Salesmanship. The game remains the sales…almost.

Salesmanship. The game remains the sales…almost.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

#107 Salesmanship

#107 Salesmanship. The game remains the same… almost.

What can a booklet of sales rules written in the 1920’s possibly have anything to do with your sales success today? Everything.

Here are excerpts from the second half of “100 Checking Points for Salesmen” written in 1928 by M.L Wilson. They are reprinted exactly as they were originally written. The words are dated, but the philosophy is as real as your next presentation. Take a close look…

{56} The boy is the father of the man. The kid at the door may one day be a buyer. He will remember. It pays in the long run to be courteous and considerate to all alike.

{59} The dictionary’s definition of “pitfall” is, “a hidden danger” such as exaggerated claims loose conversation careless promises offers to render favors or services that are not carried out too many funny stories insincerity.

{60} Loose statements such as “You can’t get along without this” “You can’t afford to pass this up” and the like show loose thinking, a scanty vocabulary and a lack of appreciation of the other fellow’s intelligence.

{65} The filling out of a daily or weekly report amounts to nothing unless the information leads to more sales in your territory.

{68} When you say, “I don’t quite understand why they do that, but I know it is a fixed rule of the house from which we cannot deviate,” the man you are trying to sell is apt to think, “Why don’t you?”

{73} Reaching for the big, almost unattainable order may become a habit while the reasonablysized substantial business is being overlooked.

{76} Thought is a tonic to the mind as fresh air is a vitalizer to the body. Some confuse worry with thought. The two have little constructive connection. Thought builds up mental energy, worry destroys it.

{77} The quickest way to go down hill is to accept the methods of yesterday as good enough for today.

{78} The alibi artist is he who blames everything but his success on the other fellow.

{81} The need in business is for fine minds. Gross living, drinking or eating to excess make for a dulled intellect and half equipment the next day.

{84} Handtomouth living means handtomouth thinking. Putting away something, never mind how small the amount, each week builds up an estate and gives a salesman more time to think of selling.

{86} Waitresses in country hotels can tell tales of money borrowed from them by Salesmen. Borrowing becomes an easier habit than returning. Do not borrow.

{88} A missing tooth, a frayed collar, an indistinct diction, an unshaven face, dirty fingernails are all preventable and have a negative effect in any selling situation.

{89} Being on the road does not release a man from his obligations to his wife and to his family. It is hard for a man to be really faithful to his house when he is not true to his trust toward his family.

{90} This is a highpressure age. Only the mentally alert can keep up to date. Continual striving for improvement is the only road to full vigor of performance.

{92} An arresting thought when making up a whopping expense account is that the money must come directly out of the profits, and without profits you won’t have a position.

{93} It’s the last ounce of strength that usually wins the race. Doing just enough to get by seldom carries one far.

{94} A flabby body with flabby muscles is a bad starting point for an effective day’s work. A game of golf now and then is not enough.

{96} A strong man knows that in the long run he will get what is coming to him. Grabbing credit for what is not his won’t help.

{98} The test of a good salesman his associates like him, his trade trusts him, his house is proud of him.

{99} Get fun out of your work. If you are not happy, plumb the depths to find out what is the matter. If you really can’t get fun out of selling, try something else.

An occasional retrospective look at sales can bring a lot of new sales ideas and gems have been lost or buried. By using the past as a reference to move forward we will all be better equipped to serve our customers.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlottebased Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/3331112 or email to

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