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Do the Thing On Time
Written for Agricultural Advertising by Waldo Pondray Warren
Copyright, 1907, by Waldo Pondray Warren
AKE way for the rush job! IV Drop that other work! Get 1 busy on this ! We have only
twenty minutes to do it in. We'll have to slap it through some way, so here goes !
And so it goes a thousand times. Why is it a "rush job"? Almost invariably it is so for just one reasonbecause some one has let it wait until the last minute. And that person is usually someone who has very little excuse except the habit of procrastination. Furthermore he is usually a person who is safe from criticism—the boss, the manager, the head of the business, or someone like that. For woe betide the third assistant who lets something drag along that should not! That's the exclusive privilege of the boss—and he'd have you know it.
But the fact that the delay emanates from the boss does not make any difference in the results-the regular work has to wait and the rush job has to be slapped through some way. The only hope of reforming the situation is to show the boss where he loses out when he holds his work back until the time is too short.
It is not within the province of either the assistant worker or the other firm to whom the work is assigned, to make a complaint-the one might lose his job, and the other might lose patronage, if he were presumed to tell the boss that he ought to hurry up.
But that's one of the beautiful things which lie clearly within the province of literature--you can tell anybody what he ought to do, and he has to take it.
This is my chance to talk to the boss who procrastinates. I am not going to abuse the worthy gentleman, however
I merely mean to point out some of the reasons why it is to his interest to pass the work along as quickly as he caneven if he is not especially interested in the interests of others.
One place where procrastination is rife is in advertising in all its formsgetting the material ready, writing the copy, getting it to the printer, getting the proofs read, getting the drawings made, getting the etchings made, selecting the stock, and many such things.
It is one of the paradoxes of business that one of the things which involves the expenditure of a great deal of money, and which has one of the greatest inAuences on the business, should so often be considered a matter of secondary importance--something to look after if we have time, something to be left until everything else is taken care of.
Here's a space in a publication, worth fifty dollars. You took that space every month for a year because you thought it would pay you. Tomorrow is the day for that form to go to press—but your copy is not in. You got a letter a week ago from the advertising agent or publication reminding you of the new copy you said you wanted to run. A representative also called on you three days ago-waited around for an hour to see you, just to remind you that your copy was needed. You spindled the letter and forgot about it-a whole week yet, why should you hurry?
You told the man you'd have the copy next day-but down in your heart you didn't mean it, because you knew there were still three days till the very last call.
You even asked him to come back for it next day-shame on you! But perhaps you did think that you might pos
sibly get around to it. He came back some changes, perhaps a new advertiseat the appointed time in high hopes of ment. They set it up as best they can in getting it-you'd given your word. But the time that's left-omitting the border, he wasted another hour waiting around for that takes too long. to see you, only to be put off again. But it costs you fifty dollars just the Tomorrow, surely, you'd have it if he'd same. call then. But when he comes it isn't Now, that is just one instance. Mulready-you really haven't thought of it. tiply it by several hundred and you see Just have him wait a minute and you'll what the agent, the magazine, newspaper, fix it.
printer, artist, engraver, and paper You finish the letter you are dictating, house have to contend with all the time. chat with one or two persons on the But take your own business-multiply telephone, admit one or two other call- that one instance by everything you do ers into your office—but he's still wait- in that manner, and see what must be ing, mind you. Finally you do get at it the total effect. It means that you get -you'll just dash off something for that the tag ends of everything. It is like advertisement. Really you are very going to a remnant sale the last day, sorry to keep him waiting. Guess after after shrewd bargain hunters have picked all you'd better take a little more time over the pile for a week, and being to think it over. Better tell him not to obliged to pay for what you find the wait any longer-your thoughts don't same price you would have to pay if you seem to flow just right today.
selected the goods from the whole piece, The next day, just as you are on the and from a full assortment of fresh, point of going out, and have your mind new goods. full of another proposition, the tele- That's where you get your retribution phone bell rings. That copy—the last for unnecessary delay-you get what's call! Going to press this afternoon, left. Your assistants may not be in a leaving a hole in the form. Simply position to call you down for the delay, must have the copy by noon or run the and your printer and publisher may not old copy over again.
think it good policy to say all they think Then you respond. Quick! Hand me but you get your punishment in a that pad! Here, where's that scrap book form more severe than anything they of old advertisements ? Ah, this one will might say to you. do—just change "summer" to "winter” It's nice to be where you are not and make that “heavy" instead of "light.” afraid of getting called down for letting
Ah, that was a find! Here, boy, take things go-but remember that your rethis over to that man and tell him to sponsibility is correspondingly greater, make a good advertisement out of it, and and that the welfare of your business send me a proof right away.
is a check on you at least. When your copy reaches the publica- It may not be amiss to point out also tion office the men are looking for it. the moral responsibility of being on But they can't touch it just yet, be- time. Most people admit that stealing cause they are busy setting a dozen other is wrong, and they wouldn't do it for late ones that have come in within an the world. You wouldn't so much as hour. You are not only late, but you take a postage stamp that belonged to must take your turn with the late ones. some one else. Your conscience would
Finally they get to yours, and there's bother you if you did. And yet, if you just twenty minutes left. They tele- stop to think of it, there are other ways phone you that you can't see a proof of stealing besides taking the cash out time's too short, and they know you'd of the till. keep it till next day, and then want The man who neglects to do his part on time and causes a delay which means move in till the fixtures were ready, and a loss of time and money to other men, the shoe store could not move till the would have a hard time proving that furnishing store got out of the way, and he is not breaking the eighth command- all the various contractors who had ment.
been engaged to put the two places in And one thing is certain—if some shape could not get at their work. other person caused the delay, and you There was much confusion, delay, and were the one to suffer for it, you'd admit loss. very quickly that it was wrong-a plain, Finally the furnishing store was comcommon, every-day moral wrong-steal- pelled to move to its new location withing your time and money. It may be out glass in its fixtures, and the best painful to you to hear it said so plainly, part of the season passed by without but the fact is that it is just as wrong being in shape to invite the public. The when you do it to the other fellow.
loss was heavy all around. Some time ago a furnishing store was Investigation showed that there was to move to a new location. A fixture no defensible reason for the delay of the house had contracted to furnish the glass manufacturer-it was simply a bit fixtures by a certain time, and a glass of unreliability and procrastination. But manufacturer had promised to help them it took thousands of dollars out of the keep their agreement by furnishing some pockets of other men. glass for the show cases by a certain It was just as bad as stealing it with
a mask over your eyes—and if you had A shoe store was to move in where been the furnishing goods man or the the furnishing store had been. There shoe man you would have said so, too. was a schedule made out, telling just But being the glass man, you prefer to what things would have to be done by a pull the mask down over your responsicertain time, and all would have gone bility—to excuse yourself, and shift the on like clock-work if the glass man had blame on someone else. kept his promise. But it was a small Procrastination is more than the thief order for him, and he disregarded his of time—it's the thief of money, and promise.
opportunity—and every man who has a For weeks the glass was not forthcom- habit of procrastinating should recoging. The furnishing store could not nize the classification.
The Sales Plan is Vital to Mail Order Success
By A. W. Palmer
OR that matter, a Sales Plan is Orders, and he knows that he won't get zital to Real Success in any adver- them if he doesn't go right after them. tising campaign—General Adver- He has no immediate interest in
tising as well as Mail-Order Ad- "cumulative effect." He has neither the vertising.
time nor the inclination to wait for it Because Success is only a “good- to arrive, even if he does happen to better-best sort of a term—if Jim Jones have enough to pay the rent for several makes it go, and Sam Smith makes it years. go a whole lot better, Sam is the Suc- But "cumulative effect" is the average cess and Jim sinks to Mediocrity. advertising "expert's” .substitute for
A General Advertising Campaign may orders, and many Advertisers are willing "go” without a good Sales Plan behind to accept this "just-as-good." it. But the Right Sales Plan is Vital to If the really successful Mail-Order Mail-Order Success.
Advertiser's campaign doesn't pay—he Every Mail-Order Advertiser is ad- knows it in a hurry-and he stops it. vertising for Orders.
That is why men who study and preEvery Mail-Order Advertiser must
pare a good deal of successful Mailknow that, in Advertising, Profitable
Order Advertising know the vital imOrders are the "main chance”--the only
portance of the Right Sales Plan bechance.
hind any Advertising Campaign. Most General Advertisers just adver
If they know their business they will tise for "results.”
handle General Advertising so that it When they put money into advertis
will actually sell goods through the ing, they expect to accomplish some
stores or through the agents. thing—they know they ought to get the
But of course they won't handle it as "results." But their opinions as to what really
they do Mail-Order Advertising, except constitutes results are hazy as compared
in applying the general principles, which
their knowledge of really successful to the Mail-Order Advertiser's. A good many General Advertisers
Mail-Order Advertising has taught them really believe that all advertising can
to be vital to Order getting. accomplish is an indefinable, intangible
They don't ask any Advertiser to be
satisfied with “cumulative effect" in lieu something that should help business in a
of “more business.” They give him all general way. A good many Mail-Order Advertisers
the cumulative effect and everything else believe that advertising can only "put
that the average expert promises, and in them in touch with the people”-get "in
addition to it an actual order-producing quiries" or "requests for particulars" force which adds from 50 to 80 per cent from possible (not necessarily probable) of value to the campaign. purchasers.
They do not base their advice and The really successful Advertiser has their work on mere opinion--they canno pressing need for “trade-stimulus," not afford to consider what other people and “prestige" and "atmosphere” and “think" or do not "think" about adver"high-grade effect."
tising. The really successful Mail-Order Ad- Because they have seen and studied the vertiser knows that what he wants is proof of just what is necessary to make
advertising bring the greatest number ing to the ideas of many advertising of orders per dollar invested.
They have found, by test after test, This is the actual skeleton of their that real success in advertising depends method-their real modus operandiupon certain principles, which are as although you may be shown all the infallible and fixed as the axioms of "trimmings." geometry.
You may be asked to wait for a These principles, therefore, do not month, so that “statistics may be convary, but they must be applied in various sulted," "deep, careful study given to ways to various propositions.
your proposition and that of your comNow, Mr. Mail-Order Advertiser, petitors," etc., etc., etc. suppose you ask the average advertising But-Copy and Media do not consti"expert" what constitutes an advertising tute an advertising campaign. campaign,
The first thing to be considered in preHe has his answer ready. This is it :- paring an advertising campaign is not "Copy and Media."
copy-nor Media—but a Sales Plan. It's the generally accepted idea of an Here's why :advertising campaign.
Every advertisement which you put Putting advertisements into news- out is, on its face, an invitation to buy. papers or magazines.
When you ask a man to buy anything, How does it work out?
his attitude is that you ask a favor of
him. For a pleasant smile from you, the
No matter how good a bargain you engaging advertising solicitor will see
offer him, he feels that you are trying you again in a few days with a "bunch of ads”-some "hot stuff”—“strong copy”.
to sell him something which is worth --and probably a list of mediums which
less than his money. give you the "greatest circulation for
. This is man's natural, inborn distrust
of his fellow men. your money." The "strength” in the copy is un
Now, suppose you grant him a favor
in the way you permit him to acquire doubtedly due to the "designs” turned
your commodity. out by the “art department" and the
Suppose you offer to convince him mediums have been selected from a
that he takes no risk in purchasing your newspaper directory.
product--that you take all the risk, if Under such circumstances the adver
there is any risk. tiser is often blinded by a pretty picture
Suppose you make the way of purchasor a beautiful design.
ing, or the way of acquiring your comHe loses sight of "the main chance"
modity--so safe-so natural-so easysales-producing value in his advertising,
or so pleasant, in itself, that you overand he doesn't stop to consider how good
come his prejudice. the Sales Plan is-if there should “hap
Then you have a good Sales Plan. pen" to be one.
You have overcome the natural resistHe sees the circulation claims, and he ance to the purchase of what you want sees the rates, but he forgets that he to sell. can't see what the mediums are actually With the Right Sales Plan, you can worth.
make it easier and more pleasant to buy This is really the way in which the your commodity than not to buy it. average advertising "expert” handles the Buyers of every class have their own average advertising account.
notions on the way to buy, their own And it really represents "what consti- ideas of a good bargain, their limitations tutes an advertising campaign” accord- and their prejudices.