And he can be turned aside from his mail by something that interests him, as well as he can be turned aside from any thing else--and furthermore, progressive business men are not cluttering themselves up these days with the opening of a routine mail.
Then just try going after a few prospects between twelve and two. You may find a. man or two of them out, of course. But all you have to do in that event is to go on to the next fellow. If you find him. in, it will prove a splendid time for a thoro and uninterrupted presentation. A man is always ready, between twelve and two, to relax and let up on his work if an excuse to do so is presented. And your propo sition is a grand little excuse. Callers between twelve and two are few and far between, and your chances of not being interrupted are much better than at any other time of the day.
You can see them before two. If you found a man out between twelve and one o'clock you may be sure that you will find him in between one and two. And you'll be finding hifn after he's had a good comfortable.meal and is in a mood to sit back, comfort himself with his after-dinner cigar and listen.
That dusk argument needs no disproving. A man who has been busy in his office all da.y—and the men to whom you will sell are all busy men—doesn't know whether it's dark or light outside. And the chances are that he hns been using artificial light all day, anyhow. As for that "Saturday" devil, he hasn't a leg to stand on. Just you go out and try it.
The salesman should so plan his work that in the morning he can pick up his equipment and without any delay go to his first prospect. No detail work should be left over from the night before to sap his morning energy. He should get out early while his brain is fresh and his prospect is still in good trim from a night's rest. A salesman can always talk more intelligently right after a good night's sleep than be can later in the day, after he has become partly fagged. The man who sees his first prospect at eight thirty very often has his sales for the day started at nine o'clock.
8. Rainy day work.—Generally speaking, there is no reason why a salesman should be idle on rainy days. A rainy day is a good day for business if the salesman himself feels right. On such a day the prospect sits
at his desk not inclined to do a great deal, looks out at the rain and feels glad he does not have to be out in it. It is the kind of day when he does not feel busy and when he is in the mood to give a caller all the time that the latter wishes, and when there are not many callers to take his time. On a rainy day a retailer is a promising prospect, for it is unlikely that he will be much interrupted by customers. And in bad weather, specialty men can often arrange all their calls in one office-building and get their business dry-shod.
9. Law of averages.—The salesman should keep clearly in mind the fact that it is not always desirable to land an order no matter how long it takes. He must get orders quickly, for only in that way can he do a satisfactory volume of business. A new sales man on a specialty proposition, speaking of the or ganization's star salesman one day, said: "I've been following your advice of finding out all about my man before going to see him, planning my talk so that it will fit him exactly, and not going to see him unless I feel absolutely fit. The method works fine. Why, I talked to only six people all last week and I landed two of them. That means that my interviews were thirty-three and one-third per cent successful." The star salesman said afterward that he sat back and wondered whether he was really responsible for that attitude. He certainly had not intended to advocate the use of any part of the time which the salesman could devote to seeing prospects, for any other pur pose.
'It is, of course, desirable that a large proportion of the interviews should produce sales, but the work of acquiring the necessary ability should be done by lamplight. It should always be remembered that the ability to close a great many sales is a good sup plement .to hard work, but not a substitute for it. The day should be devoted entirely to seeing, pros pects. If that is done, altho the number of sales in proportion to the number of interviews may be small. still the number of sales will be considerable, and the salesman's income will be large.