Prove you know the countersign, speak it with courage, and you will find yourself no longer an object of suspicion, no longer regarded as a possible enemy.
You have nothing to fear if you plan to approach your prospect as a true friend who has come with a carefully thought out, intelligent offer of service that he lacks.
Knowledge of Other Men
[Sidenote: Unlocking The Other Man’s Heart And Mind]
We have seen how you can make certain of gaining your introductory chance. Now we are to consider the first step in the most effective use of this opportunity to begin building your own success.
Let us say that you have chosen a particular man as the sort of employer with whom you want to work. Your prospecting has convinced you that in his business you have found the right market for your present services and a promising field for the future big success you are ambitious to achieve. Therefore you wish to sell him a true idea of your best capabilities. We will assume that you have passed the threshold of his private office, but your object in calling upon him has not yet entered his thoughts and feelings.
Before you state the ideas and service intention you have brought, make certain of the best possible reception from him. You need to take every practicable precaution against being rebuffed. You want to assure yourself of a welcome. Having gained this chance to start the sale of your capabilities, it is of vital importance not to take the next step in the selling process blindly, lest you stumble. Hence you should size up the other man before you announce your purpose in calling. What you may learn from reading his character correctly will help you to gain admittance into his mind for your ideas. It should assure a welcome from his heart for your sincere desire to serve him.
[Sidenote: Skeleton Key Unavailing]
Golden opportunities to succeed in a particular business cannot be unlocked with a skeleton key of knowledge about human nature. Knowledge of all men supplies merely the shaft and general shape of the key blank, which must then be notched and filed to fit the characteristics of the individual whose mind and heart you wish to open for the admission of your ideas and feelings. Unless you can get into that one mind and that one heart with your service purpose, you will be shut out from the opportunity you want. It is important that you know the traits of men in general, of course. Such knowledge, however, should be supplemented by a specific and true conception of the particular man through whom you hope to reach your chance to succeed.
Do not confuse in your present thoughts the process of prospecting the characteristics of a man before meeting him, with the later process of sizing him up at the time of the interview. It is highly important to accumulate in advance as much knowledge as possible of your prospect’s individual traits. But what you learned about your chosen future employer before you gained the chance to present your ideas to him in his office should be used merely as a guide in sizing him up on the spot.