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In the days when Guy Lombardo's orchestra played "The Sweetest Music This Side of Heaven" and low-income citizens did not have to pay income tax, Community Chest was an all-inclusive drive for several worthy local causes, similar to United Way.  When approaching a potential donor, one hoped that he would prove to be "liberal," or generous, with his money.  Here my father suggests treating those potential donors according to the four fundamental steps of salesmanship.

You can never tell a book by its cover.  Likewise, you can never tell how liberal a person is going to be by the neighborhood nor the house in which he lives.

Early this spring, during the annual Red Cross drive, I was working a certain area of Cambridge where it was very evident the income of the residents of this particular area were not in the higher brackets.  In other words, very few of these people had any income tax worries.

And in going from house to house, I tried to arrive at a definite conclusion — before I talked to the man or the woman of the house — as to whether or not my mission was to be successful.  I found it was impossible to determine beforehand the outcome of my visit.

There are some other things I learned also, one of the most important of which is the fact that solicitation for funds for any cause, however worthy, requires a certain amount of salesmanship.

No doubt a great many of you people are better salesmen than I, so my remarks will be an attempt to remind you of the fundamentals of selling.

First, let me remind you that there are four steps in a sale.  Follow each step, and sales practically make themselves.

The first step, of course, is finding the prospects.  In this Guernsey County Community Chest solicitation, you are furnished the prospects.

In the case of the house-to-house worker, the boundaries of your territory are defined by your team captain.  In the case of commercial and industrial workers, specific prospects are given to each worker in the form of a card bearing the prospect's name.

The second step of a sale is creating the desire to own.  When you and I are selling Community Chest, we are selling an intangible, which is a little more difficult than selling something you can see, feel, or smell.  So the real thing we must accomplish in this second step of the sale is sell the satisfaction the prospect can derive from the knowledge of the fact that he or she has done their share in making our community a better place in which to live and work.

This part of the sale requires more initiative and resourcefulness than the first step, and I cannot stand up here and tell you word-for-word how to do it.  In the first place, I am not that smart.  The talks that these gentlemen have just given you contain most of the answers, and I feel confident that with your application of your possessed ability, you can successfully hurdle the second step in the sale.

The third step is getting the decision to buy.  To best accomplish this it is well to remember some "don'ts," one of the most important of which is "don't argue," for all successful salesmen know that they might win the argument but they would be sure to lose the sale.

Use the "yes, but" technique.

Or you might try getting your prospect saying "yes" by asking questions that the only answer could be "yes" — then pop the question of making a pledge to the Community Chest.

Another good plan to follow is:  Let the prospect talk, let them voice their objections.  They will feel better afterwards and you will, as a result, come nearer accomplishing your objective.

The fourth and last step is comparatively easy:  delivering the goods.  However, do not overlook the importance of this step, for there is a right way and a wrong way to deliver the goods, which in this case is the receipt or pledge card stub.

One very important item:  Spell the name correctly.  If you aren't sure of how to spell the particular name, ask, and ask a couple of times if necessary — for there is no sweeter music this side of Guy Lombardo's than your name.  Many people spend many dollars just to advertise their name.  So use that human weakness to help you accomplish your goal.

On many houses you visit you will find the occupant's name on a nameplate.  This simplifies the spelling.  And it always pays to greet a person by "Mrs. So & So" or "Mr. So & So," if you are sure to whom you are addressing yourself.

This fourth and last step is also important for another reason.  In selling commodities, this part of the sale is largely responsible for repeat sales; and as Community Chest is a continuing program, it is important that those who donate this year are impressed with a feeling of importance so they will again next year have a donation ready for the solicitor when he or she arrives.


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