There are some people of an evenly balanced type. They are neither violently impulsive nor ponderously deliberate. They are interested in facts and pass their judgment upon them, but they are also interested in theories and willing to listen to them. They are practical and matter-of-fact, but they also have ideals. They have clean, powerful emotions, fairly well controlled, and yet, when their judgment has been satisfied, they are perfectly willing to act in response to their feelings. They are neither easy, credulous and impulsive nor suspicious, obstinate and procrastinating. The way to persuade them is first to present the facts and show them the reasons why. Then, by suggestion and word-painting, to stimulate their desire and give them an opportunity to decide and act. Such people are medium in color, with forehead, nose, mouth and chin inclining to the straight line; medium in size; medium in build; fine or medium fine in texture; elastic in consistency; moderately high, wide, long, square head; a pleasant but calm and sensible expression of face and eyes; quiet, well-timed walk and gestures; well-modulated voice.
THE EASY MARK
When the person to be persuaded is indecisive and also has large, wide-open, credulous eyes; a hopeful, optimistic, turned-up nose, and a large, round dome of a head just above the temples, he is the living image of the champion easy mark. What he needs is not so much to be persuaded as to be protected against himself. He, and the greedy, grasping, cunning but short-sighted individual, who is always trying to get something for nothing, constitute that very large class of people of whom it has been said that there is one born every minute.
ADVANTAGE OF PERSUADER’S POSITION
In closing this chapter, we cannot forego the opportunity for a word of counsel to you in your efforts to persuade others. Remember that if you do your work well in securing favorable attention, arousing interest, and creating desire, the person with whom you are dealing is like a man standing on one foot, not quite knowing which way he will go. Even if he is more or less obstinate and should be on both his feet, he is at least standing still and considering which direction he will take. If this is not true, then you have failed to create a desire, or, having created it, have not augmented it until it is strong enough. But, granting that this is true, do you not see what an advantage it gives you? The man who is standing on one foot, undecided, is quickly pulled or pushed in the way you want him to go if you yourself vigorously desire it. Even the man who stands obstinately on both feet is at a disadvantage if he does not know which way to go, and you very decidedly know which way you want him to go.
THE VALUE OF COURAGE
We have seen more sales skillfully brought up to the point of desire and then lost through the indecision, the wavering, the fear, or the hesitation of the salesman than for any other one cause. Of all of the qualities and characteristics which contribute to success in the persuasion of others, there is, perhaps, none more powerful than that courage which gives calmness, surety of touch, decisiveness, and unwavering, unhesitating action.