« AnteriorContinuar »
to those advertisers who use discretion
in making up their list.
The Light of the Agricultural Field
both for reader and advertiser is
The Farm Journal
Our Folks represent over 500,000 fami-
Order Space Far Ahead
as the advertising space in Farm Journal
We don't want to leave you out if we can
help it, so order now. FARM JOURNAL, o Philadelphia, Pa.
Unlike Any Other Paper.
An Address By
W. N. AUBUCHON, “Piccolo." Delivered before the St. Louis Farm Implement Board of Trade on the evening of Dec. 12, 1904.
known in your business, as he was in
HERE would be
thing of presumption on the part of a man engaged in making and selling candy, who at
tempts a discourse upon salesmanship as applied to Farm Machinery and Implements, were it not for the fact that there is absolute sameness of principle underlying all human activity in trade, regardless of whether it be in Farm Machinery, Pianos, Boots and Shoes, Dry Goods, or any other commodity which is bought and sold.
We will probably find that the ridiculous and nonsensical, in selling candy, find parallel in selling plows; and that all the so-called "evils" of one line of trade are common to, and no less perniciously affect, transactions in all other lines.
The cutter is no doubt familiar to you. The man who allows concealed discounts has unquestionably been to you a source of irritation, and the one who swears to uphold a standard of prices, in concert with others, yet within twenty-four hours violates his solemnly pledged word, has been well
I have reason to believe, (again availing myself of the parallel), that there is not a single dealer in the implement trade who will not assert that he is in favor of good prices, who will not assure us that he desires to do business on right principles and make "legitimate" profits, but (there is always a but or an if) he contends that it is almost impossible in the face of overwhelming competition.
There will also be found the man who sells a certain character of goods
inadequate margins, simply because of a reasoning that if his competitor can do it, he can do it; who never realizes that if in his own case he cannot afford to do it, it is the veriest folly to permit himself to be gorerned by a competitor's prices.
An unreasoning fear of competition is responsible for many of the vexations and losses which seem to be an inseparable part of business life. I have called it fear: it may be more properly called distrust or jealousy.
And yet, with an optimistic view of
tions, that we look upon competition, not as detrimental, but as a beneficial element in trade; that every time a competitor has sold a bill he has made greater the possibility of sellliig a larger one. That, to secure the larger order, only requires of us a little of the art of teaching the buyer that he needs our goods.
competition we will certainly recognize in our strongest competitor our strongest friend, and that his successes may be made and are the basis on which we, in part, rear our own success.
Selling goods is teaching goods, and the more teachers, the more converts to
the doctrines taught, the greater the number of users, and the greater the appreciation of the uses.
Notwithstanding the fact, however, that competition promotes demand and improves the chances of success in any line, there is predominant in the minds of the majority of business men, withering, retarding pessimism.
The business pessimist may be regarded as a business dyspeptic. He is in constant dread of disaster. He iz nervous, irritable and unpleasant. He exhales an influence which is discouraging. He lacks everything that makes for progress. He is a drawback to the trade and a burden to himself.
The United States has not become a world power through the work of those who feared disaster, but of those who, viewing the possibilities through the glasses of an optimistic enthusiasm, have seen brightness and success on every hand and have not been afraid to demand the full reward of their progressiveness and effort.
How are we to secure the full reward of our work of selling goods, is the question for which most of us, in business, seek an answer. Certainly not by being afraid to ask for it! But asking for it and getting it seem widely parted factors in the problem, yet not so far apart, if we consider that by cultivating a willingness to give, in others, there will be no difficulty in convincing ourselves that we may accept without hesitation.
But that is the secret of salesmanship.
Now as manufacturers or jobbers, with whom have we to deal? First with ourselves, second, with our salesmen, and then with the customers of our salesmen.
We will assume that we, as employers, are awakened to the true condi
If we employ salesmen, our very first effort will be "to sell our goods to our salesmen," that is, to convince them that they have for sale the very thing for which their customers are willing to pay our price.
It is the easiest task in the world to convince a salesman, but the hardest work in the world to make him stay convinced. If we can keep him convinced, three-fourths of our trouble will be overcome.
The salesman is constantly in an atmosphere of discouragement. His customers are, by self-interest, impelled to utilize every device to force him down in price. A defect in his goods is made to appear a thousand fold greater than it really is, and countless influences brought to bear which only the best trained mind can resist. It is often a wonder to me that he sells any goods at all.
The salesman is very human, and his work renders him extremely sensitive to adverse opinion. He is away from his house, away from the base of mental support and encouragement, and must and does lose selling power as his trip is prolonged, unless forceful neutralizing influences are effectively applied.
There are two methods of reaching and sustaining the salesman when away from home, the direct and the indirect. I believe and have found the indirect method to be the most potent.
A personal letter to a salesman embodying a rebuke is disastrous in result, and destroys the power of the salesman for days. A personal letter with suggestions as to better methods rarely receives the attention it deserves. The salesman thinks he knows best, because he is on the ground. He resents interference,
But a plan or a proposition, print