“Pshaw! I do not believe it takes so much skill. With what I know about it, I believe I could drive the car.”
After some hesitation, the young man finally permitted the railroad official to take the wheel. At first the colonel drove somewhat clumsily, but this only increased his determination, and within an hour he was sending the car along at a good clip. When finally they drove up to the colonel’s country home, the young man scarcely needed to invite his passenger to accompany him to the city on the following morning. Before the end of the week, the old man had purchased a magnificent high-powered car. So skilfully did the young man handle his campaign that his customer did not learn he was an automobile salesman until just a few hours before the deal was consummated.
If there are positive natures which must be permitted to feel that the decision is all their own, there are weak, indecisive natures, also, who are rather grateful than otherwise for having important decisions taken off of their hands. For such people, a direct, positive suggestion is perhaps the most powerful and effective means of securing decision and action. One of the favorite methods of dealing with them is to press a fountain pen into their fingers with the definitely worded command, “Sign your name right here, please.”
People are also brought to decide and act by being impressed with the fact that delay may make it altogether too late or may possibly postpone part of the advantage to be gained or may permit some one else to get ahead. Decision oftentimes is also induced by a direct or indirect compliment to the individual’s decisiveness, positiveness, and ability to take action when he sees that action is necessary. A very successful salesman often used this method: “You say rightly that you want to think it over. That shows that you are a wise man, because a man who acts without thinking is foolish. On the other hand, the man who thinks without acting is a mere dreamer, and I know you do not belong to that class. You have had the evidence. You have weighed it. You have formed your conclusions, and now, because you are a man of decision and action, you are ready to sign the contract.”
Here, again, the reader has already seen that we are dealing with generalities. We have, as yet, no way of determining definitely and quickly whether the individual with whom we are dealing will respond best to that treatment which secures his decision upon minor points, or that which permits him to make his own decision guided only by indirect suggestions, or that which makes the decision for him, or that which compliments him upon his decisiveness, or any one of many other methods of closing. And so it is necessary to study humanity to learn to know just what will gain favorable attention of each one individually, just which one of a thousand possible motives to appeal to in order to arouse interest, just what kind of a desire to stimulate in order to intensify it to that point where it becomes irresistible, just what method of closing to use in order to bring about decision and action.