Wanna be a Sales Master? Study other Sales Masters!

Wanna be a Sales Master? Study other Sales Masters!

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 gitomer.me.

The book, titled “America’s Twelve Master Salesmen,” was written and published by B.C. Forbes & Sons in 1953. Yes, there were women in the book, but in those days, “men” was the universal gender. Today, it’s quite the opposite.

The book was based on the fact that each one of these master salespeople had one extremely powerful overriding principle or philosophy upon which his or her success was based.

Last week I presented the first five masters and this week four more. There are 12.5 in all (me being the .5 of course).

Back to the book. Suppose you could adopt (or adapt) all of these master’s single best characteristic into your own set of capabilities. That would be power.

And so, to challenge you, here are four more master’s philosophies from 1953:

  1. Alfred E. Lyon (street salesman in Manhattan and later corporate executive) Principle: Sell yourself first. “Remember, your customers don’t buy your product. They buy you. If they buy you, they will sell your product for you.” His approach of, “I treat my potential customers as I would treat a stranger whom I wanted to be my friend,” was a benchmark for his success. He realized that people buy from people they like. And all he did was get people to like him, and the rest was easy. NOTE: As CEO of Phillip Morris, he created the infamous Phillip Morris Man, Johnny Roventini (known as a “living trademark”) and the slogan, “Call for Phillip Morris.”
  2. Arthur H. “Red” Motley Principle: Nothing happens until somebody sells something. He sold for the Fuller Brush Company door to door in the 1920’s, he sold cough syrup with a traveling medicine show, he sold advertising for Collier’s Magazine, he founded Parade Magazine (still in existence today inserted into Sunday papers), and he created an (maybe THE) all time legendary philosophy of sales, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.”

As a trainer in the 40’s and 50’s, Motley created a simple 15-word sales course which covered every element important to begin or master:

  1. Know your product.
  2. See a lot of people.
  3. Ask all to buy.
  4. Use common sense.

Remember this was the 40’s. No TV, no computer, no credit cards, no Apple Watch, no smart phone, and no Internet. People actually wrote letters.

At the end of his working career he became one of the most sought after sales speakers and trainers in the world.

He had another philosophy: “One of the reasons we do so much business in America is because we have learned not to make the customer wait. Wants created that remain unsatisfied for any appreciable length of time usually die.” Pity he wasn’t around today to hear, “your call will be answered in the order in which it was received.”

  1. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale Principle: Have faith in people – they are basically good. Author of the timeless classic, “The Power of Positive Thinking,” Peale used the pulpit to preach the importance and the personal power of achievement through attaining a positive attitude. The spirit and the spirituality of attitude, and the success it can bring are timeless. And more needed today than fifty years ago.

If you just get Dr. Peale’s book and read two pages a day for a year or so, you’re on the right path.

BONUS FACT: If you’re ever in New York City, you can visit his church at the corner of 29th and Fifth Avenue. Peale’s statue tells you you’re in the right place.

  1. Winthrop Smith Principle: The Queen is in the counting houseKnown for publishing the free booklet, and running free seminars on “What You Should Know about Stocks and Bonds,” Smith, the President of what is known today as Merrill Lynch, created an “everyman’s” desire for investing. His passion was to teach people about the power of their own money, and how they could invest it to secure their future income. And he did. And they invested in stocks and bonds with his firm. His associates nicknamed him “Win.” Not short for Winthrop – short for winner. He became a winner by helping others win. NOTE: Smith was one of the original founders of Merril Lynch, known then as Merril Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith.

In 1976, I remarked to one of my mentors that he seemed to have a lot of luck. Every project he undertook seemed to end up golden. He smiled and replied, “Hard work makes luck.” Those words have stuck with me since.

The last (and best of) the masters will be here same time, next weekstay tuned.

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The author of America’s Twelve Master Salesmen, the late great B.C. Forbes, had a formula for sales. It’s yours for the taking. Go to www.gitomer.com, register if you’re a first time user and enter FORBES in the GitBit box.