Frank Sopper: Sales Success by Understanding Your Own and Your Prospect’s Thinking – Episode #60


Sales is the ultimate people business. In interacting with those who need the services or products you provide or the decision makers above them in the hierarchy, you’ve got to be able to interact in a way that shows you understand and empathize with them as people. One of the key things to doing that is understanding the ways in which people think – the actual way they see the world and process what they see. On this episode of In The Arena you’re going to hear from someone who has influenced Anthony a ton lately with his approach to this subject: it’s Frank Sopper of Open Book Consulting. Be sure you listen… even though the two of them get deep into the details of how the brain works, it’s essential stuff for you to grasp and master in order to make small tweaks to your sales approach that bring a huge difference.

What you can do to increase sales by understanding your prospects way of thinkingClick To Tweet

What kind of thinker are you, associative or sequential?

You probably don’t even know what it means to ask yourself that question. It’s because those two terms are things Frank Sopper has developed over years of research into the way the human brain works and how different individuals operate in the world and among their relational connections. When you understand the differences between associative and sequential thinkers, you’ll immediately see people in your life who fit into one of those two categories predominantly. The difference that knowledge can make to your sales career is immense and you’re going to hear why on this episode.

Are your sales prospects associative or sequential thinkers, and does it matter?

If you were to speak to a German person using the French language, you might not get very far. That’s because you’re approaching that person via a form of communication they are unable to understand, or at least not used to understanding. The same sort of thing applies when you try to communicate to someone using a style of thinking that they do not readily employ. On this episode Frank Sopper discusses the differences between associative and sequential thinkers and highlights how a better understanding of how your sales prospects think could get you even more sales success.

Thinking and the increase of sales numbers, with Frank Sopper on In The ArenaClick To Tweet

For greater sales you need to include both types of thinking in your presentations.

The human brain is typically not an all-or-nothing sort of computer. Every person is able to think in both associative and sequential ways, it’s just that not everyone is practiced at both. So for greater sales success you want to make sure that your sales presentations are not lopsided toward one of those styles, but rather that it incorporates an understanding of both. How do you do that? You can find out how to get started down that path by listening to this episode of In The Arena featuring researcher and businessman, Frank Sopper.

The type of questions you ask can lead your prospects down the right path.

But what that path is depends largely on the type of thinker they are. “Why” questions tend to appeal more to those with an associative type of thinking pattern. They are motivated by the “why” and begin to think more deeply and effectively in that sort of context. On the other hand, the sequential style of thinking gravitates more to the “How” type of questions, questions about processes, procedures, and bottom lines. Do you see how that can lead you to ask different questions of different people by having an idea of what kind of thinking style they operate within the most? Researcher Frank Sopper has tons to share about how to apply that knowledge on this episode.

Integrate these 2 things into your sales presentations and see your sales climbClick To Tweet

Outline of this great episode

  • Anthony’s introduction of how he got involved with Frank and his assessment.
  • Frank’s description of what he does: research combined with practice.
  • What are associative process and sequential processing and how do they work?
  • What allows us to generalize things in our thinking and what is it building on in the brain?
  • How sequential thinking allows us to deal with rules and processes of life.
  • The population is 40% associative, 60% sequential; Why is it that way?
  • Could the way we teach people impact the 60%/40% split?
  • Is it tougher for one type thinker to switch back and forth?
  • Why a focus on BOTH type of thinking can lead to greater sales.
  • Is it important to do sales presentations in a certain order?
  • What are the situational learning disabilities associated with these styles?
  • Observations about Anthony’s scores from his assessment.
  • How knowing your own thinking helps you in life.
  • The questions that lead to one type of thinking over another.
  • What Frank is reading right now.
  • The most important book Frank has read and why.
  • The person who’s had the biggest influence on Frank’s life.
  • The most important thing Frank has learned in life.
  • What Frank would do if he wasn’t doing his current work.
  • What Frank would like to be remembered for.

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Resources & Links mentioned in this episode

A book referenced on the episode…


What Frank is reading right now…


The most influential book Frank has ever read…


The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on Soundcloud

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