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Sam Lambert and the New Way Store A Book for Clothiers and Their Clerks   By:

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E text prepared by Barbara and Bill Tozier


A Book for Clothiers and Their Clerks

Published by Grand Rapids Show Case Co. Grand Rapids: Michigan

Copyright, 1912, Grand Rapids Show Case Co. Grand Rapids, Mich.


Sam Lambert had the best clothing store in Medeena County a corner store on the main street of Medeena opposite the Court House Square.

Medeena had four clothing stores, not counting The Blue Front, down by the Depot, with its collection of cheap watches in the window, a yellow guitar, two large accordions and a fiddle with a broken E string.

Everybody in the County knew Sam Lambert.

As a merchant and a citizen he was a whole bunch of live wires. A big boned, free hearted fellow lucky enough to just escape being run for sheriff, as some thought he was too good natured, the "gang" was afraid he was not pliant enough, and Sam didn't want to be away from the store.

Sam took great pride in his clothing business and kept pace with the most advanced ideas in the trade.

He was awake to the marvelous development of the ready to wear business. He carried the best and took a positive delight in each season's new models.

He recalled the old days of "hand me downs," and he had lived to see the two best tailors in Medeena take to bushelling "ready" garments, with less and less of that to be done principally changing a button or shortening a trouser's length.

Sam was broad gauge in everything he did. He sold his goods at the marked price, for cash only got a decent profit and told you so.

Why shouldn't he? He had a sense of style. He was keenly alive to the artistry of clothes and his enthusiasm was contagious.

Sam was firmly convinced that a man has to spend money to make money in the clothing business.

He said that a part of the value you deliver to a customer consists in giving him a better opinion of himself: making him feel like a king for a day and that the best is none too good for him.

"A store," he would tell the boys, "cannot be run on the low gear. You must keep her keyed up. Relax when the store is empty, but when you go to meet a customer put on the tension take a brace get spring into your step learn to bunch your vitality and get it across. But keep your energy inside.

"Don't bounce and don't talk too much. Keep yourself in hand. Be quiet but alert.

"Concentrate! For the time being there is but one person in the world and that is the customer, and the most interesting thing in life is the thing he came in to see.

"You can size up your man while you are going forward to meet him. But by all means take him easy. Undue interest might embarrass him. Suppose he only wants a pair of 15c. socks; if he does, there is a test of your ability that you may not realize.

"Many a clerk who can close a Twenty dollar transaction with tact and dispatch never seems able to handle a Ten cent sale so that the customer goes out feeling pleased with himself.

"Nine men out of ten who come into the store are self conscious. The thing to do is to make your man feel that his requirement is important simply because it is his requirement.

"A good salesman keeps his own personality in the background: he keeps the store and the sale in the background. He puts all the emphasis on service to the customer, and to do this he must mentally put himself in the customer's place.

"Try to be as interested in the customer's finding what he wants as if the article was for yourself; but don't insist on his taking only the thing that appeals to you.

"Quietly dominate the sale, but leave him plenty of room for the exercise of his own taste and ideas.

"Most men, though they may not show it, are slightly on the defensive when they come into a clothing store. That is why it is so very important that there be no talking or laughing among the clerks.

"You may find it hard to realize the effect of a whisper or a titter on the part of the store's help when a customer is present... Continue reading book >>

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