The Specialty Salesman
100 SALES SUGGESTIONS—The specialty salesman or agent is his own boss. He can work an hour a day or twelve hours a day. There is no one to tell him how long he must work except his own conscience or his needs. And the opportunities and rewards in this kind of work have always been greater than in almost any other occupation.
At the present time, because of depleted purchasing power, lower consumer cost has become an all-important factor in selling. And selling direct from manufacturer to consumer is the most economical method ever used.
Most products before they reach the ultimate consumer go through a very elaborate chain of middlemen—manufacturer's representative, traveling men, brokers, jobbers, retailers. These middlemen in turn have to pay salaries, traveling expenses, incur loss from bad debts, office salaries, cost of warehousing, insurance, delivery equipment, rents, etc. As a result, merchandise generally costs the consumer two hundred to five hundred per cent more than the actual cost of manufacture.
Under the direct selling system the manufacturer sells direct to the salesman. The salesman in turn sells directly to the consumer. All middlemen, with their middlemen's profits, are eliminated.
In other words, the specialty salesman is a retail dealer who has no store, but who depends upon personal solicitation for his sales.
He can make even more money than the retailer because he does not have the expenses of the storekeeper. He can sell a single specialty or several specialties which appeal to the same buyer.
Since the article which he sells is placed in his prospect's hands for examination, and since the agent is present at the demonstration to present every sales argument possible, it is not absolutely necessary that he be selling a nationally advertised product in order to convince the prospect of the quality or the utility of the specialty which he is selling. The goods speak for themselves, aided by the agent's explanations and suggestions.
And it is not necessary that one be a "born" salesman to make a success in this kind of work. None of the so-called "high pressure" methods are necessary. If the price is right, if your prospective customer needs the product and can save money or leisure or comfort or entertainment and enjoyment through the purchase of your product, it does not matter so much if your trousers are not perfectly creased or your dress is not one of the latest Parisian styles. If you like people, if you can smile genuinely, you will find that people will be willing to meet you half way and give you the opportunity of showing them how you can be of service to them.
Tons upon tons of literature have been written on the subject of salesmanship. You will undoubtedly find a number of books on the subject at your public library. Read one or two good ones. There is no harm in reading about the experience of others. They may help you overcome some difficulties which will confront you in your sales work.
If you can get a copy of Tested Selling Sentences, by Elmer Wheeler, published by John Murphy, Baltimore, Maryland, do so. You will find a number of helpful suggestions.
The following is a list of more than one hundred products which are now being sold profitably:
air perfumers cord holders bathtub mats coat hangers beverage dispensers coat hangers for auto bluings disinfectants broom duster deodorants brushes door checks cigarette holder dusters cleaning machines coffee-urn—(drip) clothes cleaners fire starter clothes racks furniture cleaner clothes dryers garment container clothes line reels
Christmas greeting cards hair curler jewelry golf ball markers sanitary garments coat hangers shoe repair substance cigarette case
headlight devices arm rests tires cigar lighters tire menders garage smocks radiator cements oils and greases seat covers patches and tubes gasoline theft protector horns automatic cleaner tire re-tread material gas sover tire protectors lubricants tools garage heaters traffic signals auto maps
belts and buckles suits, coats caps and hats trousers mufflers and neckwear underwear overalls work clothes shirts
dresses, dress goods lingerie hosiery sanitary garments
playsuits wash dresses boys' suits blouses
soft drink powders shaving creams counter card merchandise: perfumes aspirin, chewing laxatives, soap and toilet goods shoe laces, combs, perfumes, tooth brushes soda mints, nuts tooth paste cosmetics bromo-mint
wiener roasting machines clocks grills, sandwich and steak irons, lamps water heaters heating pads trouser pressers
canning sets knives, knife sharpeners can openers openers cookers mixers flour sifter, fruit squeezers orange juice machine bottle top peeler and slicer for veg. doughnut irons steel wool gas lighters utensils gas savers waffle irons kitchen ware whippers
book matches gasoline price charts clips menu covers calendars maps cigarette pack protectors thermometers electric clocks (neon) toothpick dispensers golf tees work uniforms and suits
crispette machines rug and furniture cleaning candy making machines doughnut making machines hotel training weiner roasters potato chip machine popcorn machines
adding machines printing adding pencils rubber stamps bookkeeping system show cards sales stimulators signs, neon check protectors changeable electric chewing gum suction sign holders collection systems telephone noise abaters cigarette vendor typewriters labels uniforms memo pads vending machines news picture service fire extinguishers pen, pencil sets
Christmas cards, seals Mexican jumping beans crucifix nursery fire extinguishers photos, portraits foot soothers shoe resole preparations garden preparations, tools shave, do away with golf tees preparations greeting cards
If you think you could handle any of the above products and you want to get he names and addresses of the direct selling firms who will supply you, write to any of the following publications:
Independent Salesman, 122 East 12th St., Cincinnati, Ohio.
Also scan the advertising pages of any of the numerous magazines at your public library and you will find hundreds of ads which will give you a good many leads.
MONEY MAKING IN MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS—Thousands of men, women and boys are devoting their time and every effort very profitably by taking magazine subscriptions. Each year several thousand students earn enough money during the summer vacation soliciting magazine subscriptions to enable them to pay their expenses through college.
In order to become a subscription agent, all you have to do is to write to the subscription manager of the publications you may be interested in, or communicate with he following subscription agencies:
Periodical Sales Co., Chicago, Illinois.
CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOL AGENT—It is estimated that there are several million students enrolled in the various correspondence courses. These students are enrolled through leads obtained as a result of coupon magazine and newspaper advertising. Each year finds millions of new students.
You can become the town agent for any of the correspondence schools listed below, if you qualify. Communicate with them. Suggest that they forward a supply of descriptive literature to you; also leads and inquiries that may reach them from your town. Agents can earn from 15 to 20 per cent commissions on the amounts paid by the students which they are instrumental in enrolling. Some correspondence schools charge as high as $100 for a complete course. Even three or four sales a month will bring you a good yearly income.
Alexander Hamilton Institute, Astor Pl., New York City.
SUBSCRIPTION BOOK AGENT—A number of publishing houses who sell sets of books and encyclopedia will always welcome new agents who want to represent them. Like the correspondence schools, they create a demand by considerable magazine advertising, and they obtain thousands of leads by offering to send inquirers free descriptive literature. Communicate with the following publishing houses, offering to represent them in your community. Even without leads submitted to you by these publishing houses you will find many customers by your own solicitation. Every mother with young children is a potential customer for any of the children's sets. Every high school boy or girl could use an encyclopedia to advantage.
The following is a partial list of some of the subscription book houses:
Encyclopedia Britannica, 342 Madison Ave., New York
BOOK CLUB AGENTS—Every community in this country contains a number of book loving people who make excellent prospective customers for any of the following book clubs. Communicate with, these book clubs. Obtain a number of prospectuses and other literature and go out after your share of business. Go after teachers, professional men and women. In fact, there is hardly a home where English is read that does not contain one person who could be interested in subscribing to one of the following book clubs:
Note: To account for inflation, multiply prices by 8 to 10.