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Sherwin Cody.

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HOW TO DEAL WITH
HUMAN NATURE
IN BUSINESS I



A Practical Book on Doing
Business by Correspondence,
Advertising, and Salesmanship



By SHERWIN CODY

Author of "How to Do Business by Letter," "The Art of Writing and
Speaking the English Language," "Marshall Brown,
American Business Man/' etc.



SECOND EDITION




FUNK & WAGNALLS COMPANY

NEW YORK AND LONDON

1916



COPYRIGHT, 1904, 1906, 1911, BY

SHERWIN CODY

COPYRIGHT, 1915, BY

FUNK & WAGNALLS COMPANY

Printed in the United States of America

Published, September, 1915

All rights reserved



CONTENTS



PAGE

PREFATORY A SCIENTIFIC BASIS xi

PART I HUMAN NATURE: HOW TO
HANDLE IT

I. NATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS 3

II. SERVICE THE AMERICAN PRINCIPLE OF

BUSINESS 7

III. THE BUSINESS WORLD TAKES YOUR OWN

VALUATION OF YOURSELF 11

IV. EVERY MAN SHOULD HAVE His MONOPOLY 16
V. THE MIND AND How IT WORKS .... 19

VI. PRACTICAL USES OF THE IMAGINATIVE

METHOD 36

VII. PRACTICAL PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL ... 41

VIII. PROPORTION AND EMPHASIS 52

IX. ANALYZING A BUSINESS 57

PART II CORRESPONDENCE

INTRODUCTORY THE FORM OF THE LETTER . . .67

Margins Spacing The date line The address
The salutation The body of a letter The
close The signature The envelop The punc-
tuation Eules for commas Eules for semi-
colons Eules for colons How to study punc-
tuation How to master the form of letters.



384602



iv CONTENTS

PAGE

I. THE CONVERSATIONAL STYLE IN LETTER-
WRITING 75

Natural and easy way to begin a business let-
ter Natural and easy way to close a business
letter How to acquire an easy business style
Secretary's letter of acknowledgment Simple
letter enclosing check to pay a bill A letter of
endorsement Answer to an inquiry The tele-
graphic style Colloquialisms and slang An
illustrative chain of letters.

II. ORDERING GOODS AND HANDLING INQUIRIES . 87

Two kinds of letters, buying and selling Order-
ing goods A poor letter ordering goods The
same letter properly written Answering in-
quiries A poor answer to a letter ordering
goods The right answer to this letter A poor
reply to letter of inquiry The same letter re-
written Selling letters with the inquiries they
answer.

III. SYSTEM IN HANDLING CORRESPONDENCE . 104

How to write one hundred good letters a day
Form-sentences When to use a form-letter
When not to use form-letters System in
freshening publicity Complaint-letters A poor
answer to a letter of complaint The same letter
rewritten Form-chart for complaints.

Illustrative Study of the Grocery Business 114

IV. How TO DEAL WITH HUMAN NATURE BY

LETTER 127

1. "When to Write a Short Letter and When

a Long One 127

2. How to Write a Letter That Will Get

Attention 128

Circular letter soliciting advertising.



CONTENTS v

PAGE

3. How to Write a Letter That Will De-

velop Interest 132

Letters to get life insurance business.

4. How to Write a Letter That Will Com-

pel an Answer 136

5. How to do Business With a Eeasonable

Customer 140

A system to keep reasonable customers satis-
fied.

6. How to do Business With an Irritable

Customer 144

Nagging letters and how to handle them.

7. How to do Business With a Woman . 147
The deference due to woman.

8. How to Write to a Lady on a Delicate

Matter 151

Delicate letters A frank letter to an employee.

9. Giving a Letter the Proper Tone How

to Write to Your Superior .... 154

10. How to Write to a Subordinate . . . 158
V. COLLECTIONS BY MAIL 163

Letter to go with invoice, always required on
approval shipment Collection follow-up letters
A reminder to take cash discount For small
accounts overdue For very small accounts long
overdue Collections from dealers A collection
letter that ' ' drew the money like a poultice. ' '

VI. USING WORDS so AS TO MAKE PEOPLE DO

THINGS 175

1. The Personal Touch 175

Enthusiasm the corner-stone of success.



vi CONTENTS

PAGE

2. How to Condense 178

The secret of condensation The first full let-
ter A page advertisement or short letter
One-inch magazine advertisement.

3. Emphasis in Business Writing . . . 185
An example of display for emphasis First let-
ter to get inquiries for $500 machine Answer to
inquiries brought by the preceding letter Let-
ter to general list to get inquiries for $500
machine.



VII. SALESMANSHIP IN LETTERS AND IN ADVER-
TISING 193

1. Five Steps in Written Salesmanship . 193
Poor salesmanship.

2. Creating Desire 199

Poor ways to begin a sales-letter The right
way to begin sales-letters.

3. Show How Your Plan Works .... 202

' ' Showing How ' ' useful in selling mining-stock.

4. Proving Your Statements 206

Get the customer 's point of view How to handle
testimonials.

5. Making a Man Feel Like Ordering . . 211
A clever business-winner.

6. Make Ordering Easy, Safe, and Quick . 215
Clinchers Letter to clinch orders.

7. Turning Advertising Inquiries Into

Orders 219

8. Follow-up Letters 220

Letter to sell a fire-extinguisher sent with cata-
log on receipt of inquiry.

9. Second Follow-up Letter 224

Illustrative letters.



CONTENTS vii

PAGE

10. Stationery and Printing for Circular

Letters 228

11. Premiums 230

Letter to get a trial wholesale order on approval
Premium.

12. What Can and What Can Not be Done by

Mail 233

Importance of testing every letter or piece of
advertising Futility of the conventional follow-
up Making an argument in bits Seasonal can-
vassing.

PART III MERCHANDISING
MERCHANDISING 243

A good business in a good location Classes of
businesses Collections and credits Financing a
business Records The general selling-problem
Trusting the public Approval Questions on
merchandising.

PART IV ADVERTISING
I. THE BUSINESS OF ADVERTISING .... 263

Questions on the business of advertising.

II. PLANNING AN ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN . . 270

Questions on planning an advertising campaign.

III. THE PSYCHOLOGY AND ART OF ADVERTISING

DISPLAY 275

Attention values Pleasing shapes and masses
Questions on the art of advertising The prac-
tical drive ^Copy Producing action Questions
on the preparation of copy.
Forty Illustrations of Magazine, News-
paper, and Street-Car Advertisements 289
Mediums Questions on mediums The cumula-
tive power of advertising.



viii CONTENTS

PAGE

IV. EETAIL ADVERTISING 330

The object of retail advertising Newspapers
and handbills as retail mediums What to ad-
vertise The buyer and the advertisement writer
must work together The technique of retail ad-
vertising Questions on retail advertising.

V. DlRECT-BY-MAIL ADVERTISING 342

Lists Cost Mailing-pieces and enclosures One
or two-cent postage which? Hints on booklet-
making Proper style in which to write a book-
let The use and abuse of catalogs and booklets
Classified advertising Questions on direct-
by-mail advertising.

VI. KEYING AND TESTING ADVERTISING . . . 358

Testing retail advertising Testing general ad-
vertising Permanent advertising record Ques-
tions on keying and testing advertisements.

VII. PRINTING 369

Preparing copy for printer and reading proof-
Questions on printing.

Modern Type Faces 383

PART V PERSONAL SALESMANSHIP

I. PERSONALITY 393

The advantage of having good clothes The ad-
vantage of having good manners The advan-
tage of having a good breath Questions on
personality in salesmanship.

II. DIFFERENT KINDS OF SALESMEN AND THEIR

DUTIES 403

1. Retail 403

2. Wholesale . 406

3. Specialty .411

Questions on the duties of different kinds of
salesmen.



CONTENTS ix

PAGE

III. MODERN SALES ORGANIZATION 414

The sales-manager The list of prospects Edu-
cating the customer Managing salesmen Ques-
tions on modern sales organization.

IV. THE PRINCIPLES OF SALESMANSHIP . . . 424

The five factors General preparation for sell-
ing Steps in making a sale Special prepara-
tion Attention Creating desire for the thing
in general Developing interest in your goods
Closing the sale Questions on the principles of
salesmanship.

V. THE PRACTICAL PROCESS OF SELLING . . .436

Retail selling Selling to dealers Selling spec-
ialties The primary selling-talk The secondary
selling-talk The tertiary selling-talk The
salesman's personal check-up.

Psychological Selling Hints Suggestion . 449
The danger of negative suggestion Avoid ex-
cessive familiarity Questions on the practical
process of selling.

Model Selling - Talk for House - to - House

Canvass 454

Complete Canvass to Sell This Book . . 459

Canvass for the business-manager Preparation
Primary selling-talk for the business-manager
Secondary selling-talk for the business-mana-
ger Tertiary selling-talk for the business-
manager Primary selling-talk for the employee
Secondary selling-talk for the employee The
importance of a logical chain The importance
of enthusiasm The importance of persistence
The danger of excessive persistence The secret
of success in " closing " sales.



Prefatory
A SCIENTIFIC BASIS

THE words science and scientific have been used so
much as advertising catchwords, in loose and illegiti-
mate senses, that it is well for us to begin by consider-
ing just what is the true scientific method, and how far
the knowledge of any subject is or may become a science.

The scientific method follows these well-defined steps :

1. Hypothesis. The scientist makes the best guess
that he can. He is a real student, an artist in study,
a professional studier, and he sees something that looks
like a great discovery. An hypothesis is the name for a
serious guess by a brilliant mind.

2. Experiment and test. The very essence of modern
science is trying out that which seems like a great dis-
covery. What seems is often false. We are deceived
in our very best impressions. We have not looked at the
thing closely enough, we are deceived as to its relative
importance, its proportions, because we are too near to
it or too far from it, or there is some practical defect
in its working which we overlooked at first. The wiser
a man is, the more likely he is to know that there are
many times when he can not avoid error. Science is
what we know, and the only way to know anything is
to test it, to try it here and try it there. When its
appearance remains the same after we have looked at
it from many different sides, only then do we begin to
know that it is as it looks.

3. Theory. When our hypothesis has been tested
until we find it a very useful assumption, something
that helps us explain many other things, but about which



xii PREFATORY

we know there is the possibility that we may be making
a mistake, we say that we have a working theory.

4. Law. When a theory has been tested on every
possible side on which there can be any doubt, and the
man with a scientific mind knows absolutely that there
is not a single chance left that he can be wrong, the
principle which at first was a guess, an hypothesis, and
then by experiment and test became a theory, at last,
on the finishing of every possible experiment, becomes
a law. Usually, a good many different minds must
unite in the experiments which finally confirm what we
accept as a scientific law.

Only that is a science which is known so thoroughly
that careful thinkers in many different parts of the
world agree on its working theories and demonstrated
laws. No one man, even the wisest man in the world,
could make a science. Any one man who talks about
"scientizing" a subject simply does not realize the dig-
nity and thoroughness of knowledge which go to make up
our real sciences such as chemistry, physics, astronomy,
and (on the side of dealing with human nature) the
science of psychology, and the science of sociology (the
youngest of the sciences, what might be called a baby
science). Philosophy can not be a science, because it
deals with things we know we can not really know.
Much less can religion be a science, because it deals
very largely with things beyond the range of human
knowledge.

Moreover, scientific names, scientific terminology, are
no essential part of a science. In order to know exactly
what you are talking about, it is desirable to have fixt
and accurate names. For example, in botany it was
found that common names of plants were used differ-
ently by different people. One name would be used by
some people for six or seven different kinds of plants.



A SCIENTIFIC BASIS xiii

Also different languages such as English, French, or
German had entirely different common names. For an
Englishman really to know what kind of flower or plant
a German was talking about, it was desirable to have
a name which would be the same in Germany and in
England. So Latin names were agreed on, and the
different kinds of plants examined scientifically were
given names which were accepted in all parts of the
world. The names, however, are only a convenience,
and unless convenience actually requires special names,
and those names can be accepted and used by many
different authorities on that science, a terminology in-
vented by some one is worse than a nuisance.

Under the general subject of Dealing with Human
Nature we have two young but distinct sciences, psy-
chology, the science of the way the mind acts on the
impressions it gets through the five senses, and sociology,
the science of social relationships, or the organization
of society. Salesmanship and advertising have just as
much chance of sometime becoming sciences as sociology.
The reason they are not now sciences is that no con-
siderable number of persons who have studied them as
subjects agree on their fundamental principles. They
are a collection of hypotheses, with a few working
theories, but no laws. Human nature is a very com-
plicated thing, so wholly dependent on changing con-
ditions that it is exceedingly difficult to arrive at any-
thing that will seem equally true to all people at all
times. Sociology has the advantage of the records of
all history. The practise of salesmanship and adver-
tising is so recent that we do not really have much data.

There is, however, an art of salesmanship, and an
art of advertising. An art is something which some
person learns so that he can do an effective thing over
and over; but until that art has a scientific basis, the



xiv PREFATORY

person who can do the thing over and over himself can
not easily teach it to others. Others can learn it only
by watching him and imitating him. The master artist
can not explain just how he does it, just why he suc-
ceeds. He is guided more by instinct than by reason.
All things that are done in the course of human rela-
tions must be largely guided by instinct, and so always
are arts; but we are very fortunate when an art has a
scientific basis. Dealing with Human Nature in Busi-
ness is a broader subject than either salesmanship or
advertising, and in practise it includes a number of
arts. Because it is broad it can be reduced to a simple
basis, starting with some principles borrowed from
psychology and sociology, and so a foundation can be
laid not only for advertising and salesmanship, but also
for credits, for employment and factory-management,
and various other things in business or professional life
that do not come under the head of salesmanship or
advertising. Perhaps the most important of these is
the building up of professional reputation without
violating the " ethics " which definitely forbid the use
of advertising.

One more word needs to be defined, and that is the
word practical. Dealing with Human Nature is a
practical subject, not one of pure science. "We stand in
a certain position with reference to life. There are
certain conditions all around us. The problems before
us on which our life and pleasure depend are practical
problems, and we need to know just those parts of
sciences which will help us to solve these practical prob-
lems with which we are confronted. A practical book
is one written by a man who really knows what the
conditions of life are, what are the problems that must
be solved, and then selects such principles as will help
to solve them. His hypotheses must be the incarnation



A SCIENTIFIC BASIS xv

of common sense, and he must have had a great deal of
experience of life by which to judge.

As Dealing with Human Nature involves the prac-
tical application of psychology, the science of the way
the mind works, we should here summarize its leading
principles.

First, we should realize that all knowledge is relative.
There is nothing absolute. Ancient astronomy assumed
that all the heavenly bodies revolved around the earth,
and explained things as best it might on that hypo-
thesis. Now we know that the earth and planets revolve
about the sun, and on this hypothesis we explain things
more completely. The ancients assumed there were
four elements, earth, water, fire, and air, and on that
assumption explained things in a practical way for
them. "We now assume eighty-one elements such as
hydrogen, oxygen, copper, iron, etc., but already we
seem on the verge of finding out that these are all
various forms of one element. We assume that bodies
are made up of molecules, which in turn are made up
of atoms (tho no one has ever seen either a molecule
or an atom) ; but philosophy teaches that all we know
of the substances we call matter are the sensations we
get in the brain through various nerve-channels, such
as color, shape, hardness, etc. It is almost certain that
matter and mind are not two entirely different things,
but forms of the same underlying substance.

"We explain one thing by comparing it with another,
or in terms of another, and that other by comparing it
with something else, and so on, till at last we come
back to the thing with which we started. So our knowl-
edge of existence seems to be a sort of jelly-bag: we
punch it here and it bulges out there ; or we push it in
over there and it bulges out somewhere else. "We ar-
range all we know on a system. That works very well



xvi PREFATORY

till we come to know a great many other things that our
system can not explain, and then we get another system.
Knowledge is changing all the time, and it must change.
What we call truth to-day will not be truth to-morrow.
That is the way we grow intellectually. When we come
to think that something is absolutely fixt, we have stopt
growing mentally, we have begun to die. When the
world stops changing its knowledge and its explanations
of things it will have begun to die.

Yet, for the time being, our working theories are all
right, and when we get new ones all that is true in the
old will simply be taken over by the new. We may be
right as far as we go.

Psychology teaches that all impressions in the mind
come to it through some one or more of the five senses,
sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. Sensation starts
at the end of a nerve, travels along that little white cord
till it reaches the brain, where it is registered or
written on the brain-substance. We get knowledge in
no other way.

These sensations are brought by the nerves to the
brain in a stream of consciousness. This stream of
consciousness starts at birth and continues unbroken
till death. In sleep or fainting-fits or the like it seems to
stop ; but when we waken it goes on again.

This stream of consciousness belongs to me, the ego,
the individual spiritual being, or else it is the me, tho it
seems as if there were within us a something that knows
a soul above the stream of consciousness that we call
life.

The mind within us gives attention, voluntary or in-
voluntary, to the sensations in the stream of conscious-
ness, and classifies and arranges them. We pick out the
things that keep coming again and again along the
stream. A certain sensation which comes many, many



A SCIENTIFIC BASIS xvii

times we identify as white, and another as black. A
certain quality we find common to the face of a woman,
to a flower, to a cloud, to a building, and we call it
beauty. All that we know and think are arrangements,
so to speak, in the mind. Objects in this stream of
consciousness we call ideas. The act of consciously sep-
arating and arranging them we call thinking.

Every sensation and every thought produces a feel-
ing, an emotion; and every emotion leads to some
action. The power of mind that acts consciously we
call will. Whether will is free, or is the inevitable re-
sult of a chain of sensations and emotions which we can
not control is a disputed point, but every human being
has a profound conviction that his will is free.

The nervous system is made up of two divisions, the
nerves that convey sensations, and the nerves that pro-
duce action by contracting the muscles. These two sys-
tems work together more or less automatically. Cut off
the head of a frog, and he will still kick his legs as if he
were alive, because of the reflex action through the
nerve-centers in the spinal column.

Instinct is a sort of automatic reflex through the
brain that makes animals and men do wise things with-
out thinking at all. The newly born calf has an instinct
to suck the cow's udder, and the baby has an instinct to
suck the mother's breast. It lasts but for a few days, for
if the calf or the baby are hand-fed for a little while it
is difficult to teach them to suck. Chickens after they
are hatched are said to have an instinct to follow any
moving object, a man or an animal as well as the mother
hen, and if they are taught to follow a man from that
time they form the habit of doing so. But if they are
hooded for a few days longer the instinct of flight, the
very opposite, develops, and when unhooded they try
their best to fly away. Where instinct ends and



xviii PEEFATOEY

conscious reason begins it is hard to say. A hen sits
from instinct the first time, but the second or third she
probably remembers somewhat the fine chickens that
came from her patient sitting before. A little reason
may be mingled with her instinct, tho formerly it was
supposed that animals acted only from instinct, while
man acted from reason. We can hardly believe now
that there is any such sharp line drawn between them.

When the streams of nervous vibration have passed
repeatedly they seem to make an easy path for them-
selves, and these easy paths we call habit. Habit leads
us to do things almost as unconsciously as when the frog
with its head cut off kicks its legs by reflex action.

The sensations registered in the brain also make paths
that perhaps actually exist in the matter of the brain,
and at some future time we may start over these paths
again, and so experience again the sensations that we
had long before. When we identify these with the time
at which we received them, we call it memory. When
we do not fix them to a certain time and occasion in the
past, but recombine them as if they were fresh sensa-
tions poured into the stream of consciousness, we call
the process the exercise of imagination. If we have
never had the sensation of sound, as when a man is born
deaf, we can never imagine what sound might be like.
Imagination can build only with that which has come
into the mind.

With our stock of conscious memories, and our stock
of unconscious records in the mind out of which imagi-
nation builds, the ego, working along the never-broken
stream of consciousness, is able to use its myriad stores
through association. There is, as it were, a network of
strings, or a network of paths, running from one thing
to another, and we find that we want to be following
these paths or tracing these strings of association. We



A SCIENTIFIC BASIS xix

are so in the habit of flying back and forth over them
that we do it almost unconsciously. "We have only to
start on a certain path, and without any further sug-
gestion we go on to the end. We hear a language
which we do not understand very well, and our mind
moves slowly and gropingly: there are poor paths of
association. But, when we get the impressions through
the ear or the eye of a language we know well, we need
only a cue here and a cue there, a faint sound or a
letter or two, and we catch the meaning because we are
following along those paths of association, filling in all
the blank spaces by the imagination.

Thus we see for our practical purposes that what is
already in a person's mind largely determines what
we get out of it and the ease with which we can put
new things in which will be important because they
call up memories or start a chain of imaginations, and
so produce emotions which lead to actions. It is ex-
tremely doubtful whether we can make ourselves act,
much less make anybody else act, except as we start the
trains of thought and feeling which lead naturally to



Online LibrarySherwin CodyHow to deal with human nature in business; a practical book on doing business by correspondence, advertising and salesmanship → online text (page 1 of 33)