The ability to remember important information is one of the most useful skills that you can develop to help you become a more succesful sales professional. Yes, memory is in fact a 'skill' that can be developed. It will just take a little bit of training and practice. Don't worry. It doesn't take a lot of time and can actually be a lot of fun! Before I get into the training, let me go over some of the benefits:
- Remember important details about products/services, facts/figures, common questions/answers
- Give presentations from memory with little to no notes
- Retain more from sales training seminars with reduced study time
- Remembering information about clients including: names, spouses names, names of children, likes, dislikes, background, product/service needs, and more
Clearly, memory skills can give you an edge in a sales career! So, how can you develop a sharper memory?
1. Use your visual memory
We are good at remembering things that we see. So, try to turn whatever you'd like to remember into an image or series of images. Picture it and you'll better be able to remember it.
2. Use as many senses as possible
In addition to visualisation, try to involve as many additional senses as you can while trying to commit something to memory. Involving additional senses will have you using more of your brain and you'll be building more connections in your mind to the information, making it much easier to remember.
3. Be creative and use your imagination
Next, use your creativity and imagination to make what you are seeing and experiencing in your mind crazy and extraordinary. This will allow you to take advantage of the psychological aspect to your memory. With little to no effort, we can remember things that are crazy and extraordinary to us in some way.
4. Create a story in your mind
I'd like for you to commit the following random list of words to memory forwards and backwards in less than 3 minutes: melon, clock, jacket, hammer, bus, ball, bird, hoop, knife, carrot.
The trick is to incorporate the first three tips above while creating a story in your mind. Just relax and see what I describe happening almost like a movie playing in your head. You see a giant (melon). Shooting out of this melon is a spinning (clock) that's ticking very loudly. The clock starts to spin on top of a large and colorful (jacket). The jacket somehow starts to grow a (hammer) out of its front. This hammer starts to smash up a (bus). The bus runs over a giant (ball). As air rushes out of the ball, a large (bird) flies out of it. This bird flies through a flaming (hoop). The flaming hoop sets fire to a (knife). This knife starts to continuously chop a large (carrot).
Read through the story just one more time while trying to clearly visualise and experience everything described. Now, go ahead and recite all of the random words in order by just going through the story in your mind! Next, even try to go through the story in reverse and recite the words backwards! Please keep in mind that this technique can be used for much more than just random words. Those images could represent or remind you of key points of a sales presentation! They could remind you of 10 key advantages that your product or service offers over competitors!
5. Remembering names of clients
You just learned the 'story method', and it's just one of many powerful and fun techniques for improving your ability to remember things! The principles that you learned from the story method can also be applied to getting better at remembering names.
One of the best ways to become better with names is to learn to take a person's name and turn it into a memorable image. Mike might become a microphone. Next, it's even better if you can then visually connect the powerful visual to a unique aspect of the person's look. If Mike has big ears, you'll imagine seeing a microphone popping out of each of his ears. It might seem a bit silly at first, but this technique for remembering names is very powerful and effective. With just a little bit of practice, you'll become better than ever at remembering the names of people that you meet.
These tips are only the beginning! In my new book, 'Instant Memory Training for Success', where I offer effective techniques for remembering facts/figure, presentations, languages, exam material, and much more! You can definitely learn to better remember just about anything with training and practice. Invest a little time in developing your memory, and it can become your secret weapon in sales!
By Chester Santos – 'The International Man of Memory' is an award-winning international speaker, U.S. Memory Champion, and author of 'Instant Memory Training for Success' available from Amazon UK here.