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The Role of Latent Memory In Sales

Understanding the correlation between a computer and a brain will help you sell more.

We all know that “sales” is about getting people to change. Without dissatisfaction, people are unlikely to change.

So why do the people you talk to about working with your restoration company say that their current contractors are doing “fine”?

In any selling situation the buyer is defensive, their walls are up and their BS indicator is set to its most sensitive. An important nuance about the normally defensive selling situation is that buyers sometimes don’t want to discuss or admit their problems because they feel that it puts them at a disadvantage in the selling process or they’re afraid that it will make them look stupid or incompetent.

But an important and often overlooked reason that people say things are “fine” (even when you are certain that they aren’t) comes down to a “brain issue.”

In order to discuss this, let’s use the analogy of a computer. Computers have a hard drive where all the information is stored. There can be gigabyte upon gigabyte of data. But when you start working on a file, the smaller amounts of data you need is pulled into RAM so that it can be effectively worked on because navigating the giant hard drive is way too cumbersome and slow.

The human brain operates in much the same way. Our “hard drive” contains amazing amounts of information. Probably every experience we’ve ever had, every thought, every feeling is stored in there somewhere.

But we also utilize RAM in the sense that we pull data from our hard drive and bring it to the forefront of our consciousness in order to work on a problem.

So, we could consider information stored in our brain’s hard drive as “latent memory.” It’s there if we need it. But the stuff that we are working on is in our RAM or “active memory.”

Here’s the really important point: The brain hates unsolvable problems. If it determines that a problem cannot be resolved it is tagged as “just the way it is and can’t do anything about it” and the issue goes into latent memory.

Now the fact that the person has made this determination doesn’t mean that the problem is truly unsolvable, just that they think it is. For example, if you ask an agent how his current contractors are doing he might say “fine”. But if you said, “a lot of the agents we work with tell us that lack of communication from their contractor is a big issue for them” the agent would immediately start searching his latent memory and find that, sure enough, he’s had lots of communication problems with his contractors. He’s tried to improve the situation over the years, even changing the contractors that he worked with, and just decided that contractors are lousy communicators and that’s just the way it is and there’s nothing that can be done about it.

Now you’ve moved this issue from latent memory into the target’s RAM, just where you want it. Now he’s starting to think about these problems again and when you ask, “Is communication from your contractor something you’d like to see improved or are there other services that might enhance communication?” you’ve now got your target thinking.

Once you understand these concepts, you will start to think about the kind of questions you are asking and the way you ask them. You will start to be careful about directly asking “How are the contractors you refer doing?” because you will understand the hidden land mine you just created for yourself when they say, “Fine!”

Let us know if you have ever experienced a similar situation, or if you found this helpful!

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