Tuesday, July 3, 2012



During the first four years of your life, 90 percent of your brain’s growth and development occurred. Your mind evolved as it interacted with the world around you and recorded strange and exciting new experiences.

Now, it has been accumulating these experiences for decades. I’ve written extensively about how the successful salesperson’s mind thinks and processes language in my recent books Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology and Heavy Hitter Sales Linguistics. Below, are seven fascinating facts about a salesperson’s mind.

1. Do You Never Forget a Face?   Some people can easily recognize a face they have seen only once before.  Obviously, this important social skill is beneficial for salespeople who must meet with many different customers.  However, an MIT study found that this ability is an inherited specialized trait that is not linked to a person’s IQ in general. In other words, you either have facial recognition genes and the recognition ability or you don’t.

2. Does Rejection Really Hurt?   Okay, you have just been told by the prospective customer that you lost that big deal you were counting on. Obviously, you are mentally and emotionally frustrated but you are also in physical pain according to a recent Columbia study. They studied MRI brain scans of people who experienced emotional rejection and they actually showed that the person is was in physical pain thus proving that losing really hurts!

3. Do You Like to Doodle?   What do past Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Reagan have in common? Well, they all liked to doodle during important phone calls and meetings. Research published in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology suggests that doodling actually aids memory retention and doodlers have an average of 29% better event recall than non-doodlers.

4. Are You Optimistic? According to a study at University College London, 80% of people are optimists by nature.  Their research suggests that optimistic people selectivity receive negative news. When hearing bad news, the brain scans of optimists showed very low activity in their frontal lobes as opposed to pessimists who had higher activity levels. So, if you are an optimist your brain is actually wired that way because you don’t “hear” bad news. In addition, optimists live longer according to one study of 100,000 participants. 

5. Why Are You So Nice?   A study published in the journal Psychological Science explained that “niceness” is tied to hormone receptor genes that emit oxytocin and vasopressin. These hormones in turn trigger the sensations of love and generosity within the mind. It turns out your innate nature to help people is really the result of a chemical reaction.

6. Why You Don’t Like to Read?   Most salespeople don’t like to read. You see, your brain was built to talk. It was not designed to read. While speaking comes automatically and is a natural part of the brain’s development, reading is a skill that must be learned. It requires three different areas of your brain to work together in close coordination in order to read.  All marketing departments should pay attention to this fact when creating sales training collateral!

7. Are You Humble?   Contrary to conventional stereotypes that successful salespeople are pushy and egotistical, 91 percent of top salespeople have medium to high scores of modesty and humility according to a personality study of 1,000 top sales performers I have conducted. Furthermore, the results suggest that ostentatious salespeople who are full of bravado alienate far more customers than they win over.