minds of prospective buyers. The professional salesman, therefore, has plainly charted the way to certain success in any vocation, for the man who has developed the best that is in him. If you are a candidate for a position, do not let a prospective employer buy your services at his valuation, for he is certain to under-estimate you. Sell him true ideas of your merits. Set a fair price on your worth, and get across to his mind the true idea that you would be worth that much to him. Such skillful salesmanship used by an applicant for a position can be depended on to make the best possible impression of his desirability; just as the practiced art of the professional salesman enables him to present the qualities and values of his goods in the most favorable light. The masterly selling process is not very difficult to learn. Proficiency in its use can be gained gradually by any one who practices consciously every day the actual sale of ideas in the artistic way.
[Sidenote: Knowledge of Salesmanship Develops Confidence]
As was stated in the Introduction to this book, it has been proved conclusively in business that particular principles and methods of selling are certain to produce the highest average of closed orders. In other words, success for the professional salesman is assured if he develops certain qualifications, and if he does certain things; all within the capacity of any normal, intelligent man. Scientific sales executives know positively, as the result of comparative tests, that the salesman who develops these personal qualifications, and who does these things, should get his quota of business and hold it. Hence, as has been said, specific training is given in the sales schools of the most successful businesses, along the lines of best selling practice.
[Sidenote: Practical Principles]
When the individual salesman who has been so trained commences work in his territory, he learns in his experiences with buyers that the principles and methods he has been taught are actually most effective. Assuming that he has developed his best capabilities pretty fully, and that he has become fairly skillful in using what he knows about how to sell his line, he works with continually growing confidence that he will succeed. Why should he doubt his complete selling power? He knows there is a field for his goods in this territory. He knows clearly and vividly what ideas he wants to get across to the minds of prospective buyers. He knows—most important of all—just how to make convincing and attractive impressions of the desirability and true value of what he presents for purchase. He comprehends the most effective ways to show prospects both their need for his goods and that he has come, with a real purpose of service, to satisfy that need.
You, the non-professional salesman of yourself, will sell your "goods of sale" with similar complete confidence in your power to gain and to control your opportunities for success—if you, too, use the right selling process.
This set of books explains and demonstrates in detail the principles and methods of the successful salesman of ideas. The Introduction and twelve Chapters of the present series apply the selling process especially to the sale of ideas about one's self, with particular relation to self-advancement in the world. "The Selling Process," companion book to "Certain Success," shows the master professional salesman at work, getting orders with assurance.
[Sidenote: Hard Study Necessary]
The fact that you have proceeded thus far in reading "Certain Success" proves you have an earnest purpose to make the most of your present opportunity to learn how to succeed with certainty. We will assume that you have developed your individual ability pretty fully, and that you know where there is a field for such services as you are sure you could render if afforded the chance. Surely, then, your ambition in life, whatever it may be, is a sufficient incentive to the most thorough study of the principles and methods of successful salesmanship. Do not merely read this set of books. MASTER "Certain Success" and "The Selling Process" to make yourself the master of your own destiny.
Again and again, lest at any time while you study you might fall below 100% in absolute assurance, you will read in these chapters the assertion that your success can be made certain. This statement is not an exaggeration. It is necessary that you accept it literally throughout your reading of this set of books. Do not take it "with a grain of salt." The taste of the declaration that the selling process makes success sure will become familiar after these many repetitions. Realize when you come upon the repeated idea as you proceed with your study that your continued reading should frequently be reenforced by a steadily growing conviction that you are mastering the sure way to succeed. You believe in yourself more than you did when you began to read this book. This increasing faith should develop to complete confidence when you have dug into the text of both "Certain Success" and "The Selling Process," and have dug out every idea in the twenty-four chapters.
[Sidenote: Salesmanship Not a Science But an Art]
At the outset of your present study comprehend that salesmanship is not a science. Rather, it is an art. Like every other art, however, it has a related science. Selling is a process. Knowledge about the principles and methods that make the process most effective is the related science. But such knowledge supplies only the best foundation for building success by the actual practice of most effective salesmanship. The master salesman practices the scientific principles and methods he has learned until the skillful use of his knowledge in every-day selling becomes second nature to him. Thus, and thus only, is his art perfected.
You will gain knowledge from these books about how to sell with assurance the true idea of your best capabilities—about how to sell any "goods of sale" unfailingly. But you can develop the skill necessary to the actual achievement of certain success only if you continually use what you learn about the selling process. You must perfect your selling art by the intelligent employment of every word and tone and act of your life to attract other men to you, and to impress on them convincingly true ideas of your particular ability.
[Sidenote: Be a Salesman Every Minute]
The master professional salesman is "always on the job" with his three means of self-expression, to get across to prospects true ideas of the desirability and value of his goods. He is a salesman every minute, and in everything he does or says. You can become as efficient as he, in selling ideas about your "goods of sale," if your proficiency becomes as easy and natural as his. Such ease is the sure result of sufficient right practice.
You have countless opportunities daily to make use of the selling process. In each expression of yourself—in your every word, tone, and act—you convey some idea of your particular character and ability. You should know how to make true, attractive impressions of your best self; and how to avoid making untrue and unfavorable impressions by what you do and say. Then, when you have learned the most effective way to sell ideas about yourself that you want other people to have, it is necessary that you use the selling process consciously all the time until you grow into the habit of using it unconsciously, as your second nature. Once you are accustomed to acting the salesman continually, it will be no more difficult for you to be "always on the job" selling right ideas of your qualifications for success, than it is for the professional user of the selling process to be a salesman "every minute."
[Sidenote: Your "Goods of Sale"]
As already has been emphasized, "the goods of sale" in your case are your best capabilities. You need first of all to know your true self, before you can sell true ideas about your qualifications for success. Your true self is your best self. You are untrue to yourself, you balk your own ambition to succeed, unless you develop to the utmost of your capacity your particular salable qualities.
You do not need qualities you now wholly lack. You should not attempt to "salt" the gold mine in yourself with the characteristics of other men who have succeeded by the development and use of capabilities that were natural to them, but that would be unnatural to you. It is worse than futile—it is foolish for you to imitate anybody else. Just be your best self. Make the most of what you have that is salable. You require no more to assure your success.
[Sidenote: Selling the Truth About Your Best Self]
Every individual has distinct characteristics, and is capable of doing particular things, of which he may be genuinely proud if he fully develops and uses his personal qualifications. When all the truth about his best possible self is skillfully made known to others, chances for success are certain to be opened to the ambitious man. If he lacks the salesmanship key, the doors of opportunity may always remain closed, however well he deserves to be welcomed.
You possess "goods of sale" that have real quality, that are durable, that will render service and afford pleasurable satisfaction to others. Your goods can be sold as surely as quality phonographs, durable automobile tires, serviceable clothes, or pleasing books.
Maybe you can "deliver the goods" with smiles, or hearty tones, or ready acts of kindness. Any one can easily be friendly. But have you developed all your ability to smile genuinely? Have you cultivated the hearty tone of real kindness so that now it is unnatural for you ever to speak in any other way? Do you perform friendly acts of consideration for others on every occasion, as second nature?
If your honest answers to such questions must be negative, you are not a good salesman of your best self all the time.
[Sidenote: Your Salable Qualities]
Your most salable quality may be dependability, rather than quick thinking. If this is the case, concentrate your salesmanship on making impressions of the true idea of your reliability. Your greatest success will be achieved in some field of service where dependableness is a primary essential. You may be naturally unfitted to make a star reporter, but peculiarly qualified to develop into the cashier of a bank.
Should you happen to be unattractive in features, your job is to transform your homeliness into a likable quality—not to try to make yourself appear handsome. If you are wholly inexperienced, that need not be a detriment to your success in the field you want to enter. When you have mastered the selling process, your very greenness can be presented before the mind of a prospective employer as the best of reasons for engaging you. You will be able to make yourself appear desirable because you are green in that field, and therefore have no wrong ideas to "unlearn."
[Sidenote: Know All of Yourself]
You can greatly improve your chances to get the job for which you are best adapted, if you use the reciprocal selling process employed by the professional salesman when he sells his services to a house. He meets the head of the concern as his man-equal, and does not just offer himself "for hire." Such a consciousness of your man-equality when you are face to face with a prospective employer can result only from certain, analytical knowledge of your best self, complemented by knowing how to sell the true idea of your particular desirability and worth.
Very likely you think you are seriously handicapped in many ways. Having made no detailed analysis of yourself from a salesman's view-point, you do not appreciate fully the number and the market value of the advantages you might have. Probably some of your best, most salable qualities are latent or but partly developed.
[Sidenote: Chart Necessary]
List your particular "goods of sale." Put down on a chart, not only the qualities you have now, but all the additional ones you feel capable of developing. Then you will realize vividly that you possess many abilities, some undeveloped yet, which are always needed in the world. You know that such qualities should be readily salable, to the mutual benefit of yourself and of buyers. You are learning the selling process in order to make certain that you can sell the best that is in you, as other men are selling themselves successfully.
Complete your chart by listing your various defects. Then study out ways to use even your particular faults differently than you have been handling them; so that they will help you, instead of being hindrances to your success. Think of some people you know, and of how they have turned their physical "liabilities" into "assets" of popularity.
The very first sales knowledge you need is of exactly what you have to sell. You cannot see all of yourself, your good and bad points—yourself as you are, and as you might be—unless you make a detailed chart of your "goods of sale." One of the most important immediate effects of such a self-analysis will be increased self-respect. Your handicaps will shrink, and the peculiar advantages you have will grow before your eyes. You should feel new confidence in your own ability.
With this confidence will come a feeling that you are not the inferior of another man who has achieved a larger measure of success than you have gained. When you start the sale of true ideas of your best self to an employer-buyer of such services as you are capable of rendering, you will have an innate consciousness of your man-equality with him. You should realize that this sale of yourself, like all other true sales, is to be a transaction of reciprocal benefits, and should be conducted on the basis of mutual respect.
It is your right to take pains that the prospective buyer of your services shall sell himself to you as the boss you want to work with. Expect him to sell himself to you as a desirable employer just as thoroughly and satisfyingly as you intend to sell yourself to him as a worthy applicant for an opportunity in his business. When you have definite, sure knowledge of your capability and service value, you certainly should not be willing to take "any old job."
There is no better way to make the impression of your desirability as an employee than to demonstrate that you are choosing your employment intelligently. In explaining your choice, give specific reasons for your selection of this particular opening. Show that you comprehend what is to be done. Give some indication of your ability to do it efficiently and satisfactorily. Suggest the worth of your services when you shall have proved your fitness.
[Sidenote: Require Employer to Sell You the Job]
The ordinary man who applies for a job in the ordinary way is accepted or turned down wholly at the discretion of the employer. If you use the selling process skillfully, you will suggest that you are out of the ordinary class. Of course, you should demonstrate in your salesmanship that you are not over-rating your ability. The other man must be made to feel you have sound reasons for your bearing of equality and self-confidence when you seek to make sure that in his business you will have your best chance to succeed. By showing him that you are taking intelligent precautions against making a mistake in your employment, you indicate conclusively that you are not merely a "floater," but that you have a purpose "to stick and make good."
In the same measure that you require proof of a desirable personality in an employer, you should make sure that the work is exactly what you expect. See that your prospective "new boss" sells you the job at the same time you are selling him your services. If he perceives in you the one man who best fits his needs, he will put forth every effort to buy your services. Every employer will respect the man who states, with salesmanship, a sound reason for selecting and seeking connection with a business house; since such a man gives promise of making the sort of dependable, loyal worker that every business values and appreciates.
[Sidenote: Sell to Satisfy Real Needs]
The true salesman sells to satisfy a real need of the buyer. Therefore, when you have charted your salable qualities, select the field of service in which such capability as you possess is needed. That, you may be sure, is your right market—the field where you are certain to succeed. Enter it, and no other field. Apply there for a place of opportunity to serve; with the absolute confidence of a good salesman come to satisfy a want, and conscious of his individual fitness "to deliver the goods."
You may not get just what you desire at the first attempt. The best professional salesman often has to make repeated efforts to close orders. But in the end, if you "have the goods," that are needed where you bring them, and you know how to sell true ideas of your best self (as you will know after mastering the selling process) you will be sure of getting sufficient opportunities to succeed. You will be as certain about getting enough chances as the first-class professional salesman is certain of attaining his full quota of business despite some turn-downs. Success is a matter of making a good batting average.
[Sidenote: Parts of Complete Process]
Remember as you read that you are studying a completed process. An unfinished sales effort is not a sale at all. You will not be a certainly successful salesman until you perfect your knowledge and skill in all the steps of salesmanship. You can learn only a single part of sales efficiency at a time. The relative significance of each point, its full importance in the entire selling process, will not be comprehended until you have read at least once all there is in this set of books. When you re-study the successive chapters, the details you may at first understand but vaguely in a disconnected way will be clear. You will comprehend them as various elements of salesmanship which must be fitted together to complete the process of selling.
Thus far in the present chapter we have been considering principally the "goods of sale." We have been looking at our subject from the material aspect. Now let us turn our attention to the mental view of sales.
[Sidenote: Mental Nature of Selling Process]
In the effective selling process the skilled salesman is able to be the controlling party. He makes the other man think as he thinks. As has been stated repeatedly, he sells ideas, not goods. So the real nature of any sale is mental, not material. You must "deliver the goods" to the mind of the man to whom you wish to sell your best capabilities. You should use the same process as the professional salesman, who works to control the thoughts of his prospect regarding the line of goods presented. Hence when you plan to make sure of getting a desired position, it is necessary that you know exactly how to put true ideas about yourself into the head of the person whom you have chosen as your prospective employer. Further, you need to know precisely what psychological effects you can secure with certainty by using skillful salesmanship.
[Sidenote: Three Sales Mediums]
Ideas of your best capability may be sold through three mediums—advertising, correspondence, and personal selling. Take advantage of all three, wherever and whenever possible, to gain your chance for success. Use these mediums with real salesmanship.
If you advertise for a position, think out in detail the impression of your true best self that you wish to make on the minds of readers. Put your personality into the advertising medium in such carefully selected language as will reach the needs of particular employers, and will not appear to be just a broadside of words shot into the air without aim. Indicate clearly that you are not seeking "any old job so long as the salary is good." Analyze and know just what you suggest about yourself in print. Many a successful business man has sold himself through the door of his initial big opportunity by real salesmanship in his advertisement of his capabilities.
Each letter you write should be regarded as "a sales letter." It makes an impression, true or false, of you. Take the greatest pains to have that impression what you want it to be. Never be slovenly or careless in writing to anyone on any subject. Put genuine salesmanship into all your letters consciously; instead of conveying ideas unwittingly, without realizing what the reader is likely to think of you and the things you write. You can scatter impressions of your best self broadcast over the earth by using your ordinary correspondence as a medium of salesmanship. So you can open both nearby and far distant opportunities for the future; even while you still are training yourself to make the most of these chances you hope to gain.
Good sales letters are so rare that the ability to write them has erroneously been called "a gift." It is not. Any one of educated intelligence can write his ideas; provided he has clear, definite thought-images in his own mind. But cloudy thinking reflects only a blur on paper.
[Sidenote: Using Sales Letters]
A letter that plainly conveys true ideas is a sales letter; for it gets across to the mind of the recipient a clear, definite mental impression of the writer's real personality and thoughts.
In all your correspondence, throughout the period of preparation for your chosen life career, send out true ideas of your best capability. If you do, you doubtless will find the door of your desired opportunity open by the time you are fully prepared to knock. Successful business is always ready in advance to welcome "comers;" whenever and wherever they are sighted. Therefore project your personality far and wide through your letters. Employ the medium of correspondence, with salesmanship knowledge and skill, even when you write the most ordinary messages to your acquaintances or to strangers. That is, think out certain ways to sell particular ideas about yourself; then incorporate these bits of salesmanship in your letters.
A young man in his senior year at college selected a large corporation as his prospective employer. He did not know any of the executives of the company, but he worked out a plan to get acquainted through letters. He was especially desirous of entering the field of foreign trade, and had made a fairly comprehensive study of the export business. He wrote to the president of the corporation, gave a brief outline of articles and books he had read; then complimented the great company by declaring that he realized the knowledge he had acquired was theoretical and abstract, and that he wished to gain practical, concrete ideas by studying the methods of the corporation. He enclosed with his letter ten cents in postage stamps, and requested that he be sent any forms, instruction sheets, sales bulletins, etc., the president was willing to let him have for study.
[Sidenote: Getting A Future Chance]
His letter was referred to the vice-president in charge of sales, who in turn passed it on to a department manager with instructions to supply the matter requested. In the course of a week the college student received a bulky package. Meanwhile a letter had been sent from the department head which stated that the vice-president in charge of sales had referred to him the request for forms, instruction sheets, etc., and that they would be forwarded under separate cover.
The student took advantage of the three opportunities opened to conduct correspondence with the executives of the corporation. He first wrote courteous, carefully worded "thank-you" letters to the president, vice-president, and department head. These were all in his own hand, so that his good penmanship might make an individual impression. After these letters were dispatched the student mastered the material that had been sent to him. Then he wrote three supplemental letters of appreciation, and made concise comments on some of the methods of the corporation, with comparisons from his previous reading of books and articles on foreign trade. He stated that he intended to make further investigation along these particular lines and that if he learned anything he thought might be interesting to the company he would write what he found out. In the course of a month he sent a letter which detailed his investigations. This he addressed to the department head only. But he also penned brief letters to the president and vice-president, in which he informed them that he had written in detail to the department head.
[Sidenote: Effect of Follow-up Letters]
The correspondence continued throughout the remainder of the student's senior year at college. The letters from the business men soon evidenced more than formal courtesy. They grew personal and indicated real interest. A month before his graduation the student was invited to call at the company's office after Commencement. He went, made an excellent impression in interviews with the vice-president in charge of sales and the department head, and though the ink on his sheepskin was not yet dry, he gained his object. He was engaged by the corporation and began training as a prospective representative of the company in foreign territory.
Thus through the correspondence medium of salesmanship a young man who had no advantage of personal influence or acquaintance secured exactly the chance he wanted. Similar opportunities are open to any one.
[Sidenote: Personal Selling]
Every moment of your life when you are in the presence of other people, you have chances to sell true ideas about the best that is in you. You will not need to seek such opportunities for personal salesmanship. Chances come to you continually to make good impressions on the minds of the men and women you meet from day to day.
Be a skillful salesman of true ideas about yourself always, even in the most casual relations you have with other people. Sell the best possible impressions of yourself to passers-by on the street, to your fellow riders in cars, to clerks and customers of stores you visit, to your home and business associates. Put selling skill, as second nature, into each word, tone, and action of your social and business life.
Realize that in whatever you do or say, consciously or unconsciously, you are selling ideas about your capability or your incapacity. You are making more or less definite impressions—you are affecting your opportunities to succeed, and are forming good or bad habits—all the time. Control the effects of your words, tones, and acts by saying and doing, consciously and intelligently, only what will aid in selling true ideas of your best capabilities..
[Sidenote: Practical Psychology]
Of course you already know that each word and tone and act of your life makes some impression on the people who hear or see you. But probably you have not realized fully that particular ways of saying and doing things have distinct and different effects, each governed by an exact law of psychology. You perhaps do not know now just what impression is made by a certain word, or tone, or act. To be a master salesman of yourself you need to study the science of mind sufficiently to acquire working knowledge of common mental actions and reactions. Familiarity with at least the general principles of psychology is of the utmost importance in using the selling process effectively.
Do not shy from study of the science of mind because it is an "ology" and therefore may seem hard. You are a psychologist already. You know that certain things you do and say make agreeable or unfavorable impressions on other people. In a general way you know why. It is necessary only that you analyze specifically what you realize now rather indefinitely. If you do not care to study a book on psychology, just use your own mind as your psychological laboratory for continual self-analysis.
Answer for yourself such questions as, "Exactly what effect will this particular word, or tone, or act have—and just why?" You can work out pretty well the practical knowledge of psychology you must have in order to sell ideas about your capabilities most effectively. You simply need to apply purposeful intelligence in everything you do and say; instead of making impressions without comprehending that by each word and tone and act of daily living you are influencing, favorably or adversely, your chances to succeed.
[Sidenote: Three Factors of Selling Process]
Think of yourself as one of the three factors of the selling process. The goods of sale are your best capabilities, of course. The second factor is the prospective buyer, the man who has need of such qualities or services as you could supply. The agent of sale, or third factor, is yourself. If you will keep in mind always the conception of yourself as the uniting link between your "goods of sale" and the prospective buyer, you can be a salesman of yourself every minute. At any moment except when you are alone you may encounter and influence a possible buyer of your best capabilities. You are continually within sight and hearing of people whose impressions of you might affect your chances to succeed in life. Therefore always be alert to grasp every sales opportunity within your reach.
[Sidenote: Twelve Steps]
It will be essential, also, that you have knowledge of the successive steps of the selling process, as well as knowledge of your goods of sale and knowledge of practical mind science. Otherwise you might omit inadvertently to use some round of the ladder to certain success, and tumble to failure. These steps are so important to understand that the last nine chapters of the companion book are devoted to them exclusively. It will suffice here just to state what they are.
1. Preparation For Selling; 2. Prospecting; 3. The Plan Of Approach; 4. Securing An Audience; 5. Sizing Up The Buyer; 6. Gaining Attention; 7. Awakening Interest; 8. The Creation Of Desire; 9. Handling Objections; 10. The Process Of Decision; 11. Obtaining Signature or Assent; 12. The Get-Away That Leads To Future Orders.
[Sidenote: Five Degrees of Effort]
Another element of necessary knowledge about the selling process is the classification of sales according to the five degrees of effort required to close them.
1. A sale completed by response to the mere demand of the buyer.
Example—While a street car strike is on you are driving, an automobile down town. A man in a hurry to catch a train stops you and says, "I'll give you two dollars to take me to the station." You transport him in response to his call for your services.
[Sidenote: Distinguish Degrees of Effort]
2. A sale completed by the buyer's acceptance on presentation only.
Example—A man is walking along a country road in the summer time. He sees a sign in the door-yard of a farmhouse; BERRY PICKERS WANTED. He presents himself as a candidate and the farmer at once engages his services.
3. A sale completed immediately after a desire of the buyer has been created by a definite, intentional effort of the salesman.
Example—A man out of work wants a job that will employ his physical strength. He encounters three men who are struggling to load a very heavy box onto a truck. He takes off his coat and proves his strength by the ease with which the box is lifted when he helps. He inquires which of the three men is the truck boss; and asks for a job. He is hired because he has made the boss want the aid of his strength in handling heavy loads.
4. A sale completed only after persuasion of the buyer.
Example—Assume that the truck boss in the next preceding illustration refuses at first to hire the applicant who has demonstrated his strength. It is necessary then for the man out of a job to talk his prospective boss into the idea that he needs a fourth man in his gang.
5. A sale completed only after a decision by the buyer as to the comparative benefits of purchasing or of not buying.
Example—You and another candidate apply for the same position in an office. You appear to be about equal in capability. The employer "weighs you in the balance" against the other applicant. This is a sale requiring the fifth degree of effort. Manifestly you will need to use a very high quality of skill to get into the mind of the prospective buyer of services the idea that you are likely to be of more value as an employee than your competitor for the place. Then you must skillfully prompt him to accept your application.
[Sidenote: Difficult Sales Most Worth Making]
When you appreciate exactly how sales differ in the degrees of effort necessary to close them, you will realize the wisdom of preparing to sell your particular qualities and services with full comprehension of all the difficulties commonly met by candidates for desirable positions.
Countless men have died failures because they used throughout their lives only the first or second degrees of effort. Consequently all their attempts to get good jobs were futile. The non-success of millions of other worthy men has been due to their use of no more than the third or fourth degrees of selling effort.
[Sidenote: Sales of The Fifth Degree of Difficulty]
Sales of the fifth degree of difficulty sometimes demand knowledge and skillful use of the entire selling process. They are the sales most worth making. The applicant for a new position or for a promotion is certain to succeed in his purpose if he knows how to complete a sale of the true idea of his best capabilities. In order to do this he must control the weighing process of the buyer; and be skillful in prompting acceptance of his "goods of sale."
When you master and reduce to every-day practice the fundamental principles you can learn from this set of books, you will be assured of making a successful average in handling sales of the fifth degree of effort.
They are sales of the kind the professional salesman makes with complete confidence every day. His methods, applied to the marketing of your goods of sale, will work such wonders for you that you soon should build up self-confidence equal to the matter-of-fact assurance of the master salesman of clothing, insurance, and other materials of sale. He knows when he begins a season or starts on a trip that he will make a good batting average.
[Sidenote: Desired Results In Selling]
Comprehend, further, exactly what results are desired by the skilled salesman whose work is based on scientific principles.
The immediate results desired are:
Second, acceptance of the ideas brought by the salesman.
One who is unfamiliar with the scientific principles underlying the skillful practice of the right selling process is unlikely to realize that the first sales effort should be concentrated on winning the prospective buyer's confidence in the salesman and in the goods of sale. Failures in selling are often due to the fault of the salesman who works primarily for but the second of the immediate results to be desired; the acceptance of his proposition—the acceptance of his personal capabilities and services, for instance. He neglects, as a preliminary to securing acceptance, to gain the confidence of the other man. When you undertake to sell your particular good qualities and your services to a prospective employer, do not make the mistake in salesmanship of omitting the process of first winning his belief in you.
[Sidenote: Repeat Sales]
Besides the two immediate results desired by the skillful salesman, there is a permanent result to be worked for—an enduring consequence desired from the present gains made. That permanent result wanted is the opening of other opportunities for future sales.
Complete success in life is not assured when the original sale of one's best capabilities is closed successfully. Gaining the initial desired chance does not make it certain that one will succeed in his entire career. The first sale is faulty if it does not include a lead to future opportunities "to deliver the goods."
The right selling process is continuous. Where one sale ends, another should be already started. A great many failures of capable men can be ascribed to short-sighted concentration on immediate chances. One who would make certain of the success of his whole life must ever look ahead to the next possible opportunity for the sale of the true idea of his best capabilities, meanwhile making the most of his present chance.
[Sidenote: Service Purpose In Selling]
In order to get the right viewpoint for further study of the selling process, you, the salesman of yourself, need to comprehend clearly the fundamental purpose of all true salesmanship. It should be the service of the buyer in satisfying his real needs.
Few salesmen know what sales service is, and how it should be rendered. Service is the very soul of the certain success selling process. Service must be studied as a purpose until the principles underlying the fullest satisfaction of the buyer's real needs are mastered, and all false misconceptions of service are cleared away from the salesman's idea of his obligation to the purchaser of his goods of sale.
[Sidenote: Sales Knowledge Universally Needed]
This brief summary of the principal essentials of sales knowledge has been outlined in order to impress on you the practically universal need for a better understanding of the selling process. Certainly you are convinced now that it will pay you to know HOW to sell. Then let us look next at yourself in a different light—as a subject of study in sales-man-ship.
The Man-Stuff You Have For Sale
[Sidenote: The Man Sales-Man Ship]
Your knowledge of sales principles and methods, and your skill in selling ideas must be combined with right sales-manhood if your complete success in sales-man-ship is to be made certain. Particular man qualities are necessary to make you a master salesman in your chosen field. "A good man obtaineth favor." So we will study now the elements of character required for the most effective sales-man-ship, and how to develop them.
We shall not consider "Man" in the abstract, nor exceptional ideals of manhood. Our thought of the sales man will be concentrated on qualities you have or can develop, that are necessary to make you most efficient in selling ideas about yourself.
Some radical changes in your present character may be required. But you will need principally to grow in order to attain the full stature of sales manhood that is necessary to gain complete success. If your manliness is dwarfed now, you cannot succeed largely in selling true ideas of your best and biggest capabilities, until you rid yourself of the character faults that are stunting your growth as a sales man.
[Sidenote: The Little Man Out-of-Date]
Realize at the outset that the time has passed forever when the little man, with the narrowly selfish outlook for "Number One," might succeed. The demand of the future will be, however, not so much for BIG men as for big MEN. The world no longer looks up to Kaisers and Czars. Success has ceased to be merely a towering figure. Hereafter the one sure way to succeed will lead through the door of brotherly understanding of the other fellow, into the common heart of mankind. Only salesmanship can open that door with certainty.
We are entering a new business era, where the old individualistic methods of attaining so-called "success" will be worse than useless. Many of them even now are forbidden by law. All the practices of the "profiteer" and his ilk are discountenanced by far-seeing people. Men of vision perceive that the size of To-morrow's Success will be measured in direct proportion to its quality of human service.
"SERVICE" is the motto of the highest salesmanship. Therefore, in shaping your plans to succeed, start with the resolve to make yourself a truly big sales MAN. Do not copy the little, selfish models of Yesterday. Study the signs of the times. To be out-of-date is equivalent to being a failure.
[Sidenote: Pint and Bushel Men]
You will need to be big in ability, in imagination, in energy, in your ideals—but most of all you must be big in MANHOOD. If you are little and selfish in your life purpose, you cannot be certain of success in selling to a truly BIG man the idea that you are fully qualified for his service. Before making any attempt to sell yourself into a desirable position, take pains to develop as much man quality as characterizes your prospective employer. You cannot comprehend him if you fall short of his standard of manhood. To-day the biggest buyers of brains and brawn recognize their obligations of human brotherhood. If you are little and self-centered, how can you reach into the mind and heart and soul of another man who is genuinely BIG? How can you impel him to think as you wish?
The little man even doubts the existence of big manhood. He cannot comprehend such size. A pint measure, however much it is stretched, is utterly unable to contain a bushel. But the larger measure easily holds either a pint or a bushel. Similarly if you are big in manhood, you can comprehend alike the little man and the big man. You will be able to deal successfully with both.
[Sidenote: The Clothing Of Manhood]
It is not sufficient, however, that you grow to the full stature of your biggest man possibilities. It is necessary also that you be clothed in the characteristics of manhood in order to be recognized as a man. When you were only an infant, you were safety-pinned into a square of cloth once doubled triangularly. You graduated to rompers at a year and a half or two. Then you put on knee-pants, and afterward youth's long trousers. Now you wear the clothes of a full-grown man. You would not think of dressing in knickerbockers, or rompers, or—something younger, to present your qualities and services for sale. Yet your outer garb is much less important to the success of your salesmanship than is your clothing of manhood.
[Sidenote: What is Your Man Power?]
If you hope to assure yourself of man's-size success in life, plan that wherever you are you will make the instant impression that you are "every inch a man," not just an overgrown baby or boy. Follow the example of Paul, that incomparably great salesman of the new ideas of Christianity. He wrote in his powerful first sales letter to the Corinthian field, "When I became a man, I put away childish things." Compel respect by your sound virility. Have a well-founded consciousness that in manhood you are the equal of any other man, and you can make everybody you meet feel you are a man all through.
What is your size as a sales man now?
Ask yourself this question, and answer it frankly. In order to make sure of selling yourself into the opportunities you want, you must take your own measure and fit your manhood to the selling process you have begun to learn. Beyond a doubt you are now a sales man of some size. You are selling your physical or mental powers, your services of this kind or that, with a degree of efficiency directly proportionate to your man-power.
[Sidenote: The 1/4 m.p. Man]
If you are only a 1/4 m.p. salesman at present, you lack three-fourths of the man capacity needed to handle with certain success all the opportunities of full-size manhood. You were not limited by Nature to 1/4 m.p. size. You were born with full man capacity. You are like a gasoline motor developing but a quarter of the power it was designed to produce—not because of any structural fault in the engine, but simply for the reason that it does not function now as it was intended to operate, and as it can be made to work in the future if it is overhauled and put in perfect condition. The full power capacity originally built into the motor needs to be brought out. Likewise your man-power plant requires to be made as efficient as possible, in order to assure you of full man-capability for achieving success.
Maybe your chief fault is poor fuel, and what you most need is good "gas." You have not been filling up your mind with the right ideas. Or, perhaps, your piston rings leak; and you lack the high compression of determined persistence. Another fault might be in your carburetor—you are not a good "mixer." Or your spark of enthusiasm may be weak. It is possible, too, that your fine points are caked over by the carbon of accumulated bad habits. Maybe you have a cracked cylinder—your health is partly broken down. The fault is in your timer, perhaps. You are not "on the job" when you should be.
[Sidenote: Your Manhood Can Be Re-built]
No matter what ails your particular engine, it can be repaired or rebuilt into a full one-manpower motor of efficiency. If you limp and pound along with but a quarter of your capability, it is your own fault for not overhauling your power plant. Don't continue as a 1/4 m.p. man and blame anybody else, or curse your bad luck because you can't make speed and carry the load necessary to succeed. Stop trying to go on crippled or clogged in manhood. Run yourself into the repair shop right away and "get fixed."
You can make your manhood over.
There is full-man capability in you. You can get it all out and put it to work for your success.
You have the ability to re-make your character entirely, without changing your individual nature.
You must accomplish transformation into your best self before you can make the most of your opportunities to sell your abilities and services. It will not suffice that you just are willing, or desire, to become a first-class salesman of your particular "goods of sale." Merely acquiring information or knowledge of the selling process is not enough to assure your success in life. Even the most skillful practice of all the sales principles and methods you learn will be insufficient to guarantee your success—if you do not develop your full man capacity for sales-man-ship.
[Sidenote: Essentials of the Master Sales Man]
The result of the necessary changes and growth in your manhood will be an enlarged conception of all men—your greater capacity to understand and to handle any one else successfully.
It is entirely possible for you to develop and cultivate every essential quality of the master sales-man, and still to be just yourself.
[Sidenote: Good Appearance]
The high grade professional salesman makes the best appearance of which he is capable. Surely you can do that, too. You can train yourself to grace and ease in your bearing. However unsatisfactory your features may be, you certainly are capable of looking pleasant, and therefore of being attractive. It is possible for you to have well-kept hands and hair; to wear suitable, clean clothes; to be neat.
[Sidenote: Physical Capacity]
First-class salesmanship requires, too, a high degree of physical capacity for the most effective performance of the selling process. You need health, virility, energy, liveliness, and endurance, in order to sell effectively the idea that you are physically able to fill the job you want most. Physical incapacity is a handicap in almost any vocation. It can be remedied. It must be remedied as fully as possible in your case. You may not be very robust naturally, but you can make the most of the constitution you have, with certain success as the incentive for your fullest possible physical development. Few of us are as well as we might be.
[Sidenote: Mental Equipment]
Whatever your physical shortcomings, there can be no doubt that you are capable of developing all the essential mental equipment of the successful salesman. You only need to comprehend a few elemental laws of mind science; and then to train yourself to the utmost of your particular ability—in perceptive power, alertness, accuracy, punctuality, memory, imagination, concentration, adaptability to circumstances, stability, self-control, determination, tact, diplomacy, and good judgment.
Does this seem like a long list of difficult accomplishments? Examine the items, and realize how easy it is to develop these mental qualities of masterly salesmanship.
Perception is simply looking at things with your mind as well as with your eyes.
Alertness is no more than mental sharp ears.
Accuracy results from taking pains to be right.
Punctuality is a habit of mind that anyone can develop.
Memory is acquired by practice in remembering things.
You use some imagination every day—use all your imaginative power.
Likewise you occasionally concentrate your thoughts. More exercise in concentration will develop this mental characteristic.
You adapt yourself to circumstances when necessary, or when you choose. You can train yourself so that you will be prepared to meet anything that may happen.
You have a degree of stability of character, otherwise you never would accomplish anything. Increase your steadfastness by sticking to more purposes.
Similarly determination, self-control, tact, diplomacy, and good judgment are merely the natural results of continual practice to develop these mental qualities.
[Sidenote: Emotional Qualities]
The principal emotional or heart qualities required in masterly selling are ambition, hopefulness, optimism, enthusiasm, cheerfulness, self-confidence, courage, persistence, patience, earnestness, sympathy, frankness, expressiveness, humor, loyalty, and love of others. Think of these one by one, and realize how many of them you already possess to a considerable degree.
You may not be optimistic; perhaps you lack self-confidence, or maybe you are wanting in courage. But with the possible exception of these three "heart" qualities of the master salesman, you are not deficient now in the emotional essentials of successful salesmanship. You need only a higher degree of each.
Develop all your capability in the other qualities, and you will find you have become an optimist. Your self-confidence, too, will grow as fast as you increase your ability. When you are full of optimism and self-confidence, you will not find it difficult to create courage within yourself. Then you will have the complete emotional equipment of a master salesman. The exact way to develop courage with certainty is explained in the second chapter of "The Selling Process," with especial reference to the professional salesman, who must meet his prospects courageously in all circumstances if he would succeed.
[Sidenote: Ethical Essentials]
Nor is it hard for you to qualify yourself ethically for mastery of the selling process. Surely your intentions are right. You mean to be honest and truthful. You can be of good moral character. You expect to be reliable. It should be easy for you to love your chosen work.
[Sidenote: Spiritual Capacity]
There remains, finally, the essential of spiritual capacity for selling. It comprises idealism, vision, faith, desire to serve, ability to understand other men. Perhaps you are deficient in some of these spiritual qualities now. But with idealism all about you in the spirit of the world cannot you, too, lift your eyes to higher purposes than the satisfaction of merely selfish desires? Are you not able to look broadly, instead of narrowly at life? You know you must have faith—that you cannot make sure of success if you doubt. Your mission as a true salesman of yourself should be to serve your prospects by satisfying their real needs for the abilities you have. Love of others results from serving them with what you can supply that they lack.
In no respect, then, from personal good appearance to spiritual capacity, need you be other than your best possible self to qualify for certain success with the selling process.
[Sidenote: Change and Growth Necessary]
Reference has been made repeatedly in these pages to the necessity for change and growth in your man character before you can become a master salesman of your full capability for success. Of course you cannot change your nature into a different nature; any more than one form of life can be transformed into an entirely distinct form of life. It is impossible to develop a carrot into a calla, or to make a dog of a pig. But the elements of any particular form of life may be altered, most radically.
[Sidenote: Develop Use, Activity and Quality Of Elements]
So you can develop: (1) the use; (2) the degree of activity; (3) the quality, of any element in your present salesman equipment.
For example, it is generally recognized that suitable clothes help to create a good impression. Therefore you should use to the highest degree of activity and of quality what you know about the effect of dress in helping to create a good impression. But, to particularize, do you (use your knowledge) polish your shoes, even if it is no more than flicking off the dust with your handkerchief, every chance (highest degree of activity) you get when they need it? And when you polish your shoes in the morning preparatory to starting your day's work, do you just give them "a lick and a promise," or do you "make 'em shine?" (Highest degree of quality.)
[Sidenote: Animal Training]
The "stupid" pig can be taught to do as phenomenal tricks as the "intelligent" dog. It is possible to train a pig so that he will appear to be able to discriminate among colors, to tell time, even to perform simple operations in arithmetic. At the circus or vaudeville we sit in wonder while the "educated" stupid pig, alertly afraid of the trainer's whip, performs stunts of seeming intelligence. Under the stimulus of fear he acts like a quick-thinking dog. In truth he has been changed by training, from the pig characteristic of utter stupidity to the dog characteristic of rudimentary intelligence. But in nature and form he remains just a pig. If you should see him among other pigs in a pen, you never would mistake the "educated" pig for a fat puppy.
In the trained pig the use of his pig mind is developed to an unusual degree of activity and of quality to save himself from punishment and to gain the tidbits that reward his performance of tricks. The purpose of the trainer is accomplished by changing and developing the mind functioning of the pig. No trainer would attempt to change the nature of a pig—to develop a pig into an elephant, a different creature. Only characteristics can be changed or developed.
[Sidenote: Plant Development]
Luther Burbank has accomplished with plants even more extraordinary changes and developments in characteristics than have been achieved by the most expert trainers of animals. He could not make a carrot into a calla; but he did take the dwarf natural calla plant and develop it into a splendid lily that bears flowers measuring a foot across the petal. He also multiplied the characteristic colors of the natural calla and has evolved great blossoms of a score of shades, from pure white to jet black.
The noted plant wizard developed, too, the naturally small, hard, dry, sour prune and transformed it into a juicy, sweet fruit that is bigger and more delicious than our common plum.
He also succeeded in altering radically an element of the natural walnut, which had a characteristic covering skin of bitter tannin over the meat inside the nut shell. For countless centuries walnut trees had been in the habit of covering the meat of their nuts with this tannin skin. Luther Burbank trained selected walnut trees to give up this fixed bad habit, and to produce nuts the meats of which were not enveloped in bitter coverings.
[Sidenote: Man Making]
Since expert trainers have been able to accomplish such marvelous changes and developments in the characteristics of lower animals and plants—not changes in the form of life, but alterations so nearly miraculous that they seem almost to be changes in nature—is there the least doubt that you, a man, excelling every other animal, and every plant in consciousness and intelligence, are capable of the most radical, elemental changes in your present self?
Cannot you, then, certainly develop and use to a much higher degree of activity and quality the MAN characteristics you now possess? Of course you can! You need but to learn the science of yourself—to get full knowledge of what you are and of what you might be—by studying the big, best qualities in you. After that you will need to make the most of what you learn about your true self. Intensive self-study will reveal to you all the possibilities of your enlarged and bettered personality. When you know you have developed your biggest, best manhood, you certainly will feel increased power to sell your "goods."
Of all living creatures, Man is the most adaptable, is capable of the greatest development, and responsive in the highest degree to desires from within and to influences from outside himself. Only a stupidly ignorant man would hold to the belief that the elements of his character cannot be radically changed and developed. At present you may be handicapped with what you have considered "natural disqualifications" for success. Then study yourself thoroughly, one detail at a time. Follow this self-analysis by intelligent practice in the active use of your best qualities, and determine to change your "disqualifications" into salable characteristics that will help you to succeed.
[Sidenote: No Normal Man Lacks Qualifications For Success]
Certainly a slouch can straighten up, wash his dirty hands and face, dress neatly, and suggest proper regard for his appearance. The physical weakling is able to build considerable strength into himself. Dullards, unless their brains are stunted, may develop surprising intellectual keenness. Careless men can train themselves to painstaking accuracy. Individuals who are habitually late may become models of punctuality. The man of flighty thoughts can concentrate. It is possible to control a quick, bad temper. Tact, diplomacy, and good judgment can be learned and used efficiently by the countless thousands of people who now are tactless, undiplomatic, and characterized by poor judgment.