According to the law of sale, desire is interest intensified. Interest may be purely intellectual. Desire is a feeling. Interest may not even suggest speech or action to the interested person. Desire infallibly suggests speech or action. The woman who stands before a magnificent window display of the latest fashions in evening gowns may be deeply interested in them, but if, perchance, she be a modest, retiring, home-keeping woman with no social ambitions, she doesn’t even think of purchasing one. In fact, the chances are that she would not accept it as a gift. She would have no use for it. As a result, her interest in the display begins to wane and soon she passes on. How different is the case of the woman who loves excitement, attends many evening functions, and is ambitious to outshine her friends! She stops before the window. She also is interested. The longer she stands before the window and the more interested she becomes, the more certain is she to begin to think about purchasing one or more of the gowns, or of having one or more made upon these models. If she stands there long enough and her interest continues to increase, she will soon be making definite plans for gaining possession. In other words, her desire for an evening gown has been aroused.
Ask any successful clothing salesman or saleslady what is the best way to arouse desire for a suit, a cloak or a gown. Almost without exception they will answer: “Place the garment on the prospective customer and let him see himself in a good mirror and in a good light.” In this way the individual actually sees himself enjoying possession. There is no stronger stimulus to desire than this.
A young man of our acquaintance had a great contempt for spring and fall overcoats, and had never purchased one. One day, after he had ordered a suit from his tailor, the salesman said: “Mr. Jenkins, you ought to have a spring overcoat to wear with that suit.”
“A spring overcoat!” scoffed Jenkins. “I never wore a spring overcoat in my life. When it is cold, I wear my winter overcoat. When it is too warm for that, I am perfectly comfortable without an overcoat. Why should I waste my money in a thing which is only ornamental? If I am going to spend any more money on overcoats, I should rather put it into an extra fine winter overcoat.”
“Now, here is one of our very latest styles, Mr. Jenkins,” went on the salesman, ignoring the protest. “Just slip it on and see how it fits you.”
The salesman held the garment invitingly, and, with a grudging warning to the salesman that he was wasting his time, Jenkins slipped it on. The salesman settled it upon his broad shoulders, smoothly folded back the rich, heavy silk facing, and deftly swung a mirror into position.