Would you believe it if I were to tell you that you can predict the choice made by people 7-10 seconds before they make a decision and act upon it? A recent study found that this isn’t just mumbo jumbo, and no you don’t have to be an oracle.
We’ve said it earlier, but reading minds is hands-down the greatest superpower a salesperson can aspire to have.
On the one-year anniversary special of Rambling Sessions, we sat down with Belal Batraway to understand how selling processes employ the different parts of our brain and how we can optimize for the same.
Deconstructing the Sales Brain: The Blueprint to Enhanced Sales Messaging
Just like you’d implement better RAM management to make your phone or computer function more efficiently, you can train yourself to evoke the appropriate part of your prospect’s brain to sell better. How, you may ask?
There’s three parts of the brain that every salesperson needs to be aware of:
1. The Neocortex
This is our thinking brain where we rationalize inputs and make decisions — the part of the brain where everything from sensory perception, spatial reasoning and conscious thought are processed.
2. The Limbic Brain
This is the part of our brain that is responsible for emotional and memory based responses, like caring for our young or linking smells and sights with pleasant memories or emotions.
3. The Reptilian Brain
The reptilian brain is the oldest part of the human brain that is responsible for putting you in survival mode. It’s responsible for your fight or flight responses and other instinctual behaviors such as reproduction, hunger, breathing and other automatic self-preserving behaviors that ensured the survival of our species.
Together, the limbic brain and the reptilian brain help stir up your primal instincts. This is the part of the buyer’s brain you want to target if you want to become an elite seller.
Now how would you go about doing that?
Strategy Time: Prospects vs. Buyer and How to Differentiate Them
The first thing you want to do is differentiate your buyer from the ocean of prospects out there. Now there’s three criterias you HAVE TO have if you want to qualify a prospect as a buyer. They are:
- Problem: They NEED a clear set of problems that are defined. If you can get them to agree with a problem they didn’t know they had, that’d work too. If you put forward a problem (however clear it may be) and they don’t acknowledge, rationalize it or believe you, then it won’t matter.
- Impact: For the second criteria, they need to acknowledge that there’s a clear impact if they choose to address those problems.
- And finally they need to have a willingness to change.
Now, if you don’t have even a single one of these criteria, you’ve got a prospect and not a buyer. This is the difference between average and elite sellers — elite sellers ask hard questions upfront to make sure they scrutinize these 3 criteria of a prospect/buyer so they don’t have to waste their time going through sales cycles that end up in nothing.
So, once you’ve figured this out with your prospect/buyer, you want to ask yourself the following questions:
- Do they acknowledge the problem or are you just trying too hard to pitch it to them?
- Do they actually see the impact or are you just trying too hard to sell it to them?
- Do they really have a willingness to change or are you just telling them why they have to change?
Outbound leads are primarily in the unaware stage of the universal buyer’s journey, and maybe the aware stage if you’re lucky.
The Universal Buyer’s Journey
Most outbounds haven’t even acknowledged their problem. If they did, they would already possibly be in your inbound funnel. This is why it’s important to qualify your outbounds on the basis of these 3 criterias.
Now let’s go back to sales messaging. Most reps tend to resort to utilizing ROI, USPs, and logo walls/customer evidence for their outbound messaging, be it email, LinkedIn messages, cold call scripts, or other sequences.
But as mentioned earlier, you want to target the primal instincts of the buyer and not the logical thinking brain. ROI, USPs, and customer evidence do very little to trigger emotions of the prospect.
These would rather serve as neocortex triggers, which would work for buyers who need help evaluating and making a decision, but will do very little for prospects who need to acknowledge their problem first.
So, why are you jumping the gun when prospecting?
A significantly vast majority of sales copy that is being pushed out there is designed to trigger the wrong part of the brain. No wonder average email response rates don’t exceed 6%, and no wonder conversation-to-meeting ratios average less than 10%.
This is also why a lot of prospects that go through your sales cycles end up in no decisions, because they weren’t buyers in the first place. Rather, they were prospects that were just entering the aware stage and weren’t ready to make a decision.
So what do we do instead to enhance our sales messaging?
How to Engage Emotions When Selling
First and foremost, you’ve got to provoke an emotion, any emotion, because selling is about them, not you. This is the crux of emotional selling. Revisit any brand’s content or messaging that you’ve been able to connect with and you’ll find that they were only able to do so by evoking the right emotions within you.
So stop using rationality in your sales messages, especially to prospects that are in the unaware and aware stage. Rationality is about you as a product and not them.
If a salesperson were to evoke the emotion of pain, they would be eliciting this part of the brain.
An example of this could be sales messaging that highlights a shrinking market share, low average deal sizes or long sales cycles as a result of something directly under your control as a business decision maker. This may even go as far as making you question your ability as a decision maker. As a result, your limbic brain will fire an emotional response making you more willing to further explore what the rep has to say.
Here’s what emotional sales messaging sounds like:
Don’t Forget to Catch the One-Year Anniversary Special of Rambling Sessions
If you found Belal’s session informative, we urge you to check out the full version of this episode where we bring back 3 of our favorite panelists from the year gone by. It’s packed with tons of actionable sales insights and experiential tales from some of sales’ biggest names, so you don’t want to miss it!