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Tales of the Road   By: (1870-)

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First Page:

[Illustration: "He is the steam and a big part of the engine too that makes business move"]





Dedicated to Alex C. Ritchey, Salesman. the Author's Friend.


I The square deal wins II Clerks, cranks and touches III Social arts as salesmen's assets IV Tricks of the trade V The helping hand VI How to get on the road VII First experiences in selling VIII Tactics in selling I IX Tactics in selling II X Tactics in selling III XI Cutting prices XII Canceled orders XIII Concerning credit men XIV Winning the customer's good will XV Salesmen's don'ts XVI Merchants the salesman meets XVII Hiring and handling salesmen XVIII Hearts behind the order book


He is the steam and a big part of the engine too that makes business move

Larry let business drop entirely and danced a jig

"Whenever I let go the buggy handle the baby yelled"

"Tonight we dance, tomorrow we sell clothes again" "I listened to episodes in the lives of all those seven children"

"I braced the old man It wasn't exactly a freeze but there was a lot of frost in the air"

"You ought to have seen his place"

"My stomach was beginning to gnaw, but I didn't dare go out"

"In big headlines I read 'Great Fire in Chicago'"

"Well, Woody," said he, "You seem to be taking things pretty easy"

"You'd better write that down with a pencil" said Harry

"Shure, that cigare is a birrd"

"He came in with his before breakfast grouch" "I'm treed" said the drayman. "They're as heavy as lead"

"What explanation have you to make of this, sir?"

"He tried to jolly her along, but she was wise"

The author wishes to acknowledge his special debt of gratitude to the SATURDAY EVENING POST, of Philadelphia.



Salesmanship is the business of the world; it is about all there is to the world of business. Enter the door of a successful wholesale or manufacturing house and you stand upon the threshold of an establishment represented by first class salesmen. They are the steam and a big part of the engine, too that makes business move.

I saw in print, the other day, the statement that salesmanship is the "fourth profession." It is not; it is the first. The salesman, when he starts out to "get there," must turn more sharp corners, "duck" through more alleys and face more cold, stiff winds than any kind of worker I know. He must think quickly, yet use judgment; he must act quickly and still have on hand a rich store of patience; he must work hard, and often long. He must coax one minute and "stand pat" the next. He must persuade persuade the man he approaches that he needs his goods and make him buy them yes, make him. He is messenger boy, train dispatcher, department buyer, credit man, actor, lawyer and politician all under one hat!

By "salesman" I do not mean the man who stands behind the counter and lets the customer who comes to him and wants to buy a necktie slip away because the spots on the silk are blue instead of green; nor do I mean the man who wraps up a collar, size 16, and calls "cash;" I mean the man who takes his grip or sample trunks and goes to hunt his customer the traveling salesman. Certainly there are salesmen behind the counter, and he has much in common with the man on the road.

To the position of traveling salesman attach independence, dignity, opportunity, substantial reward. Many of the tribe do not appreciate this; those do so best who in time try the "professional life." When they do they usually go back to the road happy to get there again. Yet were they permanently to adopt a profession say the law they would make better lawyers because they had been traveling men. Were many professional men to try the road, they would go back to their first occupation because forced to... Continue reading book >>

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