I learned from Top Sales that someone has taken issue with the definition of insight from my interview with Anthony Iannarino. The exchange got me thinking about how much I respect that definition and the man who gave it to all of us.  In my book Changing the Sales Conversation I give credit to the brilliant Jeremy Bullmore for the quotation. I apologize that in the course of the conversation with Anthony I inadvertently did not credit Mr. Bullmore.   For those of you not familiar with him I though I might share some information.

Jeremy Bullmore is a true marketing guru and philosopher.  The definition in question was from the title of one of his famous essays in which he asks and answers the question, “How is a good insight like a refrigerator? When you open the door a light goes on.”

To gain insights into insights I highly recommend listening to The Bullmore Collection WPP Reading Room Refrigerator essay. In the essay he gives a more technical definition but none is so clear for me as his refrigerator metaphor.    Terms get used over and over to that point they are watered down.  But Mr. Bullmore hits on the essence of insight—that light that goes on to illuminate, to enlighten and bring forth a new understanding and motivate action.

And where the light comes from is in part a mystery.  It is a flash, a spark, and a point of creative connection.  Mr. Bullmore in his essay distinguishes High Potency Insights form Low Potency Insights to make the point that clients don’t want research.   They want insights.  But he is clear that not all insights are equal.   If you want to learn the difference listen to what he has to say.  To the extent we understand this, the greater our ability to help and influence our clients.

Many people say after a night’s sleep they get an answer to a problem, an insight.  They wake up and something they know connects to something else and out pops an answer. In a correspondence with Ray Bradbury he shared with me and this insight on insights: “My Theatre of Morning—The theatre between my ears when ideas shadow forth, loom bright, and ache to be born …”

Whether day or night, insights come to us between our ears and while of course knowledge and experience are big factors there is also the magic of the light. The light bulb is a metaphor and phrases such as it came to him in a flash or she had a light bulb moment capture that moment of enlightenment.

Clients are demanding insights.  So here’s to turning the light on for your clients, to enlightening them and moving them to action.   Please share your moments of insight for clients or your definitions.