Chapter 5

The Science Behind Whiteboard Selling

Grabbing the Pen, Not the Computer

You want your customer to engage with you. Have you ever been in a meeting with a customer who grabs a marker and starts writing on the board? You probably have. How many times have you been in a meeting where the customer grabs your laptop and creates or shows slides? Not very often!

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V. S. Ramachandran gave a TED talk on mirror neurons.1 Mirror neurons are special neurons in the brain that cause us to imitate what we see. If you are writing on a whiteboard, it will be more likely for your customer to grab a pen and start writing, too. And if they do, then you are having much more interaction than if you are presenting a slide deck and your customer is just listening.

Markers are interactive; slides are not. You want to engage your customer in the dialogue. There's something very powerful about graphically depicting solution knowledge without slides to prop you up. When your prospect grabs the pen and says, “We do it this way today,” you and your customer are on the way to creating a shared vision around how your products and solutions can address their specific business requirements in a way your competition can't.

Keeping Attention

Research by Kalina Christoff, Associate Professor at the Brain Research Center, University of British Columbia, shows that everyone's mind wanders more than one-third ...

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