Creating Future Memories
“Human memory is a marvelous but fallacious instrument. The memories which lie within us are not carved in stone; not only do they tend to become erased as the years go by, but often they change, or even increase by incorporating extraneous features.” —Primo Levi
What is a memory? Wikipedia defines it as an organism’s ability to store, retain, and subsequently retrieve information.
We have long term memories, short term memories, working memories, cellular memory, sensory memory — basically, lots of different ways to remember. The thing is, as Primo Levi described in the quotation above, not all memories are a) real, b) remembered correctly, and c) set in stone.
This makes the creation and utilization of memory and memories ripe for the persuasion picking.
I want to talk with you about creating future memories. This is a really fun persuasion technique. I really like this. Using this strategy you can have someone imagining doing something that will possibly affect them later in such a way that they feel as if they actually did it. Here’s how.
Ask your prospect or client to imagine something that you want them to do or would benefit them in some way (i.e. purchasing more life insurance, taking the offer which was a little lower than they were looking for that was made on the house they’ve been wanting/needing to sell, et cetera).
Next step, talk them through this in great detail. See if you can use as much detail as possible because the detail makes it real. Ask them to pick something seemingly irrelevant that will unconsciously remind them of this like for example a landmark they see on their way home every day or when they put their shoes on or run their hand through their hair. It doesn’t matter what it is, just that it is something that happens on a daily basis.
Then what you want to do is rehearse this with them a few times. Say to them, “This is really interesting, so imagine this thing that you’re thinking of doing and imagine that you’re actually doing it. And now imagine that every time you close your car door, that sound just triggers an image of seeing yourself do it. (Again.) So car door closes, and bam, your unconscious keeps presenting and representing this to your mind, to yourself.
You could ask them to pick something seemingly irrelevant that will unconsciously remind them of what they’ve just imagined. The words ‘seemingly’ and ‘unconsciously remind’ are really powerful. Pick something that’s seemingly irrelevant. In other words, you’re saying that passing that road sign really is relevant because it reminds you of what I just had you imagine. And it will unconsciously remind them. How are you unconsciously reminded?
The thing is, this bubbles around somewhere inside your prospect’s mind and they may even think it’s their idea. That’s great. That’s exactly what we’re aiming for.
It’s a really fun, powerful pattern.
Until Next Time,
Kenrick E. Cleveland
This is not just an influence strategy, but also a great tool for training and goal setting.
I use something similar for cross cultural communication workshops, where participants are basicaly “unlearning” behaviors and beliefs that were culturally installed, usually with litttle or no conscious awareness.