The 14 points of Salesmanship Ring True Today
Bob Bissler Posted on March 7, 2012
In the earlier part of the last century it might have been difficult for a tire dealer to envision modern tire designs. But the techniques used to sell them haven’t changed much.
In the November 1919 issue of Tires (which later became Modern Tire Dealer), an article appeared titled “Fourteen Points of Salesmanship.” It was written by R.E. Wilson, assistant instructor of the Traveling Sales schools of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
The No. 1 item on the list? Knowledge.
The list is like a time capsule. It outlines what mattered in the tire industry 93 years ago. Its truths still ring true today.
Fourteen Points of Salesmanship
1. Knowledge – Probably the most important requisite the buyer expects of the salesman is that he should know thoroughly about the goods he is trying to sell and be able to answer questions. Spare time should be spent studying and gathering together all possible information.
2. Sincerity – It is of the utmost importance to convey the impression of sincerity. Personal conviction is the first step in convincing another of the proof of a statement. It is first necessary to thoroughly sell oneself to be 100% efficient in selling others.
3. Impressio – A proposition stated in clear and concise manner without undue emphasis upon entertaining conversation relative to the weather, brand of cigars smoked or results of the ball game, will quickly give the prospect a clear understanding of the situation outlined to him.
4. Appearance – A pleasing appearance is of fundamental importance. Owing to the importance of first impressions, a distinct advantage is gained by being well-groomed, but not over-groomed.
5. Buyer’s Name – One of the first factors entering into successful selling is the ability to remember the name of the person with whom one is talking.
6. Arguments – It is more diplomatic to emphasize the points of agreement and show a man wherein he is right than to show him where he is wrong.
7. Promises – A promise broken, even though a small one, creates an impression of undependability. An appointment made for 8 o’clock in the morning should mean 8 o’clock and not 8:05. Where unavoidably detained it is much the wisest course to wire the reason for the delay.
8. Optimism – To radiate optimism rather than pessimism is oftentimes half the battle. One must have a thorough knowledge of products and policies and be familiar with the most scientific methods of merchandising. He must believe in what he sells.
9. Dangerous Words – Unfamiliar words can damage the success of a sale. Express in clear and simple language. Don’t try and demonstrate superior education.
10. Exaggeration. – State facts convincingly and exactly as they are. Exaggeration discounts a statement and discounts the man making it.
11. “Cheap.” – Cheap can mean of low value as well as low-priced. Eliminate this word from your vocabulary.
12. Overloading. – Sell customers the goods which are best for him to buy or he will feel your only concern is to sell him something. A salesman’s first business is to sell goods, but he must be shrewd enough not to jeopardize all future sales by overloading.
13. Underloading – It is important not only to sell, but to show in turn how to dispose of what has been purchased. It is possible to materially increase business by making it a policy to be careful as to the kind and amount of stock sold.
14. The “You” Attitude. – Convince the prospect that your proposition is to his interest. If there must be any patting on the back, at him – not yourself – because he and he alone is the man who can place the order.