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How To Master Creative Selling
I sincerely dedicate this, with the fervent prayer and hope that you will read it well; that you will endeavor to understand its principles and thus come to a vital realization of your creative power and ability. Your success will be my reward.
HOW THIS REPORT CAN HELP YOU
AT THE BEGINNING of our thinking together on this most timely subject, How To Master Creative Selling, I only regret that it is impossible for me to be in your home or office, to discuss with you, face to face, what I have written. However, in preparing this, I have taken you into my complete confidence. My purpose has been to visualize myself in your shoes. I realize that many books on selling are dull and uninteresting. In fact, you grow tired and weary trying to read them. I have therefore asked myself many times: Is what I am writing interesting? Is it instructive? Is it inspiring? Is it getting over the right idea? Every idea advanced in this has one objective in view: your interest. Will it stimulate you? Will it instruct you? Will it inspire you? Will it increase your understanding? Will it contribute to your growth? Will it help you to be a bigger man and a better salesman? Creative selling is both a science and an art. The science teaches you what to do, and the art teaches you how to do it. Creative selling is the ability and art of increasing the satisfaction of the prospect by convincing him that the thing you want him to buy will best fulfill his needs and desires. In fact, it is creating a want that did not exist before. Creative selling is an individual accomplishment. It embraces you and the power within you to think and to create. These qualities and attributes are individual, and no one but you can develop them. Therefore, my purpose is to help you to develop them by drawing on the latent forces within you. During the past 42 years it has been my good fortune to talk to thousands of people in all kinds of business, in all walks of life, in all kinds of places, and under all conditions. In that time, I have sold both tangibles and intangibles by every conceivable selling method. I have been able to combine first-hand knowledge with experience and to make a first-hand study of the actions and reactions of people. I have studied their behavior, and this has given me an insight into their temperaments, dispositions, ambitions, aspirations, attitudes, likes, dislikes, wants, and desires. Combining all this information, I have incorporated the best parts of it here. How To Master Creative Selling is more than a book. It is an entirely new plan of selling, setting forth proven methods for creating more sales, earning a larger income, and enjoying more peace of mind. It is not the work of a theorist in an Ivory Tower, but of a stern realist who has encountered all the problems and heartaches that you are encountering, and who has solved many of the situations that are perplexing you at this very moment. In my years of experience, combined with reading, analyzing, and researching, I have learned what is necessary to influence people to buy—plus what it takes to keep them as friends. It is impossible to put in the Introduction the many things this report can do for you. To do so would be to incorporate the context itself, because every page has a message. If you will read what follows and apply to your own life the powerful principles set forth, you will have a workable plan of creative selling that will really get results and enable you to sell anything.
ONE : I Stubbed My Toe
ONE MORNING, I left my office in the Commercial
Trust Building in Philadelphia and walked down Chest-
nut Street, on my way to see a prospect. Suddenly I felt
someone tapping me on the shoulder. I turned around and
faced a gentleman whom I had never seen before. "Is your
name Earl Prevette?" he inquired. "Yes," I replied. "Are you
originally from North Carolina?" "That's right!" I said. At
this juncture he extended his hand very graciously and introduced himself as George Peabody, Jr., an attorney-at-law
from Boston, Massachusetts. Still this did not mean much
to me. Then he told me that my uncle, Henry Slater of Providence, Rhode Island, and more recently of Boston,
Massachusetts, had passed away and that his law firm Peabody,
Peabody, and Peabody had been appointed the administrators of his estate. He also informed me that, in going over
the will of the late Henry Slater, his firm had discovered
that I had been named as one of the beneficiaries. He said
that a sizable sum of money was waiting for me in Boston
and that his firm was prepared to make a settlement with
Without further ado, he suggested that I should journey
to Boston with him in order to claim my inheritance. Soon
we were on the train, and, upon our arrival in Boston, I made
an appointment to call on his law firm the following morning.
I arose early the next morning. It was one of those beautiful spring mornings in Boston. The sky was clear and
flooded with bright sunshine. The air was crisp, fresh, and
fragrant. It was a most invigorating day, and I was thrilled
and exhilarated. I was walking on air, all aglow with the
hope and expectation of what was soon to be realization.
Exactly at 9 o'clock I was in the Old Colony Bank and
Trust Building, on my way to keep my appointment with
the law firm of Peabody, Peabody, and Peabody and claim
my legacy. The receptionist at the office of the law firm was
very gracious and most accommodating. In a moment Mr.
George Peabody, Jr., came forward and greeted me with a
most cordial and pleasant, "Good morning."
Immediately he escorted me into the office of Mr. George
Peabody, Sr., who was the titular head of the law firm. Of
course he was very delighted to see me and to realize that
I was the nephew of his old friend and colleague, the late
Henry Slater. After a few remarks that established my identity securely in his mind, he said that my uncle, Henry
Slater, had willed me quite a sizable sum of money, and that
his firm was now ready to give it to me, after I had signed
a few routine papers. Indeed, I was most happy to sign those
papers as a token of my sincere gratitude. After I had signed
all the necessary papers, Mr. Peabody called his secretary
and asked her to draw a check to my order. This she did.
Then he asked me if I would like to cash the check in Boston
before returning to Philadelphia. This I thought a splendid
idea. He called his son, George Jr., to take me down to the
first floor, where the Old Colony Bank and Trust Company
was located. There, George, Jr. introduced me to Mr. Jerome
Knickerbocker, the cashier, who said he would be glad to
give me the cash when I had endorsed the check.
I endorsed the check, and Mr. Knickerbocker asked me
how I would like to have the money. I told him that I would
like to have it in thousand-dollar bills. He walked over to
the vault and casually brought back 100 thousand-dollar
bills. He counted them out one by one, deliberately and care-
fully. I put these 100 thousand-dollar bills into an envelope
and thanked Mr. Peabody and Mr. Knickerbocker very graciously for their splendid
courtesy and co-operation. I picked
up the envelope containing the one hundred thousand dollars and placed it very carefully and securely in my inside
coat pocket. Just as I turned to leave the bank, lo and behold,
I stubbed my toe and woke up!
How My Hundred-Thousand-Dollar Dream Came True
As I pondered over this dream, the thought came to me that I did not need to inherit one hundred thousand dollars. All I needed was to stub my toe, wake up, shake off the state of lethargy, get out of the rut, and come to a conscious, vital realization of the power of creative selling that was hidden within me. I firmly believed that the development of this positive and creative power of thinking, applied to selling, would enable me to make many hundred thousands of dollars. However, in order to claim my heritage, to realize the full impetus of my latent power and ability, and to derive the full benefit from that creative selling, it was necessary for me to develop a definite and concrete plan of action. At that time I was attempting to sell life insurance. In those days there was no scientific plan of action for selling life insurance. It was a hit-or-miss proposition—mostly miss. Creative selling was only a dream, like my inheritance. The general agent of a life insurance company was usually a pompous gentleman. He would put his hands on your shoulders, rear back with an air of great authority, and hand you a rate book and some application blanks with the remark, "Now, go out into the world and sell!" That was the extent of your training as a life insurance salesman. It was sink or swim, so out into the world I went—and I floundered. I walked the streets, stood on the street corners, and watched the people go by. Prospects! prospects every- where! But I had no definite plan of action to contact any of them. Now and then someone would grant me an inter- view for the sake of courtesy, but the inevitable answer was "not interested." Thus, with sore feet, a tired back, a sour disposition, a weary body, and with both hands empty, I would slowly trudge back to the office. This procedure lagged on for many days. I began to question—what's the trouble? Is it me or the life insurance business? I decided to do something about it.
How an Idea Gave Me Faith
First, I analyzed the principle of life insurance thoroughly to determine its value and to appreciate its worth. I concluded that it was a very excellent idea. I liked the idea of the protection it could provide. I liked the idea of the estate it could create. I liked the idea of the savings account it could establish. I liked the idea of the income it could guarantee for old age. In fact, I liked the idea of all the benefits that life insurance could provide for the individual and his family. This analysis of life insurance gave me a comprehensive interpretation of its function and a clear picture of the benefits that it could provide for the prospect. I was thoroughly convinced that it was a good idea; a sound and practical proposition. I firmly believed that I could sell it. I had faith in it. Faith is believing in something, and so it remains until you demonstrate your ability to fashion faith into reality. Now arose the question of how I could convert my faith into results by selling life insurance. How could I get the idea of life insurance and its many benefits over to the prospect? How could I convince the prospect that it was a safe place for him to invest his capital? How could I make the prospect feel as I felt about life insurance?
How I Converted Faith into Results
I decided that the only scientific way for me to demonstrate my faith in selling life insurance was to create a sales plan that would carry the message of its benefits and values to the prospect and convince him that he would enjoy satisfaction and peace of mind by owning it. It was up to me to use my ability and draw on the hidden power within and create a sale that did not exist before. In applying your ability to think and create a sale, it is wise to get the right attitude toward yourself as well as your product. You must realize that you are not merely a rag, a bone, and a hank of hair—you are greater than your body. Your power to think does not confine you to your own skin. You can project thought. You can organize and visualize the ideas and thoughts about the thing you sell with such power that it creates a sale. To do this scientifically and effectively, it is essential to build these thoughts and ideas into a plan. What is a plan? A plan is a method of action, procedure, or arrangement. It is a program to be done. It is a design to carry into effect an idea, a thought, a project, or a development. Therefore, a plan is a concrete means to help you fulfill your desires. In the field of selling, your desire is to create sales and render a useful service. To do this effectively, it is wise to have two plans: First, a plan of operation to govern, guide, and control your general activities. To organize and arrange your activities each day is to save time, conserve energy, and eliminate chaos. The orderly arrangement of time will guide and direct you through the labyrinth of the most busy day. Second, a Sales Plan to govern, guide, and direct your sales procedure. Prospects are influenced and motivated to action by ideas, and the more quickly they receive ideas about the value of the product, the sooner they will react. I decided that life insurance was an idea guaranteeing many valuable benefits to the prospect and his family. I also decided that the quickest, the most practical, the most efficient, the most feasible, and the most scientific method of carrying that idea to the greatest number of prospects in the shortest period of time was by means of a Sales Plan.
The Essentials of a Good Sales Plan
I had plenty of prospects. What next? I needed a sales approach. It was only good sense on my part to create a Sales Plan that would set forth, in plain, understandable language, the many benefits and values of life insurance, and what they really meant to the prospect. The Sales Plan to present these important ideas had to be good, compelling, and concrete. It had to contain the power to attract the attention of the prospect. It had to possess the power to arouse the interest of the prospect. It had to create the power to stimulate the desire of the prospect. It had to generate the power to persuade and convince the prospect to act. I spent many many hours of study and meditation in creating this Sales Plan. I checked, I double checked, I analyzed, I visualized. Was it interesting? Was it comprehensive? Was it stimulating? Was it concise? Was it persuasive? Was it convincing? Every idea, every sentence, and every detail was attended with the strictest attention. Every word was studied for the correct pronunciation, for the proper enunciation, and for the right sound and inflection. Every thought in each sentence was studied for proper emphasis. Every particular was weighed and balanced. Nothing was taken for granted, and no detail was overlooked. When I had this Sales Plan in good form, I memorized it. I read it out loud many times. I dramatized it. I felt it. I lived it. I perfected it. Then I used it. The Sales Plan presented a good proposition and a sound idea. What about the prospect? Was he attracted? Was he interested? Was he stimulated? Was he convinced? The results were beyond my fondest expectations. That Sales Plan sold millions of dollars worth of life insurance.
A Lesson from the Actor
In presenting a Sales Plan, I think that it would pay you to take a lesson from the actor. On the stage, on television, on the screen, and on radio, you must have been thoroughly impressed by the correct and precise way in which actors and performers present their lines. They seem to give every sentence, every word, and every gesture its proper place and time. They feel and live their parts right before your eyes, and the strange part is that you live the parts right along with them. Suppose they came on the stage without knowing their lines. Suppose they did not know what they were going to say or how they were going to say it. What do you think their sponsors would do? They would discontinue their services, and, of course, they would be justified. Performers know their lines because they want to please you. By pleasing you, they please their sponsors, and their sponsors are the ones who pay them—and pay them well. If it pays these actors and performers to know their lines, it will certainly pay you and me as salesmen. This is the way I felt when I composed the Sales Plan.
A Sales Plan Gets
Results I felt that a Sales Plan was the means by which I could concentrate all my power and focus all my ability to arrest the attention of the prospect, kindle his interest, stimulate his desire, and convince him to act. It would enable me to get results quickly. I also felt that it would mean money to me—and, believe me, it has! When I stubbed my toe, I woke up to the power of creative selling. It has been worth to me many times the inheritance in the dream. It can be worth the same to you, provided you stub your toe—because what am I that you are not?
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