The power of repetition

How does REPETITION improve sales results?

Road tripping this to a volleyball tournament a while back, I had 3 hours to spend in the car with my 12-year-old daughter. We listened to hundreds of songs on my iPod. Rolling through several decades of old and new ones.

At one point, she marveled at how many songs she knew – as in well enough to sing along with me, at the top of our lungs. Well, when you spend a lot of time in the car, listening to music while cooking, or hanging out in the pool, you hear these songs a lot in our house.

It got me thinking about the power of repetition and memory recall.

How many songs does the average person know? That depends. Word for word without listening to it, maybe 10 or a dozen. But, songs to sing along to – we probably know THOUSANDS.

Why is this?

Well, repetition is key but also context clues, such as melody and beats, help us recall what comes next in the song. Making it easy for us to recall songs we haven’t heard in years.

According to Dr. Emily Mason, who studies memory and cognition at the University of Louisville, “Your brain has almost an unlimited capacity for memory. It can actually store about 2.5 petabytes of memory.”

What the WHAT is a petabyte? Ah, it’s a MILLION GIGABYTES so that’s a LOT of memory capacity in our amazing brains.

However, our short-term, quick recall or “working” memory is much more limited.

Taking in new information, processing it, absorbing it, and recalling it requires that we apply intention to our attention, see or hear things repeatedly, and recognize patterns. These are critical steps we need our customers to take.

Just like students, or newbies at – anything – our customers need more than to be “told” or messaged once or twice with what we consider important information. We think it’s important and we want our customers and prospects to remember what we offer and recall our services so we have to put in more effort!

Here’s where the science of Repetition and Memory Recall applies to us as Sales Professionals:

Want to get a prospect’s attention and be memorable?

Show up several times … (Don’t try once or twice and disappear – be consistent)
Show up in several places … (Social, Email, Phone, Events … where is your customer?)
Keep repeating your value proposition … (What problems do they have that you can solve?)
In context to how you are valuable to them! (Make it about their world)

Want to get clients to remember your other offers or services?

Ask leading questions (Prompt discussions about other pain points – that you can solve)
Keep repeating the value proposition of your other offers … (What problems can you solve?)
Relate your context to how you are valuable to them … (Make it about their world)
Show up with examples and stories of your value in context (Don’t just leave your brochure!)
REPEAT and visit during your Quarterly Business Reviews. (Create the pattern and expectation)

Want to get clients to remember to introduce or refer you?

Ask leading questions (Prompt discussions about other divisions, colleagues, or lines of business)
Keep repeating the value proposition … (What problems can you solve?)
Relate your context to how you are valuable to them … (Make it about their world)
Reiterate WHO you would like to meet and WHY … (Don’t make it their job to remember)
Give them the words to use to make introductions … (Repeating your value in context, again)
REPEAT that you appreciate their referrals and who you want to meet (Keep it top of mind, often)

I had a wonderful science teacher in high school and he would repeat a key point and then follow it by saying, “Repetition bears repeating.” He did it EVERY.SINGLE. TIME. Repetition Bears Repeating.

He repeated important points to remember and underscored them by repeating a key phrase – which gave key points more context to recall.

Notice how prospecting, upselling, and earning referrals – they ALL leverage repeating your value proposition in context to how you’re valuable to clients? You keep showing up, repeating how you’re valuable. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

This is how you become memorable.

It’s like wearing a uniform. When you see someone in a uniform, they are recognizable in context to what their uniform stands for.

It’s why the sales teams that I coach have “Shawn Sandy-isms” that they repeat often and point out when they see a principle or skill at play. They recall the lesson – in context. It’s no accident our training builds upon key phrases and formulas. I keep showing up. They recognize the concepts. It becomes memorable and they’re able to recall and apply what they’ve learned.

Be memorable. Be recognizable. Be repeatable.

And, as a bonus, the more you use this formulaic way of repeating yourself, it becomes muscle memory and just gets easier.

This is how you become confident and unforgettable.

Until next time, stop hoping, start SELLING (you see what I do here … every week)!


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Straightforward, practical and perhaps slightly cheeky, Shawn Karol Sandy's innate gift is helping people find new ways to solve old problems, unique ways to approach new problems and helping businesses re-invent themselves and their sales strategies. With Bold and Brave thought leadership and Clear Action Plans, her impact on business is Measurable and Meaningful and will lead your sales revolution to growth and revenue goals.

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