Want the “master’s touch?” Study them, and do what they did.
I began the year in retrospect by reading a 50-year-old book on the masters of selling. The book, titled “America’s Twelve Master Salesmen,” was written and published by B.C. Forbes & Sons in 1953.
The book was based on the fact that each one of these master salesmen had one extremely powerful overriding principle or philosophy upon which his or her success was based.
For the last two weeks I have presented the first ten masters and this week the final two. 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 your 2003, here are four more master’s philosophies from 1953.
11. Thomas J. Watson Principle: Pack your today’s with effort – extra effort. He was a salesman and later corporate officer for NCR under the tutelage of John Patterson. “No. I don’t want to buy a cash register.” “I know you don’t. That’s why I came to see you. I knew if you wanted one you would come down to the office and pick one out. What I’ve come for is to find out why you don’t want one.” Watson realized that to overcome an objection, he had to walk in with answers. This took extra preparation on the part of the salesman — extra effort. Was the extra effort he put into his sales career worth it? Door to door selling cash registers, and inventing creative new ways to approach the customer? After leaving NCR as one of their all time great salespeople, you may also know Watson for his second career — the founder of another company — IBM.
12. Elmer G. Leterman Principle: Neglected customers never buy: They just fade away. This principle merges the significance of three relationship factors of customer loyalty — giving value to the customer — staying in front of the customer — and serving the customer. He added to this strategy the personal philosophy of: “I have adhered to a personal rule of trying to do for the other fellow what he can’t do for himself – without any strings attached.” He wrote. Leterman was also the first to write on sales creativity in the 1950’s: “Personal Power Through Creative Selling.” Elmer Leterman was one of the best sales speakers, sales writers, and progressive strategists of his time. He is my personal favorite.
12.5 Jeffrey Gitomer Principle: People don’t like to be sold – but they love to buy. Unlike the other masters, my statement is not only the philosophy by which I live my sales life it is also a registered trademark. If salespeople would just stop selling, and transfer that energy into creating an atmosphere to buy, they (you) would double your sales.
Well, there’s the list of people and their prime philosophies and principles.
What principles are you known by? What is your primary success strategy?What would someone say your philosophy was – if they had to boil it down to one sentence? What have you done to live your philosophy, to brand your philosophy, to make your philosophy known to others by your writings and by your actions?
If the answer to these questions is painfully obvious to you, perhaps this should be your year of transition. Perhaps this should be a year where you take a closer look at your bigger picture rather than a frustrated look at your quota and monthly sales achievements.
If you look at the above people, and you think any of them never had a problem achieving their goals or life’s dreams – think again. Every one of them had failure and adversity in one form or another. Everyone has challenges. These are people who by adopting and living a philosophy or a principal, became successful in spite of adversity. And not successful to you or me, rather successful to themselves – the only place success matters (you may want to adjust your thinking about success as well).
Please DON’T email me and ask me where to buy this book. It has probably been out of print for 45 years or more. Go to bookfinder.com and search for a used one.
Please DO email me (email@example.com) if you would like to share your prime principle. They will all be published in my free weekly newsletter (Sales Caffeine) — and the top ten will get a free “coffee is for closers” coffee mug.
Didn’t get part one or part two of this series? No problem. Go to www.gitomer.com and enter MASTERS in the GitBit box and the entire three part article is yours. Also included are the twelve masters and their principles on one page.
Free GitBit. The Author of this book, 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.
Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts internet training programs on selling and customer service at www.trainone.com. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org