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Memory Champs & Sales Success

Bill Jarrard's picture

Memory and Sales Success Next week Jennifer takes off once again to Guangzhou, China to be Senior Arbiter at the World Memory Championships, and I thought it was timely to address a question we get quite often, which is...

“Why? Why is memory important, and why would anyone want to develop superior memory skills, particularly to the astounding level we witness memory champions achieve?”

There are two questions here of course, and I’d like to address the second one first – why develop the astounding skills demonstrated by memory champions?  The answer is quite simple really – to demonstrate the capacity of the human mind to excel – in many cases far beyond the norm

The Memory Championships – National and World competitions, are a Decathlon of memory events that test all aspects of memory and brain skills from the fabulous use of imagination and association, to the vital skills of concentration and focus, as well as dedicated commitment to their sport. 

And of course memory taken to competitive levels is a sport, just as physical sports are taken to highly competitive levels at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.  Some might ask ‘what is the point of young men and women committing countless hours and effort to throw a spear farther than anyone else, or run around and around in an oval, or use a long pole to jump a high bar?'

The answer again is simple – to demonstrate that it can be done, that a human being can do what may have seemed impossible, and to raise the ‘bar’ of what is possible

And so it is the same with memory champions – they clearly demonstrate that we can all significantly improve our mind skills, our capacity to use our amazing brains to accomplish the so-called impossible.

Futurist Joel Barker said many years ago “Those who say it cannot be done, should get out of the way of those who are doing it!".  That is what Olympians do, that is what Memory Olympians do, which is why we so admire them.

If you’d like to know more, we have a couple eModules  on the Memory Championships, with videos that show you how each of the ten events work, and discuss some of the incredible records that have been achieved.

As to the first question – ‘why is memory important?’, there are many answers, and I’d like here to demonstrate just one aspect which I shared recently with a client, when talking about the relationship between memory and sales success

I have been fascinated by the sales process, what works, what doesn’t, and how it can be significantly improved, for many years, and what is clearly evident is that the link between memory and sales success is a strong one. 

Sales is all about relationships, creating them, building them, and then sustaining them – whether the sales process takes place over a few minutes or many years.  Whether you are selling a product or service, an idea or adventure, or even just yourself to a new boss, there are some basic laws to success in sales. 

It is well known by successful sales people and companies that when a customer enters the showroom for the first time, or when the sale rep arrives for that first client meeting, the impact of that first impression is significant.  And when the customer or sales person leaves, the impression they leave behind is powerful – and can be positive or negative.  

Anything that makes the sales associate standout has a potential wow factor, and when key benefits are reinforced through tactful repetition they lock into the buyer’s memory.

These are simple principles that are well known to many, but what is not so well appreciated is how these adhere to the basic principles of memory.  Primacy, Recency, Von Restoff, Gestalt, Association and Imagination are key components of memory, and when they are understood and properly applied, sales success is assured.

These principles can guide the way a sales rep presents herself to the client, can help design a showroom, marketing brochure, commercial or sales presentation.  Great sales people know how these memory principles impact a potential customer. 

Usually sales people learn their skill from other sales people, who over time and keen observation have hopefully honed the skills of success.

Today however we need to raise the sales skills of people faster, with greater confidence and more consistency – not cloning or simply copying others, but by understanding what makes a great lasting impression, so that the sales relationship can succeed, and be repeated many times. 

Understanding memory, and learning how to apply memory principles, do that – and dramatically increase the likelihood of success.

Moreover acts such as remembering name and faces, recalling and connecting people with events (E.G. recalling a key client’s birthday, or son’s graduation day), recalling key numbers and facts are all the hallmarks of great sales people. 

And again memory explains how this can be done – consistently and easily, giving the trained sales person the marked advantage over the unskilled and even the naturally gifted sales rep.

Everyone likes people who remember their name, who take interest in their interests, family, work, etc.  Everyone admires a sales rep who ‘knows their stuff’ and even better ‘knows our stuff’ – they appreciate that the sales person has made the time and effort to understand them, to support them and to guide them.

Sales is all about relationships, people buy from people they trust, whether they have just met them or whether the contact has been repeated over many years.  Understanding and applying memory principles help create a better, more confident, positively unique, and far more successful sales person. 

And of course everyone is in Sales, whether you believe you are or not, the fact is we all sell to survive – sell our ideas, sell our skills, sell our services, sell our products, even sell our knowledge.  We are all selling all the time, and everyone can learn to sell themselves better.

Mindwerx programs Improve Your Memory and Memory and Being Memorable, begin the exploration of the memory principles and techniques that have make so many sales people great at what they do over many years.  

In our tailored Memory & Sales Success corporate programs, we introduce participants to these principles and techniques, we train them to have a better memory and recall skill, and then work with them to develop pitches, approaches, sales material, presentations, and even discuss how they look and act to make their sales success skyrocket.  If you'd like information on this email me on bill[at]mindwerx[dot]com.

So there is one example of why memory is so important, and why everyone should develop an understanding of memory principle and how to apply them to be more memorable- and indeed more successful.

The Buzan Centre at Mindwerx International is now also running Certified Instructor programs in Improved Memory that qualify trainers to train others in improving memory skills to be more successful.  If you are interested in getting involved I recommend you contact Jennifer Goddard to discuss this.

Well, I think that’s all – I think I’ve remembered what I wanted to say.

Bill