“One of the most interesting and informative books dealing with the psychology of selling that I have read.” – Administration: The Journal of Business
“Cannot fail to give the practical salesman a clearer insight into the psychology on which his profession is based.” -The Magazine of Wall Street
Any seller who wishes to become successful must study the mind of the buyer, and Professor Harry Dexter Kitson’s 1922 book “The Mind of the Buyer” was written for everyone who is engaged in influencing men to buy. The scientific aspects of selling from the standpoint of the psychologist engaged in analysis of the underlying principles of action in the buyer’s mind are carefully laid down by Professor Kitson of Indiana University. His book is intended for the progressive sales correspondent, advertiser and salesman, who is interested more, now, in underlying laws than in the practical technique peculiar to his own field.
He treats psychology, not as the study of mysticism but as “the science which aims to describe and explain the conduct of living creatures.” He clearly shows the advantage of this science when backed by evidence from statistical studies, laboratory experiments, and historical research over the rule of thumb of some businessman.
The modern ideals of salesmanship are not neglected. “In the previous period it was customary to give the buyer as little as possible for his money. In the modern period the ideal is to give as much as possible.”
“Mere bald, brutal repetition goes far in attracting attention,” he says. “One explanation for this is the assertion by some psychologists that man is innately credulous, that he is inclined to accent as true every statement he hears. In the course of experience, however, the adult person develops inhibitions which make him sophisticated and resistant. To overcome this resistance requires considerable battering. Repetition also influences memory. “State the new in terms of the old.
The seller should study images and use only those which have pleasant associations. Though confidence is usually regarded as an intangible asset—it has a real existence; and its value may be reckoned in dollars and cents.
“Concentrate the attention of the buyer upon the one suggested idea. Do not merely endeavor to keep out of his mind any distracting ideas but go further and divert his attention from even his own mental processes. Keep him from being introspective. He should be oblivious to the fact that he is being suggested to.”
“The Mind of the Buyer,” will surely prove to be a valuable manual for all advertisers, buyers, and sellers.
About the author:
Harry Dexter Kitson, A.B., A.M., Ph.D., (1886 —1959) was a professor of Psychology in the Indiana University. He was a charter member of the American Psychological Association and a pioneer in the field of vocational guidance.
Other works by Kitson include:
“How to Use Your Mind,”
“The Scientific Study of the College Student,”
“The Psychology of Vocational Adjustment.”