This salesman proceeded to the office of the superintendent early in the morning, before that official arrived, and was waiting in the ante-room when his prospective customer came in. Observing the man quickly, as he walked through the ante-room into his private office, the salesman noted that he was tall, square-shouldered, with a square face and jaw, wide forehead and a slow, elastic, graceful stride. In other words, he was distinctly a man of the bony and muscular type. A few minutes later the salesman was ushered into the superintendent’s office. He carried with him, instead of a huge sample case—this he left in the ante-room—an ingenious little mechanical pencil sharpener. Stepping up to the superintendent’s desk, he set the machine down squarely in front of the official and, without a word, picked up a pencil from the desk and sharpened it.
“How much by the dozen?” asked the superintendent.
“Twenty-five dollars,” replied the salesman.
“Send me five dozen,” said the superintendent, drawing towards him a requisition blank.
While the superintendent was writing the requisition, the salesman quietly slipped out and brought in his sample case. When he returned, the superintendent was sharpening a pencil for himself with much evident enjoyment.
“What else have you?” said he, without looking up.
Of course that question opened up the salesman’s sample case, and when he left the office, he had at least broken down that ancient barrier and had secured an order for considerably more than one-third of the year’s supplies.
In our story of the railroad man who was induced to buy an automobile without even suspecting that his patronage was being solicited, observe how skillfully the salesman drew his customer’s attention to the mechanical features of the machine. The colonel, being a railroad man, was, of course, of this bony and muscular type.
The impractical man lives in a world of dreams, theories, hypotheses, and philosophies. His favorable attention is immediately attracted to an ingenious idea. If he is of the fine-textured, delicate-featured type, he will give his favorable attention readily to that which is artistic, poetical, musical, dramatic, or literary. Financially, he is far more likely to give attention to a proposition which promises immense returns quickly than to one which is safe, solid and substantial, but promises only small returns. His favorable attention cannot for long be sustained by mere recitation of facts. He does not care much about facts and they are likely to prove dry and uninteresting to him. Give him the theories; show him the philosophy of the thing; appeal to his imagination, his sense of beauty and his ideals, and he is ready to listen further.