13. Use of business card.—As a usual thing, it is unwise to send a card in by an office boy, or to hand it to the operator to be read over the phone. The pros pect very likely reads the card, comes to an adverse de cision and determines not to see the salesman. The same principle applies here as to a telephone presenta tion; it is much easier for a prospect to turn down a salesman when he knows the latter's business without meeting him face to face. For the same reason, if the man is out or unable to sec the salesman, it is usually not a good plan for the latter to leave behind any state ment of his business. It is to the salesman's advan tage to have a clear field on his next call. The appli cation of these principles depends to some extent, of course, upon the individual product sold.
14. Dignified bearing in outer sales man, in giving his name to the office boy, telephone operator, or the guardian at the outer gates of a large plant, should be just as careful of his methods and his conduct as if be were in the presence of the big man he is endeavoring to see. For there is but one answer to that oft-repeated question, How can I get by these people? and that is, Caliber. These subordinates each day are seeing a large number of callers who wish to meet some member of the organization. Most of the visitors are ordinary fellows who do not seem to de mand much deference and consequently do not get it. It is the real salesman's duty to impress these em ployes with the fact that be is someone whose dignity and importance entitle him to an audience. If he suc ceeds in making such an impression, there will be noticed a difference in the tone in which they will an nounce him, if not in the actual words. And it will make a great deal of difference whetber the announce ment is: "There is a man here to see you"; or, "A gentleman, Mr. Blank, is here to see you." 15. Office has suggested that in a book on salesmanship such as this there should be a chapter on office etiquet that would point out what a salesman should and should not do upon entering an office and while he remains there. Such a chapter is deemed unnecessary, because the same rules, dictated by good breeding, which obtain in all our relations with our fellow-men, apply here. True courtesy is based upon a sincere consideration for others and a real re gard for the comfort of those with whom We come in contact. There is innate in every man of fine feeling who is endeavoring to make himself a true gentleman, a perception of the courteous thing to do in every situ ation, and the true salesman will follow this instinct.
If one were to meet in an office a woman whom he knew socially, he would instinctively remove his hat while talking to her. There is no reason why a sales man talking to a telephone operator in the outer office should not do the same. One does not ordinarily enter the house of a social acquaintance smoking a cigarette or a cigar. Neither, then, should a salesman enter a prospect's reception room or private office smoking. He should not, of course, begin smoking in an office unless he is invited to do so. Nor is it cour teous to ask permission to smoke, except when circum stances indicate very clearly that the prospect will not have the slightest obj ection—and even then there is little reason for the request. One does not place his feet on the rungs of chairs or other furniture when visiting socially, and a salesman should be extremely careful not to offend by doing so in an office.
The reception room of a business office during the business day is neither the place nor the time for merry banter between the salesman and the telephone operator ; but that does not mean that a refined, cour teous and helpful friendship may not spring up be tween the attendant in the outer office and the sales man who visits that office repeatedly. It cannot be too strongly emphasized that no discourteous or ill bred act has any place in salesmanship. The trans gression of this rule is the reason for the failure of the loud talker, and of the salesman who thinks he is irresistibly clever or humorous, or who familiarly "sisters" and "brothers" those in the outer office on too short acquaintance. His actions are in violation of good taste and are resented even by those who would be likely to employ the same tactics if they were in his place.
The trouble is that some salesmen confuse dis courtesy with forcefulness. The salesman's every re mark and every move should have for its object the ad vancement of his cause, but he should not make the mistake of thinking that this calls for any behavior that is not entirely courteous. It is possible to insist, yet with all politeness, that one's message be delivered to the prospect. A salesman may place his chair and his equipment so as to make all conditions favorable to a presentation of his proposition without in the least transgressing the rules and principles of courtesy.