Self-Improvement and Interesting Knowledge

Category Archives: Business Advice from Uncle J.P.

How to Be Real and Win at the Selling Game

Life is too short to spend valuable time trying to make a favorable impression.
The drummer* who will call upon a merchant and introduce himself to his business with as little formality as possible, and will take his departure as soon as the business is finished is the one who leaves the best impression. There are many familiarities resorted to by the unsophisticated drummer which he no doubt believes in, and possibly values highly as “stock in trade, ” but if dispensed with would do credit to himself and the profession.

A few of these familiarities may be very properly mentioned, viz:

  • The habit of shaking his customer by the hand with the ardor of a “long–lost brother, ” and repeating several times in a minute that he is glad to see him
  • The habit of advising his customer how he should conduct his business to be successful
  • Of going behind his customers counters and opening boxes, barrels and drawers to ascertain the condition of the stock and the amount on hand
  • Of telling stories to customers without being encouraged are requested to do so
  • Of spending too much time with a prospective customer in the endeavor to get acquainted
  • Of loafing too much at the stores of the above after having become acquainted
  • Of talking politics, or any subject on which there is likely to be a radical difference of opinion
  • Of calling customers by their given names
  • Of attempting to sell goods on the strength of a friendship or a long acquaintance
  • Of offering to treat a customer at a time when common sense would teach anyone that it was only done as a bribe
  • Of using flattery with a customer regardless of his disposition to receive or reject it.

My personal experience while drumming for my own house, I always made it a point to proceed to business at the very earliest possible moment after getting the attention of the buyer. I lost no time in hurrying him through my goods, and did no superfluous talking while doing so.

I always had a good story in mind ready to relate just before leaving, which would entertain and amuse him in case he showed an inclination to become more acquainted once our business was over; and made it a point under all circumstances to take my departure at the very time when I felt he was most interested in me. By so doing I invariably found him apparently pleased to see me on my return trip; and often tried to induce me to stay longer.

I spent many hours at the hotel waiting for trains when I could have enjoyed myself much better had I accepted the invitation to “stay longer.”

It was a point with me to treat every clerk with courtesy, but not with familiarity. By so doing no proprietor would ever have occasion to think me guilty of bribing them to act in my behalf.

Were I ever so fortunate as to make the acquaintance of a young lady while on my trips I used the precaution not to telegraph the fact to the ‘daily news-gatherers’ or to relate the incident to every drummer I met.

[notice class=”attention”]*Drummer= a traveling salesman of the 19th century. They were called drummers because of their enterprising, energetic, and supposedly sometimes annoying tendency to “beat the drum” of whatever they were selling.[/notice]

Uncle J.P. here is giving you sound advice on salesmanship. It must be remembered that he lived during hard times; a time when a salesman needed to travel for many months around the country and where competition was incredibly fierce on a man-to-man basis. During his time there were such things as; canvassers, drummers, and knockers. These were traveling salespeople that would engage local and far-flung stores and communities to try and sell their goods. During the height of the Depression the competition was incredibly fierce and every man was fighting to literally have enough to eat.

Uncle J.P. therefore knows what he was talking about because he lived during a time where good salesmanship meant eating and having a roof over your head as opposed to living on the streets like many Americans were doing during that time.

He tells us that the best way to approach any vendor is to try to conduct business in a quick and efficient manner instead of trying to develop the so-called “friendly approach”. He gives a list of things that a salesperson should not do when trying to sell his wares; and these are based on the idea that some salespeople tend to try very hard to establish some kind of unsolicited friendship with the person that they are trying to sell to.

Uncle J.P. advises you to be professional first and foremost and never to try and solicit a person’s private acquaintance. His advice is that you should become likable by being professional first and sociable second. He advises that you should have a good story to tell just in case the time presents itself but to always leave on a high note. You should always leave them at the height of the good feeling, after having given them good service or told them an interesting story. In this way you create the desire within the vendor to want to see you again and not feel like they are somehow obliged to you in any way.

He goes on to advise you that you should never become overly friendly with any one of the clerks that works for an organization that you are selling to because this might create some kind of compromise where the vendor thinks that you are trying to use the clerk as a way to get into his shop. He goes so far as to tell you that any ‘social’ meetings that you have outside of work should stay private because these meetings can easily turn into bad gossip that can hurt your relations with your vendors in the community.

Don’t Take on too Much and Love Your Business

Many agents make the mistake of taking on too much.

Don’t try to see how much territory you can cover in a day, but rather try to see how well you can cover the ground over which you go.

It is certainly a waste of time to have to cover the same ground twice, because you failed to stop everywhere on your first visit.

Thorough, systematic work is what you should do. There is a satisfaction in knowing that you have gotten out of a given territory, all there was in it for you.

A first-class agent can make a good living, following immediately upon the heels of a careless man who was trying to sell the same goods.

The successful agent gets up at a reasonable hour in the morning. He dresses himself neatly, and is at his work promptly at eight o’clock. He picks his territory and works it thoroughly, canvassing every house and not skipping some because he imagines the inmates would not be interested in his goods. He is not ashamed of his business, and does not hide his samples under his coat whenever he sees an acquaintance approaching. He works six or seven solid hours every day, and is not in a hurry to stop work and go home or to his boarding place. He keeps a little note-book wherein he marks down the addresses of those people who seem to be interested in his goods, but who have not the money convenient on his first call. He’s thoroughly up-to-date in every respect, reading everything that comes to his notice that has the least reference to his business, thus keeping himself informed on the latest methods of selling and handling goods, and keeping himself posted on all the new articles that are being put upon the market. He does not poke his nose into other people’s business, but keeps steadily and surely plodding onward. He never says anything despairingly of the town he is in, or of the people. Such an agent is destined to succeed and he does succeed.

A man who is proud of his business, is almost certain to make a success of it. It makes no difference what that business is, providing it is respectable, if there is money to be made out of it, the man who is proud of undertaking it, is the one who will succeed, provided he devotes his energy to it. When you are genuinely in love with your business, it is an easy matter to devote your energy to its successful pursuit. No work can be carried on in a halfhearted manner and made to yield its possibilities.

There is no need of being ashamed of anything you may do to make money, if it is honest. If there’s anything to be ashamed of in your business, you should drop it at once and engage in something else.

The agency business is a legitimate and money making business, and as honorable as any in which you can engage.

Be proud of it stick to it, and you will certainly succeed.

Uncle J.P. starts by letting us know that we should never hurry when we are doing our business. Whether we are in sales or whether we are working towards any kind of promotion of our product or business, we need to make sure that we take the time required to make the best effort where we are. You should always strive to make sure that you take your time and do your business well instead of trying to move as quickly as possible; moving too quickly will allow another businessman to come up behind you and take the business that you were not able to acquire because of your rush.

He gives us a basic idea of how to become a successful business person. He tells us that we should be neat and prompt and that we should maintain good working hours. That we should always try to do those things that we wish to do instead of doing something just because we think that we might be able to make money at it.

Uncle J.P. says that the reason for this is that a businessperson that truly loves what he or she is doing will devote all his or her time to doing it well. If you love what you do then you will not be hiding what you do to others and you will be constantly thinking of ways to improve your business and to increase your output and profit. Your business should become an extension of something that you love to do and in this way it will naturally provide the desire that you need to make the most of your efforts.

He says that if you’re proud of your business, you will surely be a success at it because you will make your best effort at all times with it and you will stick to it.

Don’t Overestimate Your Ability, Stop Daydreaming

The first thing to consider is, “what am I adapted for in the way of business?” Because others succeed in a certain line is no reason why you should succeed in the same line.

Energy, perseverance and push will accomplish wonders once extended in the right direction; but be sure you are right before you extend them.

Trying to carry on a business for which you are in no way fitted is like putting your head against a stone wall. You will never succeed that way.

A man fitted for an artist’s profession should not engage in blacksmithing; and a man who cannot carry on an ordinary conversation without embarrassment, should not start out as a book agent.

Before engaging in any business, study yourself well. Look over your nature thoroughly and understand yourself. Above all do not place too high an estimate upon yourself. Always consider your capabilities, but do not overlook your shortcomings.

Consider also your training. You cannot walk before you creep. No man can jump into a large business at one sweep unless he has an abundance of capital behind him, and then he will not make a success of it unless he understands all about it.

We are all too apt to want to commence where others left off, or to start at a point that it has taken others many years of labor and experience to attain. Ambition is all right, and it is necessary to success, but impatience brings discontent and is the cause of many failures.

It is a common thing to see a young man impatient to get rich. He thinks that what others have accomplished he can also accomplish, and so he can under the same circumstances if he is willing to endure them; but too often he believes he can, through his own peculiar brilliancy, sweep aside all the obstacles and jump in at once and be at the top. He cannot do so without experience, which he will learn after many hard knocks. Look upon all sides of the business question before you commence.

“All that you do, do it with all your might; things done by halves are never done right. One thing at a time, and that thing done well, is a very good rule, as many can tell.”

If you are going to engage in any business, put your whole soul into it or else don’t go into it at all. It is a waste of time to engage in anything halfway. Either determine to make a success of what you undertake or else don’t undertake it. You can’t keep half your mind on one thing and half on another, for either you will forsake the one and cling to the other or cling to the one and forsake the other.

Many a young man daydreams and fancies himself riding behind a team of spirited horses or in his own automobile, and takes it all out in dreaming.

You must do something besides dream of what you are going to do. Get up and try to do it!

Uncle J.P. starts by letting us know that we should be very careful about starting our business. He tells us that before we engage in any kind of business we need to understand what we are good at. We need to examine ourselves and make sure that we know what it is that we are going to do and that we understand that we are good enough to make a go at this.

He says that many would like to start a business that are not suited for business at all. He says that even though you should be very good at taking business risks when the risks are right, you must first understand every single aspect of the risk you are about to take.

He tells us that many see others in the business world and believe that they can attain the kind of success that this person has instantly. He says that this can be the great downfall of many would be business people because they do not take into consideration the fact that it has taken that other person many years of hard work and experience to get to where they are. He tells us to look upon all sides of our business idea before we begin anything.

After giving us a quote that I have not been able to find the source of, he tells us that if we do engage in any kind of business that we must put our entire heart and soul into it. He says that many people, especially the young businessperson, daydreams all day about how they will achieve business success but end up wasting all their energy on just daydreaming. He says that in order to achieve business success we must stop daydreaming and start acting now!

Developing Your Personal Sales Technique

There are many peculiarities of the manner in the introduction of goods which have secured the success of many a salesman, but which cannot be initiated by others with any decided advantage.

The original “how do you do?” The Frank freedom of speech and action which characterize certain persons in every walk of life belongs to those individuals naturally and exclusively, and any attempt to counterfeit them or to learn them by rote must always result in awkwardness and failure. No matter if a man has to commit to memory everything he has to say, he should deliver it in his own peculiar manner.

Originality belongs more to the manner of saying everything then to what is said. It is not necessary to say the same thing always in the same way, although we may be compelled to use the same remarks repeatedly. Our actions and modes of expression should at all times be governed by the surroundings, while the words themselves should be those which best express our meeting.

Experience has taught us that it is better to decide upon a certain set of words in describing any particular thing then to rely upon our originality. This made be better illustrated, probably, by reference to the speeches of politicians, actors, and lecturers. No actor ever lived who could step up on stage and improvise the speeches of Hamlet so well as the playwright has written them. Yet in the presentation of that character no two actors have ever been the same.

A politician familiar with his points may extemporize for a time in his speeches but he sooner or later finds a certain set of words which express his meaning directly and plainly and he necessarily drops into these as a matter of convenience, if not of eloquence.

The principles which govern the politician, the actor, and the lecturer in their various roles are the same which should govern all classes of salesmen.

Uncle J.P. is giving you some tips about how to introduce your goods products or ideas to the public. He begins by letting you know from the start that it is never a good idea to try and copy another salesperson. He says that it is next to impossible to try and duplicate another person’s peculiarities and trying to do so will only make you sound unnatural. He says that such frank freedom of speech cannot be learned even if you try to memorize everything exactly the way they say it, and that you should give up on trying to copy these people; that you should develop your own style. He says originality is created in how you say a thing and not exactly what you say. He says that we should let our surroundings be our judge as to what words and expressions we should use and that you should try to express meaning instead of trying to copy a certain style.

Uncle J.P. gives you a very good piece of advice which is that experience has taught the sales community that it is always better to decide upon a particular set of words to use them to try and rely on your originality at the moment. He uses the example of the politician, the actor, and the lecturer to make the point that it is never a good idea to go in there without having memorized a good set of standard phrases and speeches. He says that only after you have developed good and eloquent capability with your set phrases should you try to develop your own particular style, and that this style should develop naturally as you find that there are certain words and phrases that express your meaning better than others.

The Need to Stay Hungry in Business

We frequently come in contact with men whose failure in business is said to be the direct cause of being incautious. While this is true in many instances, there is no mistake but that where there is one man who is not cautious enough in matters of business, there are at least nine who are too cautious for their own good. They may be possessed of the shrewdness of our greatest financiers, and with their strong perceptiveness see opportunities every few days, by taking advantage of which, they could better their condition; but after one or two days, or perhaps a very few hours’ reflection, allow their bump of caution (as the phrenologist terms it), to come in and play a to prominent part.

The experience of almost every successful businessman is, that to act on his first impressions with force and energy usually results as a victory in his favor. Therefore, less caution and more strict attention to business, instead of more caution and less attention to business seem to be the most profitable stand take.

The one great drawback to the average businessman, is, that he is too willing to let well enough alone. Instead of making his business a constant study (which every man should do), with a view to improvising some new method of conducting it, either by way of advertising or otherwise, he too often sits down with a self-satisfied conviction, that so long as he is holding his own she should be satisfied. No businessman can make a greater mistake than to adopt these old fogy ideas.

Why should any man, who is blessed with good health and ordinary faculties, content himself with a bare living? As a rule, the man who is not aggressive enough to repel such frivolous ideas, would undoubtedly find himself incapable of withstanding the pressure of prosperity, should it unexpectedly be thrust upon him.

Uncle J.P. is telling us here that it could be said that there are many business people who lose great amounts of money because they are not cautious, but that it is indeed the case that while there are some that are quite reckless, the majority of business people suffer from being too cautious. That while they might have the intelligence and the shrewdness to be able to take advantage of many great business situations, they tend to quite often give up on these because of their overcautious nature’s, and as a result lose out.

He advises that every good salesperson should take good advantage of his or her first impression. That they should dedicate energy and strong will to these intuitive impulses because these great impressions are always a cause of great business success if pursued.

He says that the greatest mistake than any business person can make is to be satisfied with just making a living. He says that business study should be prominent on any businessman’s mind and that they should be always willing to expand their business.

He asks why it should be that a business person who is healthy and smart should want to just get by in life. He therefore admonishes all business people to always strive for superior success in their chosen field. He says that it is most likely the case that those that are willing to settle for what they have out of the need for comfort, are most likely the type of individuals that could not handle the stress and responsibility of wealth.

Sales and Business Success

Every person engaged or interested in any way in business, has at some time in his career felt the need of advice as to the best and surest means of winning success in the commercial field. This need has been felt not alone by the beginner, but frequently by men whose whole lives have been spent in the endeavor to make money.

There is but one source from which such advice can come authentically, and that is from the successful men–men whose experience has been obtained, and whose success has been won in the very paths now being tried by those who are in need of advice.

It must be admitted by every candid thinker, that great wealth is not always the surest proof of superior ability.

Opportunity has frequently played a large part in man’s success; there are men whose natural intellect cannot be questioned, whose lives have been spent amid surroundings unfavorable to their development. The shrewdness and intellect of a Vanderbilt, Gould or Sage, may have been cooped up in a X-roads store, where the brightest minds from which they could have gathered the light, were the country schoolteacher, circuit preacher, and the occasional drummer, who dropped in to sell his goods, and tell his latest stories. There is little inspiration in such surroundings, and it is probable that many of our great money kings would never have been heard of, had they been so situated.

However, I believe the most acceptable theory and the science of commercial success is, that usually every man makes his own. In other words, the man who is naturally the shrewdest and most sagacious and energetic, will never lose a chance to take advantage of opportunities; and there is no doubt, that what many persons complained of as being ill luck is simply the result of their failure to grasp the situation that a shrewder man, with less caution, would have taken advantage of, and thereby gain success.

Uncle J.P. is quite frank about letting us know that the only business advice that we should ever take is from a man or woman that has become a business success in the very field that we wish to be a success in. He says that this advice is needed by both the person just starting out and by the person that has been at his craft for a long time.

He also stresses the fact that opportunity is quite often the cause of great wealth and it should not be believed that just because a businessman is quite wealthy that he is actually very good at business. As an example he tells us that many of those born from great business families of the past were not the best of salesmen and businessman, but that they found themselves with the opportunity because of the success of their forefathers. And that many a traveling salesman quite often shows the very shrewdness and spirit that could turn him or her into a wealthy and successful business person on his own.

He does say though that opportunity is responsible for only so much. That a truly good business person is one that makes opportunities for himself. That it is those with a shrewd and intelligent character, that possess “the eye of the Tiger”, that will actually be true successes in the field of business or sales. He says that such good business people are possessed of the ability to take chances when they need to and to be able to make those chances work for them. True business success is born from the energetic ability to take risk and the intelligence to overcome the obstacles on the way to success.

Qualities of a Good Salesman

It frequently occurs that a new and inexperienced salesman will do more business the first 30 days, then any other 60 or and 90 thereafter, which is sufficient proof that energy and push are as much required in this particular capacity, as tact and experience; therefore, it should always be constantly borne in mind, that there is no telling what a single effort or an extra exertion in trying to affect sales may accomplish.

You should never forget to be polite, mannerly and even tempered. A failure in the latter will not only be the cause of losing many sales directly, but will drive away customers who do not like to trade with the salesman of impetuous temper.

A stormy or unusually dull day on which a salesperson is most likely to become lax and careless, is the very one on which he should bring to bear his greatest energy and business tact. The duller the day the greater the necessity for an effort to urge the few customers who do call to make purchases, with a view of keeping up a good average sale.

The average salesman does not realize the importance of calling customers attention to new lines of goods as they are placed on sale, but is often too lax to suppose that because he may have failed to make a sale by doing so two or three times in succession that it is too much trouble for the profit gained by it. This is a practice that should not be omitted, for every salesperson should understand that this time belongs to the proprietor, and whether a sale is made or not, he has done his duty and will expect his full salary when it is due.

The most enterprising and successful salesman will never lose the opportunity to sell the class of goods which pays the largest profit, nor make the sale to the customer who had the least thought of buying.

He will always be awake to the interest of the business, and will never be heard to say that he cannot sell the better grade, or higher-priced class of goods. A truly competent salesman will not hesitate to tackle anything from a cambric needle to a threshing machine.

The “I can’t” sort of salesperson, who is always complaining that his patrons will by nothing but the actual necessaries of life, is a thing of the past that should not be tolerated. The salesperson who thus expresses himself, not only exposes himself as a “lightweight” in the art of selling goods, but will sooner or later bring discredit to his business. I remark of this kind may easily be misconstrued, to mean that the customers were no more nor less than a lot of illiterate people who had neither taste nor appreciation for the luxuries or good things in life. Never be too shortsighted to see the possible danger in acting in this way.

Uncle J.P. is giving you a short and good lesson on salesmanship here. Whether this applies to you personally or to any sales clerk that you might hire.

He says that a salesperson needs to make sure that they are always giving their best because it is usually just this desire to do well that gets you the most sales. Something that he says can easily be proved because the best sales are usually made by those that are just beginning because of their enthusiasm and desire to try. It is therefore the case that you should always be pushing yourself even on those dull days where it seems like there’s very little business at all. He says that you must always push yourself to promote the new sales items to every single customer that you see and that you should not get discouraged with yourself if you fail over and over again but that it is your responsibility as a salesperson to always try to do your best for either your business or your employer’s business.

He says that a good salesperson should always be polite because no one wants to purchase anything from anyone that acts in a snobby fashion. That any salesperson that takes on a superior attitude where they believe that the patrons are only buying just what they need, will often create friction with customers and might even bring a bad reputation to the business because a customer can easily believe that those statements mean that they are cheap and uneducated. Whether it is you personally or someone that you have hired to do your sales, make sure that you never allow this kind of attitude to happen because sooner or later it will discredit the organization.

On Hiring Staff for Your Business

One of the duties of every businessman is to employ the most competent and trustworthy help available. To be constantly surrounded by men of practical ideas and strong personal characteristics, gives prestige and confidence, and is sure to result in a more thorough and satisfactory management of affairs in general.

It is small details, and the apparently trifling affairs of business of any magnitude, that requires a caring close attention of a practical assistant. For as a rule, the proprietor of a concern will lose time and money in the attempt to devote the necessary attention to them, and especially so should he belong to that class of men known as salesmen.

There are, perhaps, no class of salesman more in need of instruction or information regarding their business than the average clerk.

This can readily be accounted for, from the fact, that in the generality of cases the proprietors themselves do not know what constitutes first-class salesmanship, and those who are not experts themselves and never having employed the best talent, cannot realize the vast difference in sales during the year. The great difficulty usually experienced in employing clerks is, that they are liable to fall into a certain rut from which they scarcely ever extricate themselves.

Uncle J.P. is letting us know here that we must be very discerning when it comes to hiring staff for our business. That the ability to be surrounded by individuals of strong and positive character can only help us increase our business because they are a positive influence on ourselves and on our customers.

He tells us that it is indeed the case that any good business person needs a good assistant. That a business person needs to allow a good assistant to take care of those day-to-day matters that can rob the business person of the time that he or she requires to get out there and promote and expand the business. He says that this is most important if the business person is the salesman that must be constantly focused on getting new business by selling both his firm’s name and his product. This kind of person needs to be constantly focused on getting out there and pushing his product and does not have the time or the energy required to take care of the administrative duties that are part of every business.

He also lets us know that if we do hire individuals that will be selling our product themselves, that it is always a good idea to make sure that we instruct them properly. This is the case because a new clerk to any organization usually does not have as much of an idea as to how to go about salesmanship. He says that this is quite often the business owner’s fault because they are not themselves good salesmen and therefore do not know how to instruct properly.

It is up to the business owner then to make sure that the new clerk is instructed properly on how to go about selling your particular product, and that you make sure that you keep track of all of your clerk’s sales so that you are sure to motivate him or her when they seem to be getting into a rut. Make sure that you hire good and competent people but also realize that it is up to you to make sure that those people know what they’re doing. It is up to you to motivate them on a regular basis so that they are always performing well throughout the year.

Why Competition is the Life of the Trade

Competition is a source of great annoyance and trouble to the average businessman, notwithstanding the fact that almost every experienced man has more or less frequently felt the advantages derivable from contact with brisk, honorable and intelligent competition. No one man knows it all, but what he does know, combined with what is known by others, would make him wise indeed.

The most fruitful and brilliant thoughts have been thought out through a determination to meet sharp competition, without which there would very soon be a perceptible change in the affairs of the average businessman. For no matter how grasping his nature, or how great his ambition to be rich, it is not within his nature to show the same determination without competition, as one realizing the importance of winning the great race for business supremacy.

The average businessman who has won success against competition does not realize its importance. At least he seldom gives do credit to the results of competition. In other words, he fails to realize the grand difference between his present condition and what it would have been had he alone controlled the business. Therefore the old saying, “competition is the life of trade,” is a true one.

Sharp competition never fails to bring about a certain feeling of jealousy and enviousness in the minds of those who are unable to “keep up with the precession”.

One of the most convincing proofs to me that I am succeeding well, is to know that while I have made numerous friends, I nevertheless have many enemies.

It is always a good sign to learn that your so-called competitors and all their relatives are mad at you.

Whenever I hear a man who has no enemies, I set him down as somewhat of a hypocrite and a man of no great strength of character. This is always my first impression of such a man, and seldom, if ever, have I found I was in error, when a closer acquaintance followed.

Uncle J.P. can definitely be said to be old-school. As such he is very much into the character building effects of competition. He says that it is never the case that a great idea was created or a great business was crafted that did not involve a competitive spirit of some kind.

He says that you should be thankful of your competitors because they keep you honest and they provide the incentive to get you to work harder every day. He says that it is also the case that you will never be able to figure out all things on your own, and that by keeping an eye on your competitors and discovering what they are doing, you can discover better ways to do your business as well.

Finally he goes on to tell us that he does not trust anyone who says that they have no enemies whatsoever. He believes that competitors are truly an indicator of character and personal productivity. He says that having others mad at you is a sure indication that you are doing something well in your business, and that he would not trust any man that says that he does not have any enemies whatsoever. In his opinion, he says that it has always been the case that such men, men that say that they have no enemies in their business endeavors, tend to be hypocrites and quite likely have weak characters. As I said uncle J.P. is old-school and he is firmly under the impression that competition makes for better business.

Should You Advertise? How?

The question of advertising has become a matter of great importance, and despite the theory of the old fossil who refuses to pay out his cash for this purpose, on the principle that “bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”, it has been most satisfactorily demonstrated that a liberal use of printers ink, in constantly keeping a firm’s name before the public, is the only absolutely successful way to develop a small business and to assure continued success to a large concern. And the mammoth concerns throughout the country who formerly organized their business by strong combinations, and have for years sustained themselves by careful catering to their old and established trade, are fast waking up to a sense of their duty, only to realize that in the rush for prosperity their smaller competitors are rapidly gaining ground by their liberal expenditure of money in modern advertising; and the same principle will apply to any business, no matter how small. Good results can always be expected from judicious advertising.

I am a firm believer in exclusive newspaper advertising, especially in the larger cities, and while there is no doubt but that more or less results come from any sort of advertising, the whole proposition at once resolves itself into a question of the economy. In other words, how can I get my name or my firm’s name before the greatest number of people, at the least possible expense?

In advertising, publicity itself is a great factor, and for this reason, a photo engraving of the head of the firm inserted with a well-written advertisement, with full black border surrounding it, to appear at regular intervals at the top of page next to reading matter, of a newspaper with a large circulation, is bound to attract attention and bring business.

A newspaper with a large circulation can afford to and will give very much lower rates and proportion to their circulation, then a paper with a small list.

Another thing that I am a believer in, in newspaper advertising is, large space less frequent, rather than small space appearing often. Take space enough to go into detail, in explaining the merits of whatever you have to offer to the public; not with the expectation that every person who reads the newspaper is going to read your advertisement, but with the idea that no one, except those interested in what you have to offer, is expected to read it or even take particular notice of it; yet always keeping in mind the fact that no reader, no matter how little interested, can entirely avoid seeing it, and that sooner or later a percentage of these readers or possibly some friend or acquaintance of theirs, will be in need of what you are advertising.

Uncle J.P. here tackles the question of whether it is prudent to advertise or not. He lets us know right away that he is very much a believer in advertising. That those that advertise will profit while those that believe that they are saving their pennies will eventually get beat out by the more enterprising business.

I great tip that he gives us all, is that smaller business has a possibility of overcoming larger and well-established businesses if it is able to take good advantage of advertising. That while large companies might be set in their ways as to how they go about establishing business, A new company with new and bright ideas as to how it advertises its products, can outperform and out-run a larger and less flexible organization.

Indeed it is the case that in his time there was not much advertising to be done outside of the newspaper but his advice still applies because whatever applies to newspapers can also apply to the Internet. With this in mind he lets us know that it is better to have one big banner instead of trying to have one small banner that shows up on a regular basis. He says that it is better to be seen on a large scale rather than a small-scale that can be easily overlooked. Another piece of advice that he gives is that sometimes it is possible to get a better rate advertising with a large syndicated website or newspaper then it is with a smaller one. The reason for this is that the increased number of views to this site or newspaper makes it an overall winner when it comes to advertising dollars.

Uncle J.P. tells us that we should never underestimate the power of advertising. That a small business can overcome a large one if it is able to creatively pursue advertising, and in that way completely outclass the bigger and less flexible competitors. And if you are going to advertise go big and make sure that it is impossible to miss what you are trying to say.

The Secret of Business Success

The great secret of success is energy. He who possesses a strong willpower or force of character combined with energy, honesty of purpose, and a persistent determination to win, despite all obstacles that may come in his way, is most certain to be rewarded with success. For even though he may display very poor judgment and business ability, and make frequent mistakes as a beginner, if endowed with these traits of character, he will in every instance profit by his errors, and with his indomitable willpower and characteristic go-ahead-at-tive-ness, sooner or later accomplish what a more subdued, or quiet dispositioned man, would have long since given up as an impossibility.

Enthusiasm is catching. So be enthusiastic in your work and you will enthuse the man you seek to interest.

The practical definition given by energetic minds to the word “difficult” is–“ a thing to overcome.”

“Men who have risen in the world are not those who have been helped along, but those who have helped themselves by putting their own shoulder to the wheel.”

“Whether you work for fame, for love, for money, or for anything else, work with your hands, heart and brain,” and work persistently.

The man who plans to advance, and follows it out to the letter weaves a thread which will guide him on to success beyond his most sanguine expectations.

Some agents are always looking for success; others are fearing defeat. ”To expect defeat is nine tenths of a defeat itself.”

To not look for trouble or discouragement in your work. Bring sunshine into your business. Let its rays light the business of others. It is an unfortunate truth that “some people are so fond of trouble that they can’t enjoy honey for thinking of what might have happened had they been stung by the bee that made it.”

If you have ambition and intelligence and will work hard along the right lines, you can make what you please of yourself; you can attain to any situation in life, realize any reasonable ideal or aspiration.

It lies entirely within the man himself in a large majority of instances.

Uncle J.P. is giving you here the key to success; the key to success is great energy. He lets us know that those that have great energy combined with incredibly strong willpower and character will always succeed. He says that even though you might make an error or perhaps feel like a failure because you have not accomplished something, if you hold the successful character traits, you will always end up learning from these errors.

Those that do not hold this energetic character will usually give up in short order. He tells you that without this energetic willpower and character you will not succeed at anything that you aspire to; whether it is in your personal life or in business.

He also says that enthusiasm is catching. He tells us that if we are enthusiastic then we can make those that are around us enthusiastic as well and in this way get them excited about our products or ideas.

He is quite vocal about letting you know that the world has no sympathy or respect for those that develop a losing attitude. He says that in order to have the world on your side you need to become a winner.

Uncle J.P. admonishes us to bring sunshine into our business, and to not be stingy with his enthusiasm. He tells us to be careful to not be so fond of trouble that we actually do not enjoy the rewards that we have attained.

His final words are that if you have ambition and intelligence and are willing to work hard then there is very little that you will not be able to become a success at. He says that even when fate comes up and smacks us in the face, the man with the right attitude and enough energy can only learn from his experience and find a way out of his troubles.

Don’t Wait for the Unexpected to Happen

There is no need for waiting for the unexpected to happen. Make up your mind what you want, and then get up and hustle for it. If you don’t want to much, and it is within the range of possibility, you will get what you want if you try hard enough and are capable of doing what you start out to do. Of course you can overestimate your ability and make a failure of anything.

If you can’t do ordinary figuring, don’t try to be an expert accountant; if you get left every time you try to make a bargain, then don’t attempt to be a horse trader.

If you feel you were born lazy and that it is your privilege to let others work, while you wait for some bonanza to fall into your lap, then make up your mind to be poor, sun yourself on the cellar door like a plant, and wait for something to turn up that never turns.

It is poor policy to wait. There is no use of seeing others ride by in their carriages while you forever walk. Hustle and get your own horse and carriage, or an automobile, if you prefer; others get them, why not you? But don’t daydream. The moss will grow under your feet while you are daydreaming.

Others who hustle will grow rich, while you will live poor and die poor if you never do any hustling for yourself.

If you haven’t any money, that is no reason why you can’t get any, and it is no reason why you will have to work as a servant for others. Start out for yourself on a small scale and stick to it until you are able to do business on a larger scale.

There are hundreds of things that will enable you to get a start. I will tell you about them and I will tell you how to get to work and make money. I can’t do the work for you, but I can tell you how others have done it and made a start on the road to wealth.

Uncle J.P.’s advice in this passage is quite obvious; in order to get the money that you want, you need to hustle. Now what he means by hustle of course is that you need to be a good business person and you need to try to expand your business as much as possible.

It is the case that uncle J.P. was a salesperson but his advice is not limited to sales alone. In order to make any kind of business endeavor a successful one, you need to be able to hustle and to make your dream a reality. You will never be able to get anything done by just sitting around and waiting for something to grab you, you need to make it happen or nothing will happen at all.

Uncle J.P. tells us that if we wish to be poor, then all we need to do is just lay about and take the sun in just like a regular plant. But he says that if you have a plan and this plan is not outrageous, then you can make your business dreams a success. The most important advice that he gives you here is that you should attempt those things that are within your reach. He cautions you not to overestimate your ability or else you will more often than not find failure as opposed to success.

Creating Buzz in a New Community

In my own experience as a canvasser I learned that when conducting a business where the sales amount to five dollars or over (as, for instance, while fitting and taking orders for spectacles and eyeglasses), it was an excellent idea to hire some good, straight, honorable, up right man in the community,-of no less than 50 or 60 years of age, and whose face was thoroughly familiar to everyone in the this indicate,-to accompany me from house to house, and introduce me to the people.

An old soldier, who, perhaps, was on the pension list and who had no business of importance, would jump at the chance to take a job of this sort for a few days, at from $1.50 to $2.00 per day and board himself.

About the first things such a man is interested in is to learn, as soon as possible, whether or not his employer is conducting a square, straight business; and as soon as convinced that such is the case there will be nothing that will take more delight in them to make this fact known to every household.

By this means the canvasser has no trouble in gaining access to every residence, and the interested manifested and confidence shown in whatever he has to offer is once noticeable, besides when your man is once interested and perfectly satisfied as to the legitimacy of the work he unconsciously becomes a walking advertiser for the cause.

Evenings, when about town, he is constantly being questioned as to the character and methods of the man whom he is engaged with. By this means scarcely a day will pass that from 1 to 3 desirable customers are not made.

In many instances, especially where I felt that I had secured the services of an extra good man, who was energetic and had considerable influence, I paid him a commission, with a guarantee of a stipulated amount.

If possible to do so I would manage to engage a man who owned the horse and buggy, and after having spent a week or more in town where my work have proven entirely satisfactory, we could work among the farmers with better results than if I had not previously canvassed the town.

Uncle JP is giving you some grand advice about canvassing and about any kind of sales in general. Any salesman, whether he is a traveling one or not, will know that attempting to enter any new region can be very difficult. This is the case, for example, even if you are starting a new store or restaurant in a region where you are not well known.

In this case, uncle JP recommends that you use a local person to boost your sales and to instantly gain great credibility. He recommends that you hire a local person, perhaps someone who is retired but is well known in the community, and to use that person to help you promote your business. Now isn’t this great advice, this is a perfect way to introduce yourself to a community, by using a person who is well known locally and who is well respected.

I would recommend that you find a local seniors Hall or perhaps a seniors club somewhere and find someone who is energetic and wants to do something entertaining and fun. Uncle JP recommends that you make sure that you show the person that you want to hire that your business and your products are good so that this person realizes that you have the best interest of his community in mind and that you have a product or service that the community can benefit from. Once this person is on your side and wants to do a little extra work, you can hire this person at a decent wage to help you canvassed and promote your product in his or her community.

A person like this can be invaluable because he or she is a person that is already known and respected by the community and as such can provide instant credibility for your services or product. Even while this person is not on the clock, they will most likely keep advertising your business because if they are truly enthusiastic about the product that you are selling, they will be eager to spread the word about their fun new job and the interesting new company that they are working for. Treat this person right, and this person will be your greatest asset in this new community.

Uncle JP recommends that you put this person on commission if this person proves to be an exceptionally good promoter. This will add an added incentive to this person’s work and will also give the senior a perhaps much needed extra income. People in their senior years are eager to work and participate in a worthy cause and can be a great asset to you if you allow them to be. They tend to know their community very well and can be very loyal to you if you convince them that you have a worthy product or service.

Uncle JP finally tells you that this is a great way to begin any kind of canvassing or promoting of an even larger area. He recommends that you hire someone who has transportation and can then begin to increase his canvassing area, which should be far more successful because of the fact that he has already created some following in his own neighborhood.

Rules of Advertising

There are too many places to buy, which advertise, to expect that people are going to hunt you down and ask you to sell to them. But learning the value of advertising does not mean that that advertising can accomplish everything; for it cannot.

It is the correct value of advertising that you must realize. Thousands of businessmen have ruined themselves by entertaining and acting upon the mistaken idea that any old thing will sell as long as it is advertised.

You can spend a thousand dollars a month in advertising second-hand shoes in the Ladies’ Home Journal without getting a single customer. But if you have a good thing, don’t hide it under a bushel or lock it up in the all room closet and expect people to come and hunt for it.

Also you must learn the value of a good name. King Solomon said, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.” It is not always an easy thing to establish a good name; for people are more apt to distrust a man than to trust him. But when you have once established a name for upright dealing, hang on to it, for once lost it is more difficult to regain it then it was to acquire it in the beginning.

A large milling firm became famous for its brand of flower. It used only the finest grade of wheat in its manufacture and employed only the most skilled labor. People were willing to pay a little extra for the product.

Having established a reputation and gained a great business on the strength of it, the firm began to “cut down expenses” by using inferior grades of flour and employing cheap labor and consequently put on the market a cheap grade of flour at a high price, trusting that their good name would sell the brand as usual.

The people were not fooled; but the firm lost their good name forever and were forced to quit the business.

Advertising can accomplish a lot but it can’t do everything. You need to have a good product because the customers, contrary to popular opinion, are not fools. If you have worked hard by providing good services or products at a fair price, always be aware that this good name can be tarnished if you do not do everything in your power to maintain it.

Advertising Leads

There are many habits resorted to by the average businessman which could be improved upon generally to his advantage. One is that of rejecting as often as possible the different agents, drummers and canvassers who call upon him. Those who do so cannot estimate the many valuable ideas and the number of profitable investments they possibly lose in a single year.

The business man who has strength of character enough to conduct his business on his own judgment will not often be influenced by this class of representations to make investments detrimental to his affairs. And those who are weak enough to do so can at least have the satisfaction of profiting by their experience. It should not be forgotten that the great army of representatives above referred to are usually men of wide experience, many of whom have often visited every corner of the globe, and are certain to possess ideas often worthy of consideration.

Another mistake many make is not giving more special attention to circulars and advertising matter received by them. Instead of immediately throwing them into the waste-basket, let a suitable receptacle be provided in which to place them until such time as they can read and consider every word contained in them. They would often obtain “valuable” pointers, which could be used in their own business, besides occasionally finding something new on the market suitable to their trade.

While there are any number of impostors constantly flooding the country with their advertisements, in must be conceded that there are more than a corresponding number of wide-awake, energetic houses doing a strictly legitimate business exclusively by advertising. As it is an easy matter with the modern facilities we have to ascertain the true standing and business rating of every house there can certainly be more gained than lost by giving a little special attention to it.

There are but few business houses who can afford to defray the expenses and use valuable time required in sending out circulars, etc., without a feeling of confidence in their own minds, at least, that they are introducing something of merit.

In this day of inventions and progression, every business man should do away with hobbies and old-fogy ideas as much as possible, and take an interest in the investigation of everything placed before him.

He should not overlook the fact that a single thought or idea whether absolutely original or the outgrowth of someone else’s ideas or inventions may prove the turning point in his life.

The reading of advertising matter is likely to give a general idea of other people’s methods, and will at least be likely to advance one mentally if not financially.

Uncle J.P. is giving you the keys to the palace when it comes to advertising your wares. There is no better way to learn about what to use and what to try, then to read every single scrap of advertising material that you get. Spam is spam but there is a difference between spam and newsletters and articles from those that have proven themselves to be leaders in their field.

If there is an advertisement in a magazine that looks promising, then pursue this lead and see what you can dig up in the way of reviews for this agency or system. All leads are good leads and it’s better to go through something and find that it’s a waste to you, then to give up a possibly great piece of information or resource. If you found the wrong thing then you found one less thing to get caught in and have learnt a way to focus your efforts even further. Inspiration can be found everywhere.