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How To Master Creative Selling


THREE : How to Attract the Prospect

INSPIRED by her Bible reading, Hazel McCann, a saleslady of Akron, Ohio, wrote a letter early one autumn morning in 1940 to the famous minister and author, Lloyd C. Douglas. In that letter she wrote: "As I was reading, in John of the Crucifixion, how the soldiers had cast their lots for the seamless coat of Jesus, this was my thought: 'What might have been the reaction of the Roman soldier who won the coat? Did he wear it? Is there any legend about that man?' " Just a week later she received a reply from Dr. Douglas. "Almost every day I hear from someone who thinks he or she has found a good idea for a story," he wrote, "but only once before have I had an idea handed to me which seemed to have large possibilities. "It was very kind and thoughtful of you to give me the benefit of your luminous idea, and I shall try to do a story on it that will fulfill your expectations." As the result of Mrs. McCann's idea, Dr. Douglas wrote a book which has sold more than two million copies. It has been translated into 17 languages and is now a film production that cost in excess of four million dollars. That book was The Robe. Millions of people had read many times the Bible's ac- count of the Crucifixion, and how the soldiers cast lots for the seamless coat that Jesus wore, but they never questioned the reaction of the Roman soldiers. They never questioned who won the coat, they never questioned who wore it, and they never questioned the legend of the man who won it. Hazel McCann did. She was inquisitive. She had an idea. She gave this idea to Dr. Douglas. It seized his attention. It attracted his interest. It stimulated his desire. He was convinced that the idea had the seeds of a wonderful story. He was sold on the idea. He acted upon his decision. As a result of that idea given to him by Hazel McCann, a storehouse of valuable knowledge and interesting entertainment was furnished to a host of people. 

How to Attract the Prospect's Interest

The highway to the interest of all men lies on the fertile plain of ideas. Hazel McCann used this highway to attract Dr. Douglas, and as a result she was highly rewarded. As a salesman, you have access to this highway from a choice field of selling ideas. Your ability and power as a salesman must be expressed through ideas. You must be able to pre- sent these ideas by creating a Sales Plan to merchandise your proposition. You must turn over what you have in order to get something else; in short, you must sell. You must keep on the move, and consider the ups and downs in your activities as a stepping stone to greater achievements. Has it ever occurred to you why the ocean's waves constantly roll and break against each other with clocklike regularity? Without this persistent motion the ocean would become stagnant. Everything in and around it would perish. These movements keep the water teeming with wholesomeness and vitality. Ups and downs in selling act as a tonic to provoke thought and stimulate action. The world is a proving ground. The prospects you call on furnish you with material for your laboratory of human relations. Your salesmanship is the head chemist who compounds formulas, and, if these formulas are scientifically compounded, you can attract the prospect and sell whatever you desire. In this chapter there are formulas compounded in the laboratory of human relations, tested in the field of experience, and proved on the proving grounds of hard knocks. 

How to Use the Law of Attraction to Make Sales

The laws of the universe are abstract until we begin to understand their principles and discover that these scientific laws are as close to us as our elbows. According to scientific theories, the universe is held together by the Law of Attraction. In physics you were taught that the Law of Attraction is a force acting mutually between particles of matter, tending to draw them together. A Law of Attraction also operates in selling. It is the formula, the process, the method, the plan, and the act you employ to attract the prospect. The more you know about the prospect and the situations that control his acts, the more quickly you can attract him. Attracting the prospect calls for a combination of science and art. Science instructs us what to do. Art teaches us how to do it. Through observation, experience, reflection, and reasoning you can analyze the prospect. You can uncover the reasons that influence and motivate him to act. Prospects are governed and motivated to action by ideas. Compounding ideas into a scientific Sales Plan and presenting them in logical sequence stimulates reaction and leads to quick results. Human nature is fundamental. You can be fairly certain what reaction you will get from people when you present them with a certain definite idea. A positive idea in action always produces a reaction. This reaction will be favorable if the plan to convey the idea is scientifically pre- pared. 

The Importance of Knowing Yourself

A knowledge of ourselves, and what appeals to us, often gives us a definite clue to what appeals to and attracts others. We discover an appeal that makes them act. Most prospects are fundamentally alike. What will appeal to one will appeal to all. Most of us are constantly and eternally trying to persuade and even convince ourselves that we are different from everyone else. With 42 years experience in selling and experimenting in the laboratory of human relations, I know differently. We all have a lot in common with each other. The sooner we realize this, the sooner will we generate the power to attract. We must realize and appreciate one great fact about the prospect: he is a rational human being. He has desires, problems and needs, and he will listen to a reason- able and common-sense appeal on how to meet and fulfill them. The attributes, characteristics, and qualities of the prospect can usually be determined by an understanding of our own. Your purpose should be to understand what the prospect thinks and to express your power to him through a well- formulated Sales Plan. Therefore, with this understanding, using the prospect and his needs as a center of interest, you can build and create thoughts into a Sales Plan that will impel him to act. You can attract and inspire him to have full confidence in your proposition. 

The Three Sources of Sales

In analyzing the prospect, we find his acts to buy are con- trolled by three sources. So important are these three sources that I again enumerate them. By all means, initiate them into your activities and appropriate them to your use. First: The prospect has a desire, and a desire is an unfilled want, seeking satisfaction. Second: The prospect has a urge, and the urge stimulates and incites him to buy; Third: The prospect has a reason, and the reason is based on definite knowledge of an established need. 

Your Prospect Has Three Main Interests

After distinguishing the nature of the sources that control the prospect's acts to buy, you must uncover the situations that prompt them. The first source that motivates a man to buy is interest. Man has many interests, but sift them all down and you find that he has three main interests in life. On these three interests are based most of his reasons for buying: First: The first interest in a prospect's life is his family. He buys things to aid them and to give them comfort and good living. Second: The second interest in a prospect's life is his vocation or business. He buys things to resell, things to use in his own operations, or things that help him to be more efficient in his activities. Third: The third interest of a prospect is to add comfort and pleasure to himself and to satisfy his own personal wants. 

The Three Advantages Your Prospect Desires

In making an analysis of these causes and interests, we discover that they may be influenced by certain advantages and the effect they have on the life of the prospect: First: The first advantage that the prospect desires is happiness or peace of mind. The prospect derives great satisfaction from what he buys. His purchases buoy him up. He feels that he is really doing something worth while. Second: The second advantage the prospect desires is the gain of health. He places a great value on this because it is his greatest and most important asset, and he will buy almost anything if he is convinced that it will improve and safe- guard his own health or his family's. Third: The third advantage he desires is a gain of money or wealth. The prospect realizes that it is necessary to spend money to earn money. Therefore, he will buy those things on which he can make money or those that he can resell and make a profit. Thus you have a direct road to the prospect's interest, a direct road to the sources of his decision to buy, and a road map of the advantages by which you can attract him. You have a psychological background. This is the foundation on which to create a scientific sales presentation. With this scientific knowledge and information about the prospect, you can create thoughts and ideas from within that will at- tract him, and, by gaining his confidence, you can sell him your particular product. Thoughts about the thing you want to sell, built around his interests, his needs, and his wants, and believed in by you, will convince him to buy. 

You Have to Give in Order to Get

The Law of Attraction is very plainly expressed in the Bible. It reads: "To him that hath shall be given, and from him that hath not shall be taken away, even that which he hath." As applied to attracting the prospect, this simply means that if you have the thoughts and ideas to attract him, and give them out, then you attract other things to you, and therefore more things shall be given unto you. On the other hand, if you do not make use of the thoughts and ideas you now have, then even that which you already have shall be taken away. It merely expresses the inexorable and immutable law that you have to give in order to get. In selling you have only one thing to give, and that is your ability, intelligently reviewed and appraised, and conveyed to others through a system or a plan of action. Your ability can be expressed through a Sales Plan. You can create this plan in a haphazard, hit-or-miss way, or you can create it in a scientifically planned way. To attract a prospect and to create a sale, the latter is imperative. The perfection of selling starts with you. How high do you register in the scale of perfection? What are you doing to improve your efficiency? Have you learned to harness all your forces and concentrate them on the job of selling? Have you acquired the knowledge and skill to do the greatest amount of work with the least possible amount of effort in the shortest period of time? Can you get maximum results with minimum effort? Are your thoughts liquid? Can you adjust yourself quickly? Have you the power of adaptability? Can you apply common sense? Do you assume the role of self-importance when shouldered with the responsibility of serving others? Does your expert knowledge and keen sales ability lose its charm and savor at the expense of impudence and arrogance? Do you use your head for other things as well as a place to hang your hat? Always remember that if the product or service could talk and reveal its qualities, services, merits, usefulness, and its benefits and advantages to the prospect, the power of creative selling would be unessential and your services as a salesman would no longer be needed. However, since the product or service cannot do this, it is your job to do it effectively. This requires positive thinking, creative planning, and dynamic action. 

The Power of Creative Selling Lies in You

The power of creative selling lies not in the product, not in the service, and not in the prospect—it lies in you. It lies in your ability to apply the Law of Attraction to draw the prospect to you. As a salesman, you want results; you want to make a sale, and you want to be of service to the prospect. The most scientific and practical way to do this is to give the prospect all the knowledge and information possible about your product. Make an effort to give him a complete and comprehensive picture of what the product is, what it can do for him, and the pleasure and satisfaction he will derive from owning it. In doing this, you give the prospect an idea of what you can really do for him. He feels the impact of your impelling presentation. You stimulate and in- cite his consciousness with a genuine reason for buying. You feelingly persuade him to act. The prospect says to himself: "This is an appeal to my reason and to my interest, and ac- cording to my judgment it is a sound presentation. It makes sense. This salesman is telling me the truth. He believes what he says. Therefore, I am going to act on his advice and counsel." Prove and demonstrate that the product that you are selling has merit, that it is faithfully meeting the needs and satisfying the wants of others, and that it will therefore serve and benefit your prospect. 

How to Turn Your Creative Power into Cash

To gain attention and get interest is not enough. With a feeling of confidence and earnestness you must arouse the desire, incite that inward, invisible intensity of being and make others want to do what you propose. You have the power to intensify your thoughts. Concentrate this power on a sale, and you will attract all the forces necessary to accomplish it. You will attract that which you want to accomplish by putting a lot of thought into it. When you proceed along this line, you are in a position to draw on all the necessary elements and entities and make full use of them. The sale will build itself if you center your thoughts on it. Thoughts turn into realities. Your great creative power is within you now, right where you are, ready to go to work for you. You can apply the Law of Attraction as a means to help you put this power of creative selling into action. It will turn your sales ability into cash. 

To be Continued...