July 1, 1942

Financing is Selling: A Guide for State and Local Taxpayer Organizations

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Foreword A great part of the value of any presentation is dependent upon mutual understanding between the reader and the producer. More particularly it is important that the reader perceives not only the reason for the presentation, which is usually apparent, but, more importantly, that he appreciates the premises upon which the presentation is built and the scope it assumes.

In presenting the manual “Financing Is Selling”, the Tax Foundation views it not as a primer nor as an arbitrary delineation of best procedures or methods. Rather, the manual was prepared as a document for men of long experience and expert in their field and in the hope that it will serve as a medium to assist in the analysis and organization of their own thinking, opinion, and experience in relation to that of others.

The real purpose of the manual was determined by the fact that the weak link in any program is not as often in the lack of knowledge of particular details and phases, but rather lies in the common failure to analyze, check, and organize the knowledge we have into a clear, integrated pattern or program.

The position of the taxpayer organization executives in meeting financing problems is much the same as that of the mechanic who in checking an airplane motor finds it to be operating below standard, yet with no particular part apparently at fault. He cannot chance the arbitrary assumption that it is the carburetor which must be replaced . He must start the slow, tedious process of tearing down the whole motor, cleaning, checking and replacing each worn part, and then reassembling it into a perfectly operating mechanism.

Unfortunately, the need for tearing down, checking and building up is not so obvious and unavoidable in developing an efficient financing program. Because it is not so apparent and because the job, in itself, is burdensome, more often than not, it isn’t done at all even by the best of us. Accepting this as the fundamental need in developing effective financing, the Tax Foundation sees its greatest contribution in assuming the obligation of time and effort necessary to analyzing, organizing and programming the whole financing process.

In prepaying the manual, the Tax Foundation has attempted t o incorporate all available experience out of the case history of taxpayer organization financing and to add to that the infinitely greater and the more case-tested experience of commercial sales methods. As such, it makes no pretense as a compilation o f new ideas or new methods. Much of it, to most of its readers, will be review and repetition, restatement of the obvious.

It will attempt: To define the problems of financing or selling taxpayer organization and break them down into specific parts; to analyze all parts and correlate them in relation to a complete program and to every function of taxpayer organization; to question all parts where assumption is liable to have been automatic, open to error, and to have become fixed; to assemble all parts in terms of commercial sales experience and practice into an efficient, hole-proof, financing machine or program; and to implement that program with as many practical aids as possible.

However, the real value of “Financing Is Selling” should lie in the organization executive himself, for the manual in large part is simply a vehicle to assist him in doing what is so extremely difficult—coordinating and organizing what he already knows, and applying it in the form of a clear, logical, outlined program of action that should sell the service which he has to offer.