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How to Become a Writer-Salesman

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Attention Section

'Dear Sir:—
'Men made iron and steel for many years, yet it remained to the latter half of the nineteenth century to revolutionize the industry and to give growth and multiplication to 'A thousand millionaires.'

'Men 'in steel' while this magic change was in progress, made fortunes, literally 'in a night;' its history has proven a romance of industry. 'And it is about to be duplicated—not in steel, but in another industry that stands in the same position that steel stood half a century ago.

Interest Section

'It is ripe for revolution—and revolution is upon it—it also will make 'A thousand millionaires.' 'To-day it presents one of the most promising openings for capital—large or small—it is possible to conceive. 'The conditions governing it are—extraordinary—unique—its promise is spectacular—it will not alone duplicate, but exceed the marvelous record of steel.

Desire Section

'May we tell you about it? 'You can share with us in the rewards just ahead.

Action Section

'We have prepared a brochure for limited distribution among men we believe will be interested in the FACTS; it is expensive, and we do not wish to mail it to you without the assurance that it will be at least READ. If you would like to read it, and will make request on enclosed postal, this brochure will be mailed to you entirely without expense or obligation.

'May we send it?

'Very truly yours,'

"It will be perceived that the object of this letter was not to make a sale but to produce an inquiry. In producing an inquiry that ultimately turned into a sale the letter became of course part of the sales' campaign, and of course the sale was its final objective. The. important thing to grasp here is that the act of selling is arrived at by a series of steps not usually apparent to the buyer, and sometimes not even apparent to the seller. Many salesmen are splendid result-producers yet cannot tell exactly how they make their sales. If their methods are examined, however, it will be seen that they all, by different ways, methods, manners and ideas, pass the 'prospect' through the stages of Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action, 'closing' when, in their judgment, they have the man before them at the final stage.

"I stated there was another motive in which the four named were bathed, as it were, and asked my readers to express that motive by a single word—that word is i—curiosity.

"Read the letter again and you will see it lacks a positive subject—we explain the properties of a thing without saying what the thing itself is. In a sense the letter is an interesting conundrum that it is to the interest (through the Desire Section) of the reader to have solved. His only method of getting the answer is to write—hence 40 per cent did write.

"The information given in a letter is one of its points of contact with the human mind, but its success lies, not merely with its information, nor with its opening nor closing paragraphs, but in the sustained skill and thought throughout it, on the page, in the paragraphs, in the sentences, and sections of sentences 'five words long.'

"This fact explains why what seems to be an extraordinarily bad letter from the standpoint of the 'experts' will still produce extraordinary results. It is a fact that the writer of a letter, intensely in earnest, will violate all rules of construction and have his presentation topsy turvy, and it is also a fact that the reader, gripped by that earnestness, will mentally reconstruct the letter and give it its right setting and sequence. That both parties act subconsciously and without conscious knowledge of what they are doing mentally in no wise alters the fact that it is done.

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