Present Secrets

“It cannot be taught.”

“I had sold more Cotosuet (lard) in one week than
six salesmen had sold in six weeks. Not one buyer
had complained about the price. Mr. Swift (company
owner) wired me to fire the whole…sales force.
I asked him to wait.”

When I returned I explained my methods to him.
“I did not sell Cotosuet, did not talk Cotosuet.
I sold [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][cards and other schemes] and the
Cotosuet went with them.”

“I wish you would teach our other men
to do that.”

“It cannot be taught,”  I replied.

Here’s the reason Mr. Hopkins gave his old boss:

“The difference lies in the basic
concept of selling. The average salesperson
openly seeks favors, seeks profit for himself.
The plea is: “Buy my goods, not the other
fellow’s. He makes a selfish appeal to
selfish people, and of course he meets

“I was selling service. The whole basis of my
talk was to help the [fusion_client] get more business.
The advantage to myself was covered up in
my efforts to please him.”

“I never tried to sell anything…I always
offered a favor. Now I talk of service, profit,
pleasure, gifts, not any desires of my own.”
Claude Hopkins, My Life in Advertising, 1966

Can Mr. Hopkins’ wildly effective sales
methods be taught?

It requires an attitude change. His
is more work than just
getting up to say your company and
your product is the best.
That’s what
everyone else says.
We all know how well that works:
95% drop out

Who would try something totally different?
Something in line with what Mr. Hopkins did?


About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Claude Hopkins believed that advertising and marketing was simply “salesmanship in print”. He was a big advocate of advertisement that sells, verses brand marketing.

    I do believe that anything can be taught. However, some people are gifted in their field to such an extent that it is difficult for others to duplicate it.

    That’s why it’s important to do what you love, because you’ll have a much better chance of developing that special talent which makes you stand out and succeed.

  • Hello Kim,
    Great Post! I do believe people can be taught this. Not everyone will apply what they learn. Focusing your efforts on how you can serve and help your customers is key. You are helping to provide them with solutions.
    Cheryl Lydston

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