"That's the secret to custom learning that works."

How would you train people to learn the 5 Steps to Successful Selling?

  • Build Rapport
  • Identify Needs
  • Propose a Solution
  • Overcome Objections
  • Close the Sale

You could have them read the steps out loud in order. Take one away and have them do it again. Take two away and so on. Repeat this enough times, include a catchy mnemonic (Birds In Paradise Over Canada), and most people can memorize these steps.

Ask trainees an hour later and many can retrieve that knowledge. Success! A month later, some can still recite all five. Woo-hoo!

But there's one small problem.

Memorizing steps does nothing for your company. You want people to sell more.

Scan the human brain and you'll see a neural network: 100 billion nerve cells wired together with a million billion connections.

When your trainees recite the words “Build Rapport," Step 1 lights up in their neural network. So does Step 2, “Identify Needs.” When their brain stored the steps as information, it also strengthened the connections between those chunks of information.

For people to learn to build rapport, not just memorize Step 1 in a process, they need to be trained differently. What if trainees practice asking empathetic questions of potential clients while receiving realistic emotional responses?

Now we see a brain with neural connections between building rapport, tone of voice, eye contact, empathetic body language, and asking about someone's family. The concept of building rapport and the skills required to build rapport are now linked.

By developing the right neural connections, we train people to build skills, not memorize knowledge. That's the secret to custom learning that works.