Whole Brain Thinking to Support Whole Brain Marketing

Earlier this year, I posted some thoughts about Whole Brain Marketing.

Last week, I read an article by Jane Gentry that resonated with my post. Jane is a long-time colleague and collaborator. I’ve always admired her work as a sales consultant and I think readers of SynchUp will embrace her perspective on putting “Whole Brain Thinking” to work for your meetings. Enjoy!

WOW the Audience at Your Next Sales Meeting with Content that Engages Them

There is a wonderful story about Lawrence of Arabia. During World War II he took some friends to Paris. Their hotel suite had indoor plumbing and it was the first time his friends had ever seen water coming from a faucet. They were in awe and continued to play with and talk about the faucet during the remainder of their trip. On the last day as they were packing to leave, Lawrence found them in the bathroom trying to remove the faucet from the wall. They were trying to take the ‘indoor water’ back home with them! He had to patiently explain to them that the faucet wasn’t the source of the water; it was only a vehicle for them to get it. Taking the faucet without the water source and the plumbing wouldn’t enable them to have water inside at home.

When I speak at sales meetings and conferences, I am often in awe of the wonderful ‘faucets’ that I see – fantastic food, elaborate staging, dynamic graphics and fun themed events. And, through those faucets, I definitely take some of the experience home with me. More and more, though, as the economy forces meeting planners to cut the budgets for the ‘faucets’, we have to refocus our attention to the ‘water’ that will create good business outcomes and give our attendees a long term payoff. The water is great content that engages them in ways that will educate, illuminate and entertain. By delivering content at your sales meeting in a way that addresses the ‘thinking preferences’ of all of your attendees, you ensure that they will hear the concepts and internalize the message.

People naturally process information, solve problems and relate to others in specific ways, which roughly correspond to four different quadrants of the brain. Understanding these “thinking preferences” is an important step toward engaging your entire audience in a way that is meaningful to them.
A quadrant (upper left): People who have this preference are analytical, mathematical, logical problem solvers who are drawn to statistics and the workings of machinery.
B quadrant (lower left): These people are controlled, methodical, disciplined sticklers for structure and routine.
C quadrant (lower right): Lower-right thinkers are emotional, spiritual and focused on people and human connection.
D quadrant (upper right): D types are strongly visual and easily bored, attracted to new ideas, fun and risk taking.

Although a high percentage of sales people have preferences for the Yellow -D and Red – C Quadrants, it is a mistake to gear your entire meeting toward those preferences. And, by setting the example at your meeting of using Whole Brain Thinking, you are showing your sales team a process that will enable them to connect better with their clients.

So, how does this translate into a strategy for your content?

A quadrant
 Use research to validate your position
 Link new information to existing knowledge
 Use technology to reinforce your message
 Utilize high-stakes, complex activities to keep this group engage
 Allow time for questions
B quadrant
 Allow them to practice using concepts during the conference
 Stagger the learning
 Plan breaks that will allow them to process information
 Max out chunks of content at 90 minutes
 Provide materials for note taking
C quadrant
 Use physical and kinesthetic activities to support learning
 Engage emotions by using role plays, storytelling, and improvisation
 Allow time for social contact with others
 Utilize group learning projects
 Use relevant music
D quadrant
 Set the relevancy for the information first thing
 Play games
 Allow time for brainstorming and mind mapping
 Do something DIFFERENT
 Make sure you change things from meeting to meeting (context, location)

Most of the time, we communicate information in ways that adopt our own thinking preferences. By using a Whole Brain approach to meeting content you ensure that not only does your sales team get the water, it is in their favorite flavor! You are engaging the audience in ways that meet their preference for communicating and learning.

Try this strategy for your next meeting. What do you have to lose?