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actual money income, then he is far better off in the country than in the city.
Not one inside salesman in a dozen is a good salesman, and most inside salesmen possess little real selling ability; consequently it must be assumed that one can earn a living behind the counter even if he can not develop more than the rudiments of salesmanship.
The ordinary salesman seldom shows any marked characteristics while a boy. He is simply an ordinary boy, traveling along as ordinary boys do, and he will go in the direction that his parents point out or his playmates happen to suggest.
But the first-class salesman develops from the boy who has himself well in hand, who understands men and things, and who is a leader of boys, who generally has his own way, not by force, but by persuasion, and who governs his playmates simply because he knows how to handle them.
Such a boy knows how to buy his own clothes, and does it.
Even if the parents object to his buying his own clothes and attending to his own affairs, yet in as far as he does do business as a boy he may prove to his parents that he is really competent to do what they would not allow him to do. He is a trader, and knows how to place a value upon things, and above all, knows how to impress others with their value.
While a good talker does not necessarily mean a good salesman, the good salesman is almost always a good talker. Either he talks much and well, or else he talks less and very well. There are some salesmen who have little to say, and who seem to possess the ability of saying much in little. But nearly all successful salesmen are fluent talkers; in other words, they know how to represent that which they have to sell. They know how to present the good points of their goods, so that the buyer will want to buy; and, further, they possess the power of persuasion, — that power which enables them to make the buyer feel as they feel, and want to do as they want him to do. This is not mesmeric power or anything supernatural. It is simply a natural ability, born of nature and developed by experience.
The successful salesman must understand human nature. He must know how to approach a customer. He must anticipate his customer's wants, and he must be genial, meeting people easily, and be himself easy to approach.
The crabbed boy, the conservative boy, the boy who is not popular with his fellows, is not likely to make a good salesman.
PERSONALITY IN THE WORKING
By GEORGE H. BARBOUR
1ERSONALITY in business!
Those three words spell, to my mind, the most powerful factor in business to-day. Financial resource, of course, is necessary in the business field; foresight and the ability to grasp opportunities as they arise achieve much. But only when these elements are combined with that peculiar characteristic of the individual which we call personality — that faculty of personal power, personal impression, and personal understanding — do they attain the best and most permanent results.
Personality is the chief factor in building a business, because personal power is the strongest bond between men, and a unified organization in a business establishment is chiefly the result of that same power — personality.
The successful founders of business have been those men who have radiated their personalities through the structures of trade which they built. Their policies and their methods were thus given additional momentum, and their personal magnetism became an instrument unifying employees and attracting customers. This power has caused every employee in such an establishment to give to the business and to his particular work the best there was in him. And the man who can secure that individual effort, general team-work, and loyalty from those he employs is the man who wins; for a great machine is the more nearly perfect as its every part, even the smallest wheel or rod, moves in unison and with the least possible friction.
1 By permission of " System." Copyright, 1907.
I believe the business man can well devote much of his time to developing personal relations with his employees and the personal quality in those he employs. Many years ago, before I became a manufacturer, I conducted a general store in Connecticut. I made it a point to impress on my clerks that careful attendance and personal treatment must be accorded every visitor to that store, no matter what the amount of a purchase or even if no purchase at all were made. I insisted that a customer who spent ten cents should be given just as close attention and as patient attendance as the customer who spent ten dollars; for very often the ten-cent customer of to-day develops into the buyer of the morrow, whose every bill totals far more than that of the ten-dollar purchaser of the present. Now, the clerk who had that idea innately — who did not need to be told — was the man with personality. He was the employee who could attract customers and hold them.
Every business needs to develop the personality of its men, for that means individualism, originality, growth, and progress. But to develop individualism in the organization demands the injection of the personal touch into the relations between the management and the rank and file. We have always sought to develop the individualism of the worker, from the man who toils in the molding-sand in the foundry to the salesman who disposes of the finished product to the customer. In that way the workman, no matter how small the portion of the general task that may fall to him, is made to feel that he is a factor in the business. Whatever the place he may occupy, he must feel that he is a necessary link in the execution of a certain phase of the work — that his efforts are needed in keeping in motion that chain of production which runs from the factory to consumers throughout the world.
The management should keep in close personal touch with workmen in all departments. From foundry to shipping room this principle has been followed. Even with almost two thousand workmen in a manufacturing plant it is surprising to find how easily and how pleasantly this personal relationship may be continued, once it is established. The employer may be somewhat amazed to find with what interest he absorbs knowledge of the affairs of the various employees and the eagerness he feels in seeing each man attain the success he desires. And this personal interest, which becomes wholly unselfish and one of the pleasures of business management, is the element which, more than any other one thing, perhaps, brings out loyalty and produces a unified organization.
In our works there has been but one slight disturbance since 1871. That lasted but a few days. Some of the men complained that inspections were too rigid. They were shown that quality always had been the keystone of the business. The discord was quickly adjusted and the most rigid inspection continued. I believe this long period of constant accord has been made possible chiefly through this personal relationship, loyalty of organization, and that consequent mutual knowledge of actual conditions which makes for the fairest of dealing between employer and employee.
This personal power makes men refer to the house or factory with which they are connected as "we." Their individualism is not crushed out. They feel that they are a living, working unit of that great business machine to which they are attached.
This policy also begets long-time service — and permanent employees are a money-saver to a business. I believe