The man of bone and muscle likes to think of himself in action. Muscular exercise, out-of-doors freedom, skill, agility and strength—these are the things in which he is interested. You can also interest him in thoughts of himself using tools, building or operating machinery, traveling or, perhaps, working in his garden or amongst his fruit trees. By an easy step in analogy this man is also interested in politics and religion, freedom and reform, and in mechanical principles and construction. Notice how the letter cited at the opening of this chapter makes the man who receives it think of himself in motion, think of himself as enjoying freedom, the outdoor air, exercise, the beauties of nature. All of these things appeal to the man of bone and muscle, who is, by all odds, the most likely purchaser of a bicycle.
The impractical man usually likes to think of himself as an ideal being, living in an ideal world, surrounded by ideal people, associated together under ideal conditions. In other words, he is a day-dreamer, dreaming of those things which delight him most, without thought as to their foundation in fact, or the possibility of putting them into practice. It is usually easy enough for the eloquent salesman who understands him to persuade such a man. He responds to eloquence. Since he doesn’t demand facts, his mind is soon soaring off into realms of fancy upon the wings of the speaker’s words. But since interests are all mutual, you will, if you are wise, use your knowledge of this man’s impractical nature to help to persuade him to do for himself that which is practicable. Such a man ought to have life insurance, for example, and to have it so protected that he can do nothing visionary and impracticable with it. Make him think of himself, if you can, conferring ideal benefits upon his wife and family. You could never interest him in the bare, trite facts in the case, but when you have gained his interest, see to it that you sell him an entirely practicable life insurance policy for a man of his type. There is never any ultimate advantage gained by using your knowledge of human nature to persuade people to do anything which is not, in the long run, the best thing for them to do.
The practical man likes to think of himself and others as doing things, as saying things, accomplishing practical things, worth-while things. We shall never forget the intensity with which one of the most practical persons in our acquaintance says over and over again: “I like to see things done” If your practical person is also of the financial type, he likes to think of himself as doing things which will result in profit. There is scarcely any proposition of any kind you may ever wish to present to a practical financial person which cannot be presented in such a way as to make that person think of himself as getting something done both practical and profitable. If you can make him think of himself in this way, you will have aroused his interest.