A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 19, 2015
“Salesmanship begins when the customer says no”

"Salesmanship begins when the customer says no” is a business saying that has been printed on many gift items, such as coffee mugs and posters. The saying has been cited in print since at least 1933 and was popularized by insurance man Elmer G. Leterman’s book, The Sale Begins When the Customer Says No (1953).

American businessman George O. Boule Jr. (1925-2000) is sometimes credited with the saying, but the saying had been popular before he used it.


Old Fulton NY Post Cards
24 November 1933, Buffalo (NY) Courier-Express, “$44,000 Still To Be Obtained In Jewish Drive,” pg. 5, col. 4:
“Salesmanship beings when the customer says ‘No’; and the real selling begins when the customer says ‘No, I can’t.’ Make the prospect conscious of his social responsibilities. Make him realize that people are called on today to give not from their abundance. These are days when, if great social work is to be carried on for our needy brethren, men must be made to realize that, until they have curtailed some of their selfish indulgences, they have no right to say ‘No.’”
(Dr. Albert O. Butzer, minister of Westminster Presbyterian Church.—ed.)

Google Books
Successful Investment Salesmanship:
A Series of Lectures Given in a Course on Investment Salesmanship Sponsored by the Boston Investment Club and Boston University

Boston, MA: Barron’s Publishing Company
1950
Pg. 28:
Of course all experienced salesmen know that the time to sell is when the customer says, “No.”

OCLC WorldCat record
The sale begins when the customer says no
Author: Elmer G Leterman; Edward Sagarin; David Pascal
Publisher: New York : Greenberg, [1953]
Edition/Format: Print book : English

24 February 1953, Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch, “U.S. Must ‘Sell’ Itself RPI (Richmond Professional Institute) Students Told,” pg. 24, col. 4:
Dr. Neal Bowman, whose talk was sponsored by the School of Distributive Education at RPI, said: “Salesmanship begins when the customer says no.”

OCLC WorldCat record
The selling starts when the customer says no : the 12 toughest sells, and how to overcome them
Author: Richard S Seelye; O William Moody
Publisher: Chicago, IL ; Cambridge, England : Probus Pub. Co., ©1993.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
When the customer says no, the successful sales person should just be getting started
Author: T McCarthy
Publisher: [Cleveland, Penton Pub., etc.]
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: Lodging hospitality : LH. 62, no. 8, (2006): 26-26
Database: ArticleFirst

Google Books
FROM ZERO TO HERO:
How to Master the Art of SELLING CARS

By Jeff Knott
Lincoln, NE: iUniverse
2007
Pg. 100:
“Salesmanship starts when the customer says no.”
George O. Boule Jr.

Twitter
Dave Evans
‏@evansdave
@BawldGuy Salesmanship begins when the customer says “no.” ;->
5:15 PM - 1 Aug 2008

Twitter
U.S. Food Brokers
‏@USFoodBrokers
Salesmanship starts when the customer says no. - George O. Boule Jr.
1:40 PM - 16 Jul 2009

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Sunday, July 19, 2015 • Permalink