The Neuroscience of selling.

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Be honest, how much of your current sales pitch is currently based on lots of logical reasons why your customer should buy your product or service? They are probably generic too but we will talk about competitive advantage on another day.

Being in a sales leadership role comes with the benefit of being sold to, so I have heard my fair share:

“We are 3p cheaper than the other guys”

“We have the best customer service”

“Our product is 2% better than the competition”

“We can deliver 1 week earlier than anyone else”

So, we all go and load our presentations and pitches with logic when science tells us it’s the wrong thing to do….

Quick neuroscience lesson.

In very simple terms and for the benefit of this blog there are 2 parts to the human brain involved in decision making; the prefrontal cortex and the limbic system.

The prefrontal cortex is our human brain. It’s what separates us from animals and has allowed us to end up at the top of the food chain. It’s the logical part of the brain that allows us to process information and rationalises our actions.

Our limbic system is our animal brain. It’s where all our emotions live and it’s where our basic flight, fight or freeze mechanism is. When people say, they went with their gut or heart they actually went with their limbic system. After all there’s no information processing going on in our hearts or stomachs.

So, we know biologically we make decisions with emotion from our animal brain (Limbic system). How many people still spend 90% of their time making a logical pitch? Hoping that someone will be drawn in by a slightly better service levels, cheaper price or added feature. Only for your customer to buy from someone else who logically has an inferior service or product. We have all been there right?

In a world where for most professional buyers and consumers alike there are similar products, with similar service, at similar prices from similar companies you must compete in a different space…. the emotional space!

I can hear people now screening at their phones and monitors saying but what about those people that buy on price?… Yes, some people do buy on price but that is been driven by emotion. To a consumer who is cash stricken you can sell all the added value you like but if that animal brain is saying “but you need that money to survive” then guess what they will buy cheap. Professional buyers will have emotional reasons to buy on price sometimes, gratitude from a boss, personal targets and rewards etc. but all driven by an emotional reason.

How do you sell with emotion?

This is a complex question which we help clients and sales professionals with regularly but I will give you some simple ways that you can be better:

  • Be clear on why you do what you do and make that clear in your messaging.

  • Be authentic and honest and remember its best to be in the long game.

  • Give to people, sales people have a habit of asking for something before giving anything.

  • Build relationships don’t close just transactions.

  • Mean it! people are smart, if anything about you says you are not authentic then you are dead in the water.

  • Use social media to connect with people. Instagram, twitter and Facebook are great for showing the real you while Linkedin is brilliant for building a professional profile you often need more than this.

There is an old cliché in the world of sales that people only buy on price in the absence of value. I say people only buy on price in the absence of an emotional connection and sound rationale.

We live in a human society and people buy from people, that is one sales cliché I do subscribe to! The principal of H2H (human 2 human) sales is true, to be human on the sales side of the relationship then you must behave like one. Look at how you approach a customer in the same way you acquire friends in your life:

Be real, be authentic, be honest, be you and show people who you are as a human not a sales person.

My question to you is; How much does your pitch need to change?

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Thank you.

Richard Few – Founder at Sales Geek