Thursday, 16 October 2014

The Learning Mind App for our Selling Brain part 4

Exhibit from the Art of the Brick . 
Lego® brick sculptures by Nathan Sawaya
Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane London UK
Dan Pink’s book published last year, is titled

 “To Sell Is Human”.

It  argues that moving people    (selling, but also persuading or influencing) has become an essential building block of nearly everyone’s job in our modern workplace.

 Everyone is in sales. 

So it is a skill we all need and you will find plenty of tips on the blog on selling better.

However on this post let's focus on the business of learning for all good sales people must be good learners. Learning how the Human mind works is helpful.

Learning is what our brain does naturally. 

It has been doing it every waking minute since about a month before we were born.

It is the process we acquire and store both useful and useless information and selling skills.

The question can we make our selling mind more efficient?

As our brain processes information, it makes and breaks connections growing and strengthening the synapses  that connect neurons to their neighbours. or shrinking them back.

When we are actively learning, the making of new connections outweighs the breaking of old ones.

In some parts of the brain , notably the hippocampus the brain grows new cells as it learns.

Exhibit from the Art of the Brick . 
Lego® brick sculptures by Nathan Sawaya
Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane London UK
However once a circuit is in place it needs to be used if it is going to stick. The process of myelination occurs when a circuit is stimulated enough  times to grow a coat of fat membrane. This membrane increases conduction speed making the circuit work more efficiently.

So the best way to learn things and retain them is :-

Focus your attention e.g. Listen with interest to your client (use  eye contact)

engage your working memory e.g. take and make notes

a little later try to recall it  e.g  just run through your mind what you have learnt

Allan Badelley of York University UK advises that we test ourselves in this way as it causes your brain to strengthen the new connections. In addition he suggests that we try to link bits of information we already know. This will make the connection more stable  and less likely to deplete through under use.
How might we apply this in the selling situation?

The following will help you employ attention, working memory and learning.

Concentrate- make the effort to pay attention to your client
Take and make notes – key points
Focus on the main points your client raises
Question and confirm to check your understanding
Keep an open mind- take care not to jump to conclusions
Analyse and organise and see if you can connect it to previous knowledge
Practise Active Listening ( if sitting lean slightly forwards, make gentle eye contact, nod occasionally, smile where appropriate, use verbal affirmations)

Exhibit from the Art of the Brick .
 Lego® brick sculptures by Nathan Sawaya
Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane London UK
It appears that learning is more difficult as we get older. But the neuroscientists suggest this not so. The learning process carries on for life and there appears to be no physiological reason for the slowdown.
As adults we have a large store of mental short cuts that allow us to skip over details.. But we do have the capacity to learn new things in the same way as children, which suggests that if we could resist the temptation to cut corners, we would probably learn a lot more.
A more tried and tested method is to keep active.
With a little exercise the brain can leap back into life. In one study 40 minutes of exercise three times a week for a year increase the size of the hippocampus- which is crucial for learning and memory. It also improved connectivity across the brain , making it easier for things to stick..

By the way even master Lego® sculptur Nathan Sawaya uses glue to make his bricks stick !

 Feb 15 2011 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences PNAS vol 108 p3017

Related Links
Attention app for your Selling Brain part 1

Working Memory for your Selling brain part 2

Logical and Rational thoght App for your selling brain part 3

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