Many years ago, the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin wasbeing maligned by a dangerous whispering campaign. Amalicious rumor was being circulated. Advertisers werebeing told that the newspaper was no longer attractiveto readers because it carried too much advertising andtoo little news. Immediate action was necessary. Thegossip had to be squelched.
This is the way it was done.
The Bulletin clipped from its regular edition all readingmatter of all kinds on one average day, classified it,and published it as a book. The book was called OneDay. It contained 307 pages - as many as a hard-coveredbook; yet the Bulletin had printed all this news and featurematerial on one day and sold it, not for several dollars,but for a few cents.
The printing of that book dramatized the fact that theBulletin carried an enormous amount of interestingreading matter. It conveyed the facts more vividly, moreinterestingly, more impressively, than pages of figuresand mere talk could have done.
This is the day of dramatization. Merely stating a truthisn’t enough. The truth has to be made vivid, interesting,dramatic. You have to use showmanship. The movies doit. Television does it. And you will have to do it if youwant attention.
Experts in window display know the power of dramazation.For example, the manufacturers of a new ratpoison gave dealers a window display that included twolive rats. The week the rats were shown, sales zoomedto five times their normal rate.
Television commercials abound with examples of theuse of dramatic techniques in selling products. Sit downone evening in front of your television set and analyzewhat the advertisers do in each of their presentations.You will note how an antacid medicine changes thecolor of the acid in a test tube while its competitordoesn’t, how one brand of soap or detergent gets a greasyshirt clean when the other brand leaves it gray. You’llsee a car maneuver around a series of turns and curves- far better than just being told about it. Happy faceswill show contentment with a variety of products. All ofthese dramatize for the viewer the advantages offered bywhatever is being sold - and they do get people to buythem.
You can dramatize your ideas in business or in anyother aspect of your life. It’s easy. Jim Yeamans, whosells for the NCR company (National Cash Register) inRichmond, Virginia, told how he made a sale by dramaticdemonstration.
“Last week I called on a neighborhood grocer and sawthat the cash registers he was using at his checkoutcounters were very old-fashioned. I approached theowner and told him: ‘You are literally throwing awaypennies every time a customer goes through your line.’With that I threw a handful of pennies on the floor.He quickly became more attentive. The mere wordsshould have been of interest to him, but the sound ofPennies hitting the floor really stopped him. I was ableto get an order from him to replace all of his oldmachines.”
It works in home life as well. When the old-time loverProposed to his sweetheart, did he just use words oflove? No! He went down on his knees. That reallyshowed he meant what he said. We don’t propose on ourknees any more, but many suitors still set up a romanticatmosphere before they pop the question.
Dramatizing what you want works with children aswell. Joe B. Fant, Jr., of Birmingham, Alabama, was havingdifficulty getting his five-year-old boy and three-year-old daughter to pick up their toys, so he invented a“train.” Joey was the engineer (Captain Casey Jones) onhis tricycle. Janet’s wagon was attached, and in the eveningshe loaded all the “coal” on the caboose (herwagon) and then jumped in while her brother drove heraround the room. In this way the room was cleaned up- without lectures, arguments or threats.
Mary Catherine Wolf of Mishawaka, Indiana, was havingsome problems at work and decided that she had todiscuss them with the boss. On Monday morning sherequested an appointment with him but was told he wasvery busy and she should arrange with his secretary foran appointment later in the week. The secretary indicatedthat his schedule was very tight, but she would tryto fit her in.
Ms. Wolf described what happened:
"I did not get a reply from her all week long. WheneverI questioned her, she would give me a reason whythe boss could not see me. Friday morning came and Ihad heard nothing definite. I really wanted to see himand discuss my problems before the weekend, so I askedmyself how I could get him to see me.
“What I finally did was this. I wrote him a formal letter.I indicated in the letter that I fully understood howextremely busy he was all week, but it was importantthat I speak with him. I enclosed a form letter and a self-addressed envelope and asked him to please fill it out orask his secretary to do it and return it to me. The formletter read as follows:
Ms. Wolf - I will be able to see you on __________ a t__________A.M/P.M. I will give you _____minutes ofmy time.
"I put this letter in his in-basket at 11 A.M. At 2 P.M. Ichecked my mailbox. There was my self-addressed envelope.He had answered my form letter himself andindicated he could see me that afternoon and could giveme ten minutes of his time. I met with him, and we
talked for over an hour and resolved my problems.
“If I had not dramatized to him the fact that I reallywanted to see him, I would probably be still waiting foran appointment.”
James B. Boynton had to present a lengthy market report.His firm had just finished an exhaustive study for aleading brand of cold cream. Data were needed immediatelyabout the competition in this market; the prospectivecustomer was one of the biggest - and mostformidable - men in the advertising business.
And his first approach failed almost before he began.
“The first time I went in,” Mr. Boynton explains, "Ifound myself sidetracked into a futile discussion of themethods used in the investigation. He argued and I argued.He told me I was wrong, and I tried to prove thatI was right.
"I finally won my point, to my own satisfaction - butmy time was up, the interview was over, and I stillhadn’t produced results.
"The second time, I didn’t bother with tabulations offigures and data, I went to see this man, I dramatized myfacts I.
“As I entered his office, he was busy on the phone.While he finished his conversation, I opened a suitcaseand dumped thirty-two jars of cold cream on top of hisdesk - all products he knew - all competitors of hiscream.
“On each jar, I had a tag itemizing the results of thetrade investigation, And each tag told its story briefly,dramatically.
“There was no longer an argument. Here was somethingnew, something different. He picked up first oneand then another of the jars of cold cream and read theinformation on the tag. A friendly conversation developed.He asked additional questions. He was intensely
interested. He had originally given me only ten minutesto present my facts, but ten minutes passed, twenty minutes,forty minutes, and at the end of an hour we werestill talking.
“I was presenting the same facts this time that I hadpresented previously. But this time I was using dramatization,showmanship - and what a difference it made.”
PRINCIPLE 11 Dramatize your ideas.
I often went fishing up in Maine during the summer.Personally I am very fond of strawberries and cream, butI have found that for some strange reason, fish preferworms. So when I we
Psychologists know you have to be careful when you go poking around the human mind because you're never sure what you'll find there. A number of psychological experiments over the