Takealgebra? Why? I’ll never use it in real life!
When I have more money than I need (which these days seemsfarther away than it did a few years ago), I want to travel around the worldand speak to high school freshmen and sophomores. Ninth and tenth graders.
I want to talk to them about the hidden power ofmathematics. In math of all sorts, you’re given problems to solve. In thebeginning, they’re easy. Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. Then comefractions. But still the same big four solve all the problems.
Then algebra. A whole new language of math appears. It’spretty confusing at first, but as you’re given each series of similar problemsto solve, and you begin to work them, at some point you “get it,” and canfigure out the answers to the rest relatively quickly.
Many people say, “Why do I have to take algebra? I’ll neveruse it in real life!” That may be the most incorrect statement of yourlife.
Algebra teaches you to solve problems logically.
When you’re given amath problem, here’s what happens:
1. You study it to see if you know how to solve it or not.
2. If yes, you go to the next step of using the prescribedsystem, process, formula, or answer path to solve it.
2.5 If no, you have to do additional study and research tofigure it out, or learn how to solve it, then go back to step 2, and come up withthe correct answer.
“Jeffrey, what’s your point?” you whine. “Come on, I’ve gota quota to meet, cold calls to make, e-mails to follow up on, and voice mailsto leave that will most likely go unanswered. Help me with the real stuffhere.”
Relax Euclid breath. This is a “big picture answer” thattranscends your self-created sense of urgency and lack of sales dilemma.
Math is a science. A logic-based, formula-based science.
Selling is also a science. An emotion-based science.
In sales, business, and life, you are presented withproblems and obstacles. You may know them as customers, competition, bosses,coworkers, service issues, complaints, overcoming objections, and other salesand business hurdles that you must solve or resolve in order to have asuccessful transaction, or resolution.
It’s the logical side of what would otherwise be seen as anemotional process. Emotion is to engage, show your passion, love, and belief,be compelling, prove by example, congratulate when completed, and celebrate thevictory.
I admit I’m an emotional salesman, but I am a superiorsalesman because I am able to add the understanding of logic into the totalsales and relationship building process.
The reason you need to study math is that it provides youwith the logical side, and the thinking side of the sale.
From the customer side of the decision, the simple rule is:The sale is made emotionally, and then justified logically. (First you say, “I lovethis house.” Then you say, “I wonder if we can afford it?”)
“Eh, what’s up doc?” is the emotional opener. In the worldof logic the question converts to, “What’s up, Spock?”
If you want torediscover how logic fits into your selling, business, and life process, goback to your algebra class, and you will find the answers:
Math taught you to think about the solution or the answerlogically and use the process or the formula to come up with an answer.
Math taught you to see if the answer applied to all theproblems or that there were exceptions.
Math taught you to think about and visualize your moves inadvance (chess is a great example for thinking three moves in advance — so ispredictable customer service after a sale).
Math taught you to see elements of the solution, theanswer, or the probable outcome in advance.
Math lets you see that there’s always a way to solve theproblem, and arrive at the end desired result. Math logic says if you study ithard enough and deep enough you can find, or should I say, discover the answer.
Math taught you to solve problems logically. You willcontinue to face problems the rest of your life, in every aspect of your lifeyour job is balance the emotional side and find the best resolution.
These math awareness bites will help you understand why youshould have paid more attention in your math classes. And, these are messagesI’d like to deliver to every high school kid in America.
If you want to see the Spock versus Bugs Bunny answer thatwill create more sales, go to www.gitomer.com and enter the word SPOCK in theGitBit box.