7.How to Get Cooperation
Don’t you have much more faith in ideas that you discover for yourself than in ideas
that are handed to you on a silver platter? If so, isn’t it bad judgment to try to ram your
opinions down the throats of other people? Isn’t it wiser to make suggestions - and let
the other person think out the conclusion?
Adolph Seltz of Philadelphia, sales manager in an automobile showroom and a student
in one of my courses, suddenly found himself confronted with the necessity of injecting
enthusiasm into a discouraged and disorganized group of automobile salespeople.
Calling a sales meeting, he urged his people to tell him exactly what they expected from
him. As they talked, he wrote their ideas on the blackboard. He then said: “I’ll give you
all these qualities you expect from me. Now I want you to tell me what I have a right to
expect from you.” The replies came quick and fast: loyalty, honesty, initiative,
optimism, teamwork, eight hours a day of enthusiastic work, The meeting ended with a
new courage, a new inspiration - one salesperson volunteered to work fourteen hours a
day - and Mr. Seltz reported to me that the increase of sales was phenomenal.
“The people had made a sort of moral bargain with me, " said Mr. Seltz, “and as long as
I lived up to my part in it, they were determined to live up to theirs. Consulting them
about their wishes and desires was just the shot in the arm they needed.”
No one likes to feel that he or she is being sold some- thing or told to do a thing. We
much prefer to feel that we are buying of our own accord or acting on our own ideas.
We like to be consulted about our wishes, our wants, and our thoughts.
Take the case of Eugene Wesson. He lost countless thousands of dollars in commissions
before he learned this truth. Mr. Wesson sold sketches for a studio that created designs