A retrospective lookat selling… today!
Ijust bought an interesting auction lot consisting of two oddballitems related to Babe Ruth and, of all things, milk!
Thefirst item is a rare 1924 milk salesman’s manual that features BabeRuth. The manual is loaded with data on milk designed to educate themilk salesman on all he needs to know to master the dairy product forhouse-to-house (milk route) selling. For example, did you know that asheep will return only 2.6 pounds of edible food solids, while adairy cow returns 18.1 pounds? You get the idea.
The96-page leather bound 5″x7″ publication is in excellentcondition.
Thesecond item is milk bottle from the 1930’s. It’s a SunnyhurstDairy Farms bottle with a picture of “The Babe” and his bat onthe bottle proclaiming the brand as “Babe’s Choice.” Thecondition of the bottle is virtually perfect. And given Babe’sreputation for alcohol consumption, it’s an interesting combinationof Ruthian by-products!
Inless than one minute after I began reading the sales training manual,I realized this 84-year-old manual was right on the money. They wereliterally teaching milk salesmen how to milk their customers – butin a quality, value-based, truthful, and expert way.
Theforeword begins, “Thisbook contains the latest information on the most successful method ofmilk salesmanship. Read and study this book carefully and you will bea better salesman as a result. Do not attempt to read it through atone time. Read only a little at a time, think over carefully what youhave read, and go out and apply the principles learned.
Thisbook should be your constant companion, a ready reference book toconsult often. Study the principles laid out in this book and youwill be preparing yourself rapidly for a bigger job.”
Andhere is some additional content from the manual:
Manualfor Milk Salesman
Salesmanshipconsists of three things:
1st- Knowing your merchandise.
2nd- Knowing your customer.
3rd- Knowing yourself.
Thereare several definitions of salesmanship, any one of which might serveyour purpose.
Salesmanshipis persuading the customer to get your viewpoint.
(Withthe 7 P’s) Salesmanship is the power to persuade plenty of peopleto purchase your product at a profit.
Salesmanshipis a mental picture – creating power that results in persuasion.
Salesmanshipis rapidly growing in importance because the big problem in industrynow is not how to produce merchandise, but how to sell and distributemerchandise.
Salesmanshipis one of the biggest jobs in the world. The Doctor has to employsalesmanship methods or he doesn’t do much of a business. ThePreacher has to employ salesmanship methods or he will soon betalking to empty benches. The school teacher must be a salesman andsell the pupils on the importance of knowledge, and what it meanswhen coupled with character, or he will be a failure and will soon belooking elsewhere for a job.
Anattractive business-getting salesman is a combination of threefactors:
One- neat, clean attractive dress.
Two- A healthy body.
Three- A combination of certain qualities, such as enthusiasm, honesty,tact, self-command, courtesy, cheerfulness, promptness, memory,sympathy and initiative.
5.Be cheerful and courteous.
7.Believe in yourself.
8.Cultivate constructive thought.
9.Put your heart in your work.
Inselling, forget yourself. Self-consciousness spoils a man’s manner.Think not of yourself but of the things you’re trying to impressupon the prospect. Cultivate a pleasing personality and an earnest,confident manner. These qualities combined with the proper degree ofenthusiasm and forcefulness command attention, create confidence, andhold interest.
Getit? Other than some gender and syntax, this manual could have beenwritten yesterday. And there is more – 95 pages of ideas andnuances to help the milk salesman of his day sell more milk, andretain customers.
Theyeven used third party endorsements with claims that milk helped makethem the success that they were. Babe Ruth (baseball) and JohnnyWeismuller (Olympic swimmer, later Tarzan in the movies). They showedkids, dogs, and every possible example of why you’ll be healthierand a better achiever WITH milk, and a scrawny failure without it.
Italso talks about the importance of service and how it’s tied tosuccess. The manual gives a formula: QUALITY (excellence of service)plus QUANTITY (the amount of service rendered) plus MODE (manner ofconduct in rendering service). Try that today.
Italways amazes me that old information is pretty much new. Other thanthe car, the cell phone, the television, the laptop, the and theInternet, things are pretty much the same.
Wantmore? The manual lists the 15 reasons that salesmen fail, and there’sa small page that sends a tribute to the working salesperson -regardless of gender or affiliation. To get the list, go towww.gitomer.com, register if you’re a first-time visitor, and enterthe word MILK in the GitBit box.