“Fits as if it were made for you, Mr. Jenkins,” he praised. “I tell you, when you walk down the street in that overcoat in the bright, clear sunlight of a spring morning, you look prosperous.”
In relating the incident afterward, Jenkins said: “Why, the fellow had me, absolutely. I could see myself walking down Michigan Avenue to business, and the sun shining on the lake, and the little shoots of grass beginning to show in Grant Park. I did feel prosperous. I felt so prosperous that, then and there, I bought that overcoat, the first spring overcoat I ever owned and just exactly one more spring overcoat than I had ever had any intention of owning.”
AROUSE THEIR FEELINGS ABOUT THEMSELVES
If interest, therefore, is aroused by making a person think about himself, desire is created by making a person feel about himself and feel about himself in such a way that the feeling impels him to favorable decision and action. The object of the man or woman who would persuade according to scientific principles is to stimulate, through intensified thought, the strongest and most easily aroused feelings of the person to be persuaded. As you have already seen, we have been hammering upon those feelings from the very beginning. In securing favorable attention, we appeal to them. In arousing interest, we do our best to make the person to be persuaded think of himself in connection with these feelings; and now, in creating desire, we simply are going a step further and by every possible means intensifying the excitement of those feelings.
For example, in selling a garment to an exceedingly utilitarian and economical person, we secure his favorable attention, perhaps, by the remark: “Let me show you something that will look as well as the best and wear like iron, at a moderate price.” We arouse his interest by showing him the hard, close, wear-resisting weave of cloth, the tenacity with which it holds its shape, and, at the same time, its neatness, attractiveness, finish, and superior workmanship. We create a desire for the possession of the garment by inducing him to put it on, at the same time remarking: “You can see for yourself that this garment is conservative and suitable in style. While not the extreme of fashion, it is not out-of-date nor out of harmony with the prevailing mode. A year from now you will be able to wear it with exactly the same feeling that you are well and neatly dressed, as you feel in wearing it to-day. Furthermore, because it is a standard style and not a novelty, it sells at far below the cost of fancy garments, notwithstanding its superior quality and workmanship. You will be proud to wear this garment when those who have paid twice as much for the more extreme styles have been compelled to discard them and purchase new.”
THE PERSUASIVE POWER OF SUGGESTION
In his excellent scientific work, “Influencing Men in Business,” Walter Dill Scott says: