Guide to salesmanship


Tips and techniques

The purpose hereof is to make you more familiar with the subject of selling.

Although not all the truths about selling are contained herein, a base is provided to build on.

To have knowledge does not mean to have mastered skills. Thus you may know, but need to refine art of selling to your advantage.

By stimulating your thoughts above average performance is possible. Manu who have great potential do not achieve maximum performance having fallen into a rut.

Some representatives think that they are being paid for what they know about the product or service and its practical application.

That is a big mistake.

A representative is paid for his ability to convince people that it is better have something than to be without it, for his ability to persuade people to buy and to keep these people sold that is to keep business on the books.

You many know everything about the products your company offers, you may know your product pricing like the palm of your hand, you may know exactly what the contracts of your company contain. You may know these things, but it is only by means of your ability to persuade men and women to buy
that you can create an estate
that an income can be replaced which would have been lot as a result of death or disability
that you can reach your goals – your financial targets
that you can obtain the security and privileges your family needs.

Of course knowledge is an indispensable aid in this task of persuasion, as is evident time and again.

But it is equally important to realize that the representative who excels financially and otherwise is the one who realizes that resulting from repeated transactions with satisfied clients or obtained as a result of favourable comments of satisfied clients is the key to the progress and prosperity of a representative.

The role of sales

The national economy

The salesman is a key figure in the modern world of automation and mass production. “If salesmen were not selling, then no wheel would turn in any factory, nor on any highway or railroad.” – How I sell R12 000 of Life Assurance Year After Year – Karl Bach. Without effective sales and salesmen mass production, greater turnover, increased profits, lower prices, raised standards of living and general progress are impossible.

The representative par excellence plays a particularly important role in the economy. Policy-holders and their families are safeguarded and made more economically independent by his action; moreover, owing to the mobilization of money through this process, gigantic capital amounts are amassed whose investment is indispensable for the economic development of any country. The sales industry inter alia offers capital for financing industrial expansion and for state and semi-state projects which assist the authorities in providing services such as defence, transport, housing, water and electricity.

Economic growth is of supreme importance in a young, developing country, even more so in South Africa as it is a primary requisite for economic and political stability.

The undertaking

The salesman has become the vital cog in a modern business. Ten years ago the greatest bottle neck was production; now it is the selling function.

No undertaking can exist or grow if its products or services are not sold reasonably successfully. “In short, management needs the salesman for the same reason Noah needed the Ark – to keep the whole business afloat.” – How I sell R12 000 of Life Assurance Year After Year – Karl Bach

The activities of a salesman create positions for others within the organization.

The client

Most of us work in order to satisfy our needs, which we do mainly by buying things. As far as satisfying needs is concerned the salesman naturally plays an important part – one of which any salesman can be proud. His action renders vital service to the client.

In selling the salesman’s relation to the client is of much greater importance; primarily because many people are unaware of their needs and the possible financial dangers for themselves, their families and their heirs.

These people have to be informed, educated and directed by the representative.

Secondly, sales is a product which involves the client and his family intimately. The importance and effects of purchasing are drastic and vast. Think, for example, of examples of buying and selling in your own life.

It does not take a salesman long to realize the importance of the service he renders when selling his product. After the first tangible experience of the results and eventual effects of his selling effort, he soon realizes that as an a representative his task is indeed sublime. It is therefore inevitable that the devoted salesman rapidly becomes honoured in his area.

The representative

In the salesman’s life sales plays an important part. They enable him to achieve his goals: satisfaction, self-esteem, the highest social level. They offer him the opportunity if giving his family what he wants them to have as well as satisfying his own needs.

Sales offer a representative the same privileges as those of a business man. Within the requirement and conditions set by his organization he mainly acts as an independent businessmen; he has to execute his job with the independent businessman’s acumen and enthusiasm. However, although he enjoys independence, he is not burdened by the problems such as capital outlay, keeping stock and labour unrest which face the modern businessman.

Nothing external can restrain the salesman. Whether he achieves his goals or not depends only on his ability to sell and the attendant rendering of service, honesty and integrity. These are the opportunities sales offer the representative.

Your development as a salesman


You may begin by considering your latent capacities as a salesman and then asking yourself whether you are achieving maximum results.

Is the latent salesman inside you really making constant use of all his capabilities?

Psychologists who have studied the human being claim that the majority of people exploit a mere 20 to 30% of their potential. One of the reasons for this unsatisfactory condition is that you are unconsciously limited by your previous sales achievements or even the achievements of other representatives.

It is also important to note that in the past few years, psychologists have proved that people in everyday or in crisis situations, have an immense capacity for work and latent energy which are exploited in rare cases only.

Anybody who is not convinced that he is achieving maximum results is under obligation to himself and to his family and should devote himself to his own development.

What do you need to develop?


No matter how great a salesman’s potential is, he cannot simply start selling insurance, electronic equipment or cars.

Everybody needs training to develop his skills and to enable him to cope with any situation that may arise. It is therefore logical that big companies should spend large sums of money to try and develop effective training programmes. Without thorough training not even a man with the potential of becoming a top class salesman could develop his skills to the full and therefore will have limited results and limited success as a salesman.

The desire to achieve success

Potential and good training do not, however, guaranteee success. When someone has the potential and has been thoroughly trained in the techniques of selling it is up to him to determine whether he will be a successful salesman. A representative can be trained but he cannot be forced to be successful. He must be eager to be a representative and to apply his knowledge of sales techniques. He must also develop his capacity for hard work.

It is your decision

If you

Have the potential
Are keen to develop your abilities by means of a training programmes
Want to work hard and use your energy reserves to the full, you are within reach of the highest goals that you may have set for yourself.

If you can convince yourself

That you want to be one of the elite group of representatives with high income
That you want all the advantages of a top position
That you are prepared to do anything to make this possible
You should not postpone the decision to rearrange your life any longer.

Decide now and start now even if this should mean that you would have to visit your clients when occasion calls for.

The purpose of this lens

The aim of this lens is to teach you the art of salesmanship so that you will be able to exploit your abilities increasingly to your own and to your family’s advantage. It is not merely a matter of improving your sales techniques but also of adjusting your personal habits. It often happens that an irritating habit of which you are probably unconscious may have an adverse influence on your efficiency as a salesman.