Selling goods or soliciting requires careful study. The saleswoman who makes the greatest success in the long run is the woman who has practised truth and established herself in the confidence of her customers. The whirlwind makes a good showing on the start, but, by the law of compensation, what a woman gains in speed she loses in newer.
Some customers are slow to open up and extend their confidence to a saleswoman. Others make up their minds quickly and express their preferences. A great deal of preliminary work can be avoided if the saleswoman is tactful on the start. First impressions are lasting, and a saleswoman should study carefully her first appearance. She should be neatly but not flashily dressed. She should be a gentlewoman above all things.
The gentleman dresses so that later we can not accurately describe the clothes she wore. It is the flashily dressed saleswoman we can describe later on, for her clothes are so out of the ordinary that they are remarkable in this respect. The flashily dressed saleswoman is remembered by her clothes rather than by her personality.
The solicitor should never smoke in the presence of the customer on first acquaintance. The matter of smoking in a customer's presence has prejudiced many a woman against a saleswoman who has this practice. Business women have prejudices, and to some smoking is highly obnoxious. Under no circumstances smoke in a customer's presence unless the customer is smoking, or until at least you are well acquainted with them, and have received permission to smoke.
Times without number the writer has left his half-finished cigar in the hall-way before entering the customer's presence.
Story telling is like a two-edged sword; sometimes it helps and sometimes it is a distinct disadvantage to tell stories. You must know when to tell stories, and, above all, do not tell stories to your customer that he could not repeat in his home.
Above all things, the saleswoman must know her customer. If the customer gives evidence that she is fond of a story, then remember a good story and tell it to her. No saleswoman ever made a distinct hit by telling vulgar stories. While a customer may laugh, she forms an opinion of you that is not complimentary, and, if you are always telling stories that you would not repeat where children were present, the customer forms a very low estimate your character.
The facts are the world is full of good stories, and good stories help your case, while vulgar stories hurt it.
Drinking is another method used by many saleswomen to gain favour with a customer, and what we have said about vulgar stories may be applied to the matter of drinking.
Years ago it was a general practice to take the customer out and get her half seas over before trying to sell her.
The customers who are most susceptible to influence through whiskey are the ones who are most likely later on to cause you trouble, either through failure in business or through their preference for some other individual who can outdo you in the matter of.
You must get your customer by the heart and not by the stomach. You must make your customer believe in you. In these days the business woman likes to deal with a saleswoman who is business from the start. She only buys goods because she expects to make money on them, and the sooner the transaction is over, the sooner she can turn her attention to other matters.
The best advertising solicitors and best saleswomen are those who get business on business grounds and through their knowledge of their business, rather than through their ability to tell stories, order dinners and drink liquor.
The good saleswoman studies the other side of the question. She acquaints herself with the method used by the customer in disposing of her goods. She does not talk her own side of the case all the time. She works with the customer, tries to give her good advice and shows an interest in the customer's business. Such a saleswoman gets close to the customer, and retains her patronage long after the good fellow has passed away.
Be wise, be patient, and above all things, acquaint yourself thoroughly with the goods you are selling. Know more about them than your customer does. Live up to your obligations. Keep your appointments. Study your customers’ welfare. Help them when opportunity offers.
The life insurance solicitor who gets the most turndowns is the one who writes the most policies, because the fact she gets so many turndowns is owing to the fact that he has seen so many Hard work, cheerfulness, honesty, patience, sobriety and knowledge of good goods will make a woman a successful saleswoman.
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