The highest salesmanship consists in making a buyer understand the true merits of the article you are seeking to sell. My experience has taught me that the effort to make a man buy something he does not need in the long run defeats its own purpose.
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The great salesman must have profoundly at heart the interests of his customer, for no business can develop except as it promotes the interests of those who use its goods or its services. In salesmanship the greatest possible unselfishness is the most enlightened selfishness. The super-salesman will not only study the immediate needs of his customers but he will provide against those needs even before the customer realizes that they exist.
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One of the greatest elements of skill in a sales man is to create in the mind of the customer the thought that the salesman will in fact be able to produce the goods which he is trying to sell. The samples may be fine, but the customer must know that the man in the factory behind the samples will also do his part to the uttermost. The supreme salesman, furthermore, must be a man who can not only make the customer want to buy, but who can also make the salesman’s own producing organization equally enthusiastic to deliver the goods.
That is something new in salesmanship. I may induce you to buy large quantities of goods from me, but unless I can induce my organization, down to the humblest workman, to want to produce those goods economically and efficiently my skill in selling you the goods is wasted.
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It is easy enough to sell goods if the price is made very low. Good salesmanship means getting a good price for good material. It is not always the best salesman who sells the greatest quantity of goods, but it is the best salesman who sells the greatest quantity at the best price.
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The salesman of the future will not be merely contented to triumph over his competitor. We are entering an era of co-operation where we are beginning to see that the success of any business does not consist in failure of its competitors.
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The super-salesman is a man true to the interests of his customers and whose supreme purpose is to quicken the imagination of his customer and to make the customer see the true virtues of the goods the salesman is selling.
The super-salesman foresees the needs of his customers and provides against those needs in full faith that the event will justify his foresight.
The super-salesman puts his ideals above his profits, in full confidence that profits will surely accrue to fine ideals intelligently executed.