AOH :: !GUIDETO.TXT|
Billions of dollars are spent every year by companies, large and
small, to accomplish one goal. The sale of goods or services to
Marketing is the process by which those goods and services are
sold to the consumer.
It's that simple, and that complicated.
Simple marketing activities began with the development of an
economy that was nonsubsistence and depended on interregional
trade, including caravans. Later, general stores, traveling
salespeople and even later, chain stores. Modern marketing is
nothing more than selling. It doesn't matter what the product
or service might be .. nothing happens with any product or
service until you, as a salesman (marketer), present it to a
client. How you do that can be any number of ways. In person,
to a client; by phone (telemarketing); by mail (direct mail or
electronic mail); retail (store or business); advertising the
product or service with any medium such as newspaper, print or
Pretty fancy words those, to come down to . . . Salesman!
The word marketing evolved from years ago into what it is today.
We believe that the main reason for that evolvement was trying
to put a better face on something that is as old as man by
changing a name.
Prior to marketer you were a consultant. Before that you were
an account executive. Prior to that you were a salesman. And
that's exactly what marketing is all about ... selling, in one
form or another. There have been a lot of "names" for the same
We believe that the word salesman started to take on a "bad"
meaning during the end of the 50's and into the early 60's. The
guys that wore the white shoes, white belts, funny colored
polyester coats and plaid pants tended to leave a bad taste in
the consumers' mouth. They were known as car "salesmen." Well,
they are still with us today ... some of 'em still wear the
white belt and shoes, but they eliminated the polyester coat and
the plaid pants.
Doesn't matter what field of endeavor you're in, you're a
And the aim of sales (marketing) is simple. To find the
customer; to sell the customer; to retain the customer; to
satisfy the customer.
The garbage man is a salesman when he returns your garbage cans
to the proper place and in greeting you always has a smile and a
happy word. He's selling his boss' service. If you are an
author of books from your home you have to be a super salesman
dealing with publishers. The waitress in the diner is a
salesman when she asks if you would like a piece of apple pie.
EVERYBODY IS A SALESMAN!
That's all marketing is ... the process of moving goods or
services to a consumer. And when you accept that fact and start
to work on it you become more successful in what you're doing
If you want to be more successful and close more sales, why
donUt YOU follow the example set almost 2,000 years ago by the
greatest salesman who ever walked the earth? Jesus!
Some people will tell us that it is blasphemy to use The Saviors
name this way, but when you stop to think about this idea for a
minute, you'll see it's true. No one had a tougher time getting
his message across than did Jesus. But he had a message that
could reach the hearts and souls of men everywhere and he kept
telling stories to the followers, the people who would listen.
He kept putting these people into the story so they could see
the necessity of buying his program. And he was certainly the
best salesmen of any time.
If you will only think for a moment you'll see that what we are
telling you is as true in the 1990s' as it was almost 2,000
You must have faith to go along with all the other criteria that
it takes to make a good salesman (marketer).
We've tried to give you a number of tips and information that
have been learned through the years that have worked and
continue to work for salesmen everywhere.
These are tips and information that have been compiled from some
of the best sales people we have ever had the good fortune to
meet in person, or to be able to read in their books. They also
come from our personal experiences during the years weUve been
in the sales business. And some of the books we are talking of
are so out of print that even a rare book store has trouble
One of the best sales people we ever met was Frank Bettger, a
couple of years before he passed away. Fortunately Frank was a
baseball man and crazy about the game and the author had the
chance to spend one entire summer with this world class salesman
only because the authors' father was a former Yankee during the
same time Frank played baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals.. A
lot of what we learned, we learned from Frank and his two books.
Both of them are still in print by the way and youUll find them
at your local library.
"Success is helping other people help themselves to get
what they want."
If you decide to put these ideas into effect and you make your
first million dollars, drop us a note and let us know. We are
never happier that when we're helping somebody. One other thing
... from here on in we'll refer to you as a salesman and drop
that other thing (marketer).
The First Steps To Success
The most fundamental aspect of sales is a simple rule to
remember at ALL times. "Find out what the customer wants, then
help him find the best way to get it." Emerson said, "One of
the greatest services one man can render another, is to help him
We'll try to help you help yourself on the following pages.
IGNORE EVERYBODY - When you're in business for yourself, or
you're planning on starting a new business, you follow human
nature. You ask your friends what THEY think. You talk with
relatives about their judgement on what your plans are for the
Wrong! It doesn't matter what kind of business you're in ..
retail or service .. the person you're talking with has a
hundred and thirty-seven reasons why it WON'T work. They are
automatically jealous of successes. Particularly your
successes. They'll give you all the advice on why you shouldn't
be taking this kind of chance. Or, why it won't work!
The same is true when you start to ask for advice from those who
you are working for, or with, at the time. It sounds wrong ...
but it's true. Human nature takes over. You would think that
these are the people who most would like to see you succeed, and
succeed in a big way. But these are your worst enemies with
negative advice from the start.
In sales you're the person in control. The person that can lead
the conversation where you want it to go. You're the general
and the army is going to follow where you lead.
SOMETHING TO REMEMBER AND WRITE DOWN - When you're talking with
a prospect, or if you are presenting your sales program be sure
that you take the attitude that you are going to keep the
prospect right in front of you. If the customer has the chance
to look around, wait on customers, answer the phone while you're
talking, or be nonchalant in their behavior you have to take the
initiative and keep their mind on your presentation. Look 'em
in the eye and ask if they have the time right now to go over
your program or would it be better at a later time when they can
devote their full attention. Nothing will catch the attention
of a prospective customer quicker than if you are honest and
up-front with them about your ideas and programs. ALWAYS BE IN
Don't let anyone deter you from a plan once it's thought out and
implemented. Above all, don't start having second thoughts and
doubts about that plan. This is the sure way to ruin. Take the
action and suffer the consequences, both _good_, and bad. The
longer you think about a plan the more chances there are for
your making mistakes.
Have you ever done the following: Made a decision on the spot,
regarding ANY subject? Followed through on that decision and
found that it worked to great benefit? It's a snap decision
and yet, our instincts are pretty good and more times than not
that snap decision will be the right move at the time.
Why can't we do that more often? Usually it's because human
nature starts to get in the way. We have those small, nagging
thoughts that are negative and stored away in the subconscious.
Those are the kinds of thoughts that are put there by our
friends and relatives trying their best to dissuade us from a
path of wreck and ruin.
The best advice that anyone can give is to ignore your friends,
your relatives and the guy next to you in the office that wants
Most times these people are giving you a negative side, whether
it sounds like it or not, and it really stems from jealousy ...
the jealousy of your possible success. Yeah, they'll tell you
that all they are concerned about is your welfare and that
they'd hate to see you go off the deep end in something you know
nothing about, or can't learn.
In marketing there is more second guessing, long-winded reports
about why something should work, and plans, plans, and more
plans than you could possibly imagine. Don't let the reports,
the plans, the strategies of the program get in the way of
getting the job done.
The best report .. the best advice .. the agonizing over results
won't work if you don't implement your plan.
You could be buried in plans. If you LET that happen youUll
never get anything concrete done .. and getting the job DONE is
your main program.
There's an old saying (Digression Time) ... Plan your work and
work your plan. Those seven words can mean more to your success
than anything else we'll tell you, except for a how-to-plan the
work idea, here and there throughout this manual.
If you have a sheet of 11x17 paper take out a magic marker and
make your own sign of those seven words ... Put 'em up in your
office, whether it's at home or outside the home, and refer to
them constantly to keep you on track for what you are about.
Yeah .. an 11x17 piece of paper won't look great but trust us,
it'll get the job done for very little money.
You could do what one old time salesman did. He made a note to
himself about working all the time. Not just part time. He
liked to fish and golf. So he had a problem with calling on
customers everyday, particularly on a sunny, beautiful summers
day. He carried that note with him wherever he went. Without
fail you'd see him reaching for his wallet every morning and out
came the note. If you didn't know the man you would swear that
he was studying for a test the way he read and re-read the note.
YouUd see him reading the note before lunch, then again after
lunch. And once more during the afternoon. All it said on the
"Make The Call! Make The Call! Make The Call!"
Really simple, but very effective in reinforcing his necessity
to hold off on fishing or golf until he had made the calls on
Possibly you've seen the idea used by weight program firms with
notes stuck all over the door of the refrigerator. If you've
never had a weight problem .. or known anyone with a weight
problem you won't know what we're talking about. Usually the
notes just try to re-confirm the persons' desire to lose weight.
It's a way to mentally adjust your thinking to a positive angle.
And when you're a salesman you need all the reinforcing you can
get. It's too easy to just kick back and say, "Well, I'll get
that done tomorrow." That attitude just won't work for a
salesman who really wants to succeed.
If that 11x17 poster sounds too big .. then take a post-it note
and do the same thing. But if they are post-it notes stick them
up everywhere so you can't miss seeing the information. Or,
like our old time salesman friend, stick a 3x5 card in your
wallet and read it at least three times a day. It only takes a
minute to read, and it's worth hours and hours of your time
Narrow Your Focus
The saying "Keep It Simple Stupid" should have been made about
the marketing field exclusively.
When you KISS you find that programs and plans tend to work out
a lot better than expected.
Politicians, or for that matter anybody, can learn from the
success of the 1993 Presidential campaign, wherein Bill Clinton
had the words "It's The Economy Stupid" in front of him
constantly. And in case he missed reading the message a guy was
standing right there to remind him.
When the marketing director of the Clinton campaign decided to
narrow the focus he did so with a vengeance. Telling the
candidate constantly "It's The Economy Stupid", putting forth
that message on television and in print ... bringing it home
during the debates ... everywhere. It was a superb job of
narrowing the focus of the campaign.
When you narrow the focus, whether it's a political campaign,
selling flea powder at the pet store, planning a complete
advertising and merchandising campaign or a way to display and
promote your own talents, you figuratively lead the consumer by
the hand down the path you want them to follow, with the
ultimate goal of selling your product or service.
Sit down with pad and paper. Start making the proverbial list
of the good and bad points of the product or service. The list
should include all the information you need to get the job
accomplished. What you have to do is narrow the focus on how
you plan to successfully complete the project on which you are
Narrowing your focus can be done in a number of ways. It's not
the company that decides they have an idea for everybody in the
world that works .. It's the company that takes one idea and
runs with it, constantly in the right direction.
IBM was the leader in office equipment. No one could keep up
with "Big Blue" in this field. They were also the leader in
main-frame computers. No they weren't the first ... Remington
Rand was first with Univac! Remember it now? Anyway. With
some very skillful marketing people they became a mainframe
computer company almost overnight.
Fortunately "Big Blue" realized the days of the office equipment
supplier were going to be numbered and they had better take
drastic action. They did and became the word that is synonymous
with computing today, IBM.
Unfortunately they started to lose their focus and moved into
fields other than the primary field and at the same time started
to try and become all things to all people.
They made copiers. It didn't work and was sold to Kodak ... and
lost millions. They developed the Prodigy network and it's
still limping along, even though it is the largest on-line
commercial service in the world today. They had OfficeVision
... and we all remember OS/2.
Lose your focus ... lose your business. Narrow your focus and
watch things take off!
Yes, in 1993 they did make a comeback in the Personal Computer
market but that share is sliding away from them and Compaq has
the edge in the computer hardware field now for DOS equipment.
Apple still falls somewhere behind most probably because they
haven't narrowed their focus enough.
Apple did, at one time, almost own the education field in
computers but even that has started to slide as the powers that
be at Apple try to capture more market share in the business
field. Again, you cannot be all things to all people. You MUST
narrow the focus and stick with it through thick and thin.
Here's a company, IBM, that's in trouble today because they
wanted to be all things to all people. It's not possible in
todays' marketplace. They had the computer business ... and
then they decided they should expand their horizons to encompass
everything to do with computers. They barely hold an the edge
in the mainframe area and as far as software is concerned,
They just tried to do everything for everybody. It won't work.
Microsoft has been a leader in software and software development
over the years ... unfortunately Mr. Gates wants more of this
market and now Microsoft is on the same path that IBM went down
a few years ago. You can't expand your business exponentially
and expect to be all things to all people. You can't stand for
something if you're out there chasing after everything.
You need to narrow your focus and see where your business is in
terms of believability in the marketplace.
And don't think you can do it with one word either.
The best example of one word mentality is "Quality."
General Motors does that with their slogan "Mark Of Excellence"
... or their other slogan "Putting Quality On The Road." Ford
says "Quality Is Job 1." Lee Iacocca, when he was there, said
"We don't want to be the biggest, we just want to be the best."
(Did anybody really believe that?)
This is wonderful for the marketers. They can make up a hundred
new jingles .. Fire off memos all days long and come up with
fifty or sixty new slogans .. Get a lot of mileage out of
television and print .. and at sales meetings it really steams
'em up to go out and sell more cars.
There you have it. Everyone of these companies stands for
quality, and nobody does because the word is overused by all big
three auto makers along with a number of Japanese and German,
and now even Korean car makers. Everybody has the quality
product and the consumer doesn't believe any of them.
You can't be the best .. you can't be the greatest (unless
you're Muhammed Ali) .. you can't be number one (unless you
really are) and have all those other guys shooting at you ..
what you have to have is a focus .. as narrow as possible.
One more example and then we'll move off this subject. BMW was
always the "driving" machine. Then the powers that sit in those
white ivory towers decided that they needed to compete with
Mercedes-Benz by developing the super large 700 sedans. Did you
ever drive a living room? It sure can't be a "driving" machine.
With that superb move business started the wrong way ... down
... and the changes started as soon as possible with the
re-introduction of a small BMW that is emphasized as a "driving"
machine. Voila! The company put itself back on track and
regained their focus.
You say you can't come up with an idea to narrow the focus of
Here's an example: Suppose that you are in a community with
eight hardware stores .. or ten .. or three. Whatever. How in
the world do you narrow the focus for a store with more than
20,000 items for sale. It's KISS. Take a look through all of
the stores .. they're all about the same.
Get your store to devote one window to a display that will be
different than anything people have seen before.
Take a hammer .. a saw .. a chisel and a pair of pliers. Drape
the entire window is a black velvet cloth .. something you can
pick up at the fabric store for ten bucks. Put boxes under the
velvet to raise the display and give it a 3-D effect. Now
display the four ... that's right only four (4) items on the
boxes. Nothing else. No signs. No prices. Nothing to take
the customers' mind off what they are seeing in the window.
That display will be the talk of the town in hours. Not because
there is any stroke of genius here .. just a different way of
marketing and narrowing the entire stores' focus to four items
that they sell on a regular day to day basis.
Ever see it before? Of course not. No one has the courage to
take up valuable selling space in a window to display only four
items. And by the way, windows are considered advertising in
Another idea you can use. If you're working with a clothing
store (drug store, western wear, shoes) notice that the majority
of your customers coming through the door tend to move to their
right when they have entered. There's a simple reason for this
that we'll talk about later.
Try to force the customers to move to their left. Try putting
up several gondolas, or racks, to block the path to the right.
You'll be amazed to find that a large number of customers will
almost fight their way through those displays to get to the
right. They rarely see what's on the left side of the store but
you are narrowing the focus to get them to move the way YOU want
them to move.
Same principle applies on moving product around the store. If
the Levi's have been in the same place for six months move them
somewhere else. Your customers will suddenly find that you
carry something beside Levi's. Simple, but it narrows the
It's called creativity. It's called marketing. It's called
salesmanship. It's called narrowing the focus so you CAN see
the trees in the forest.
Oh yeah. About that moving to the right. Most people are right
handed and will go that way without any push.
Remember ... Narrow your focus in marketing (selling) and make
your customer happy with you .. or if you marketing (selling)
yourself .. make yourself happy with you!
Listen! You'll Hear It All
If you're busy talking, trying to fill the silence, you won't
hear your customer literally screaming at you with all the
information you need to make yourself a success, and your
customer more money. When we say listen ... we mean that, and
The best salesman in the world can learn more about a product,
or service, he is selling, or providing, by asking questions and
then really listening to the response, than all the studies,
seminars or books he might read in a similar field.
Take the time to LISTEN! Watch your customer. A few years ago
they called it "body language" ... who knows? They may still
call it body language. (Let me digress for a moment again: If
you are not familiar with this there are any number of books on
the subject in your local library. Your library is the best
source of information anywhere on the planet, on a free basis,
that you can find. The best source of information is right at
your fingertips. It's the information on-line that you can find
with any service you subscribe to, or on the Internet. However,
while it's the very best source, it isn't always free like the
library.) If you watch and listen to your client you'll learn
exactly what you have to do to provide the proper product or
service to that client.
Two great books on the subject of selling and sales are "How I
Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling" and "How I
Multiplied My Income And Happiness In Selling." These books are
both by Frank Bettger (Pronounced Bett-Cher). If you are a
baseball aficionado you'll know that he was a third baseman for
the St. Louis Cardinals. One day in throwing the ball from
third to first something popped in his shoulder and the baseball
career was over. Both of these books are probably available,
but you usually have to order them. Prentice-Hall is the
company that produced them and you might find them happy to
dredge up a copy for you out of their archives if your local
bookstore does not have a copy. This is a book that keeps
coming back time after time and continues to sell even though
the ideas and principles date back into the 20's and 30's.
The first book was written in the mid-'40's, the second book at
the end of the '40's. Both of them take place in the real world
with Frank Bettger telling you how he did it. The only thing
missing in both books is the fact that he did it starting in
business in 1916. And he continued to be successful during the
depression of the 1930's when no one had an extra dime to spend
on anything. And Frank did it by selling something that you
can't touch, smell, feel, eat or see. Frank Bettger was a life
insurance salesman ... probably the best salesman that ever
walked a street or knocked on a door to talk with a prospect.
You're probably thinking that the ideas he used ... the way he
approached his customers ... the entire package just wouldn't
fit in today's world. YOU'D BE DEAD WRONG. These are
principles of selling that have been around forever ... and
they're just as appropriate today as they were in the 1920's to
the '40's. Every principle in these two books is still usable
today and in today's marketplace. And one of the most important
lessons contained in these books is the ability to learn how to
When Frank Bettger lost his throwing arm he went home and took a
job collecting for a furniture company. Along the way a friend
had told him that the life insurance business was the business
to get into. As luck would have it Frank was collecting a
payment on a delivery of furniture when the person who was
paying suggested that he come into his office and meet a man who
could help him get going in a great business .. Life Insurance.
Bettger went to the office and the sales manager started
talking. After a couple of hours Frank was looking for any
excuse possible to get out of there .. but there was no way to
do it gracefully so he sat and listened.
When the sales manager finally finished, some six or seven hours
later, Frank left and hoped he'd never see the man again. But
the idea of selling life insurance persisted and he contacted
another acquaintance regarding the same business (narrowing his
focus) and two weeks later became a salesman. These are both
great books and you should have them in your library.
These books tell what you can do when you really LISTEN to the
Your customer, whether he's a retailer, a service business or
someone on-line, will tell you everything you need to know to be
able to provide more comprehensive service. He'll tell you his
best selling product. He'll tell you what works in the store,
and what doesn't work. He'll share his innermost thoughts with
you and he'll even go so far as to tell you exactly where he
stands as far as his business is concerned. Whether he's making
a profit, or about to head into bankruptcy.
All you have to do is LISTEN.
It's so simple that it's a part of selling thatUs mostly
overlooked. Sometimes, as sales people, we do overlook the
obvious ... and the obvious is that you don't want to let any
silences into the conversation with your customer. People have
been told and told that you shouldn't let any silence into a
conversation. Silence is one of the biggest providers of
information ... but it's absolutely the hardest thing to do if
you are the person waiting for your customer to talk. If you
don't get anything else out of this manual ... Just remember the
one word ... LISTEN!
Frank Bettger broke into sales with life insurance. I broke
into sales at the ripe old age of 18, selling radio advertising.
Now if you think selling radio advertising is easy, let me tell
you about an 18 year old kid trying to sell merchants who know
what advertising is all about .. or think they do.
After Bettgers' 36th call he was ready to give up. He had one
name left on his first prospect list and decided since he was
close to the office of the man on his list heUd give it a try.
His intent was to quit after he was told no by his prospect.
Well, the prospect didn't say no .. he bought a policy and
became the first customer for Frank Bettger. And that customer
started a sales career that spanned three decades in life
I was fortunate enough to have had someone give me a copy of
Bettgers' first book and I had read this story. In making calls
for that radio station I was becoming more than disillusioned
and ready to go find a new occupation. Something to do and make
an income without the frustration that I was feeling after
making two weeks worth of calls without any results.
I was down to the next to last call on my list when I saw it was
my old Physical Education teacher from high school that I'd be
calling on for advertising. Morrie Roth had always been more
than opinionated in class and I figured this was really a lost
cause. But, remembering Bettgers' words I didn't have anything
to lose, so I called on Mr. Roth at the shoe store.
First words out of his mouth were "What do you know about
advertising? You're just a kid. I could give you lessons." So,
I took him at his word and asked him to give me lessons about
advertising. I stood in Mr. Roths' store for over two hours
listening and when he was all through I told him that I had a
perfect idea for him. It was a sure-fire way to bring in more
business than he had ever seen.
All I did was start giving him back his own philosophy about
advertising, in my words this time, not his, and how he should
be doing it on the radio station I represented. Unbelievably he
agreed and signed a 13 week contract for sponsorship of a
I've never forgotten Morrie Roth. He was my first sale. He
taught me more about sales in that two plus hours than I had
learned in several weeks of beating the streets.
He taught me how to listen. It wasn't what I said. It was
LISTENING to what HE had to say so that I could sell him. In
actuality I didn't sell him anything ... he sold himself.
The other thing you learn from Frank Bettger is the art of story
telling, and that entails the art of listening to your prospect,
because when you LISTEN you'll find a place for your story.
It's the way to get your point across quickly.
Sales, in a large sense, is story-telling, for you are telling
the story about RgoodsS .. merchandise, service or a product.
Developing this art should be one of the most important studies
of any salesman. You can never gain enough knowledge .. nor
enough stories to sell your program or product.
Of course, your story has to relate to the problem of the
prospect. If you get out in left field with your story and
leave him or his problem out of your story he becomes bored very
quickly and has no time to listen to you. The customer has to
be the central figure in the story. As long as he's interested,
you have his attention and he sells himself. Why not cultivate
the story-telling method used by that GREAT salesman whose
thirty-five parables have lived down through the centuries and
are selling people just as successfully today as they did almost
2,000 years ago.
To summarize: You MUST develop the art of really listening to
your customers. Once you have mastered the art of listening,
you'll find that sales come quicker, easier and with more
dollars going into your pocket than you ever thought possible.
You'll hear this a lot in selling.
"Let's change what we're doing with this product (service) and
try ... something else."
It's kind of like, let's change this for change sake and that
will take care of the problem.
It's not true. You have to have the patience of Job to find out
if something will work, or if it's a total waste of time.
Yes, there are ways that you can test what you're doing. Test
by making a minor change to the original program and keep track
of that change and how well it works, or doesn't work. You
could change a color on a package if you are in that kind of a
field; you could change the type of advertising youUre doing at
the present (radio, TV, direct mail or print); you could change
the style of your advertising; you could change the way you
merchandise a certain product (display, ads, coupons, sales).
There are any number of ways you could change but there's no
reason to make changes on a constant basis.
If you keep changing your customer is going to lose sight of you
in the marketplace. You must find your own niche in the
marketplace and remain there until growth forces you to move
upwards. Changing horses in the middle of the stream can be
just as self-defeating as changing the manner in which you do
One example that everyone can relate to is "New Coke" ... and of
course, we'll do away with the old, tested, tried and saleable
It only took a couple of months for management to realize what a
blunder they had made and what we see now is "Classic Coke"
right alongside "New Coke." Classic Coke has regained a lot of
market share that had been lost while New Coke continues to be
one of the great failures of the century. Remember the Edsel?
Chanel for men? Levi's shoes? Coors water? Never heard of
those? The geniuses in the marketing departments that suggested
them are no longer working for those companies.
Back to Coke -- There are so many catch phrases for Coca-Cola
that it's hard to remember most of them: "The Real Choice,"
"You Can't Beat The Feeling." Today it's "You Can't Beat The
Real Thing." Nothing has made a great impact at this point.
The simple program for Coca-Cola is the path they seemingly
don't want to follow. Narrow the focus and quit changing
horses. Drop New Coke .. Narrow the focus to "The Real Thing"
and use it against Pepsi by telling everybody in "The New
Generation" ... "all right guys .. no pushing .. when you're
ready for the Real Thing, Coca-Cola has it."
Another example is Sears Roebuck & Company. Here's a company
that was the largest retailer in the world. Then they decided
to start making changes. Change the way the store looks.
Change the merchandise we carry in the stores (Do you really
think that Cheryl Tiegs shops at Sears?) Change the lighting.
Change the brands we carry. Change the way we advertise. Keep
on changing and you can see where Sears is today. Fighting hard
to stay afloat and trying to just stay number 4 or 5 in the
Sears has dropped their catalog system ... something everybody
in this country identified with Sears Roebuck & Company.
They've undergone so many changes that very few people recognize
them anymore. And sales? I mean you name a sales event and
Sears has one for you. In fact if you're buying merchandise at
Sears that isn't on sale, you're one of the few people in
America that is paying full price.
The only thing that has stayed constant at Sears is the hardware
and tools departments. They are still the leader in that field
with their Craftsman tools. They didn't change a thing there
and they still lead the country in tools sales.
There are so many examples of change being bad for companies
that we could fill an entire manual with them, but there's no
point in it. It gets repetitive. We think you get the idea and
realize that change for change sake is not a wise idea.
You COULD re-invent the wheel, but why? If it works now,
continue to improve on what's working ... Don't change it
completely. And absolutely, under no conditions do you change
something just for change sake.
Honesty Is The ONLY Policy
Honesty is the best policy ... That should be changed to read
"Honesty Is The Only Policy." If you are honest with your
customer .. your supplier .. your family ... with everybody
you'll find that your success in business just gets better.
No one likes doing business with someone who even fudges the
truth. And to be outright lied to is a sin that can't be
forgiven. Go back and see the first page of this manual and
think about that car salesman you dealt with recently.
Who are the people least respected in their jobs? Well, up
until a few years ago it was always car salesmen that led the
list. Now, the politicians have taken the flag away from the
car guys. Unfortunately for another group they pull a close
second .. the lawyers. It's the PERCEPTION that the customer is
being lied too. And if you don't consider yourself a customer
when it comes to politicians, who do you think pays the bills
If you stop to think about honesty you'll see that what we are
saying is true. However, if there is an honest mistake made it
can be rectified by giving the customer all the benefit of the
doubt. One of the best policies in America is the K-Mart
practice of an immediate cash refund, no questions asked, no
comments about why you want to bring an item back ... just a
quick refund of your money and a smile to go along with it
saying "Thanks for shopping K-Mart." That's the height of
honesty in business. Would you ever go back to a store that
questions you about why you're returning a product that doesn't
work? How about if that same store questions your honesty in
returning the product? What's wrong with just giving the
customer the money back ... and doing it cheerfully?
The same holds true in the service business. Take for example a
housecleaning service. If the customer doesn't like the way the
home or office was cleaned and complains, the outstanding
housecleaning service does not make any excuses regarding their
employees, they do not hedge the matter by telling you that they
are really busy and they'll get back to you as soon as possible.
They immediately dispatch another service truck to your home or
store and the work is re-done to your satisfaction. That's
honesty in business. And you as a customer not only remember it
when it comes time to find a housecleaning service again ... you
give that company the ultimate compliment by mentioning them to
Sure, it costs the company the time and money. But count up the
money lost by a dissatisfied customer. It only takes one person
telling another person telling another person .. well, you get
the idea. You're not in business long without "Honesty Is The
Since our business is and has been for many years the
advertising field we are constantly watching print, television
and listening to radio advertising. We can tell, just as any
consumer, when advertising starts to sound a little on the edge
It's usually the car dealer that you can spot the quickest as
being a little less than honest with you in his advertising. If
he's so doggoned proud of those claims for the lowest price on
the best car on the planet, why does he put all that type at
the bottom of the screen in such a small size print that you
couldn't read with a magnifying glass? Quick tip-off. He's got
something you really don't want to know about his sales pitch.
Then you have the info-mercials as they have become know. They
used to be done by a pitch man standing in front of a camera
giving you the hard sell on why you should buy his set of steak
knives .. or juicer .. or whatever else. Now they use big names
to do the job for them and put into it a lot of pizazz. In
advertising sales it's called .. "Sell the sizzle!" In other
words, don't tell the honest to Gods' truth .. just skirt the
Sooner or later that kind of sales tactic will catch up with
you. The salesman that believes that everyone of his customers
is so gullible they'll buy anything, is the salesman that isn't
around very long.
You've had experiences with the good company ... the one that
goes out of the way to do the right thing for you. And I'm sure
you have also had the experiences with the bad companies ... the
guy who can't get it right after seventeen tries and much
cajoling by you, the customer.
If you do it right .. if you do it the honest way .. if you
treat the other person the way you want to be treated .. you'll
find yourself on the road to success.
If you always make it a practice to be honest you'll find that
the rewards far outweigh the unexpected roadblocks you find in
your way by fudging the truth.
Negatives And Positives In Marketing
It really goes against human nature to admit a problem. Any
problem, at any time.
For too many years the Power Of Positive Thinking has been
drummed into our psyche. There is nothing wrong with positive
thinking ... it's what gets you on the right road and keeps you
It may startle you to realize that one of the best ways to get
your message across quickly in your customers' mind is to admit
a negative in your product or service .. then tweak it a bit and
come up with the positive side of the coin. You can go back to
honesty and see what we mean.
Avis Rental Cars is a great example. Avis is Number 2 .. and
they admitted it in their advertising. But they turned this
negative statement into a positive by saying "We Try Harder."
A bad name of the product or service can be a negative.
Smucker's is one example of a bad name and what did they do with
it? Just made themselves the number one company for jams and
jellies in America.
When you admit the negative you open the customers mind for him.
This gives you the chance to bring up the positive sides of your
message. You can't change a mind once it's made up, but you can
use marketing to get your idea into that mind and make the
customer realize there are two sides to every story ... and
yours is the better side.
Avis did just that. And they did it so well that they almost
became Number One in the car rental business. And wouldn't that
have made a complete mess of the campaign?
There's absolutely nothing wrong with being number two in
business. Of course we all strive to be number one but what's
wrong with being number two if number one has a share of the
market of 50.1% and your firm gets 49.9%? Not bad I would say.
There are any number of companies that you can study and see the
results of their efforts. They've taken a negative and made it
a positive. Again with narrow focus. Listerine has a terrible
taste. They admitted it but at the same time told you it fights
germs. Took away the negative and turned it to a positive.
7-Up is the Un-Cola. Sure it is, and it still sells very, very
well. However, lately 7-Up branched into so many other fields
that they forgot their focus and lost market share, while Coke
and Pepsi fight for the number one spot.
You must use negatives very carefully and skillfully. Be sure
you have all your ducks lined up before ever trying a negative
selling campaign. No matter whether it's a product or a service
your campaign has to be flawless for a negative sell to work.
And the other side of the coin ... Positives! If you're the
front runner you have to go harder just to stay in front.
Everybody's taking shots at number one and you have to run
faster and work longer hours to stay in that position of number
And now is when you bring in the Power Of Positive Thinking we
It does work. You know it already. Just put it into play.
If you donUt have a copy, buy Dr. Norman Vincent Peales' book
today. Or go to your library and check out a copy. Or maybe
you can find a copy of positive thoughts by Robert Schuller.
One of the signs hanging on our office wall is from Dr. Schuler.
"When you're confronted with a mountain and you can find no way
over it, around it, under it or through it ... then sit down
right where you are, and with Gods' help turn the mountain into
gold." Positive thinking that will work for you in whatever
Either one of these authors can give you a great insight into
positive thinking and will lead to a rash of ideas like you've
never seen before.
Positive thinking in marketing can make your entire presentation
more believable. It can bring you the joys of selling that we
know. And when you're doing the right things in a positive
manner everyone around you knows it and starts to respect you
more because of your positive attitude.
This section should have about a dozen sub-heads. Such words as
arrogance, success, cockiness, success, overbearing, success,
pride and success belong on the same line with ego.
"Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a
fall." Proverbs 16:18. It was never more true than in sales.
Never, never let your pride or ego get in the way of doing the
job properly. You'll note that we keep referring to success.
The reason is simple. Success breeds contempt .. and you don't
need any contempt in a sales position.
It's all right to be proud of what you do, but don't do it in a
manner that will upset the customer.
If you take your ego out of the bag and hang it in the closet
before dealing with a customer, whether it be product or
service, you'll find your relations get off to a fantastic
There are any number of ego stories connected to sales.
Successful people tend to become less objective in direct
relation to the success they are enjoying. Donald Trump is one
of those people who let ego get in the way of good business
judgement. He was blinded by success and when you're blind it's
hard to get that narrow focus we talked about earlier.
The Donald put his name on everything he touched and he decided
that because his NAME was on everything it would succeed.
After all, when it fails the first words out of the mouth is,
"It can't be the name. We have a great name!" Talk about ego.
The mans' got enough for everybody that will ever be or has ever
been in marketing.
I heard him speak at a seminar once wherein he told the people
present that he had been accused of having a big ego. "Untrue,"
said Mr. Trump, "in point of fact I have no ego whatsoever."
All the time he was talking his people were going through the
audience passing out autographed pictures of The Donald. And
they were 11x17 at that.
When you are successful your ego starts puffing in direct
relation to success. Early success will lead to long-term
My father taught me a lesson about ego and pride as a young man
and I've never forgotten it to this day. Maybe it can help you.
Dad said "When you feel on top of the world .. nobody can beat
you .. you're the absolute best there is .. I want you to go in
and clean out the toilet at the office." My dad was an
accountant and he had a lot of customers that seemed to use our
facilities and miss a lot. But, let me tell you ... it brings
you down to earth in a hurry.
Don't let your ego .. your pride .. get in the way of your
There are a number of phenomenal salesmen out there who have a
lot of pride and big egos to match ... but you'll find when they
are talking with a customer you'd never know that ego was
anywhere around. They have learned that ego comes through the
conversation when you're talking with a customer. They put it
in a closet and it's out of sight, out of mind.
Don't get me wrong. Ego can be helpful in business. What hurts
is when you start putting your ego into the sales process. You
have to be aware and think like your customer thinks. Remember,
If your ego is put away when you are dealing with the customer,
you are putting yourself in their shoes. They won't impose
their view of your business on you .. nor should you try to
impose your views of how they should be running their business.
Arrogance can be one of the most damaging points to any career
in sales. All you have to do is take the arrogance of large
sales organizations, look at it objectively and apply it to your
For instance, as successes mounted at General Motors they became
arrogant. The feeling was they could do anything they wanted in
the marketplace and people would accept it.
If you were talking with a General Motors executive today he
would tell you that their first responsibility is the customer.
Quite a change from a few years ago .. in fact along about 1972
.. when the GM dealers all had the attitude that you HAD to deal
If you'll recall it was 1972 that we had our first big crunch
with a shortage of gas rationing. GM dealers barely made it
through with the giant gas hogs they were trying to peddle.
Most of it because of ego.
Dealers used every kind of tactic to try and keep buyers from
the small, gas economical Japanese autos. There was the old
saw: "If you were a travelling salesman you'd certainly want to
be in one of our cars. They'll protect you from accidents.
They're big and will take an impact." The reason the consumer
didn't believe that was because they were no longer paying 19
cents a gallon for gas and those gas hogs didn't get the mileage
of the small, economical models being offered by foreign
manufacturers. Success leads to failure.
The bigger the company, the better chance there is that the head
of that company has lost touch with what is happening in the
Back when Roger Smith was the CEO of General Motors and Ross
Perot came on the board really illustrates the point. Perot
went out weekends visiting the GM dealers and buying cars. He
became very critical of Smith for not taking the same action.
It was Perots' contention that General Motors needed to take
some kind of action. (I believe that his actual words were
"We've got to nuke the GM system.")
In case you weren't familiar GM's executives had heated garages,
valets meeting the chauffeured limousines so a carpet could be
put down on the concrete for the executive to walk into the
elevator, executive dining rooms and more benefits than a king
would have. Isn't that a little ridiculous for a company trying
to keep up with foreign competition? And those chauffeured
limos? For a car company executive?
No matter what you think of Ross Perot as a politician he does
and did have an uncanny ability to work with the customer. He's
another of those people who have put away the ego to come down
from on high and find out what real life is about.
He was also very successful. In case you had forgotten he is a
And NO EGO!
Marketing Is Like War
Sales IS war and there is only one winner in a war.
Many people in sales today seem to feel that the results they
achieve are the total of a tremendous amount of very tiny
efforts that they have implemented along the way.
These people feel that they can pick and choose different
strategies along the way and be successful. After all, if these
strategies work for another company, why won't they work for me?
These same people also use the new baby theory ... get into
History teaches us that, in war, the only thing that works is a
single, bold stroke. It's the same in marketing. A military
historian calls this the line of least expectation. As an
example: In World War II the allied invasion began at Normandy,
a place the Germans felt would be the last choice for a landing
of any scale because of the rocky shore and tides,
It's the same thing in marketing. It's probable that your
competitor is only vulnerable in one place. That place should
be the focus of all your marketing strategies and energy.
Sometimes you'll find that bigger companies will leave an area,
or niche, of the marketplace and open the door for you to just
walk in and take over from them. One such example is Mervyn's,
a dry goods chain that started in Hayward, California when the
founder of the company saw that J. C. Penney was leaving an area
behind in their desire to be bigger and better. Mervyn's
already had a couple of stores open in the San Francisco Bay
area. All they had to do was make some minor changes in how
business was done and they filled the niche left behind by
Penneys'. Mervyn's was so successful at what they were doing
that they attracted the attention of Dayton-Hudson Corporation
in Minnesota. Ken Daytons' no dummy and he turned Mervyn's into
a gigantic dry goods chain that brings in millions of dollars
Dayton-Hudson did it through all-out war on their competitors in
every marketplace. They merchandised the stores for a
mid-to-low end customer. Exactly the customer Penneys had left
behind them as they upgraded and moved to new areas. Mervyn's
sold brand name products, such as Levi's, at a lower price than
competitors could buy the product for, or close to wholesale.
Again, all-out war against competitors. Seemingly Mervyn's was
opening a new store every day somewhere in the west and
southwest and they are still competing fiercely in every market.
Same company .. different store name: Target. Here
Dayton-Hudson approached the problem of discounting differently.
It was still going to be all-out war, but done in a different
manner so that customers wouldn't get the feeling that they were
shopping a discounter. It hasn't really worked yet, and probably
never will. A little old man from Arkansas changed the
discounters way of doing business forever. His name was Sam
Walton, but that's another story. If you're interested there
are a number of books on Mr. Walton and his methods. You'll
find them at the library and they make fascinating reading.
Several things really jump out at you about Mr. Walton. Number
one: He was honest. Number two: He was fair in his dealings
with people. Number three: He had a narrow focus for his
Wal-Mart Stores. The final chapters are yet to be written on
Wal-Mart, but if his successors continue what they are doing and
stay as focused as Sam Walton they'll continue to be number one
Just remember that sales is war. Sales is a battle of ideas and
the salesman that puts forth winning ideas will be a winner of
To find the bold stroke you have to know what's going on around
you. Don't be insulated from the day-to-day fighting. The
ground pounders in war know what it's really like out there.
You are not hired to sit in an ivory tower and make
pronouncements from on high. It's not easy to find that single,
bold stroke, if you're sitting in an office and not looking at
the trees but rather just staring at the forest.
Second Place Ain't All That Bad
Do you remember who the first person was that crossed the
Atlantic on a solo flight? Who was second? Can you remember
who won the World Championship of baseball in 1990? Who
Now, unless youUre a student of flying, or a person that keeps
copious accounts of baseball trivia at hand, you haven't a clue.
Finishing second is all right if you're willing to settle for
second best ... but ... sometimes in marketing itUs the ONLY
thing you can settle for because of a variety of reasons. Money
is scarce to promote the product properly; size of the company
is small and growth is going to be tough; it's a regional
product rather than a national one. There are any numbers of
reasons for being second and making that work well for you or
your company, whether it be service oriented or product based.
The idea is to keep striving for dominance in the field. If
you're trying, then you are on the road to success. If you
don't try ... well, fold your cards now and get out of the game.
If you don't have the leading advertising agency in the city -
If you aren't the largest clothing store in 100 miles - If you
arenUt the number one restaurant in your community - TRY HARDER.
Come up with new concepts that can make you bigger, and better.
Keep narrowing your focus and looking for that niche that will
make you number one ... or so close to it that you don't care if
you are number one.
Ain't nothing wrong with being second. Take Avis .. or Pepsi ..
or any number of other companies that are second in their chosen
Build your business, whether it's in your home .. the largest
store in town .. or a hole in the wall diner, on the strong
points of that business.
Oh. Almost ran away and left you hanging on those questions at
the beginning of this section. The second person to fly the
Atlantic was a man named Bert Hinkler. He flew faster, used
less gas, but who ever heard of poor old Bert.
The 1990 World Series was a rout on the part of the Cincinnati
Reds as they whipped a better team, the Oakland A's, in just 4
Remember the headline above: Second Place Ain't All That Bad!
Personally we wouldn't mind the revenues Pepsi-Co generates from
their second position to Coca-Cola. And they keep Coke running
constantly, just to stay Number One.
There are so many programs and problems for salesmen that this
manual could take up another five hundred pages, but we haven't
the time, nor the inclination to read or write, another five
There any number of great books on the subject of sales and
marketing, if you'll just check your local library or
bookseller, under those titles that you'll see what we mean.
Remember, above all else: Whenever a commercial transaction of
any kind occurs there has to be a buyer and a seller. There
also has to be someone to handle that transaction. You'll find
that the person in the middle is the salesman.
Think like your prospect thinks. If you take the time to LISTEN
to what the prospect is saying you will be able to see things
from his point of view. In other words, walk a mile in his
You can talk a subject to death and usually that's what bad
salesmen do, talk until the prospect is no longer interested, or
bored to death and looking for any way out of the conversation
he can find. If you find your prospects telling you that they
have a funeral to attend, or their dentist appointment is coming
up in fifteen minutes, you know you're boring them to tears.
When anybody would rather face a funeral, or thirty minutes in a
dentists' chair rather than listen to exciting news about how to
make his business more successful ..... Well, you get the idea!
Don't ignore bad news, just because it's bad news. Face the
problem head on, find out the reason for the problem and then go
about fixing it.
Know your field. If you are selling grass seed and the
fertilizer that helps it grow, know what you're talking about.
No, I don't mean all the statistics about how much grass seed it
takes to grow grass to a height of one inch in one month. I'm
talking about LISTENING to your customer so you will be able to
give him the kind of answers he needs and wants. If you
customer wants his lawn to look like a putting green you should
know that rye grass ain't gonna be the answer. Know enough
about your products so you'll be able to answer the customer
intelligently. Not only will you sell more grass seed and
fertilizer, but you'll make a new customer. LISTEN!
Whatever you do don't use the IYCDTWB...BTWBS theory of selling
("If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them
with B.S.") It won't work in todays' marketplace. Customers
are a lot smarter than you think. Take the example of the
tactics car salesmen used in years gone by (some still use those
same tactics). See how Saturn has found a better way to sell
cars without all the hype, the nonsensical try to get you in a
selling booth, the "how much are you willing to pay to drive
this car off the lot today" junk. Saturn figured out how to
narrow the focus and let you decide what you want to do, without
a salesman hanging on your arm. Their idea works in todays'
Above all ... don't be afraid to fail. Show me someone who says
they have NEVER failed and I'll show you a person who has never
Failure is not bad. All you have to do to be successful is be
right 51% of the time. And sometimes 48% ain't all that bad
either. Look at Pepsi-Cola.
Open your eyes and look around you. Opportunity is everywhere.
It's at the corner self-serve gas station with mini-mart. It's
at the shoe repair store. It's your cleaners. It's the maid
service that cleans your home or office. It's the carpet
Advertising is another field of sales that can work to your
benefit because you already have all of the tools and knowledge
to implement a marketing program for any business or service.
Several fields that are overlooked in advertising are attorneys,
accountants, doctors and dentists. These professional people
have felt for years that advertising was bad for their "Image."
Substitute EGO for the word "Image." No longer true. The Ed
Bernsteins and David Allens of America are making the
professional people realize they are missing the boat by not
telling people about their business services and how they can
help solve problems for them.
There are two methods you can use: The rifle .. or the shotgun.
They both will work. We happen to favor a rifle. Remember
narrow your focus? With the rifle you have one shot. If you
miss you have to reload and try again but be careful with your
shot. It could miss enough times that you're out of business.
The shotgun lets you throw a lot of stuff out there and hope
that something sticks. If you can come up with enough ideas for
your customer, and they have enough money to keep trying your
ideas, something is bound to work .... sooner or later.
However, you may no longer be a member of that organization or
doing consulting work for them if you have more misses than
You have to have a product or service that can be sold to the
public. If all you have is hype, then all you really have is a
bag of air. Nothing's in that bag either. You can't just tell
people that white is green and make them believe it. Keep the
hype out of anything you do. Go back and read about honesty.
Great marketing will work .. but it takes money. You can have
the absolute, greatest all-time idea, but if you haven't the
wherewithal to back it up (read money there) it won't go
If you do have that all-time hit on your hands .. we know of
only one place to go, other than the banks (and they usually
won't even listen to you). That's an entrepreneur, or venture
capitalist. And he'll want money back for his investment with
you. That means giving away a part of your idea, but part of a
loaf is better than no loaf at all.
If you're as lucky as Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak you'll find a
Mike Markula to finance your idea and he'll only take 1/3 of the
company for his investment. Mike M. should have owned at least
half of Apple for his $91,000 investment. The venture
capitalist wants to show a return on his investment and the only
collateral you have is your idea. It's the only way you can
convince someone that they can score big with you. If you have
an unbelievable product or idea, don't give up. Find that
"somebody" that will have the vision to allow you to reach the
If you don't ask, you'll never know. What's the absolute worst
thing that can happen to you when you ask? They can say no.
That's it! You won't suddenly go blind. You won't lose your
family. Don't be afraid to ask. In sales it's called closing.
In marketing it's called closing. In retail it's called
closing. A good salesman tries five times to close his sale.
Ask for the order. Ask for the business. It's the only way you
know you've done a good job.
"I don't know" are three very important words for a salesman .
It goes back to honesty. Don't be afraid to use them, unless
you're using them every time a question is raised. You can't
possibly be ready for every single situation that could possibly
come up. Instead of trying to IYCDTWB BTWBS, use those three
words. Be sure you include the statement, "But I know exactly
where to look and it will only take a minute to find that out
MARKETING: Buying or selling in a market.
MARKETING: The commercial functions involved in transferring
goods (products or services) from producer to consumer.
In sales common sense is what should prevail first, last and
always, along with your own honesty. When you look at any
problem, or program, use your common sense.
Is this something my customers are ready for? If not discard
the program and start over. Look at everything in the bright
light of day. Take off the rose colored glasses and use your
common sense. It can provide more answers than any book, manual
or seminar in the world.
Remember: More money is made by salesmen in this world than any
other single endeavor. The salesman is where everything starts.
If there are no sales, there is no business.
Our advice is simple and easy. Write it down. Commit it to
GO DO IT!!
Now that you've read this manual there are only three things
that can happen.
#1. NOTHING. If after reading the ideas and suggestions we
have for you and you decide to do nothing with them it will have
been a total waste of your time, and money.
#2. You could say to yourself "Well, there are a lot good ideas
here. I'll give them a TRY." If this is your reaction then I
can successfully predict your future. The future is failure.
#3. You can take the advice of one of the greatest minds in
history ... Benjamin Franklin ... If he were alive today he
would tell you to select your own personal success plan, based
on the successful experience of others and then follow that plan
religiously, ONE STEP AT A TIME!
Sales or marketing is not something that is magic. It's just a
compilation of ideas that work in motivating another human being
to do something that you want them to do. You can't wave a wand
and have everything fall into your lap. It takes time .. It
takes practice .. It takes more guts than most people have.
One of the saddest facts of life is that if 100 people were to
become salesmen today .. by the end of 30 days 2 of those people
would still be in the sales business as professionals. Only 2
percent of the people who attempt to raise themselves above what
they are now, succeed.
The reason is simple. You have to work to attain your goal.
There is no such thing as a free lunch, friend.
If you'll take the advice I have tried my best to give you in
this manual one step at a time ... concentrate on that one step
for a week ... then take the next step and concentrate on it for
a week ... you'll get farther ahead in a month that you would in
The entire AOH site is optimized to look best in Firefox® 3 on a widescreen monitor (1440x900 or better).
Site design & layout copyright © 1986- AOH
We do not send spam. If you have received spam bearing an artofhacking.com email address, please forward it with full headers to email@example.com.