Symbolic Thought: the Secret to Selling
As we learned in last week's memo, a person can't imagine a personal future without assembling it from stored memories of their past.
This means your customer will better understand the new and different when you relate it to the old and familiar.
To do this, you must employ Symbolic Thought.
(And if you're really good you'll trigger mirror neurons in your subject, causing them to vicariously experience what you describe. But I get ahead of myself…)
According to Dr. Ricardo Gattass there are four kinds of thought:
Verbal Thought is hearing a voice in your mind.
Analytical Thought is deductive reasoning that seeks to forecast a result.
Abstract Thought embraces fantasy and all things intangible.
Symbolic Thought connects the pattern recognition of the right brain with the deductive reasoning of the left-brain to relate the unknown to the known.
If you will educate, encourage, or persuade, you must symbolize the abstract by pointing to a concrete thing that shares an essential attribute with the abstraction you're trying to describe.
This can be done using:
“Your life and her life have become intertwined like two ropes, joined in a knot. And that's a good thing. It gives you both something to hang onto. If you're in love, you know exactly what I'm talking about.” These three sentences were the opening lines of a radio ad that sold thousands of a specific item of jewelry.
“What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.” Jesus gave the farmers of his day a glimpse of another realm by comparing it to a seed with which they were all familiar.
In his book, Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud uses graphic sequential storytelling to illustrate how we attach complex meanings to the way simple lines relate to one another. He's not talking about comic books. He's talking about visual symbolic thought. Grasp what he's teaching and you'll hold a lever that will move the world.
Buy the book. It's one of those rare, breakthrough books that will make you suddenly see things that have long fluttered at the edge of your consciousness. Or better yet, if you can afford the time and money, join Scott McCloud and me for the February session of Advanced Thought Particles in Wizard Academy's Tuscan Hall.
Didn't I tell you that we had some amazing guests lined up for 2007?
Come if you can.
Roy H. Williams
PS – Speaking of 2007, have you seen the new calendar of Chapel Dulcinea?
Note for Feb. 1 – Free Public Seminar in Tuscan Hall