For the second day in a row, I am going to tell you what I shall not be writing about today before getting on with matters at hand…
No, no, no… I shall not be writing about the fact that Radio 1 are airing 12 hours live of the Creamfields dance festival and no I shall not be mentioning the fact that DJ Judge Jules is going to be hypnotised to regress and recall all his best memories from the previous years of Creamfields… Hahaha… I am going to have to listen to that when it airs…
Instead, today I am going to be getting disgusting. Yes indeed, there is a paragraph in todays blog entry that will repulse you due to it being so hideously disgusting… It is there for a reason though, let me explain…
There is an incredibly fascinating piece of research at the New Scientist today and it discusses why people get really choked up at the end of films… The real reasons that imagined experiences can have the same effects upon you as real-life experiences. This hypnotic article states:
How can reading a good book or watching a film be almost as emotional an experience as events in your own life? The answer may be that you use the same brain region to make sense of them all.
Previous studies indicated that the same brain regions — the anterior insula and adjacent frontal operculum, known collectively as the IFO — are activated both when we observe someone experiencing an emotion such as disgust, delight or pain, and when we experience it ourselves.
It is thought that this allows us to empathise with others and understand their intentions. But is the IFO also active when we imagine an emotion, such as when we read about it in a book?
Yuk yuk yuk
To answer this question, Mbemba Jabbi and colleagues at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, focused just on disgust — an easy emotion to evoke. “You can’t just tell someone to get into a scanner and be ‘happy’ for 30 seconds,” says co-researcher Christian Keysers. “But it’s relatively easy to make someone disgusted.”
They placed quinine — which has a bitter, “disgusting” taste — onto the tongues of 12 volunteers while they lay in an MRI scanner. The volunteers also watched a video of someone acting disgusted and read a story describing a disgusting situation:
You turn around because someone is leaning on your shoulder, suddenly looking into the open mouth of a drunken beggar… you see his rotten teeth, surrounded by pustulant sores, while he suddenly releases the reeking content of his stomach all over you… You feel your stomach turn over as you suddenly feel the acidic taste of a clump of his vomit on your lips.
The researchers found that the IFO was activated in all three tasks. They say this similarity between first-hand experience and imagination could help to explain why books can be so vivid and compelling.
“There is a partial overlap — if you taste something disgusting, see something disgusting or imagine a disgusting scenario there’s a common pathway,” says Keysers. “This is why books and movies work — because they stimulate the area of the brain which is involved in what it really feels like to be disgusted.”
The team suspects that reading about delight or pain also activates similar converging networks in the brain.
It is nice to see this hypnotic principle being described and proved in scientific terms, isn’t it?
I have touched on this several times previously. Where the will and imagination conflict, the will loses.
The unconscious mind, the part of any individual that we work with in hypnosis, is the domain of the imagination. So, if I suggest to you that your mouth is beginning to water, I might get some slight success if there is a good deep level of hypnotic communication created. If, however, I describe to you a scene involving a juicy, yellow lemon still glistening with a light sheen of condensation… If I then suggest that I am cutting that lemon so that you can see all those tangy lemon juices beginning to flow out and then suggest you take a bite and sink your teeth into that lemon flesh….
You see where I am coming from here.
When you are in sales of any kind, when you engage the imagination of the other person or people, you are being extremely hypnotic, so be as creative as you possibly can and inspire their imagination.
Don’t sell drill bits. Sell the perfectly smooth holes they create.
Don’t sell cars. Sell the prestige and kudos that goes with it, or the safe, smooth ride with your family on board.
Don’t sell therapy. Sell the life of emotional freedom they’ll live.
Don’t sell printing. Sell the way that their business is perceived as professional when their business cards are seen by potential clients.
Get the imagination inspired and have it see outcomes and benefits that they can connect with inside their minds.
Everyone that you engage in any communication with, experiences hypnotic trances on a daily basis. Think about your day today, when did you use your imagination? Did you imagine what you wanted for lunch? Did you imagine what you might do when you finished working? Did you imagine how a certain sales call might go? Did you imagine the expression on your bosses face when you told him something important? Did you imagine the words they spoke? These are all trance states where your imagination was engaged.
Using this knowledge is one of the things that can transform careers… In the UK right now estate agents are suffering because the media is hypnotising everyone to believe their is a housing market slump and recession going on… As a brilliant estate agent (or any ther market place), you can guide individuals to imagine a vivid image of himself and his family playing in the garden. You can get him to imagine sitting in the front room with a favourite film on the television and his wife cuddled up beside him. Have him feel the feeling of walking into his home after a hard day at work and sitting down to a meal and the smells filling the air in the dining room.
As someone using the imagination in this way, you can stimulate the imagination and create trance states while they imagine owning and using your product or service. What’s more, as you can see today from the New Scientist article, the same areas of the brain are being used when imagined…
Good article Adam – and “Where the will and imagination conflict, the will loses” is very quotable.
However – all those sales examples you give evoke “towards” motivation, whereas in sales (I believe) “away-from” motivation is generally held to be more powerful. We’re hard-wired for fairly obvious evolutionary reasons to pay more attention to threats than opportunities.
In my experience most therapy clients aren’t thinking about emotional freedom – they just want to be released from emotional torment.
“Where a threat and an opportunity conflict, the opportunity loses”
Hi Andy, yes indeed, I concur that moving away from motivates much more… In fact, fear is far more likely to motivate people… Avoidance of pain is far more motivating than attainment of pleasure… And so on.
I prefer to drive individuals through progressive and positive means and am not always that comfortable with instilling fear. It smacks of caring less about the individual you are communicating with… It smacks of old school sales and is a harder face… In my opinion.
Ok, so it may be the only way at times, but given the choice, I’d rather create a culture and internal environment of win/win for anyone I communicate with and I think that is done better when people move towards what they want.
It is just my personal preference.
As always Andy, I am grateful for your sage contributions – thank you.
Away from motivation can be a far more predictable motivator in face to face sales than towards motivation particularly when selling to businesses. A business owner may like the idea of having a new IT system and may well be able to visualise it all running smoothly and problem free but faced with a charge of tens of thousands of pounds for the solution may well prevaricate or decide to buy something else to solve an issue which is giving him more pain instead.
On the other hand, a business owner visualising the pain (lost work time, poor morale, lost customer orders, lost data etc) attached to not sorting out his ailing IT systems may well have “no choice” other than to invest tens of thousands to solve the issue and relieve their pain.
The more real this pain, the more of a motivator it will be for them.
But why not sell on both?
Outline the issue, stir it up and get people visualising the pain associated with their current actions, and then get them to picture what they want instead. The more real both visualisations, the more likely the client is to take action. This ability to take an image and get the client to vividly imagine it rather than the salesperson merely talking about it is a key differentiator of sales superstars.
Nicely put Gavin, and thank you for your valuable contribution.