Self Help

Neuro-Sell - Simon Hazeldine

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Matheus Puppe

· 32 min read

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Here is a summary of the praise for Neuro-Sell:

  • The book teaches neuro-science based techniques to understand buyers’ thinking and influence them on a deeper level than competitors.

  • It builds on principles of neuroscience and shows practical application in real-world selling and interactions.

  • As a professional investor, the neuroscience insights helped the author make more money by understanding people better.

  • The book translates leading-edge neuroscience research into easy steps anyone can take to be a more effective salesperson.

  • It combines the latest research with hard-won experience to introduce “brain-friendly selling” which is essential for creating long-term relationships.

  • By understanding neuroscience insights, the book gives the reader an “unfair advantage” in selling situations.

  • It communicates complex neuroscience in easy to understand, practical terms that can be applied to join the new world of brain-friendly selling.

In summary, the praise highlights that the book applies cutting-edge neuroscience research to provide a practical and effective process for understanding buyers’ brains and influencing them, giving readers an advantage over competitors. It translates neuroscience into accessible steps to improve sales outcomes.

  • Companies are increasingly looking to neuroscience research to better understand how to influence customer decision making and boost sales. Many major companies now have neuroscience programs.

  • The author is a sales professional and consultant who is interested in applying neuroscience insights to improve his own sales performance. He does not claim to be a neuroscientist, but has researched neuroscience concepts to interpret them for sales applications.

  • The goal is to help salespeople adopt approaches that are “brain-friendly” and maximize receptiveness to their messages. Understanding how the brain works can give salespeople an advantage over those with less neuroscience knowledge.

  • Ethics are important - the goal should be helping customers make decisions that truly benefit them, not manipulation. Persuading ethically and building satisfied, referring customers ensures long-term success. Skills can be abused but should be shared to help others.

  • Sales has always been challenging but competition and economic factors have increased pressures on salespeople in recent decades. Many industries now focus on services/solutions rather than just products. Personal selling remains an important but expensive marketing method.

  • Traditional sales methods like cold calling are becoming less effective as customers are harder to reach and convince. Companies are looking for new ways to maximize their sales force.

  • The book discusses applying neuroscience research to sales in a way called “brain-friendly selling.” Understanding how customers’ brains work can help salespeople craft more persuasive messages.

  • Most cognitive activity and decision-making occurs unconsciously, not consciously. Emotions also strongly influence decisions. The emotional centers of the brain developed earlier and have more influence than rational/logical centers.

  • New brain scanning technologies have led to greater insights into how the brain functions during decision-making. Salespeople can use this knowledge to influence customers by appealing to unconscious thought processes and emotions, not just logical reasoning. Understanding how 95% of thinking occurs unconsciously can provide a key competitive advantage.

So in summary, the passage discusses how traditional sales approaches are becoming less effective, and how applying insights from neuroscience research into unconscious decision-making and the role of emotions can help improve sales performance through a approach called “brain-friendly selling.”

  • The chapter provides an overview of the human brain’s structure to help sales professionals understand how the brain functions when making decisions.

  • The key point is that the human brain consists of three parts - the reptilian brain (old brain), emotional brain (mid-brain), and rational brain (new brain).

  • The reptilian brain is the oldest part and controls basic survival functions like breathing and heartbeat. It prioritizes avoiding pain/danger and seeks comfort. This part can trigger fight or flight responses.

  • The emotional brain is where emotions are generated and instinctive behaviors directed. A key area is the amygdala which detects danger and triggers fear responses. This part provides true, instinctive reactions.

  • The rational brain is the newer cortex area responsible for higher reasoning. It can override or modify responses from the other parts of the brain.

  • Understanding how these three brains work will help sales professionals craft messages and processes that are “brain-friendly” to maximize receptiveness and positive responses from customers.

  • The amygdala is part of the limbic system and triggers fear reactions when it detects potential threats. Once a threat is assessed to not be real, it signals the body to relax.

  • The amygdala has more influence over the rational cortex than vice versa. It can dominate and control thinking through emotional arousal.

  • This is important for sales because customers’ decisions are often unconscious and influenced more by emotions than rational thinking.

  • The cortex is responsible for complex thought processes like analyzing, interpreting, thinking, speaking, learning, remembering and decision making. It has four main functions: sensing information, integrating it, creating new ideas/plans, and executing those plans.

  • The brain has two hemispheres that constantly share information via the corpus callosum. Each hemisphere has mostly mirrored functions but may specialize in certain skills.

  • In general, the left hemisphere is more analytical, logical, precise while the right hemisphere is more holistic, emotional, able to see patterns/relationships. But the division is not absolute and both hemispheres work together integrated networks.

  • The passage describes introducing a brain-friendly selling process in chapter 8 but first explores the buying process and buying brain in chapter 4.

  • Many salespeople and companies don’t have a defined sales process or their process isn’t aligned with the customer’s buying process. Their process is oriented toward their own aims rather than the customer’s perspective.

  • For maximum success, the sales process should match and align with the customer’s buying process. Understanding the process the customer goes through when moving toward a purchase decision and aligning the sales approach accordingly puts the focus on the customer.

  • The customer is the most important person in the interaction, as they have the money and will make the final decision. Aligning the sales process with the customer’s buying process provides the best customer experience and maximizes the chances of a sale.

  • The chapter will focus on understanding the customer’s buying process so the sales process can be structured to match it from the customer’s perspective.

  • Customers typically follow a buying process when making a significant purchase, even if they are not consciously aware of it. This involves identifying a problem or need, researching options, evaluating solutions, selecting a supplier, and evaluating the purchase.

  • Salespeople should align their sales process with the customer’s buying process, providing what the customer needs at each stage. This makes the sale much easier.

  • If the customer doesn’t have a formal buying process, the salesperson should elicit it through questions to make it more conscious. This helps both parties.

  • It’s best for the salesperson to get involved as early as possible in the customer’s buying process, such as at the need identification stage, to shape their understanding and influence the purchase.

  • While customers may see themselves as rational decision-makers, much of the brain activity that influences buying decisions is unconscious and emotional. The primitive parts of the brain can react quickly to stimuli.

  • The brain’s core functions are focused on survival - avoiding danger and gaining rewards. These instincts still influence modern decision-making and behavior, so salespeople should account for this.

  • The human brain is constantly seeking to minimize danger and maximize reward. This instinct to avoid danger/pain and seek reward is a deeply ingrained evolutionary drive that helps ensure survival.

  • While modern society poses few genuine threats, the brain’s “avoid danger” response is still active and can be triggered by situations perceived as threatening, like public speaking, meeting strangers, or fear of being conned in a sales interaction.

  • When the threat response is triggered, resources are diverted from rational thinking to more primitive survival modes. This makes decision-making difficult and favors cautious responses.

  • The brain seeks rewards like food, sex, social bonding, approval, achievement and certainty. During buying decisions, customers’ brains will consciously and unconsciously weigh whether options ease pain/problems or provide rewards.

  • The brain forms “neural maps” or mental frameworks to efficiently organize knowledge and perceptions. These maps allow rapid, automatic responses but can also inhibit new ideas if they don’t fit existing maps. When processing new concepts, the brain tries to link them to past experiences stored in its maps.

So in summary, sales success requires understanding how the brain’s avoidance of danger and seeking of rewards shapes customer decision-making at both conscious and unconscious levels, through the lens of their existing mental frameworks and perceptions.

The book explores an approach called adaptive selling. This involves flexibly tailoring one’s sales approach based on four key factors:

  1. The nature of the selling situation - such as industry specifics, size of the sale, etc.

  2. The stage of the customer’s buying process - understanding the typical stages (need identification, searching solutions, evaluation, etc.) and aligning the sales approach accordingly.

  3. The customer’s specific interests and needs in relation to the product/service.

  4. The customer’s personality and buying style - adjusting questioning, presentation, closing based on their behavioral preferences and feedback.

Research has shown adaptive selling is effective, improves sales performance, and that salespeople prefer this approach. It acknowledges that both reason and emotion influence decision making. By adapting based on the customer and situation, the salesperson can create the right connection and align their message to help move the customer through their buying process.

  • It is important for salespeople to understand where customers are in their buying process and not make proposals too early before understanding their needs.

  • Sales proposals should be tailored to each individual customer’s specific interests, needs, challenges, objectives, etc. based on thorough understanding of their unique situation.

  • There are generally five categories of buyers - senior managers, technical buyers, operational/functional buyers, legal buyers, and procurement buyers. Salespeople should adapt their approach based on the specific role and interests of the buyer type.

  • Each buyer type will have differing priorities - e.g. senior managers care more about strategy, technical buyers care about product fit, procurement cares about price but also other factors.

  • Individual customer personalities and buying styles vary greatly. Salespeople should observe customer cues, classify their personality preference, and adapt their selling style accordingly to best suit how each individual customer prefers to buy. Understanding personality differences is key to sales success.

Here is a summary of the key points about the PRISM model of human behavior and adaptive selling according to the passage:

  • PRISM is a comprehensive online neuroscience-based behavioral profiling model that can be used to improve sales performance among other areas.

  • It is based on the latest research in neuroscience about how the brain works and influences personality and behavior. Factors like brain architecture, neurotransmitter levels, and encoded behavioral preferences all contribute to behavior.

  • The PRISM model focuses on four quadrants that represent different areas of the brain and the interactions between them. It also looks at the effects of chemicals like dopamine, estrogen, testosterone, and serotonin on behavior.

  • People exhibit consistent behavioral preferences over time based on their unique brain development and experiences. PRISM aims to provide insights into a person’s behavioral tendencies and how they perceive the world.

  • Understanding a customer’s behavioral preferences using PRISM can help salespeople adapt their selling approach and style to maximize their influence and shape customers’ perceptions in a beneficial way.

So in summary, the PRISM model provides a neuroscience-based framework that salespeople can use to better understand customers and adapt their selling approach according to each individual’s unique behavioral tendencies.

  • The PRISM model provides a framework for visualizing how the brain is organized into four quadrants based on its anatomical structure and lobes.

  • Each quadrant represents a different region of the brain and is associated with the influence of specific neurotransmitters or hormones on behavior.

  • The green quadrant involves high noradrenaline and dopamine, and is associated with behaviors like unconventionality, spontaneity, creativity, etc.

  • The blue quadrant involves high estrogen levels and behaviors like caring, nurturing, sympathy, ideals.

  • The red quadrant involves high testosterone and behaviors like competitiveness, directness, decisiveness.

  • The gold quadrant involves high serotonin and behaviors like conscientiousness, caution, orderliness.

  • People tend to display behaviors associated with one or more quadrants, and understanding this helps adapt sales approaches to different “customer colors”. For example, green customers enjoy novelty and creativity in sales meetings.

So in summary, the PRISM model categorizes behaviors based on hypothesized links between brain regions, chemicals and traits, to help understand customer behaviors and tailor sales approaches.

Here are the key points summarizing the chapter:

  • PRISM behavioral profiling identifies 4 main behavioral types (Green, Blue, Red, Gold) based on brain structure and activities. It helps understand how people perceive and interact with the world differently.

  • Behavior results from genetics and life experiences, which develop different “mental muscles”. PRISM allows understanding different profiling “maps” that show how people prefer to process information.

  • Each person’s profile shows their default way of interacting with the world. The salesperson should primarily focus on adapting to the customer’s dominant profile.

  • To adapt effectively, the salesperson should observe, classify, and adapt. They should notice behavioral cues from the customer, identify their profile, and adjust their selling style accordingly.

  • Behavioral cues come from non-verbal behavior, verbal behavior, and the customer’s working environment. These provide clues about the customer’s preferences to help the salesperson classify their likely profile.

  • By adapting their behavior to be more like the customer’s preferences, the salesperson can minimize tension and maximize the chance of a successful sale by triggering the customer’s “towards” response.

Here is a summary of the behavioral cues presented:

Low/Steady (Blue):

  • May walk towards you at a steady pace and greet warmly
  • Slow, contained gestures when talking
  • Intermittent eye contact, sometimes looking at floor
  • Softly spoken, warm and agreeable listening style
  • Photos of family and friends, warm and homely environment
  • Loose personal organization

Fast/Energetic (Red):

  • May march purposefully and make direct eye contact
  • Firm handshake
  • More contained posture but lots of hand gestures when talking
  • Gets straight to point without small talk
  • Direct and forceful communication style
  • May interrupt
  • Signs of status or power like large desk

Deliberate/Controlled (Gold):

  • May walk steadily and shake hands briefly
  • Slow, step-by-step style
  • Closed posture, reserved movements, few gestures
  • Discussion focused on facts and data
  • Precise but measured speaking style
  • Functional, tidy office with graphs/charts

The summary highlights the key differences in behaviors exhibited by individuals with low/steady (Blue), fast/energetic (Red), and deliberate/controlled (Gold) profiles. It focuses on nonverbal cues like walking style, gestures, eye contact and organization as well as communication tendencies.

  • The Neuro-Sell process consists of 8 stages split into 5 phases aimed at helping customers make decisions that benefit them through an involved, customer-centric approach.

  • The first phase is preparation before meeting the customer. The key stage is “Consider” which involves planning and preparation.

  • Important to observe customer behavioural cues and classify their colour preference (Green, Blue, Red, Gold) to adapt your approach accordingly.

  • Phrases are provided for each colour preference to use in your interactions.

  • The goal is to subtly adapt your natural behaviour to match the customer’s preference to reduce tension and build rapport, not completely change your personality.

  • Future chapters will cover the remaining phases: maximizing customer comfort, understanding customer needs, effective presentations, and closing the deal.

  • The 8 stages provide a guide for a brain-friendly sales process from first impressions to commitment, grounded in neuroscience and proven in practice. The focus is on empowering the customer in the decision process.

In summary, the passage outlines the Neuro-Sell methodology for a customer-centric, brain-friendly sales process focused on understanding and adapting to customers to help them make beneficial decisions through buyer-involvement at every stage.

The passage emphasizes the importance of thorough preparation and planning when conducting sales meetings or interactions with customers. Proper research and planning helps maximize the chances of a successful outcome.

Some key points made:

  • Research the customer’s business by reviewing their website and learning about their industry and operations. Being knowledgeable about the customer demonstrates interest and helps build rapport.

  • Stay informed about trends and developments in the customer’s industry. This establishes credibility and expertise when discussing issues with them.

  • Know your own products and services inside and out so you can confidently answer any questions from the customer. Lacking knowledge could make the customer uneasy.

  • Set clear, measurable goals for each meeting focused on advancing the sale or closing the deal. Poorly defined goals waste time. Specific goals help focus one’s attention to increase chances of success.

  • Research people you will meet to learn their roles and tailor your approach accordingly. Understanding decision makers is important.

Proper preparation through research on the customer, industry, products/services, goals and individuals involved helps maximize the productive use of time with customers and improves the ratio of meetings to closed sales. It also builds confidence and establishes credibility as an authority.

  • Researching contacts on LinkedIn before customer meetings provides useful background information like career history, professional interests, and connections that can help you understand their perspective and identify discussion topics.

  • When arriving at a customer’s premises, observe materials in the lobby for information that could be helpful like magazines, reports, marketing materials, photos. This can give insights. Don’t sit down before the meeting - stay observant.

  • Be prepared to adapt your approach based on the customer’s probable behavioral style (e.g. gold, blue, red, green) as identified through research. However, remain flexible in case their style differs or others join the meeting.

  • Download the free “Neuro-Sell” pre-call planner from the website to guide effective planning before each customer interaction. Thorough preparation establishes a foundation for a successful sales visit.

  • The next steps focus on connecting with the customer and making them feel psychologically comfortable through mirroring behaviors, body language, handshake, personal space and other techniques rooted in behavioral science research. This aims to reduce perceived threats and build rapport.

The body language and vocal tone that salespeople use to mirror and match their customers helps build unconscious rapport and comfort. Studies show humans communicate much through nonverbal cues than words. Mirroring a person’s posture, gestures, movements, voice pace, pitch and emotions allows for a deeper sense of mutual liking and understanding via mirror neurons.

For salespeople, they should consciously mirror customers as soon as possible to send an unconscious message of familiarity and rapport. This should be done subtly and respectfully by gradually mimicking the customer’s behaviors. As the salesperson becomes more similar, the customer will increasingly like them. This helps make the customer feel at ease and receptive.

Additionally, salespeople can provide a sense of control and certainty to customers. Outlining the process that will be followed and stressing that proposals will only be made if the salesperson thinks they can genuinely help reduces concerns of a “canned pitch.” Emphasizing that the customer remains in control of the decision also gives them a sense of status and reward. Certainty is similarly rewarding to the brain, so clarifying what will happen reduces tension. Together, these strategies help get the customer in an open and comfortable frame of mind.

Here is a summary of the key points about using chunking down questions:

  • Chunking down questions help you dig deeper into the customer’s perspective to gain a more detailed understanding of their needs, thinking, criteria, etc.

  • They encourage the customer to reflect more internally and think about the specifics underlying their statements.

  • Examples include probing follow-up questions that start with “what”, “how”, “why” to better understand customer definitions, conclusions, evidence, experiences, impacts, etc.

  • This helps uncover more pieces of the “jigsaw puzzle” to build a complete picture of the customer situation.

  • It can help customers become aware of unconscious neural maps or schemas influencing their thinking. Spreading these “maps” out allows for perspective and insight.

  • Chunking down questions are inwardly focused to trigger customer insights and “Aha!” moments by disrupting normal patterns of thought.

  • This can help customers see problems and solutions in new ways by thinking differently with activation in brain areas like the anterior superior temporal gyrus.

The key idea is that chunking down questions provide a technique to dig deeper into the customer’s perspective and thinking processes to achieve a richer understanding for both parties. It can help uncover insights that lead to better problem solving and decision making.

  • The Neuro-Sell questioning map provides a structured framework for questioning customers to help them understand challenges and opportunities, and motivate them to take action.

  • The first stage is understanding the customer’s current situation by asking questions about their business, market, strategy, etc.

  • The second stage is understanding their past circumstances to get deeper context and build rapport.

  • The key third stage is identifying problems and pain points. Questions should uncover financial, strategic and personal costs of the current problem to maximize the customer’s awareness of pain and motivation to change.

  • The goal is to help the customer recognize the genuine impact of the problem to motivate them to remove the pain by taking action. While this could be seen as manipulative, the argument is it helps customers face reality and take beneficial actions they may otherwise avoid.

  • Brainstorming all possible customer problems helps attune your mind to identify issues and questions to uncover specific pains. Uncovering pain maximizes the “stay away” motivation for the customer to seek a solution.

The passage discusses techniques for identifying customers’ problems and motivating them to take action. It recommends developing a “pain list” of common problems experienced by other companies in the same industry or situation. Bringing up relevant problems from the pain list can help establish credibility and uncover additional issues.

It also suggests focusing the discussion on:

  1. Understanding the customer’s current situation and history
  2. Exploring the problems causing “pain”
  3. Determining the desired goal or outcome of resolving the problems
  4. Emphasizing the “stay away pain” of not taking action by discussing potential negative impacts over the short, medium and long term
  5. Monetizing the pain to increase customers’ perception of how much the problems are costing them

The goal is to motivate customers by strengthening both the “stay away pain” of inaction and the “towards reward” of achieving their desired outcome. This can help overcome inertia and prompt customers to take action by perceiving pain as sufficiently strong and rewards as sufficiently compelling.

Per year = £78,000 in lost business would be a significant loss of revenue for most small and medium-sized businesses. Bringing up potential monetary losses helps emphasize the “pain” a customer may feel if they do not resolve their issues. It is important to outline potential short, medium, and long-term consequences, both financially and personally/emotionally, to really drive home this pain. Equally important is to highlight the rewards and benefits the customer could see by resolving their problems, such as increased revenue, meeting business goals, improved employee satisfaction, etc. to provide strong motivation towards taking action. Framing the solution positioning in terms of gains versus losses and ensuring the potential gains far outweigh any costs makes the decision to purchase much more appealing and logical for the customer.

  • Presenting the more attractive “deluxe” version first taps into the brain’s instinct to move towards rewards. Describing a trimmed-down version then triggers the fear of loss instinct.

  • The questioning process switches the customer’s brain between the “stay away from pain” and “towards reward” motivations several times to generate momentum towards taking action.

  • Activating the “stay away from pain” response draws resources away from rational thinking. It’s important to end with positive “towards reward” messages to put the customer in a receptive mood.

  • “Priming” involves using words recently discussed to unconsciously influence thinking. Priming the customer with desired benefits positively prepares them to receive the sales pitch.

  • Creating curiosity is also very powerful, as it puts the brain in a state where it wants to know the answer. The sales process should invoke curiosity throughout.

  • The “CCAPP” checklist confirms budget/criteria are understood, key stakeholders are identified, pains/pleasures are agreed upon before presenting the solution.

  • It’s a mistake to think customers make purely logical decisions. Emotions intertwine with reasoning. The sales message must appeal to both conscious/rational and unconscious/emotional minds.

  • Parts of the brain like the reptilian and limbic systems act as a guardian, filtering information to prioritize survival-related threats and dangers. They respond quickly without much thought.

  • These primitive parts of the brain focus first on avoiding pain and danger over obtaining rewards. They see the world in black and white terms of good/bad, approach/avoid.

  • The rational brain involves more analytical thinking, problem-solving, consideration of possibilities, and logical decision-making. It can delay gratification and consider ethics.

  • Memory and past experiences stored in the “database brain” influence perceptions and decisions. Recalling inaccuracies can hinder sales pitches if beliefs are based on wrong data.

  • It is important to capture a customer’s attention at the start of a sales pitch through novelty, curiosities, surprises, provocative questions or props. This stimulates dopamine and norepinephrine to focus their attention.

  • Building curiosity throughout the pitch by revealing key points gradually, using techniques like acronyms or numerating upcoming points, helps maintain engagement.

The passage discusses how to capture customers’ attention and keep their brains engaged during a sales pitch. Some key points:

  • Trigger the release of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine to make customers alert and focused. Small surprises like mysteries, puzzles, questions can do this subtly.

  • Too much novelty could trigger anxiety, so don’t be wildly unusual. Gradually increase novelty every few minutes.

  • Chunk the presentation into bite-sized steps for cognitive ease. Outline the process upfront for comfort and certainty.

  • Provide clarity to minimize brain’s energy usage in decision-making. Limit variables and keep it simple. Explain concepts at a level customers can understand.

  • Start by recognizing customers’ existing knowledge and beliefs to build rapport. Link new ideas to their current reality for understanding.

  • Use a “message house” structure - one main message as the roof, three key supporting points as walls. Limit information chunks for mental processing.

The summary emphasizes using neuroscience concepts like curiosity, novelty, clarity and existing knowledge to engage customers’ brains during a sales pitch for better understanding and decision-making.

  • When preparing a sales pitch, it’s important to have solid facts and proof points to back up your main message and key points. This provides certainty and reassurance for the customer’s brain.

  • Contrast is effective - contrast the customer’s current situation with problems to the desired future situation with your product/service solving the problems. This provides motivation to move away from problems and towards rewards.

  • Concrete examples and visuals help make abstract concepts more understandable for the customer’s brain. Things are easier to grasp when they are tangible rather than intangible.

  • The customer’s brain prefers certainty over uncertainty. Providing reliable proof and a clear differentiated message versus competitors gives the brain confidence in the proposed solution. Understanding the customer’s business at a strategic level through frameworks like “strategic bridges” also builds trust and credibility.

Human beings have an inherent need for certainty and comfort. We seek routines and familiarity in our daily lives. This extends to our preferences for branded goods that provide predictable experiences.

When making purchasing decisions, customers feel uncertainty and want to minimize risk. As a supplier, you must communicate certainty to put customers at ease. Providing social proof through testimonials and case studies from similar past clients helps show customers you can reliably deliver as promised. Client lists, guarantees, third-party endorsements and pilot programs also give customers confidence by reducing perceived risk.

Telling compelling stories is another powerful way to build certainty. Stories activate corresponding brain regions in listeners, allowing storytellers to effectively plant ideas, emotions and perspectives. Using stories gives customers mental experiences that increase comfort and make them more inclined to purchase from a supplier they feel certain can meet their needs. The discomfort of uncertainty is assuaged through strategic communication of certainty drivers and storytelling.

  • An fMRI study was conducted where 12 people listened to an audio recording while in an fMRI scanner. The results showed similar brain activity between the speaker and the listeners.

  • This suggests that when someone tells a story, the neural activity between their brains synchronizes, increasing understanding, rapport, and connection. The listeners can feel and empathize with what the storyteller felt.

  • When listening to a story, the brain relates it to its own experiences to connect and make sense of the narrative. Stories engage the brain and draw it into the story world. Readers of fiction stories have similar brain activity as if directly experiencing the events.

  • Well-crafted stories about customers can stimulate the reader’s brain in similar ways. The brain does not distinguish much between reading about an experience versus directly experiencing it.

So in summary, the study found that telling stories synchronizes neural activity between brains and allows listeners to feel what the storyteller felt, improving connection and understanding.

  • A business was struggling with sales and in a difficult situation. They worked with a sales consulting firm to transform their sales capabilities.

  • As a result of improving their sales processes, their sales pipeline grew and their bottom-line margin increased by 3%.

  • The business owner, Ms. X, can now be confident in the growth of the business and can realize her dreams of expanding, as sales are performing better.

  • Stories like this are impactful because they appeal to both the conscious and unconscious mind. The story takes the listener on a journey from discomfort to comfort, making a lasting impression.

  • The consultant encourages sharing success stories to inspire clients and prospects. Stories help people understand and remember key points.

  • The consultant’s speeches utilize real-life stories to illustrate points and educate and entertain audiences. People tend to best remember the stories.

  • The goal in selling is to convince prospects that you are the best supplier to meet their needs, and that your products/services will solve their problems. The final step is to get a commitment from the prospect to close the deal.

  • Always ask for the business at the end of a sales meeting, either by getting an order or moving the sale forward in a clear, positive way. Leaving without asking is something non-professionals do.

  • Limit options to 3 maximum when possible. Too many choices can overwhelm customers and lead to indecision. Research shows people are less likely to buy when faced with too many options.

  • Being memorable is important when you may not get an immediate decision. Start and end strongly to prime and reinforce your message. Being unusual, repetitively emphasizing key points, and using emotion can help make you memorable.

  • Keep presentations simple with clear explanations, whitespace, and omitting irrelevant information. This conserves the customer’s mental energy for decision making.

  • Change things up every 5 minutes to recapture attention using techniques like changing slides, moving around, handing things to the customer, etc. This activates their orientation reflex.

  • Use metaphors to help customers understand complex ideas by relating them to things more familiar. This provides a mental shortcut.

The overall message is to use brain-friendly techniques like simplifying choices, being memorable, maintaining engagement, and using metaphors to make the sales process as easy as possible for the customer’s decision making brain.

  • A joint venture broker acted as a middle person between two companies to help them work together, in return for a percentage of the increased business.

  • They would use metaphors like “We are a dating agency for businesses!” to describe their role in connecting companies and facilitating partnerships.

  • Using clients’ own metaphors in your pitch, like referencing their goal of something running “like clockwork”, helps reinforce ideas in a memorable way for the client’s brain since it uses their own framing.

  • Incorporating multiple senses (sight, sound, touch, sometimes smell/taste) makes a pitch more engaging for the client’s brain. This includes visual aids, vocal variety, tactile elements, and occasionally even food.

  • The brain associates things spatially, so a presenter can anchor problems to one side of the room and solutions to the other to motivate clients toward the reward and away from pain. Walking between areas reinforces the transition between past and future.

  • Leaving a proposal or plan open-ended as a “draft” invites the client to contribute and complete it, rather than just approving a static document, making them feel more involved in the process.

  • The passage discusses how including a detailed action plan or summary in a proposal can increase the customer’s sense of involvement and ownership in the project.

  • It provides a real-world example action plan table from a sales training proposal. The table lists all the specific action steps, who is responsible for each step, and projected timelines.

  • Having this level of detail gives the customer confidence that everything will happen as agreed. It also includes evaluations to check progress, which further boosts confidence.

  • Leaving some steps as “incomplete” by not checking them off yet creates a sense of progress but also unfinished business. This activates the customer’s motivation to see the project through to completion, drawing them in.

  • Research on loyalty programs found a similar effect - people were more motivated to complete a partially-started program than one that was purely proposed but not started. The action plan engages the customer’s brain in a similar way.

  • Body language and non-verbal cues from customers can provide unconscious signals about their level of comfort or discomfort. Small inconsistencies between verbal and non-verbal communication should be noted.

  • Key areas to observe include the forehead, eyes, mouth, neck, hands and arms. Furrowed brows, tense lips, neck scratching or rubbing, and hand-wringing can indicate stress or uncertainty.

  • Pupil dilation, relaxed facial muscles, chin rubbing, and an open posture generally signal engagement and consideration. Changes in non-verbal behavior are especially meaningful.

  • Context is important for interpreting cues. Look for “clusters” of signs rather than isolating single behaviors. Pay attention to incongruence between what is said and body language displayed. The goal is to identify any unease or concerns customers may be hesitant to voice directly.

  • By closely observing these subtle non-verbal signals, one can gain deeper insight into a customer’s true feelings and comfort level in order to address any potential issues or concerns. This improves the chances of a successful interaction and sale.

  • Selling and negotiating are distinct but linked stages in the sales process. Selling involves establishing need/want and matching benefits, while negotiating determines purchase terms.

  • It is important to focus on three stages - planning/preparing, selling, then negotiating. Strong planning lays the foundation for effective selling which strengthens negotiating position.

  • Many salespeople do not plan well and get pulled into negotiation too early, weakening their position. Experienced buyers will intentionally make salespeople uncomfortable to gain leverage.

  • Salespeople are often taught to “keep customers happy” but this works against them in negotiation. Customers will create discomfort to get concessions from salespeople who want to feel comfortable again.

  • To negotiate better, salespeople need to recognize customers’ psychology tactics and “feel comfortable feeling uncomfortable” by not conceding just to reduce discomfort. Strong selling communicates value and improves negotiating abilities and outcomes.

  • Selling and negotiating are two distinct skill sets, though related. Selling involves persuasion and justifying, while negotiating involves stating positions, making and weighing proposals, and demands.

  • Salespeople tend to be more comfortable with selling than negotiating. They receive more sales training than negotiation training. Buyers typically receive only negotiation training.

  • In negotiations, salespeople tend to do too much information giving from their own perspective rather than gathering information from the buyer’s perspective. Buyers are better at information gathering, giving them an advantage.

  • To negotiate successfully, you need to understand the other side’s objectives and priorities, not just push your own agenda. Salespeople often fail to do this.

  • Negotiations typically involve five stages - planning, discussing/arguing, signalling/proposing, bargaining, and agreement. Effective preparation and understanding each stage is important for success.

  • Physical nervousness in negotiations is actually the body preparing itself to perform well under stress, not true fear. Embracing this feeling can give a performance edge over being uncomfortable with it.

  • Effective bargaining involves giving concessions to get concessions in return. Do not give anything away for free. Exchange value for equal or greater value.

  • Closing is the final stage where agreement is reached and the deal is made official.

  • Planning and preparation is the most important stage. Up to 90% of success depends on quality planning. Key elements include objectives, negotiation parameters like ideal/realistic/minimum outcomes, and negotiable areas.

  • Different behavioral preferences negotiate differently - Greens like relationships, Blues take time and want trust, Reds want control, Golds need thorough information. Adapt your style accordingly.

  • Negotiation styles range from win/lose which is confrontational to win/win which aims for mutual benefit over the long term.

  • Power perception is important - appear powerful while keeping the other side comfortable to avoid triggering threat responses that hinder rational negotiation. The goal is a delicate balance of power tipped in your favor within a comfortable negotiation.

The passage discusses how to build confidence and maximize comfort for the customer during a negotiation. It recommends avoiding behaviors that could irritate or stimulate the customer’s emotional reactions, such as interrupting, not listening, being confrontational, dismissive, sarcastic, etc.

It also provides tips for using non-verbal cues to build a perception of power without threatening the customer. This includes adopting “high-power poses” like standing with hands on hips and keeping an upright, relaxed posture. Research found that holding a high-power pose for two minutes can increase testosterone and decrease cortisol in the body, physically making one feel more powerful.

The passage recommends using techniques before and during negotiations to subtly exert control and dominance, like making the other person wait, choosing the meeting location/time, using polite requests to direct their behavior, and maintaining powerful body language throughout such as expansive seating positions and gestures. The overall goal is establishing a sense of confidence and calm authority without provoking defensiveness from the customer.

  • Steepling is when the palms touch in front of the chest, resembling a church steeple. It signifies confidence in what you are saying. High status people often use this gesture.

  • Slow down your movements and gestures to appear unhurried and in control.

  • Use a steady, commanding tone of voice with downward inflections rather than upward questioning inflections.

  • Downward palm gestures when making statements can drive your point home more than open palms. Combine with downward voice inflection.

  • Apply time pressure subtly if you think the other party has a deadline to encourage concessions.

  • Be wary of the “good cop, bad cop” technique where negotiators take opposing friendly/hostile roles to manipulate you into an favorable offer.

  • Various verbal and non-verbal cues like pitch, response time, eye contact can potentially indicate lying but must be considered together, as one sign alone may not prove deception.

  • Effective negotiation techniques include setting objectives, listening well, clarifying positions, finding underlying needs, summarizing progress, taking breaks when tense, exchanging low-cost concessions, and getting agreements in writing.

  • Applying the techniques through practice can rewire the brain through self-directed neuroplasticity over time to improve sales performance.

  • The passage discusses applying principles from the book about neuroplasticity and PRISM Brain Mapping to develop your brain as a highly effective sales instrument through continued practice.

  • It recommends examining your unique PRISM profile to leverage strengths and manage weaknesses. Additional resources are available at

  • The author is interested in hearing success stories from applying what was learned. He is also available for speaking engagements or consulting to help organizations apply “brain-friendly selling.”

  • Contact details are provided for booking the author or getting additional assistance. Readers are encouraged to continue practicing good “neuro-selling.

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About Matheus Puppe