Brief intro . . .
I’ve been listening to ‘A Whole New Mind’ by Dan Pink and enjoying every minute of it – AND, all of a sudden, the key to the whole message contained within the book has sunk in (or at least my interpretation of it for my company, at least).
Quick summary of the key messages I have taken from the book – Left brain controls IQ, logic and systemised thought. Right Brain controls empathy, emotion, lateral thinking and so on.
In Dan’s own words, your left brain gets you the job (passing of exams etc.), whilst your right brain enables you to excel within the job (through the implementation of your empathic traits etc.).
So, with that bit understood, we can now relate and apply this knowledge to the business world we are working in.
Application of the knowledge . . .
Within our company, we are keen to implement methods to enable our very skilled and experienced consultants to excel within their roles through differentiating themselves (and by association, our company) when communicating within existing and potential clients.
We have invested much resource within the implementation of several extremely innovative, creative and valuable schemes and initiatives to provide them with ‘tools’ in order to do this.
The clients who have been exposed to these messages of differentiation have responded in the manner we anticipated – one of clear understanding that our company and value proposition is clearly different (in a good way) to that of our competitors.
However, the issue we have faced is that the frequency that these messages are communicated to clients is no way near the level we anticipated. The consultants are simply not bought into the value of these tools.
Now I am beginning to understand why . . .
We are asking them to communicate messages and attributes that are inherently right brain led.
BUT – nearly every ounce of training we do within our business (currently) is for the left brain.
All the courses and exercises are built around learning ‘systems’ of best practise.
Therefore, how are our consultants expected to incorporate right brain sales techniques, when the right brain is effectively, still switched off?
SO – before we can expect the consultants to effectively implement right brain sales techniques within their everyday communication, we must first begin to regularly expose them to right brain stimulus in order to ‘wake it up’ and encourage it to play a more dominant role within the sales and marketing process.
This is how . . .
FIRST – let’s get some emotion and empathy flowing through the right brain by watching some powerful You Tube videos, like the examples below:
These videos may stimulate tears of sadness or happiness, laughter or anger, admiration or amazement; all of which are right brain stimulated emotions.
SECOND – now that the right brain has woken up, we can now set it to work by conducting some innovative exercises designed to stimulate creative and lateral thinking:
1. Tell your own story from this short film
Watch a short film – but without any sound.
Then create your own story based on your interpretation of how the scenes have played out. Pay close attention to the moods and emotions of the people within the film and incorporate these within your assessment.
Then share your story with the Group, explaining in as much detail as possible.
Then sit back and listen to your fellow group members as they explain their version of the scene. Really listen. See what you may have missed or gain an alternative viewpoint, which you may not have considered.
Why are we doing this? Well, mainly just to be creative. But the importance of listening to your colleagues is to understand how OTHERS view things – empathy.
2. Write a story from a news headline
Pick a news headline – the more random the better. Then write a short story, using that headline as the opening line, about any of the following:
- your company
- your service offering
- what is unique about what you do
- the most valuable part of what you do for clients
- what your job is
This is encouraging you to think laterally and creatively about your business and can often uncover USPS that have not been considered before, simply because you are getting people to look at the business in a whole new light.
3. write a mini-saga
A mini-saga is a story of just 50 words. No more and no less. Writing a complete story with a start, middle and an end. Then add the following criteria to make it really interesting:
- write about what what your company does for its clients – but without using the everyday words that describe your business
- describe how you ‘add value’ within your daily business activities – who do you affect and impact within your role
4. Give me one idea . . . .
Here is another exercise you can do, which follows more of a brainstorming format:
- one way that you can increase the value of your existing customer relationships
- one way that you could gain a referral / introduction to someone new (from an existing customer)
- one person that would write you a glowing testimonial
- one person that would provide genuine / honest feedback on the service you provide
- NOW – name one person that you are going to commit to doing this with right now!
5. A twist on exercise 1
Repeat exercise 1, but in reverse – switch off the screen and just listen to the audio.
Describe, in as much detail as possible, what you believe the setting is like, the people are like and the mood of the situation.
Then share with the group, as before.
THIRD – now finish with something funny. Laughter is a key ingredient to right brain stimulation, so what better way to finish, than to give everyone a good dose of humour.
Try these for starters:
If we begin consistently opening up our staff to the activities, which will stimulate their right brain, then we will begin to see a greater adoption of right brain sales and market techniques within their activity.
Equally, if we continue to provide additional right brain sales ‘tools’ without dedicating time to the activities outlined above, we will not see the desired adoption and outcome.