Be more persuasive with this simple math concept

Updated: Nov 30, 2021

And you thought you'd never have to use math in real life.


All those years you reluctantly studied arithmetic, then algebra, geometry, trigonometry and maybe even physics and calculus. All that complaining about how you'd never need mathematics for every day applications. And you were wrong -- at least about one particular math lesson. We all routinely use a specific diagram concept to show the logical relationship between multiple sets of items. This math lesson is extremely helpful in sales because it instantly identifies commonalities shared by the seller and the prospect, thereby isolating reasons to do business together. Smart salespeople are more persuasive and solve problems with this simple #math concept. Watch this video (below).

Here's the back story behind the famous "Venn diagram" and how you can use it to close more deals, navigate relationships and get through any tough day. The Venn diagram is named after the 19th century mathematician, John Venn. "The Venn" is a great way to help you find common ground when settling differences, negotiating and even when selling a product or service. You can use the Venn to: - See life patterns between say, snacking and TV viewing - Facilitate whiteboard sessions - Analyze probability and statistics

- Settle arguments



History of the Venn

Popularized by John Venn in the 1880s, the diagrams are used to illustrate simple set relationships in probability, logic, statistics, linguistics and computer science. A Venn diagram often uses simple circles or ellipses.


Venn was not the first to become enchanted with set theory. Christian Weise flirted with the "overlap" concept in 1712 and Leonhard Euler forwarded the theory in 1768.


Venn himself did not use the term "Venn diagram" and referred to his invention as "Eulerian Circles". The term "Venn diagram" was first used by Clarence Irving Lewis in 1918, in his book A Survey of Symbolic Logic.


In the 1960s, Venn diagrams and Euler diagrams were incorporated as part of the new math movement called set theory. Since then, they have also been adopted in the curriculum of other fields such as reading and algorithms.



Success story -- My time on a City Council

I use Venn diagrams all the time in my work as a communication consultant. Not long ago, I put the old math formula to use with a client when a City Council had trouble finding common ground. Politics was interfering with politics, when a City Administrator in suburban Detroit brought me in for a peacekeeping session. We billed the morning as a "motivational" session, but it was really designed to remind council members that they can get more done and have more fun together if they focus on common goals rather than individual agendas.


I used a combination of rapport exercises, storytelling and Round Robin discussion segments to identify the Venns and get buy-in from the Council members. You should've seen their smiles! #boom



Try it, you'll like it!


Hopefully, this primer on Venn Diagrams will encourage you to explore other ways math can help you increase sales. After all, studies show that five out of four people have trouble with fractions.


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