Sales Coach Christine Harrington

Forget What You Know About Selling. Keep Reading and Learn Why

Before you read this article…I’m asking you to…

Forget what you know about selling


Here’s a brain hack.

If you think you already know everything about a subject, guess what action your mind takes…it closes.

If you’re skydiving you want to make sure that parachute opens right?

Before diving into this article..make sure your mind is open to forgetting what you think you know about selling!

Imagine changing a sales outcome by simply doing this one brain exercise you’ll learn right now. 

Forget what you know about selling.

Because if you’re thinking…

I know all about selling, you’re limiting your ability to learn even 1 new thing.

Here’s why…Step 1

Your brain learns by creating. By being active.

Most people try and learn passively by only listening, not taking notes or not actively engaging in the learning.

Remember I first said that the brain learns by being creative, by being active.

Information combined with emotion becomes long-term memory. I’ll say it again.

Information combined with emotion becomes long-term memory.

All learning is state dependent…states of curiosity, state of joy, state of being excited about learning.

Your state is in YOUR complete control.

And so is your selling state!

I’ve asked you several times to forget what you know about selling. Remember?

Step 2 

Next, I’m asking you to actively listen and take notes on this information you’re about to learn.

Cognitive science says there’s a learning curve and a forgetting curve. You’ll forget 70% of what you learn in 24 hours! (source) That’s why it’s important to take notes.

I said earlier, the brain learns by being creative, by being active. Taking notes engages your brain to be active.

In order for your brain to actively listen, you must do what?

Look at the word listen. Now scramble the letters and what word do you come up with?

Give up?


In order for your brain to actively listen, you must be silent and take notes.

Many times salespeople sitting in front of a prospect or talking to a prospect over the phone, are thinking about how to respond, what they want to say next, instead of actively listening to the prospect and taking notes.

Is that you?

Personal Story:

The GM of the Hartford where I was working at the time in Indianapolis, went on sales calls with me.

He routinely did this with the sales team.

After the first sales call, he scolded me for taking notes, said it was the height of rudeness and very unprofessional. He directed me not to do it again.

Did you see the movies, Horrible Bosses, well…he fits right in!

His direction was the exact opposite of how the brain works.

Step 3 

When in front of a prospect or client, let them know you’re going to take notes.

I clarify and ask permission.

“It helps when I take notes at a meeting, do you mind if I do that while we talk?”

No one has ever said NO!

Why am I writing on a simple thing like note-taking and listening?

Because with the advent of smartphones people are listening less and the small time they are listening, they’re not actively listening which prevents the brain from being fully engaged.

If you own a smartphone, chances are you’ve given your power over to it. Every time it dings, chirps or chimes, you lunge to someone trying to rob your time and attention. And it works.

Take your power back. Change your mindset change your results!

By listening actively, and taking notes,(the old school way)  it frees your brain to be creative, which helps you think on your feet.

Thinking on your feet helps you to create compelling questions to ask the prospect or explain a solution to the clients’ problem.

Learn sales savvy intelligence so you can Sell intelligent

I prefer coaching over the phone because it causes me to actively listen to the clients’ voice. While I’m listening, I’m taking notes.

Ask any of my clients, and they’ll tell you when coaching I’m so engaged my passion leaps through the phone!

If you’re focused on what to say next, the person on the receiving end can “hear” the disconnect. You know what I’m talking about…just talk to your teenager on the phone! You can feel the disconnect!

Your prospects and clients can feel it too.

Learn sales savvy intelligence so you sell intelligent. Be passionate about helping the prospect not selling the prospect. You can’t help the prospect if you’re not actively listening. 

Here’s my challenge to you…

  • this week when listening to the prospect or client, or maybe a podcast, reading an article or book, watching a video…forget what you know about the subject in order to open your mind to learning. Take notes and then read your notes. Sit back, (in silence) and allow your mind the freedom to create!
  • when meeting with prospects engage your sales savvy intelligence so you sell intelligent by listening. And when you learn something new about selling this week…remember to

Forget what you know about selling

When you do, your mind will open up to learning!

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