Neuroscience explains why no one likes being told!
The reason lies in our evolutionary heritage. Our emotional brain is 200 million years old and is responsible for our flight fight freeze response. Our logical brain is only 2 million years old and is much slower to respond than our emotional brain. The emotional brain is responsible for our gut instinct and survival. This is why it is so hard to over-ride emotions with rational thinking.
Our brain makes up about 2% of our body weight and uses 20-25% of our body’s total energy, just for its basic activity. That’s one hungry brain! So when sales people “pitch” facts and figures to their client, the client’s logical brain soon “tires” of processing the information and switches off.
Stop telling, start asking
Research shows that the best sales people ask three times as many questions as “telling”.
Imagine you’re being “told” that you really should buy this latest phone because it only costs this, can do xyz, comes with a 1 year only fixed contract with free upgrades and extra guarantees.
This is quite a lot of detail to take on board, especially as you’ve been through this many times before with other providers and can’t really remember off the top of your head the details of your current plan!
Now imagine you’re being asked who you mostly speak to on your phone, where and when you rely on it the most, whether you like using it as a camera or calendar? How good is it’s battery? Is there anything you find it lacking?
Asking skilfully crafted questions will trigger a response from the emotional brain and allow your client to work out for themselves how your product could help them.
There are more possible neural connections in your brain than there are atoms in the universe
Neuroscience has identified that 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 theirs. Through being asked questions you are required to use your own “thinking” to answer, which creates new neural connections in your brain. Your emotional brain will be engaged and you will be keen to find out more about the latest phone they’re recommending and figure out if there are benefits to buying it for yourself!
People put up barriers when they’re being “told”
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 result in fewer objections.
Most complex sales require multiple decision-makers, so, by asking questions, you are also training your client to sell your product or service internally.
Solving your client’s problems may boost your self-esteem, but helping them solve their own problems boosts theirs. Which approach do you think results in more sales?
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