Dear readers,Certain Success
by Norval A. Hawkins
published in 1920 teaches you specialized skills to acquire success.
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To Begin With--
[Sidenote: Salesmanship Essential to Assure Success]
There are particular characteristics one can have, and particular things one can do, that will make failure
in life certain
Why, then, should not the possession of particular opposite characteristics, and the doing of particular opposite things, result as certainly
, which is the antithesis of failure?
That is a logical, common-sense question. The purpose of this book and its companion volume, "The Selling Process," is to answer it convincingly for you.
be made certain; not, however, by the mere possession
of particular characteristics, nor by just doing
success in life can be assured
; but only if you supplement your qualifications and make everything you do most effective by using continually, whatever your vocation, the art of salesmanship
[Sidenote: Why Are Some Men Failures Who Deserve to Succeed?]
Life can hold nothing but failure
for the ill-natured, unsociable, disgusting tramp who is known to be ignorant, lazy, shiftless, a spendthrift, a liar, and an all-around crook. Such a worthless man will make a complete failure of life because he is so dis
-qualified to succeed.
On the other hand certain success ought to be achieved by the good-natured, intelligent, reliable man who continually wins friends; the truthful man who has a fine reputation for thrift, honesty, neatness, and love for his work. He seems entirely worthy of success. Yet for reasons that baffle himself and his friends it sometimes happens that such a man is unsuccessful.
The defeat in life of one who appears so deserving of victory seems to prove that success cannot be assured
by the development of individual characteristics and by doing specific things. But such a wholly negative conclusion would be wrong. When a worthy man fails, he loses out because he lacks an essential positive
factor of certain success--the ability to sell
his capabilities. By mastering the selling process this failure can turn himself into a success
[Sidenote: Self-advertised Disqualifications Unrecognized Capabilities]
We are sure of the failure of the man who is utterly disqualified to succeed; not because he has
particular faults, but because they self-advertise and sell the idea
of his disqualifications for success. His characteristics and actions make on our minds an impression of his general worthlessness. Defects are apt to attract attention, while perfection often passes unnoticed.
Millions of worthy men, otherwise qualified for success, have failed solely because their merits were not appreciated and rewarded as they would have been if recognized. Capabilities, like goods, are profitless
until they are sold
. Therefore the man who deserves to win out in life can make his victory sure
only by learning and practicing with skill the certain success methods of the master salesman.
[Sidenote: The Duty to Succeed]
Down through all the ages has come the duty
to succeed. It was enjoined in the Parable of the Talents. No one has the right to do less than his best. Then only can he claim full justification for his existence. The Creator accepts no excuses for failure. Every personal quality, and every opportunity to succeed that a man has, must be used, to entitle him to the rewards of success. He owes not only to himself and to his fellows, but also to God, the obligation of developing his utmost capability
. If he does not pay dividends on the divine investment in him, his dereliction is justly punished by failure in life. Sometimes he even forfeits the right to live.
[Sidenote: Success Cannot be Copied]
Many ambitious people, who recognize their duty to succeed but do not know how to go about it, make a common mistake in thinking. They believe the secret of certain success can be learned from examples
; that success can be copied
. So men who have succeeded conspicuously are often asked to state and explain their rules, for the benefit of other men who regard them as oracles.
[Sidenote: Other Men's Formulas]
Doubtless you have read much about Marshall Field, J. Pierpont Morgan, Charles M. Schwab, and similar outstanding business men. You have studied their principles of success. You have tried to practice their methods. But somehow the most careful following of their directions has not made you a multi-millionaire, nor can you see riches as a prospect. Naturally you are both disappointed and puzzled. Perhaps you have tested faithfully for years various formulas of success extracted from the advice of successful men. Yet you
have failed, or have achieved only partial and unsatisfying success. You have been unable to solve the problem that you once felt so sure could be worked out by the rules you mastered.
Maybe you have become discouraged and have given up, in disgust, your ambition for achievement. Very likely you have said to yourself, "Success is so much a matter of luck and circumstances, there's no way to make sure of it. I've done everything that Marshall Field, J. Pierpont Morgan, and Charles M. Schwab have counseled; but I'm still plugging along on an ordinary salary. Rules for certain success are bunk. Luck has to break right for a man."
[Sidenote: The Element of Luck]
Unquestionably good luck has
brought success to some men who would have failed without its aid. It is equally beyond doubt that bad luck has prevented other men from achieving their ambitions. Of course such
successes and failures do not fall within any rules. They are altogether exceptional, and neither prove nor disprove general principles.
Eliminating the factor of luck, good or bad, the success of any normal, deserving man can
be made certain to the extent of his individual capacity
. Some men have different or bigger capacities than others; hence not all successes will be of the same kind, or alike in extent. But any normal, deserving man can assure himself as great a success as he is fitted to achieve. It is necessary, however, that he do more than develop his utmost capability
. He must learn to employ skillful salesmanship, in order to market
his "goods of sale," or personal qualifications, most profitably
[Sidenote: Sales Skill Necessary]
Each of us has to make his own pattern
of success. "The individual should develop his individuality," instead of attempting to imitate anybody else. It is even more necessary for him to use
most effectively all the natural powers he builds up.
A man can assure his success only if he learns how to utilize his personal qualifications so as to create and control his opportunities
to succeed. He should be able to bring himself to good luck
, and not expect anybody or any event to bring good luck to him.
One cannot make the most effective use of his capabilities, he cannot create and control his chances to succeed, until he develops skill in salesmanship, which is necessary to market his qualifications profitably. He must practice "selling himself" until the habit of using sales skill in everything he does and says becomes second nature to him. Sales skill is the dynamic
factor of success. It transforms potential powers into actual accomplishments. It enables the qualified man to turn his individual capabilities to best account.
[Sidenote: Opportunity A Constant Companion]
Sometimes a man says, as an excuse for his failure, "I never had a chance." The truth is that Opportunity is a constant companion to every man. Each of us has within himself
limitless wealth. All normal people are rich in ability. It is possible for anyone to become more prosperous. He need only turn his possibilities into realities.
When a man capable of accumulating riches continues poor, he is like the shipwrecked discoverer of a bonanza gold mine on an uncharted island. He cannot exchange his potential wealth for the things he desires; because he is unable to market his raw gold.
Similarly you who have not yet succeeded are potentially
rich. If you possess the generally recognized fundamentals of success; such as characteristic honesty, intelligence, energy, etc., you are not handicapped for want of a market. Even though you now may seem to lack some of the essential qualifications, you are capable of succeeding. Every necessary characteristic of the successful man is latent
in your nature and can be brought out by development. You have not yet done your utmost with the best that is in you.
[Sidenote: Your Market Not Lacking]
First you should resolve to make yourself completely worthy
to succeed. Meanwhile you should be learning how to sell your "goods." On every hand there are markets in which qualities like yours are being sold successfully by other men. Undoubtedly there will be a purchaser for the best that is in you when you bring it out; provided you present your "goods of sale" in the most skillful way. All about you are highly prosperous people with no more innate merits than you have. Certainly the market for your particular abilities is within reach. Golden opportunities of which you have not taken the fullest advantage surround you and touch your daily activities. If you have not grasped your chance, it was because you did not know how
to reach out with all your capabilities. In other words, possessing the fundamental qualifications for success, you have stood in the midst of the world's need for such capabilities as yours, but you have not gone through the selling process
You have failed thus far to achieve your ambition, simply because you have been an unsuccessful salesman of yourself
to the world.
Perhaps you never have thought of yourself as a salesman. You may not have realized the importance to you
of knowing and practicing the principles of skillful selling. Only one per cent of the people in the United States call
themselves salesmen or saleswomen. Yet in order to succeed, each of us must sell his or her particular qualifications. Your knowledge and use of the selling process are essential to assure your success in life.
[Sidenote: Master Salesmen Made, Not Born]
The best commercial executives agree that the most effective selling representative of a house is not the "natural born" salesman, but the salesman who is made
highly efficient by training. So every big, successful business conducts a course in salesmanship. Thorough tests have proved that particular principles and methods of selling are sure to produce the highest average of orders. Therefore these principles and methods are followed as standard practice
in the sales department.
That is, in order to assure
the success of an individual salesman, he is required and aided to develop particular qualifications and to do certain things that master executives have learned will get the orders and hold the trade of buyers. The qualified professional salesman is drilled thoroughly in tested principles and methods of selling. He is trained to use this standard sales knowledge skillfully. As a result he works in the field with complete confidence.
Why should he doubt that he will succeed? He knows his own limitations and capabilities; knows the true worth of his line; knows there is a market in his territory; knows how to sell in the ways that have been proved most effective; and knows that practice of right salesmanship will make him skillful in getting and holding business. Verily such "knowledge is power."
[Sidenote: Certain Success With the Selling Process]Your
success in selling yourself
can be made as certain as is a successful career to the first-class professional salesman. This book and its companion volume will explain in detail salesmanship ways to develop your best capabilities most effectively. You will be given the principles and methods employed by the expert salesman in marketing any kind of right goods. You will also be shown how to sell yourself by adapting his practices to your "goods of sale."
When you comprehend, and employ as second nature, the usages of the finest sales art, your success in life, like that of the master professional salesman, will be certain
[Sidenote: Ideas of Goods Not the Goods Themselves Are Sold]
If you have not called
yourself a salesman, perhaps you doubt the value to you of skill in selling. All you have to market is the best that is in yourself. Your ambition may be to succeed as a doctor, or lawyer, or preacher, or clerk, or mechanic, or farmer, or banker. You do not see how salesmanship could assure your
success, however much it might help some one with commercial ambitions.
If you think it would not be worth while for you to master the selling process, since you do not expect to engage in the profession
of selling, you misconceive the functions and work of the salesman. You have thought he sells "goods
;" and that as you do not deal in commodities, you would have no practical use for the selling process he employs to assure his success. But even the shoe salesman, or grocery salesman, or real estate salesman, or insurance salesman does not really sell goods
. He sells ideas about
goods. Similarly you sell ideas about yourself in order to succeed.
[Sidenote: When the Goods and the Ideas Are Different]
A sale is often completed in business without any inspection of the actual "goods" by the purchaser; as when a quantity of standard sheet copper is specified, or when the salesman describes a piece of machinery or shows a picture of it with a catalogue number. The "goods" are to be delivered later. However, the selling process is finished;
though only the mind's eye of the buyer has seen what he anticipates getting on his order. The salesman has presented nothing except certain ideas
to the mental vision of the prospect. But these ideas have been sold so realistically to the imagination of the purchaser that he gives his order for what he expects
Suppose the goods delivered later do not correspond with the particular ideas about them that have been sold. For example, the sheet copper furnished is not as specified in the contract, or the machine shipped is not the same as the salesman pictured when he got the order for it. Then there has been no sale
of the different "goods." The intending purchaser bought particular ideas
. He will not accept the delivery of goods unlike the ideas sold
[Sidenote: Know Your Prospect's Idea]
Another illustration. A real estate salesman describes a bungalow to a prospect for a home. He shows plans and specifications, with accurate dimensions; there is no misrepresentation of any detail. The salesman especially emphasizes, what is his own belief, that the bungalow would make a "cozy" home. The prospect decides to buy the property. He says, "If it is as you describe it, I'll take that place." The sale to his mind has been completed.
All that remains is delivery of a bungalow corresponding to the ideas sold. The delighted salesman escorts the buyer to the "cozy home." But the empty rooms do not confirm the idea emphasized to the prospect. The salesman cannot furnish them convincingly with his imaginative "cozy" word pictures. He has made the mistake of omitting to learn the other man's conception of a cozy home before selling the expectation of coziness. He is shocked when the sale is declared annulled with the prospect's contradiction of his description, "There's nothing cozy about this place." The intending buyer of a home feels there has been a misrepresentation; though the bungalow is exactly like the plans and specifications shown to him. He was sold an idea that "the goods" have not delivered; so he declares the sale off. A sale is a success only when true ideas
are sold, and afterward are delivered by the goods
[Sidenote: Selling Ideas About Yourself]
If you "have the goods" and would succeed certainly
in your chosen vocation, you must sell
to the world or to individual buyers true ideas
about your particular qualifications for success--true ideas regarding your best capabilities
and the value
of your services. Your "goods of sale" may be your muscular power; your brain energy; your talents, skill, integrity, and knowledge in this capacity or in that. Whatever qualities you possess, it is necessary that some one be sold the idea of their full worth, or you cannot succeed. No matter how valuable your services might
be, they have only potential worth until another man, or some business, or the world at large perceives desirable possibilities in you and buys the expectation that you will "deliver the goods
Probably you have said to yourself, "If I had the chance, I know I could deliver the goods." We will grant that you are able to make delivery. However, before you will be given a chance
you must get across to the mind of some prospective buyer of muscular power, or brain energy, or other capabilities such as you could supply, the true idea that you have
"the goods" he needs and that your qualifications would be a satisfactory purchase for him
In other words, it is necessary that you use the selling process
effectively, with thorough scientific knowledge and a high degree of art, in order to make certain of gaining your opportunity
for success. You have no doubt that you can succeed if you get the chance. But you have not realized, perhaps, that you can make yourself the master of your own destiny by first learning and then practicing until it becomes second nature to you the sure, salesmanship way to gain the opportunities you deserve
. After you comprehend
the sure process, you can soon develop skill in actually selling
to other men true ideas of the best that is in you.
[Sidenote: The Secret of Certain Success]
The secret of certain success
in life for you, then, whatever your vocation or ambition
, lies in knowing HOW to sell true ideas of your best capability in the right market or field of service. The chapters of the present book, supplemented by the contents of the companion volume, "The Selling Process," should reveal to you clearly every principal detail of this secret.
[Sidenote: No 100% Salesmen]
Before you proceed further with the study of successful salesmanship as analyzed in these pages, avoid a possible misconception of masterly selling. Even the most efficient salesman does not get all
the orders for which he tries. By his knowledge and skill his average of failures is minimized; therefore everybody recognizes him as a great success.
So, however well you comprehend the selling process, and however skillfully you use it in your career, you will not always
accomplish the particular purpose to which you apply your salesmanship. But you will markedly lessen the number and importance of your failures to do the things you attempt. You will also increase to an extraordinary degree the quantity, quality, and profitable results of your successful efforts. You will make a grand average so high that you will feel you are a real success. Others, too, will so regard you.
[Sidenote: The Master Key]
Therefore, whatever your life ambition, study the selling process until you understand it thoroughly; then perfect your skill by daily practice in selling your ideas, and ideas about yourself, to other people. When you know HOW to sell true ideas of your best capability in your chosen market or field of service, and have become expert in applying
what you have learned, you can use salesmanship continually in your everyday work. You should feel absolute assurance
that with its aid you can open the treasure house of your desires.This universal master key that fits all locks now between you and success can be made by your own hands and head. You have begun to shape it for your future use.
How to Study Certain Success with The Selling Process
[Sidenote: Suggestion To Salesmen]
The professional salesman or saleswoman who undertakes the thorough study of both this book and its companion volume, might better read first "The Selling Process," the chapters of which apply especially to his or her vocation.
If you are a "salesman," therefore, begin your study with the introduction to that book. When you have read "The Selling Process" once, start "Certain Success" and master it. Then re-read the other book in the light of the new ideas that will have been shed upon its contents by the present text.
The practical value of "Certain Success" and "The Selling Process" to you as a salesman will be multiplied a hundredfold if both are kept handy for continual reference
. The marginal index should enable you to find quickly any point regarding which you want to refresh your recollection. This set of books was not written to collect dust on a library shelf. No salesman can get the full worth out of the pages unless he uses
"Certain Success" and "The Selling Process" as working tools
[Sidenote: If Your Vocation Is Not Selling]
If you are not engaged in selling as a vocation, and have not realized before that you must be a good salesman or saleswoman in order to achieve your life ambition, commence mastering the secret of certain success with the selling process by reading thoroughly the book now in your hands. This preliminary study will increase your ability to read intelligently the more technical contents of "The Selling Process." Do not skip or slight any portion of either book. You cannot afford to miss a single bit of information regarding the sure way to succeed.
[Sidenote: Purpose and Scope of the Two Books]
This is the first publication of "Certain Success," but five large editions of "The Selling Process" were required in 1919 and 1920 to supply the demand from all over the world. The two books, each complete in itself, now are issued together under the double title, CERTAIN SUCCESS WITH THE SELLING PROCESS; though either "Certain Success" or "The Selling Process" may be ordered alone.
My chief purpose in preparing this set has been to stimulate each reader's comprehension of the value of skillful salesmanship to him
. All of us who are ambitious to make the most of the best that is in us need to be first-class salesmen, whether we market "goods" or our personal capabilities. As has been emphasized repeatedly in this preface, every one who would succeed in life must know HOW to sell his qualifications to the highest advantage
. Poor salesmanship is responsible for most of the failures of people who really deserve
to succeed. It is almost surely fatal to ambitious hopes in any trade, profession, or business.
CERTAIN SUCCESS WITH THE SELLING PROCESS covers in outline the whole subject of Salesmanship. But the scope of this set does not afford room to give here a minutely detailed exposition of the special processes of making sales in particular businesses. I have compiled for you, rather, the general principles
of effective selling that may be universally applied
. "Certain Success" and "The Selling Process" are handbooks of fundamental ideas which each reader, by his individual thinking, should amplify and fit to his own work or ambition.
[Sidenote: Real Study Required]
The fine art of successful salesmanship cannot be mastered in a few hours of casual reading. You will not be able, immediately after glancing through these books, to unlock every long-desired golden opportunity with absolute assurance. CERTAIN SUCCESS WITH THE SELLING PROCESS must be studied out
. You should keep them always at hand like your bank books, and draw on the contents for your salesmanship needs from day to day.
You will get only a smattering of the secret of certain success if you just skim over the chapters, and skip whatever requires you to think hard in order to comprehend it all. But if you dig into the meaning of each sentence for the full idea, you will enrich yourself with constantly increasing power and skill in selling. So you will surely become a real success
[Sidenote: Tested Working Tools]
The principles and methods of successful salesmanship summarized in these companion books, though they will be new to most readers, are not mere personal theories. They all have been demonstrated and tested in actual practice during my twelve years experience as Commercial and General Sales Manager of the Ford Motor Company. Under my direction in the course of that period Ford sales were multiplied one hundred thirty-two times--from 6,181 to 815,912 cars a year. The fundamental principles and methods that I have tested and proved to be most successful in selling automobiles and good will should work equally well in any profession, or business, or trade; and for any normal, intelligent man or woman who uses them continually.
[Sidenote: Dollars and Cents Value]
Since the first publication of "The Selling Process" thousands of enthusiastic readers of the book have voluntarily borne witness to its practical, dollars-and-cents value to them in their daily work. Preachers, doctors, lawyers, bank officials, clerks, book-keepers, mechanics, laborers; as well as business executives and sales managers and salesmen--men and women in scores of widely different vocations--unite in testifying to their increased earning power and fuller satisfaction in living and working. They credit these results to their study and continued use of "The Selling Process." The value of that book will be at least doubled by the supplemental reading of "Certain Success." Therefore the two are now published as a set of working tools for any ambitious man or woman who is resolved to earn
NORVAL A. HAWKINS
Majestic Building, Detroit, Michigan.