Big50 remodeler-turned-consultant Mike Gorman says people think in pictures, not words. Create a “movie” in their brain, transferring key moods, feelings, and associations, and you'll make a sale.

Most people are right handed, so when they look left, it engages the creative side of their brain. Seat homeowners to your right, says Gorman ( Use a presentation book or laptop computer as a “storyboard,” he says.

If homeowners can't pull mental pictures from past remodeling experiences, show pictures to prompt memories or feelings. Ask them to “step” into their kitchen. When they do, you'll be able to tell when they're ready to buy and when they have a good association.

People confidently buy something they've bought before, Gorman points out. Find where your prospect “stores” good decisions. Ask if their recent bathroom remodel was a good decision. They'll look right, left, or down, and mentally retrieve a list. Watch closely if it's a good decision. Most people store bad decisions down, to the right. So avoid putting your contract there.

Good associations are “anchored.” Anchors occur automatically. Think of a song, or a sound, or a smell that draws you to the past.

If a client likes a ceramic tile — his eyes are dilated, his face is flushed — anchor him by touching his arm. Weeks later, when you present the price, touch your client's arm and bring back those feelings, Gorman says.

If you're uncomfortable touching prospects, provide anchors with words or movements. But touch is the strongest anchor. Gorman recalls an interior decorator who brought fresh pastries to a client's house before taking her shopping — his way of anchoring good feelings with his first visit.

For insight on how we perceive and package decisions to make them acceptable to our brains, read Frogs into Princes: Neuro Linguistic Programming or Persuasive Engineering, by Richard Bandler.