By Elmer Wheeler
From Calvin Curry
PO Box 597
Lake City, FL 32056
My thoughts about this book:
Notice the title of this book. It is “Tested” Sentences That Sell. The key word here is “Tested” not just “Sentences That Sell”. The thing I like best about this book is all the points covered have been proven. You aren’t just running blind on unproven advice. Bad advice is the most expensive advice. I am really big on testing everything to find out what works. That’s how my brother Chris and I discovered what we now call the “Sold-In-A-Week Home Selling System”.
Chris and I tested many different home selling strategies before we found what is now successful. We also lost piles on money in our school of hard knocks and pushed blindly ahead to what seemed like no end. We knew there had to be a better way to sell homes. We found it, the hard way. Now you can take advantage of what we have learned.
It is my belief that you have to find a good niche that works to “really” be successful. Doing what everyone else is doing will only get you so far. Plus you don’t have anything that separates you from everyone else and risk becoming a commodity. Who wants to be a commodity? Not I. Not being a commodity has made us over $100K in prepaid commissions in the past 4 months. Plus we are getting 50% of our customers from referrals or word of mouth.
This is an old book written in the early 1900s. I thought this book had a lot of good information about different sales strategies. I found a lot of them helpful and I hope you do too. Even if you just read a few of the chapters you will find little “golden nuggets” of helpful advice.
Enjoy the book,
By H. W. Hoover
President, The Hoover Company
For the past ten years it has been the sole business of Mr. Wheeler and his staff of word consultants to survey and analyze selling words and techniques. I understand that to date they have tested over 105,000 words and word combinations on upward of 19,000,000 people.
I know that in the Hoover Company certain words and techniques used by our salesmen have proved fundamentally sound. In case after case I have seen them work with almost mathematical precision.
Your salespeople can be the strong or the weak link in your company’s sales chain. If one link of a chain will hold fifty pounds, another thirty pounds, and another six pounds, altogether the chain can support only six pounds – the “holding power” of the weakest link.
It is like building a beautiful $20,000 automobile. You can have the finest steel body that engineers can create; a powerful twelve-cylinder motor under the shiny hood; smart looking upholstery, strong, sturdy tires, and a tank filled with high-power gasoline, yet the automobile will fail to start if some comparatively insignificant part in the ignition system fails to function.
So it is with a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer. He can employ high-salaried executives to direct his business; he can staff his organization with the best creative, merchandising and advertising brains, yet his ultimate success is in the hands of his sales organization.
It is the salesman who is the real boss – the real cog in the machine. What he says and does as he faces his prospects and your customers is vitally important to the success of your business. And his success depends, to a great extent, upon the words he uses in the field of selling.
The best-looking merchandise, as Mr. Wheeler says, won’t sell itself – and the best-looking dotted line won’t sign itself – without the intelligent persuasion of a salesman’s words, backed up by sound selling techniques.
It is Mr. Wheeler’s purpose in this book to help the salesman by showing him how to add forceful sales words and techniques to his regular selling vocabulary so that he will always have complete command over any selling situation that confronts him.
This book is based on the author’s “Five Wheelerpoints,” and in the pages that follow, Mr. Wheeler does a fine job of explaining them to you in their relation to whatever you are selling. Some of these Wheelerpoints may sound familiar to you; others you will find brand new.
There is nothing mysterious about “Tested Selling” – nothing to be learned for parrot recitation. Here is simply the result of man’s ten-year study of and thinking about what successful salesmen, of all kinds, are saying and doing to make more sales.
As has often been said about Mr. Wheeler’s philosophy, “His Tested Selling Sentences are so simple that any one of us could have thought of them – but so original few of us ever did.”
Before giving you the Wheeler formulas, rules and principles for devising word combinations that make people buy, it may be interesting to you to learn how this Wheeler Word Laboratory was established and has become the first and only business wherein spoken words and sales techniques are developed and tested.
When Mr. Wheeler was an advertising solicitor some ten years ago on the Los Angeles Herald, and then on the Rochester Journal, the Albany Times-Union, and the Baltimore News-Post, he developed what to him was a fine sales presentation for retail merchants.
He would inform them, with considerable sincerity, and volumes of figures under his arm, that his newspaper had the largest circulation in town, and therefore more people who needed shirts, hosiery, umbrellas, needles and thread, and pots and pans would read the merchants’ advertisements in his paper and be down to their places of business the next day to buy.
A convincing sales argument, he thought, but Mr. Merchant would always shrug his shoulders and say, “So what?”
He would then point to the hundreds of people in the aisles of his store and inform Mr. Wheeler that perhaps he did represent a newspaper with plenty of circulation that brought people into his store – but people just didn’t buy. The merchant called them “shoppers,” “lookers,” and “walk-outs.”
This sales obstacle had Mr. Wheeler perplexed for many years, because as a newspaper representative his only job was to get people into the stores. Then one day it occurred to him that maybe this wasn’t the end of his job - but really the beginning.
Therefore he set about making a careful analysis of the merchandise sold to the stores by the manufacturers. It was the right merchandise, sold at the right price and at the right season.
On going over the store’s advertisements, he found that they were usually pretty effective. He then narrowed down the problem of why people came to stores and purchased so little to the salespeople themselves behind their counters.
Here was the weak link in the setup of the retailer, the manufacturer, and the newspaper.
To get definite proof of this fact, Mr. Wheeler approached Erwin Huber, then director of advertising for the Baltimore News-Post. Together they selected twenty reporters and gave each of them five dollars with instructions to go to The May Company and buy as many of the men’s advertised dollar shirts as the $5.00 would purchase and the clerks would sell.
When the reporters returned from the store, fifteen of them hadn’t bought a single shirt, informing Mr. Wheeler that the clerks had made no attempt to sell them one. The five reporters who did buy shirts purchased only one each, explaining that the clerks did not suggest a second, third, or fourth shirt.
It was evident, according to the reporters, that the clerks figures that after all a man wore only one shirt at a time, so if he bought one, why try to “load him up” with several?
Armed with this important evidence, Mr. Wheeler then approached Mr. Wilbur May, head of The May Company store in Baltimore at the time, explained what he had done, and produced his findings.
Mr. May was most interested. He realized that he had a million-dollar establishment, with a million dollars worth of merchandise on the shelves – yet the real control of his business was in the hands of his eight hundred salesgirls, whose only two worries (and we can’t blame them, either) were these:
1. “When am I gonna get married and quit working!”
2. “Gee, I wish it was 5:30 – my dogs are aching!”
Mr. May further realized that the most the manufacturer was doing was getting his goods up to the counters, the most the store was doing was teaching the clerks how to fill out checks properly and placing advertisements in the papers, and that the most the newspaper was doing was bringing the people in alive.
In the final analysis, the sales were consummated by the salespeople – and on what they say or do depends to a great degree just how much merchandise will be sold across American counters each day.
Upon hearing this story and seeing the facts, Mr. May suggested that Mr. Wheeler be commissioned by his newspaper to go behind the counters and really make a study of salespeople.
This study, which has now been going on for ten years, resulted in the formation of the Wheeler Word Laboratory. The purpose of this unique laboratory is to measure the relative selling effectiveness of words and their sales techniques, to determine with a great degree of accuracy what formation of words and techniques makes the sale more accurate and faster.
Many stores and manufacturers have participated in supplying the Wheeler Word Laboratory with hundreds of selling sentences to be tested, and have opened their doors wide as a laboratory wherein Mr. Wheeler could get authentic tabulation of the scientific selling ability of words and techniques.
Wherever a salesperson is given a “Tested Selling Sentence” with its proper “Tested Technique” to replace a time-worn statement, sales gains are noted. For instance, a single sentence increased sales of a manufacturer’s hand lotion at B. Altman’s on Fifth Avenue from 60 per week to 927.
Another tested combination of words make sales 78 per cent of the times used at R. H. Macy & Company in selling their long-profit brand of coffee and tea.
On another occasion two “Tested Selling Sentences” completely sold Bloomingdale’s, Saks 34th Street, Abraham & Straus of Brooklyn, and William Taylor’s of Cleveland out of tooth brushes – a staple item – for the first time in the history of these important stores.
Stern Brothers, in New York, had “Tested Selling Sentences” tailor-made to reduce delivery costs, and according to William Riordan, president, the first six months’ use of the sentences showed a relative saving of close to $7,000 over the preceding year.
Ten years of study of salespeople – ten years trying out formulas, rules, and principles – casting them aside for others – have brought forth some sound, sensible methods of salesmanship, and Mr. Wheeler offers them to you in the following swift-moving pages.
Tested Selling Institute
New York City
The best-looking merchandise won’t sell itself;
and the prettiest dotted line won’t
sign itself, without the intelligent per-
suasion of somebody’s words.
Twenty Reporters Get the Facts 6
Wheeler Word Laboratory is Formed 7
Sales Gains Recorded Everywhere 7
The Five Wheelerpoints 12
Chapter 1 13
Then Learn to Have “You-Ability” 14
Summary of Wheelerpoint 1 15
How to Approach Prospects 16
Summary of Wheeler Point 2 17
Chapter 3 18
Synchronize Your “Sizzles” with Showmanship 19
How to Sell With “Flowers” 19
Unprofessional Mannerisms That Kill Sales 20
Do Your Sentences Begin Like This? 20
Summary of Wheelerpoint 3 21
Chapter 4 22
The Value of The Word “Which” 23
These Questions Won’t Get The Replies You Want 23
But These Questions Get The Answers You Want 24
Summary of Wheelerpoint 4 25
Chapter 5 25
Don’t Be a “Johnny-One-Note” 26
Three Other Wheeler Principles 28
Chapter 6 29
Many Reasons For Being Square 29
The Idea “Clicks” With Women 30
Story of Indian Moccasins 30
Selling White Shoe Polish 31
The Story of Barbasol 31
Chapter 7 33
Chapter 8 39
A Rule to Remember in Word Formation 40
“I Wear ‘Em Myself” Proves Nothing Today 40
“Feel” – “See” – “Hold” 40
“The Buttons Are Anchored On The Shirts” 41
Chapter 9 44
The Right Combination 45
Why You Must Get Ten-Second Attention 45
When You Get Ten-Second Attention – Then What? 46
Our Psychogalvanometer Tests 46
A Good Sales Example Of These Facts 47
Make Every Sale Within Saturation Point 48
Chapter 10 49
The Barn Has a Double Lock 50
Selling Pie A La Mode 50
The Exclamation Salesman is Gone 51
When You Are “Lost For Words” 51
The Story Of Butter 52
The “Your Opinion” Approach 52
Chapter 11 53
The technique of Getting Signatures 54
Don’t Ask for Signatures – But “Approvals” 54
Use “When,” Not “If” 55
Howard Dugan Goes To Town 55
Win Decisions – Not Arguments 56
Don’t “Overanswer” Objections 57
Respect The “Know-It-All” 57
Chapter 12 59
The Art of Closing 60
Don’t Side-Step Criticism 61
Chapter 13 63
When The Buying Signal Comes 64
The Art of Quoting Price 64
Avoid “Price” Too Early 65
Weekly Payments Seem Less 65
Sell “Savings,” Not “Cost” 66
Help Customers Make Decisions 66
“Why Do You Think The Price Is High?” 66
Chapter 14 67
“Tested Selling” in Groceries 68
Selling Office Space 68
Winning Social Arguments 69
Times When You Want A “No” 69
Chapter 15 74
“Hell” – Once World’s Greatest Fear Appeal 75
“Quick Relief” – The Drug Store’s Best Words 76
Making Up Your Mind 77
A Sell-Out In Tooth Brushes 77
A Counter Sign That Sells 78
The “He-Man” Appeal 78
Let Them Pour Their Own 80
The “Rule Of You” In Hotels 80
Selling Glasses Of Bubbles 81
Finding The “First Timers” 82
The Technique Of The Doorman 83
Which Type Are You? 83
“Listening A Little Closer” 84
Grandpop Strobel Knows His Stuff 85
They Were Turned Upside Down 86
Selling The Somersault 87
Selling Imitation Vanilla 87
Three Sentences That Saved A Life 89
Self-Preservation – Religious Sentences 89
Personal Comfort Appeals 90
Vanity Appeals 90
Chapter 18 91
Recent Experiments For Texas Oil 92
“How About Some Oil?” 92
“Your Right Front Tire, Sir” 93
Your Worn-out Windshield Wiper 93
Chapter 19 96
Handling The Dog In The Yard 97
Your Ten-Second Appearance 97
Put A Press Into Your Sales Language 98
Watch Your Closing Words 98
A Tailor-Made Insurance Story 99
Avoid Worn-Out Words With Whiskers 100
“Let Me Make Myself Clearer” 100
Words That Kill The Sale 101
Chapter 20 103
Use “Invisible” Sales Words 104
A President Uses Tested Selling 105
Roosevelt Used Word Magic 106
A Ready-Made Rule 107
He Puts Her At Ease 107
Five Effective Ways To Make The Other Person 108
The Home Is The Foundation Of The Family 108
How To Handle It Properly 109
Get Action With Action 110
“Tested Selling On Door Steps” 111
Skit 1 112
Selling With A “Canned” Sales Talk 112
Skit 2 114
Selling With A “Planned” Sales Talk 114
A Story From England 117
The Wrong Way To Make A Sales Presentation 119
The Right Way To Make A Sales Presentation 120
Selling Demonstration 1 126
The Right Way to Sell Powder and Perfume to a Man 128
Shopping for His Wife 128
Selling Demonstration 2 129
The Wrong Way to Sell a Man Hose for His Wife 129
The Right Way to Sell a Man Hose for His Wife 130
Hooking The Fluke 133
The Gregarious Instinct 134
Joseph P. Day Makes A Sale 135
Chapter 25 137
Six Simple Sales Words 142
This Tested Sentence Gets 1600 Customers 142
Chapter 27 143
“No Canvassers Allowed” 145
The Moving Van Business 146
“Stop, Look, Listen” 146
The Redheaded Boy 147
Chapter 28 148
Hot Chestnuts For Sale 150
A Perambulating Sandwich 150
The Story Of The Comb 150
Find The “Sizzles” 151
Chapter 29 153
Chapter 30 154
Four Rules Laid Out 154
Definition of “You-Ability” 155
“Professional” Job-Hunters 155
A Good Leading Question 161
The Hollywood Casting Office 162
The Beggar Uses Tested Selling 163
WHEELERPOINT 3. 166
“Say It With Flowers” 166
“Word Magic” – Not “Magic Words” 169
1. Don’t Sell the Steak – Sell the Sizzle!
2. “Don’t Write – Telegraph.”
3. “Say It with Flowers.”
4. Don’t Ask If – Ask Which!
5. Watch Your Bark!
What we mean by the “sizzle” is the BIGGEST selling point in your proposition – the MAIN reasons why your prospects will want to buy. The sizzling of the steak starts the sale more than the cow ever did, though the cow is, of course, very necessary.
Hidden in everything you sell, whether a tangible or an intangible, are “sizzles.” Find them and use them to start the sale. Then, after desire has been established in the prospect’s thinking, you can bring in the necessary technical points.
The good waiter realizes he must sell the bubbles – not the champagne. The grocery clerk sells the pucker – not the pickles, the whiff – not the coffee. It’s the tang in the cheese that sells it! The insurance man sells PROTECTION, not cost per week. Only the butcher sells the cow and not the sizzle, yet even he knows that the promise of the sizzle brings him more sales of his better cuts.
For instance, let us take a certain modern vacuum cleaner and see how many “sizzles” we can develop to get the prospect saying “I want!” instead of “Oh hum!”:
1. Positive Agitation.
2. Time-to Empty Signal.
3. Dirt Finder.
4. Automatic Rug Adjuster.
5. Non-kink Cord.
6. Instant Handle Positioner.
7. Non-tangle Revolving Brush.
8. Grit Removers.
9. Lint Removers.
10. Dust Removers.
These ten big “sizzles” will make people buy this particular make of vacuum cleaner. The construction, the mechanism, and the prices are important, of course, but the “I want” points, as Paul Lewis puts it, are labor-saving, more leisure, cleaner homes and health.
Therefore, the vacuum cleaner salesman must advise himself:
Don’t sell the price tag – sell less backaches!
Don’t sell construction – sell labor-saving!
Don’t sell the motor – sell comfort!
Don’t sell ball bearings – sell ease of operation!
Don’t sell suction – sell cleaner rugs!
Health, comfort, labor-saving, leisure, and cleaner homes are the “sizzles” in this particular vacuum cleaner; construction and mechanism the “cow”.
Are you beginning to see what is meant by first finding the “sizzles” in what you are selling, before even attempting to form the words to convey the “sizzles” to the prospect?
Put on a pair of “sizzle specs” now and look at your own “sales package.” Then write down the one, five, ten, or twenty “sizzles” you find – in the order of what at first blush you believe will be of importance to the prospect.
One BIG QUESTION is running through the prospect’s mind as you are showing your merchandise and telling your sales story, and that question is:
“What will it do for me?”
Therefore, almost everything you say or do must be said and done in such a way that it ALWAYS answers this important question! You must develop a NEED for your product in the mind of the prospect – for until he realizes a need, you will make little sales progress.
Now all of the “sizzles” you list for your product may create a need in the mind of the customer – but remember that although these “sizzles” may be of EQUAL IMPORTANCE to you, they may differ in importance to the prospect. If you have “you-ability,” you will be able to take your “sizzles” and fit them to each prospect with uncanny accuracy!
“You-ability” is the ability to get on the other side of the fence – to put on a pair of invisible “sizzle specs” and see your product through the EYES OF THE CUSTOMER. “You-ability” is the ability to say “you,” not “I” – and the ability to present the “sizzles” in the order that the CUSTOMER considers important.
Buried in every spool of thread, in every row of safety pins, in every automobile, in every insurance policy, in every grocery, drug, or toilet goods item, are reasons why people will want to buy it.
These big reasons we call the “sizzles.”
Before you even start to see your prospects, you must line up, in your own mind, the “sizzles” they will consider important. You will then have a “planned presentation,” based on all the information you can get about your prospects and your selling package.
You will find that the use of the word “you” in your sales presentation will have far more results than the word “I.”
Being able to say “you” instead of “I” is known as “you-ability.”
Remember this first Wheelerpoint: “Don’t sell the steak – sell the sizzle.” Then with “you-ability” in mind you can convey these “sizzles” effectively to the prospect in the “telegraphic” manner explained in the next chapter.
It’s the sizzle that sells the steak – not the cow.
“DON’T WRITE – TELEGRAPH” means: get the prospects IMMEDIATE and FAVORABLE attention in the fewest possible words. If you don’t make your first message “click,” the prospect will leave you mentally, if not physically.
A good sales presentation should use as few words as possible. Any word that does not help to make the sale endangers the sale. Therefore, make every word count by using “telegraphic” statements, as there is no time for “letters.”
Learn the MAGIC of making your “selling sentences” sell!
People form “snap judgments.” They make up their opinions about you in the first ten seconds, and this affects their entire attitude toward what you have to sell them. Give them a brief “telegram” in these first ten seconds so that their opinion will be in your favor. Make the wires “sing” – so you, will be given the chance to “follow up.”
I find, after analysing 105,000 sales words and techniques and actually noting the results of tests of them on 19,000,000 people, that this is the “magic” used by most star salesmen who make single sentences sell!
For our example of this Wheelerpoint, let me again go back to the vacuum cleaner, and remembering the ten “sizzles” in this cleaner, let us see how we can formulate them into ten-second “telegrams.”
“Telegrams” That Click Open Prospect’s
“No other cleaner can use Positive Agitation until 1950.”
“The Grit Removers take out dirt you never knew you had.”
“You may forget to clean the bag, but the Time-to-Empty Signal won’t forget to remind you.”
* Apologies to Western Union
A good sales presentation consists of as few words as possible.
If you hem and haw the “sizzle,” you will make few sales, for your prospects will walk away from you or complain that you are high-pressuring them!
YOUR FIRST TEN WORDS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR NEXT TEN THOUSAND!
Therefore, make your FIRST words make FIRST impressions by not STAMMERING and STUTTERING when you face your prospects. They make “snap judgments” of you and the merchandise by “sizing you up” with your first ten words.
First you use judgment in picking the right “sizzle,” and then you fit it to the prospect at hand. You dress up the “sizzle” in a ten-second message and practice Wheelerpoint 2, “Don’t write – TELEGRAPH.”
The technique that goes with what you say will then come to you naturally and easily, as we shall find in the next Wheelerpoint.
“SAY IT WITH FLOWERS” simply means PROVE your statements! “Happy returns of the day,” when accompanied by flowers, proves you MEAN it!
The flowers in his right hand as he proposes tell her MORE than the mere words from his lips.
You have just ten short seconds and two able hands to sell the prospect – and so you must FORTIFY your words with performance!
You must back up your selling “sizzles” with showmanship!
I do not mean you should be an insincere actor, but I do mean that your words deserve the support of your gestures and facial expressions. Your words will get much better results if SUPPORTED than if left hanging mid-air to themselves, no matter how good the words may be. You know how little the perfunctory “Thank you” of some clerks means to you. It lacks the reinforcement of sincerity.
Fitting action to your words is the third “earmark” in making a sale “stick” with the prospect.
Talk with your hands? Yes – why not? – if you can use them in a dignified manner. Gesture with them – keep them busy. Pat them – rub them – move them – start them – stop them! Show them action and you will get action.
Make “Elmer” ** and “Nellie” SEE – FEEL – TOUCH – HANDLE – almost SMELL and TASTE your sales package and the things they will be heirs to upon placing their approval on the dotted line or their money into your palm!
Make your hands earn a living for you!
To keep unity in our examples of these five Wheelerpoints, let me stay with the vacuum cleaner, in illustrating this point. How to apply these same five points to other products will be illustrated in later chapters.
* Apologies to the Florists’ Telegraph Delivery Association
** “Elmer” is Mr. Prospect, “Nellie” Mrs. Prospect to the Hoover Co. salesmen.
“Flowers” That Go Over with
Vacuum Cleaner Buyers
1. Run Cleaner under table or into dark corner, point to Dirt Finder, turn switch on and off to dramatize the light and say:
“It sees where to clean – and it’s clean where it’s been.”
2. Step on Automatic Rug Adjuster. Invite prospect to do likewise (monkey-see, monkey-do instinct). Then say:
“It automatically ADJUSTS itself to any thickness of rug.”
3. Push cleaner away from you, maintaining your hold on cord. Then pull it back to you lightly, saying:
“It has BALL-BEARING action – a child can move it!
It’s the little things you do as you “speak your lines” that make the sale stand out. The movement of your hands, your head, your feet, and your pencil tells the prospect you are sincere – honest – convincing!
Your face is the prospect’s most reliable mirror.
But never, NEVER lose a sale because of an “unprofessional mannerism.”
“He moved listlessly, pointing aimlessly.”
“He leaned on the counter and talked to me and to the next customer.”
“He was slow and yawned several times in my face.!
“He gazed into space, answering my questions.”
“He became antagonized by my many questions.”
“He got irritated when I didn’t understand quickly.”
“His fingernails were shabby; so were his shoes.”
“He kept reaching for his order book, trying to high-pressure me.”
“It keeps the home clean.” (But how?)
“It’s a good investment.” (In what way?)
“It’s a good buy.” (All salesmen say that.)
“You’ll like it.” (I will?)
“I like it.” (So what - ?)
Words That Suggest The Prospect
See your Competitor
“Listen to me – you just can’t go wrong on this.”
“Yeah, but theirs is no good.”
“I wouldn’t depend on what their salesman said.”
“I know my business. It don’t use up much electricity.”
“It’s not heavy – I can lift it – see?”
“Look … “
“Listen … “
“See … “
“I’m telling you … “
“You see what I mean?”
“Take my word for it.”
“Between you and me … “
“Don’t let this go any farther, but … “
The salesman made three attempts to explain the Handy Cleaning Kit. He failed each time because he wasn’t thoroughly familiar with the attachments.
The salesman just pointed to the instrument, trusting that the prospect would be worked up over it “long distance” instead of “telegraphically.”
The salesman leaned on the counter, talking with the palm of one hand.
The salesman had some peculiar habit, such as picking his teeth, or scratching his head.
The salesman tossed the illustrated booklet in front of the prospect, hoping she would open it up and see the things in the booklet that might interest her.
A good single sentence should reinforce “Tested Words” with “Tested Techniques.”
The MOTION that accompanies utterance of words – the expression on your face at the time and the manner in which the “sales package” is handled – are a part of your successful sales presentation.
Say it quickly – but say it with gestures.
Then, if possible, make the prospect imitate what you have done. Make him a part of your “show.” It’s the MONKEY-SEE, MONKEY-DO instinct in the buyer.
DEMONSTRATE – but DEMONSTRATE TO SELL!
If you want your selling words to “ring the bell” twice as hard, follow Wheelerpoint 3, and “SAY IT WITH FLOWERS” – and don’t ask the prospect IF he wants to buy, but HOW and WHEN and WHERE and WHICH, the technique of closing a sale, which we will find in Wheelerpoint 4, in the next chapter.
Get action with action.
By “DON’T ASK IF – ASK WHICH” I mean you should always frame your words (especially at the close) so that you give the prospect a choice between something and something, never between SOMETHING and NOTHING.
You will find a sale moving more swiftly to a successful close if you ask leading questions, as a good lawyer does, making it easy and natural for your prospect to say “Yes.”
There are two kinds of salespeople, those who throw huge exclamation marks at you as they talk and those who hook your interest tactfully with question marks. Being a Question-Mark instead of an Exclamation-Mark salesman is the fourth difference between a winner and a loser in salesmanship.
The Exclamation-Mark salesman clubs his prospects with his pet ideas – and they flee out the nearest exit! He is always using such words as:
“I’m positive …. !”
“I KNOW I’m right …. “
“You MUST …. “
He points his finger, he pounds the counter, he sticks out his chin, but he never asks the prospect a diplomatic question to find out if his sales talk is going over.
Hook the long curved arm of a question mark around your prospects and customers, and you will draw them nearer to the cash register or the dotted line – but be SURE you ask them questions that GET THE ANSWERS YOU WANT! Never ask the prospect IF he wants to buy – but WHEN, WHAT, WHERE, and HOW! Not if – but which!
“Could you afford the better-priced one?”
“Would you be interested in the dusting kit?”
“Would you like me to explain this feature to you?”
“Shall I demonstrate this to you?”
“How about it?”
“Howya fixed for a … ?”
Don’t be a “How-about-it?” salesman, or a “How-ya-fixed-for-it?” salesman. These are bad expressions to acquire. Eliminate them from your sales vocabulary. They have grown “whiskers,” and they lack “punch,” as later chapters will show. They are not only “baggy in the knees” with a “shine in their seats,” but they have grown “long beards.” Avoid them!
“You perhaps are wondering what Positive Agitation is, aren’t you?”
“You like this feature, don’t you?”
“That’s neat, isn’t it?”
“Which of these do you prefer?”
“When would you like delivery?”
“How do you prefer paying, weekly or monthly?”
“Where do you plan using it, here or over there?”
Ask the RIGHT question, especially in the close, and you’ll get the answer you want – and the order will follow quickly.
Whenever you feel the sale wavering, ASK A TESTED QUESTION - one that will start you off on a new tack. A question gives you a breathing spell while the prospect is answering it. The question mark is also a good method of bringing objections into the open. The technique is very simple to acquire. Whenever the prospect is wavering and tells you some reason for not buying, ASK HIM WHY. “Why?” is the hardest one word for a prospect to answer! He will struggle to answer your “why.” He will find it difficult to put his objection into suitable words. His vague, distant, hidden objection is often so imaginary it CAN’T be framed in words. For instance, observe this example:
NELLIE: “I’ll think it over.”
NELLIE: “Well – I – it just seems best.”
By using this rule of “Why” you gradually bring out all the objections of the prospect. Soon all the questions seem answered – but still the prospect won’t buy. ONE KEY OBJECTION still worries the prospect. What is it? Cost? Weight? Construction? Practicality? Can’t realize the need? Feels another has better features?
KEEP USING THE WORD “WHY”!
Ask him, “Why do you hesitate? – Why do you believe it is too costly? – Why do you want to wait until fall?” Keep him answering your “whys” until you find the REAL objection. Then when YOU ARE SURE you have discovered the real objection, handle it with this “tested technique”:
SALESMAN: “Is that your ONLY REASON for not buying?”
NELLIE: “Yes, that’s my only reason for not buying.”
Nellie has committed herself! She is behind ONE objection! Now ANSWER this key objection, and the sale will soon be yours!
When you do answer the objection, be sure to say: “You told me that was your ONLY REASON for not buying – so now I imagine you are ready to have me make a delivery!”
Learn the legal knack of asking LEADING QUESTIONS, especially in the close, that get you the answers YOU want.
Never take a chance and ask a question unless you KNOW the reply it will get you.
Be a good lawyer – use leading questions and practice the rule of “Why.”
Bring these “bogeymen” objections into the daylight with leading questions – and watch the bogeymen melt away like shadows!
Whenever you feel the sale wavering, practice Wheelerpoint 4, and ask a question – but don’t ask IF – ask WHICH! Ask WHEN and WHERE and HOW!
Then if you apply the fifth and final Wheelerpoint and watch HOW you say it as well as WHAT you say, as suggested on the next page, you will be master of most sales presentations that you make.
You can catch more fish with hooks than with crow bars.
We COME NOW to the last Wheelerpoint, and upon its proper execution hinges the test of how much your sales words will succeed or fail – for your VOICE is the “carrier” of your message!
The finest “sizzle” that you telegraph in ten words in ten seconds, with a huge bouquet of “flowers” and lots of “Which,” “When,” “Where,” and “How,” FLOPS if the voice is FLAT.
It is not necessary or advisable to be an actor and elocute – but a PROPER TONE OF VOICE carries the message swifter and TRUER to the other person with least “static.”
“His Master’s Voice”
Consider how much the little dog can express with just one word and one tail to wag! What he can do with the tone of his “woof” and the wag of his tail in conveying his many messages is well worth emulating!
Watch the “bark” that can creep into your voice! Watch the “wag” behind
Train your voice to run its entire scale of tones. Read a book out loud to yourself at night. Cup your hands behind your ears and hear yourself talk. This is excellent drilling in how to pitch your voice properly. Avoid a mechanical, monotonous voice. Inflect! Emphasize! Lower – raise – talk slowly – then speed up dramatically. Vary the tempo of your words! This makes you interesting to the listener.
Don’t be a Johnny-one-note. Learn to highlight your sales points by playing the full “organ” of your vocal chords – the entire range! Not just one note!
Be the director who can go from instrument to instrument.
Above all, avoid tone and voice peculiarities that attract attention to themselves – rather than to your message.
Here are a few examples to illustrate this point:
Smile When You Say These – And Reach For The “Dotted Line”
“This will shorten your cleaning time by hours.”
“You have only one back – one life to live.”
“If men did the cleaning, we couldn’t make these cleaners fast enough.”
When Nellie Says, “I’ll Think It Over,” Wag These Words At Her
“Think also of the DIRT that is ruining your rugs.”
“Think also of the MANY BACKACHES still in store for you.”
When Nellie Says, “I’ll Buy Later,” Telegraph These Messages
“Would you continue to use a toaster that didn’t work?”
“Would you use a washing machine that left clothing dirty?”
“What will you SAVE yourself by buying later – not your rugs or back –
just two dimes a day!”
Summary Of Wheelerpoint 5
Have the “voice with the smile” – but the smile that hasn’t the insincerity of being automatically “turned on” for the immediate benefit of the prospect.
Don’t ever smile insincerely, like the wolf at Red Riding Hood’s door!
If you fail to smile, if you stick your chin out, or if you look grim, down and out, tired, bewildered, scared, or overly confident, you are SIGNALING the prospect to BEWARE!
The last principle, therefore, to make your sales talk “stick” is to watch HOW you say it. So apply Wheelerpoint 5, “Watch Your Bark,” and then watch your sale go merrily down the road to SUCCESS!
The wooden Indian never made a sale.