If You're In Sales, You Need To Think Like A Magician

A sale, like a great magic trick, occurs inside the customer’s mind. And it is there where it is replayed, remembered and redefined continually after. The mind is the final battleground. Because magicians are masters of perception, they understand how to get into the heads of their prospects better than anyone else. That’s why the principles of magic can be so helpful in a business environment. If you’re in sales or customer service, here are four secrets to Think Like A Magician™.

When Customer Service Is A Crime

When Customer Service Is A Crime

When an automotive department employee received a bad performance review by her employers at the Walmart in Sanford, Florida, she created a plan to boost her ratings—by giving customers free merchandise.

Unfortunately for Walmart, that meant Jennifer gave away $1,500 in product she wasn't authorized to distribute. And unfortunately for Jennifer, that meant being charged with grand theft and being taken to jail.

Senior Class Students Think Like Magicians To Prank Their School

Senior Class Students Think Like Magicians To Prank Their School

Magicians don't make the impossible possible; they just create the illusion that they do. This kind of thinking led a group of high school students to prank their school -- and not get in trouble for it -- by creating the illusion of a car accident that their local police department said was one of the best they had ever seen.

A Close-Up Magician Is Easing the Tension Between North and South Korea

A Close-Up Magician Is Easing the Tension Between North and South Korea

When the leaders of North and South Korea came together today after their meeting on denuclearization, they brought in a magician to “break the ice and get everyone laughing.” A Korean magician engaged the group of world leaders with close-up magic, weaving in humor to get the group relaxed and laughing together.

As a magician, I have to tell you that I couldn’t be happier to have this amazing secret of magic revealed to the world. Now everyone can see that by creating a shared moment of laughter and wonder, magic brings people together, no matter their race, age, or political, economic or philosophical perceptions and beliefs. 

A Magician's Take on ABC's 'Deception' Pilot

A Magician's Take on ABC's 'Deception' Pilot

Law enforcement and magicians have a long history. There's the CIA Manual of Trickery & Deception which earned magician John Mulholland $3,000 for writing during the Cold War. And then there's Harry Houdini, who some say used his magician persona as a cover to spy on the Germans and Russians for Scotland Yard.

Now, ABC is bringing this partnership to primetime with Deception, which debuts Sunday, March 11 at 10|9c after the American Idol premiere.

How To Read People Like A Magician

How To Read People Like A Magician

Many people have taken personality tests to tell them who they are. But very few people can instantly assess the personality style of someone they meet. Thanks to this magical system, you’re now equipped to do just that.

You don’t have to rack your brain to search for the right word to describe someone. The magician’s method of four suits is simple to learn and easy to use in the real world. When you’re in the trenches of a presentation or negotiation, meeting people and trying to understand them on the fly, utilize the four suits to identify personality types quickly and easily. And then, give them what their suit needs.

Why Your Pet Can Help Your Career

Why Your Pet Can Help Your Career

Did you know that research shows that your pet's presence can influence not just you, but other people's perceptions of you? As a business speaker and magician, I am fascinated by the way our perceptions are shaped in our personal and professional lives. Turns out that when we see a person with an animal, particularly a furry one, we automatically feel a level of trust. If you own a dog or cat, how can you use these research findings to shape and control the way you're perceived?

Overcome Sales Objections by Turning Your Company's Flaws into Features

Overcome Sales Objections by Turning Your Company's Flaws into Features

Overcoming objections in sales and business can be tough...I have to handle concerns and objections often just by virtue of being a magician. So, what's the solution? Transform what people perceive as your company's FLAWS into FEATURES.

Find out how to change people's perceptions—and Think Like a Magician™—in this blog, which profiles the way the Hell's Kitchen restaurant in Minneapolis turns the worst seats in their restaurant into the best.

The One Question That Saved This Company From Losing My Business

The One Question That Saved This Company From Losing My Business

I was trying to get electronic payments out to my partners and vendors before the end of the year. What should have been an easy process turned into a nightmare.

When I first signed up with my financial institution five years ago, the charm of a small, hometown bank drew me in. I was tired of being treated as an insignificant account holder at the major behemoths. There was one particular detail that made me happy each time too: the calendar date was always correct. 

3 Ways to Maximize How Customers Perceive Your Brand

3 Ways to Maximize How Customers Perceive Your Brand

This post is about how organizations can create experiences for their customers that are positive, engaging and align with their brand. 

The three strategies I share can be applied by any business that wishes to create a more engaging customer experience.

Whether you’re operating an escape room, a performing arts center or a news organization that gives tourists a peek at what you do, here are three things you should do:

  1. Meet expectations in a satisfying way.
  2. Go beyond expectations; create surprise and delight via unexpected moments.
  3. Connect the specific experience to the overarching brand promise or company mission/vision. 

Here is an example of how not to do this...

The Most Social Audience at a Keynote Speech

The Most Social Audience at a Keynote Speech

Every speaker loves audience participation and social engagement. It's wonderful to get off the stage and see that people are talking about your presentation online, sharing pictures and quotes from your talk. But it doesn't happen every time because every audience has a different relationship with social media.

When I am speaking to a room of engineers, franchisees, or insurance adjustors,  I don't expect lots of tweeting about my presentation. But when I was asked to speak at the 7th Annual Florida Blogger and Social Media Conference, I knew this would be different than any other speech.  I just didn't expect this much social engagement. 

In Memoriam: Tim Glancey

In Memoriam: Tim Glancey

Let me tell you about an amazing friend.

Tim Glancey put me on the path to success. He helped me develop my magic business in a way I never imagined. And years after he left Orlando to live full time in Key West, he'd continue to check in, to let me know he was proud of me, and extend an invitation to visit.

Tim passed away on August 23, 2017. As I've spoken to Tim's friends, we all describe him in similar ways: giving, caring, loving. No pretension, no ego. He was wholly sincere and fully present, playing, laughing and having fun.

How Marshall McLuhan Impacted the Medium of Magic

How Marshall McLuhan Impacted the Medium of Magic

I talk to business people about the role of perception in communication and interpersonal relationships. In performing magic, I bring about an awareness of how our perceptions are impacted, affected and easily misled and self-manipulated. When I perform magic it is to highlight the way people see the world and communicate with each other. 

While I was studying Philosophy at the University of Central Florida I became fascinated with Marshall McLuhan. His ideas ended up influencing my magic in an interesting way. 

Orlando Magician on "Penn & Teller: Fool Us"

Orlando Magician on "Penn & Teller: Fool Us"

This morning I got to accompany my friend, Jimmy Ichihana, as he appeared on CW's Orlando affiliate station and amazed news reporter, Jason Guy. You can see the video of him astonishing Jason with a spectacular card trick below.

Tonight, Jimmy will make his first national TV appearance just like I did, on Penn & Teller: Fool Us. He’ll be performing a technically complex routine that uses sleight-of-hand. Which means there are no gimmicks, or "tricks" - it’s just pure, hard work.

Why I teach magic

Why I teach magic

I'm back at Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia for my twelfth or thirteenth summer teaching at Tannen's Magic Camp. It's exactly as geeky and amazing as you imagine it to be. One week of the year, magicians from across the US come together to teach the future stars of magic. If you're really fascinated by this, you can even watch the documentary film, Magic Camp, where I make a quick cameo.

When I am here, I remember why I am here.

The Importance of Social Proof

The Importance of Social Proof

Over the years I neglected to ask my clients for testimonials. I was there to engage the audience! I thought the only proof necessary of a job well done was when my clients hired me back a second time.

But you and I know that nothing can help us make a buying decision easier than social proof. So at a recent business meeting I asked the person who hired me, a Director of Training & Development, to share her thoughts after I finished presenting my signature keynote, Think Like A Magician.™ 

Launching The Business Magician Memo

Launching The Business Magician Memo

I've just launched "The Business Magician Memo"  - a newsletter for my business clients, associates and audience members from my keynote programs. You can sign-up to get the memo here

The audience for this newsletter is business professionals. The first issue looks at how our brains are handling's today complex problems and gives you a cheat-sheet on how you fool yourself. 

Enter to Win! Youth Magic Scholarship Contest

Enter to Win! Youth Magic Scholarship Contest

Magicpalooza is a conference for magicians held in Orlando. See Magic Live is sponsoring a young magician to attend this conference so they can learn magic and be inspired.

To enter to win, please submit a 1-minute video telling us why you should be selected. E-mail your entry here. Tell us about your passion for magic. Show us your favorite magic trick. Whatever you like! Winner will be announced on May 1st. 

Scientists Explain Why People Learn More When They're Emotional

Scientists Explain Why People Learn More When They're Emotional

Scientists at NYU have proven what magicians naturally discover after performing a few shows—that laughter, surprise and joy create positive emotions that make occasions extra-memorable. Or in more academic terms, the researchers concluded that, “emotional brain states carry over and enhance future memory formation.”

This explains why the lessons I teach business groups are recalled so well when I return to those same groups, the following year. Because I start the meeting off with unexpected actions, phrases and ideas, I kick the audience into “an emotional brain state.”