1. Why should companies be interested in Neuro-Sales & -Marketing?
Marco Giannecchini (MG): Thanks for this great question, Gert.
I think we should give right from the beginning a definition commonly used on what NeuroSales & Marketing (NSM) is.
In a nutshell: NSM is basically a combination of insights from different neuroscience branches (such as neuropharmacology, neuroanatomy and brain diagnostics, such as MRI, CT and so on), from the sciences which study our behaviors (so called behavioral science, which deals with the psychological aspects of our behavior in complex situations, such as when we want to buy something) and finally from marketing and sales best practices. Coming back to your question: “Why should companies interested in?”
In my view companies can reduce costs / increase sales by aligning better the emotional customers’ needs with the product claims, leveraging on the emotional resonance between customer and company representative.
So emotions are key. Why are emotions so important?
Emotions in the brain of customers play an important role in the buy – decision process (95 % of our decisions are taken on the base of emotions – from our limbic system, a sort of Netflix data bank in our brain in which we store all past memories, feelings,…).
Quoting the psychologist Daniel Kahnemann) > “To buy” means to take a decision, prepared by the subconsciousness(the limbi system) on the base of emotional resonance between buyer and seller and tested by the logical parts of the brain cortex of the buyer and executed in form of a final financial transaction” > At the beginning of the buy decision process “Numbers-facts-data” have a lower impact on the buy decision, on comparison to the anticipated reward for the customers in their limbic system, evocated by the emotional resonance.
As you can imagine the implications are huge for selling methodologies and sales processes, particularly in the B2B sector.
2. How can neurochemical transmitters help salespeople win more business?
Our limbic system creates a predominant customer buy behaviour under the influence of 4 main neurotransmitters / hormones: dopamine, testosterone, serotonin, which lead, according to the LIMBIC MAP model of George Häusel, to 3 main behaviour’s patterns: dominance-driven, stimulance-driven and balance-driven. Mixed behaviours are of course very frequent in the overall population. These behaviours are influenced by the predominant neurochemistry in our brain.
Your question was “how can neurochemical transmitters help salespeople with more business?”
They help both a) in the sales negotiation itself and b) for the intrinsic motivation of salespeople themselves overtime.
Let’s have a look first to a) In my daily consultant work I see that one of biggest challenges of salespeople is to deal with situations in which customers seem “not to be willing to close a deal”.
In my experience this challenge derives mainly from the attitude or mindset of the sales manager her/himself, who is at the beginning of the conversation more worried to win the deal than to create a relationship with the potential buyer.
This is the real main challenge: if you perceive the negotiation as a BATTLE YOU HAVE TO WIN, you’ll automatically lose your potential client, because he/she will perceive your “selling pressure” both from your verbal and non-verbal language and he/she will probably tend to slow down the buying process.
The best approach is therefore: PEOPLE FIRST (limbic needs) – BUSINESS LATER.
That means: Try first to conquer the limbic system of your customer, triggering the production of those neurochemicals he/she wants “to taste in his/her brain” during your conversation, and then move to the business part later.
Let’s have a look to b) You can boost the release of these neurochemicals, creating daily the optimal brain cocktail, by using micro-habits with bio hacks, such as physical exercise, dietary supplements, light exposition,…
What you get is…among others… > intrinsic motivation > a learning attitude > the skill to cope with challenging clients, crisis, unexpected events > a more impactful communication when dealing with customers/teams in a digital communication world.
Also in this case the neuroscience of FLOW (as the psychology of the optimal experience) provides relevant insights like for example the importance of having a 4 phases structure of your working day (INDUCTION – STRUGGLE – RELEASE – RECOVERY) and FLOW mini-habits over time.
To follow this structure is important in order…
* to leave our comfort zone (“our brain is wired for survival not for happiness!”) because we tend to act only if we think that is important for our survival;
* to allocate the right proportion of energy & time, maximising in a short time the production of these neurotrasmitters when we need them
* to recover daily in the proper way, avoiding the feeling to be overwhelmed and finally getting burn out and depression.
3. Where specifically in the selling process will ‘mastering the brain & neurochemicals’ help a salesperson?
Let me put it in a short sentence..Think is OUT – feeling is IN !
In other words many formula from the old school such as the AIDA formula (Attention.Interest.Desire.Action.) or the USP (Unique.Selling.Points.) have no value from the NSM point of view. Why am I saying this?
Let’s recall the limbic map model in the buy decision: buy process are mainly influenced by a specific behavioural mind set of the buyers or customers (basically dominance-, stimulant-, -driven).
So mastering the neurochemicals’ production of your brain and of the customers will help you to develop successful NeuroSalesMarketing funnels which allow you to activate the limbic system of your client and create the desired experience in which the customer anticipate his/her personal reward, connected to your specific product / service.
4. How can a salesperson influence a customer’s mindset to go ahead and buy?
Just to mention few key principles:
* recalling the limbic sales model…
* by analyzing / recognizing the “customer’s limbic emotional needs or pain” right from the beginning of the conversation
* by offering good “pain solvers” (which will be automatically be perceived as “good limbic offers”).
While the limbic system is important at the beginning, the NSM funnel should give to the customer the chance to activate the cortical – related parts of the decision processes afterwards, e.g. by
* presenting the product offer in a structured way
* positioning and differentiating the product from the competitors
As we know from the Neurolinguistics (the branch of linguistics dealing with the relationship between language and the structure and functioning of the brain) words are also powerful communication tools.
5. What 3 tips do you have for organisations wanting to use NeuroSales & marketing to increase sales?
1) identify / build up “limbic personas” (Answer first this question: is your client dominance-driven, stimulant-driven and balance-driven?)
2) build up you sales story on these personas (addressing the typical pains / emotional needs of the targeted customer, designing accordingly your limbic offer)
3) use multisensorial processes.
Instead of trying to convince someone at the begin of a conversation, smart salespeople (in the sense of NSM) should build up first a positive emotional association to company products & services, which let anticipate an emotional reward for the customer limbic system and take care overtime of them.
For example, with the “frebbie funnel”:
1) you offer something for free and get the email address (first positive reward)
2) you invite the customer to a free webinar (second positive reward)
3) you offer a “14-days-free-product trial” to test the offer (with conversion rate which will be probably high)
4) you send regular customer-tailored newsletters to the customer.