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The Salesman's Creed - circa 1905

· sales history

Wednesday evening, I sat on the couch with Salesmanship Magazine from 1905.

And there it was..."The Salesman's Creed".

Being a nerd like I am, I excitedly told my wife, who, needless to say, wasn't as excited about this find as I was.

I texted a couple of buddies, too.

Now I share with you...

While your company probably has a "Value Statement", used to guide the behaviors and decisions of its employees, back in 1905, it wasn't just companies that had one.

In EVERY ISSUE of Salesmanship Magazine that year, The "Salesman's Creed" was listed - outlining the core values the profession should have.

Two things before we dig in:

1) At the time, the profession was highly male dominated. There's some cool info I've uncovered about women in sales that I'm still researching and will share soon, but read these with that in mind.

2) Below the "creed", it reads:

In full disclosure: I was not able to secure said permission, but I've posted the creed below anyway. Couldn't help myself. Seeing as it's 115 years old, I'm not sure how I would, anyway.

What's missing? What would you add? Should our profession develop a 2020 version (or, maybe a 2021 version would be better)?

TO respect my profession, my company and myself. To be honest and fair with my company, and I expect my company to be honest and fair with me; to think of it with loyalty, speak of it with praise, and act always as a trustworthy custodian of its good name. To be a man whose word carries weight at my home office; to be a booster, not a knocker; a pusher, not a kicker; a motor, not a clog.

TO base my expectations of reward on a solid foundation of service rendered; to be willing to pay the price of success in honest effort. To look upon my work as opportunity, to be seized with joy and made the most of, and not as painful drudgery to be reluctantly endured.

TO remember that success lies within myself, in my own brain, my own ambition, my own courage and determination. To expect difficulties and force my way through them; to turn hard experience into capital for future struggles.

TO believe in my proposition heart and soul; to carry an air of optimism into the presence of possible customers; to dispel ill temper with cheerfulness, kill doubts with strong convictions and reduce active friction with an agreeable personality.

TO make a study of my business or line; to know my profession in every detail from the ground up; to mix brains with my efforts and use system and method in my work. To find time to do everything needful by never letting time find me doing nothing, To hoard days as a miser hoards dollars; to make every hour bring me dividends in commissions, increased knowledge or healthful recreation.

TO keep my future unmortgaged with debt; to save money as well as earn it; to cut out expensive amusements until I can afford them; to steer clear of dissipation and guard my health of body and piece of mind as my most precious stock in trade.

FINALLY, to take a good grip on the joy of life; to play the game like a gentleman; to fight against nothing so hard as my own weaknesses, and to endeavor to grow as a salesman and a man with the passage of every day of time. THIS IS MY CREED.

Do you find this as cool as I do?

What do you think? Do we need one today? What would you change?

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