Neuroscience reveals the real decision maker
The latest neuroscience research shows that it is our “emotional” brain that is the real decision-maker – we make decisions emotionally, then justify them rationally.
Yet, most sales people “sell” to the “thinking” brain
Many of us focus our “pitch” around facts and information, for example our company credentials, what we offer and how we can help provide a solution for our client.
The problem is that our “emotional” brain, which evolved about 500 million years ago is not equipped to process language, which is only 40,000 years old.
So while we’re “pitching”, the emotional brain (the decision-maker) switches off!
All the research shows that the best sales people ask three times as many questions as “telling”.
Skillfully crafted questions allow the client to work out for themselves how your product could help them.
The “telling” approach is ineffective because we all make sense of the world in very different ways. When we “tell”, we are operating from our own brain’s “map of the world”, not our client’s. What makes sense in our world may make little sense in their world.
In order for people to grasp new ideas, they have to create new connections and wire new “maps” into their own brains. This cannot happen through “telling”. It can only happen through one’s own thinking.
So, if you want to improve your sales, stop telling clients how your product will help them, instead ask them. This will force them to think it through for themselves – and research shows that this approach results in far fewer objections. People often put up barriers when they are told.
An additional benefit of this approach is that most complex sales require multiple decision-makers, so, by asking questions, you are also training your client to sell your product or service internally.
Tip 2 – paint them a picture
As we’ve seen, the ‘emotional’ brain is not designed to process words. In fact the optic nerve is 40 times faster at processing information than the auditory nerve. So the lesson here is lose all those text – heavy PowerPoint presentations – show them a picture instead. It just confuses the brain if it is expected to read text and listen to you talking. It’s no wonder that the trend for websites is highly graphical.
Better still demonstrate the product and allow your prospect to “get a feel” for what you are offering.
Tip 3 – create contrast
The “emotional” brain is our survival system. It is continually monitoring the environment, looking for changes to the status quo. So, in our cave-dwelling days the appearance of a wild animal would be immediately processed as a threat.
The emotional brain therefore only notices change, and ignores anything non-remarkable. So if you begin your sales pitch with “We are one of the leading providers of sales training …”, this will largely go unnoticed. Much better to say “We are the only sales training company that applies the latest neuroscience research to boost sales performance”. This statement stands a much better chance of getting noticed by our emotional brain. Hence the importance of finding your niche and unique selling proposition.
Think you know all there is to know about sales?
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- 5 reasons why negotiations go wrong – Inadequate preparation