Brain Trumps

I learned these brain tricks when I attended a trainer’s workshop hosted by, the Bob Pike Group. They referred to these tricks as Trumps and they’ve been scientifically proven to increase retention. Of course I applied them to my training style, but I also applied them to the way in which I sold products and services.  I tested the results for more than two years and can confidently say that they work 100% of the time.  BUT, you have to plan and practice how and when you’re going to use them in your sales presentation.  S.A.S., stands for “Someone’s Always Selling”. Business-to-business consumers sit through many presentations so it’s difficult to separate yourself from your competitors. People are simply not going to remember everything about your presentation or discussion and, quite frankly, you don’t need them to.  There are typically no more than four key takeaways that, if you could guarantee your audience to retain, your sales would sky rocket.  Focus using these brain tricks around your key takeaways and your audience will retain exactly what you want them to.  Simply put—Trumps get the brain to re-visit content without boring repetition.  Be prepared to leave your comfort zone if you want to separate yourself from your competition and you want your audience to retain the specific content that you want them to remember. Using these Brain Trumps is one of the best ways to accomplish those goals.

The number one question I get about Trumps is, “How do you get people to participate?”  The answer is simple: practice, practice, practice. I typically start my meetings with a statement like, “I know you’ve sat through tons of meeting like this, I’m sure we’d agree that none of us are going to remember everything that’s said today, but we’d also agree that there’s probably three or four key takeaways that you need to make the best decision you can make right?  Well, we’re going to do a couple things that are very different today, but they have been scientifically proven to increase retention of the critical content you need.”

#1 Movement Trumps Sitting – Simply put, the more oxygen you get to the brain the more it will retain. Get people to stand up and stretch every 15 minutes.

#2 Talking Trumps Listening – The art of asking good questions plays a huge role here.  Think about the questions you can ask to get people to talk to you to define their pain points or needs, instead of you pointing them out to them.  This particular Trump forces the brain to visit content several times. They hear the question, think about the answer, say the answer and hear themselves say it.

#3 Images Trump Words – Images are a brain turn-on, the more vivid the image the more people will retain.  In sales, you can use images to drive home a point and you can also have people paint a mental picture of an experience they had in the past.  When people paint a mental picture, they’re using their memory to recall “the scenario.” The audience is actively painting that mental picture, telling you about it, and hearing themselves at the same time.

#4 Writing Trumps Ready – This is literally retention cement.  Try writing the word red without thinking about it.  You can’t do it; our brains aren’t wired like that.  This is a GREAT Trump to use around any important number.  I typically ask people to write down a number at the beginning of my presentation.  Right before I get to that number in my presentation, I’ll ask “What was that number I had you write down?” Think about how many times I made their brain visit that number.  They heard it at the start of my presentation, they wrote it down, they saw it on the paper, and they recalled it and said it back to me.  THERE’S ABSOLUTELY NO WAY THEY’RE GOING TO FORGET IT!

#5 Shorter Trumps Longer – People retain more information when it’s delivered in smaller chunks.  The television industry figured this out a long time ago, that’s why you won’t see more than eight minutes between commercials.  Use an agenda to start your meeting and make a point when you’re moving from one topic to another. When you shorten your presentation, you also tend to remove the content that isn’t as important.

#6 Different Trumps Same– The brain quickly checks out when it’s familiar with the content you’re presenting.  If you’re doing a second pitch, don’t do it the same way you did the first one.  The person or people who already heard your first version will check out and let the “new people” in the meeting drive the conversation.  In most cases, you’re losing the internal champion that originally moved the opportunity up the ladder for you.

Next time you have a pitch or an important meeting coming up, I encourage you to incorporate some of these Trumps into your presentation and see how much more your audience takes away from your information.