This section is from the "Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1923" book, by Sara F. T. Price. Also see Amazon: Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1923.
It is a fact that when two stores sell the same merchandise one will often sell considerably more than the other, even when there seems no special choice in the matter of location and no advantage of one over the other in advertising.
Yon say it's because people like one store better than another, but if they have the same merchandise to sell, why do people prefer to patronize one in preference to the other?
Men don't usually shop as much as women, but on occasion they do. The writer planned a camping trip which required a considerable outlay and began a shopping trip for one of the most essential items - folding cots. I like to be comfortable.
The first store displayed its equipment well but its cots didn't just suit me. The second store seemed to have just what I wanted, sturdy looking cots, compactly folded, with and without bags for carrying.
A clerk stepped up and asked me if I wanted something. Of course I wanted something or I wouldn't have been there, but I explained that I was shopping for folding cots.
"These are folding cots," he replied, and I asked him the price. "Five dollars. You can see how small they are. These are folded and they fit in this bag." And he looked very much worried. I suppose he was afraid I would ask him how they looked when open.
"Yes, I see they are folded," was all I could say. And when I walked away he really looked relieved. Of course I could have insisted on seeing the cot open but I prefer not to ask people to do things which it is their business to do without being asked.
The next store had folding cots and regular salesmen. One of them actually smiled at me and when he saw me look at cots which happened to be prominently displayed, said, "Going on a camping trip?" and I smiled and replied, "You guessed it."
It didn't take that salesman more than three minutes to open that cot, explain its good points and fold it up again. And in another three minutes he had made a sale. But he didn't stop there. He showed me dozens of articles for the camper and when he had finished he had a fair sized check in his hand and another customer for his store.
You are not selling folding cots, but salesmanship embodies the same principles regardless of what the merchandise may be. A shopper may come into your studio out of mere curiosity, but a good salesman will give the same interested attention whether or not a desire for portraits has been expressed.
PORTRAIT FILM NEGATIVE, ARTURA PRINT
By O. H.Boye
San Francisco, Cal.
Then the shopper will go out of your studio with a desire for portraits, or at least a resolve to make you her photographer when she does want a new photograph.
Whatever creates that desire or good-will is salesmanship. It may be the first words you speak to the man or woman who enters your studio. It may be the smile on your face or the general impression of cheerfulness your studio surroundings convey. You can be very sure it is not grumpiness, curtness or half hearted interest in your prospective customer.
You must give the best you have, freely and cheerfully, and without partiality. When you can do that you will get results, for that's good salesmanship.