August 14, 2017


Do you want to have a greater influence on people and earn significantly more money, without doing a lot of extra work? Perhaps it’s time to revamp your selling style. And I am going to suggest doing it in a way you might not have heard of. It’s going to require a bit of a shift for you, unless you majored in psychology.

Now, the principles I am about to share with you stem from advanced research in neuroscience, and are not common knowledge in the sales profession or taught at many sales training workshops. However, I am going to make them really easy for you to understand, so you can apply the information right away.

Sound good? Then let’s continue.

Forget the appeal to logic and reason — sell to the old brain!

sales training workshops for old brain sales

If only selling were as easy as showing a list of features and benefits, getting the buyer to agree rationally that your product or service is the right match, and collecting payment. Many sales training workshops focus on this approach, but this is a mistake.

First, if it were this easy I would be out of a job, since selling would be a no-brainer and I wouldn’t have to train anyone how to do it at my sales training workshops. Second, anyone who has spent more than 10 minutes in this line of work will quickly realize humans do not decide things on a rational basis. They might say they do, and there are certainly buyers who are more rational than others, but the fact remains that all humans buy emotionally. Therefore, even if you have the best price and product and have spelled out every possible reason why the buyer should close with you, you will still lose deals to competitors with inferior offerings. Those buyers are connecting better emotionally with the other vendors, product, or service.

Fortunately, you can use this to your benefit when your product is higher priced or has any other disadvantage compared with another firm’s: sell to the old brain and you can still land the deal.

Interesting, right?

So, what exactly is this “old brain?”

In the study of human evolution, current science holds that our initial brains were tuned towards survival only – so-called fight or flight reactions held the most sway and we pretty much ran on instinct. The “old brain” is thought to be comprised of two parts: the oldest and deepest segment is the reptilian brain, without which we couldn’t survive at all; and the second is the emotional brain. The brain which developed later is the “new” or “rational” brain and is the one which, for example, understands this text in a logical manner.

old brain sales training workshops 2

It has been found that when you address the old brain, you can directly tap into those primal, instinctive urges and overcome even the most rational arguments in the new brain. This is not hard to see in action: advertisers use semi-naked people, heart-stopping car racing sequences, dancing, bright colors, intense music, and other elements which have little to do with a product but which stir up emotions and cause people to buy.

As B2B salespeople, our buyers are not exempt from this. By addressing their old brains rather than focusing strictly on the logical reasons why we are better, we can speed up the sales cycle and close a lot more deals. Isn’t that interesting? More sales training workshops should teach this!

Focus on these tricks to reach the old brain

The old brain has been found to respond best in accordance with these six factors or stimuli:

  • Self-centered: it only cares about what your product or service can do for it.
  • Simplicity: ideas must be easy to grasp
  • Selective attention span: it tends to tune out the middle actions and speech and pay very close attention to the beginning and end.
  • Visual: images dominate the old brain, rather than the significance of words
  • Emotion: excitement and engagement wake the old brain up

As you can see, reaching the old brain means keeping things as simple, emotional, and visually stimulating as possible. Do your pitches fit the bill?

How the old brain views the world

Here are other ways to “Wake Up” the buyer’s emotional brain and shorten sales cycle times. My team and I currently teach these during our sales training workshops and believe me, they work.

CONFIRMATION BIAS

The Old Brain looks for information that agrees with what it already knows and ignores information that would change its mind.

Practical Application: Never try to change a prospect’s mind by arguing against their current choice. Instead, seek agreement and confirmation that they need your product.

NEGATIVITY BIAS

Bad things are much more easily remembered than good.

Practical Application: Ask buyers what they DO LIKE about their current vendor. That will spring the negatives to mind, as they are more easily remembered.

LOSS AVERSION BIAS

The Old Brain is five times more worried about the pain of loss than the pleasure of gain. You must totally convince the buyer about the very low risk of failure of your solution.

Practical Application: Your ROI must be SIGNIFICANT.

ANCHORING BIAS

The Old Brain creates information anchors to be able to make rapid future judgments. There is a tendency to look for issues in subsequent information.

Practical Application: If you can, always be the FIRST COMPANY to present.

CONSISTENCY BIAS

The Old Brain likes to stay consistent with previous decisions. It’s easier to make a large commitment when the Old Brain has made a series of small commitments of the same type.

Practical Application: Ask questions like “Wouldn’t you agree?” periodically to get the buyer into the habit of agreeing with you. Also, at the end of every customer interaction, suggest and CONFIRM (CLOSE) THE NEXT STEP.

Using the above neuro-linguistic programming principles, you will get much more agreement from your buyers, and close more deals.

What do you feel would happen if you applied this to your business and relationships going forward? It might get you the results you want, right?

Now that I have hopefully encouraged you to improve your selling style by appealing to the old brain, it’s time to take the next step. Fill out this brief form and YOUR company will be on the road to greater success through Asher sales training workshops and other services!