A senior group of clergy, interested in modern persuasion techniques, once visited our advertising agency. One clergyman asked, “How do you change what people want?” I thought for a minute and replied, “We don’t try to change what people want. It is too difficult and too expensive. Rather than changing what people want, we use what people want to sell products.”

I knew I had not put that well when the clergyman looked at me and said, “Son, you are on a long and slippery slope.”

Years later I came across a quote that said what I was trying to say much more clearly. The quote comes from Dale Carnegie:1

“The only way on earth to influence people is to talk about what they want, and show them how to get it.”

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