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How to Acquire More Customers With Neuromarketing's 3 Brains

  
  
  

It’s not people who make buying decisions - it’s their brains.

3 brains image
Neuromarketing gets us into the decision-making brain. Here’s how it works and what you can do with it to acquire more customers.

THREE BRAINS

Actually, there are three brains involved in the decision-making or buying process and so we must market to all three. Here’s how it is done. I’ll leave the background and fundamentals for the end of the article.

NEUROMARKETING’S SECRET SAUCE
  1. Gain Attention
  2. Maintain Attention
  3. Add Emotion
  4. Give Meaning
  5. Wrap It Up In A Story

1.  HOW TO GAIN ATTENTION
  • Use visuals, not words
  • Use contrast and avoid similarity. Create a clash between options.
  • Focus on what is real and concrete and not on concepts or ideas
  • Employ movement and avoid being static
  • Provide variety and avoid sameness
  • Provoke curiosity
  • Promise rewards
  • Above all, focus on the self-centeredness of your target, not on yourself

EXAMPLE - SALES PRESENTATION
  • Use more visuals and fewer words
    • The selection of a particular typeface can provide a powerful visual
  • Highlight areas that deserve attention
  • Use images and simple words that are easily understood (e.g. do not require the thought-processing involved with concepts)
  • Use movement in the form of:
    • Embedded videos
    • Presenter movement / interaction with audience
    • Slide builds
  • Use multi-media and a variety of formats (Rexi Media)

2.  HOW TO MAINTAIN ATTENTION
(The goal is to maintain an interactive, involved brain.)
  • Continue to use the attention-getting tools, above
  • Expand the variety of presentation devices
  • Create surprise with the unexpected
  • Interrupt the flow, but with relevance
  • Reinforce rewards

EXAMPLE
  • Alternate presentation slides with an appeal to other senses, such as doing a demonstration and having the audience experience a product by touching.
  • Create surprise with an unusual image that makes a statement or supports a fact. (Rexi Media is top notch with creating unusual but relevant images.)
  • Interrupt with relevant questions and challenges.

3.  HOW TO ADD EMOTION

Emotion can have an instantaneous and powerful impact on the decision-making process.

To add emotion, insert relevant events that trigger emotional experiences via the senses (primarily sight), not words or ideas.

EXAMPLE
  • Use visuals that show emotions like fear, anger, security, triumph
  • Use facial features to communicate emotion
  • Include familiar situations to provide context
  • Include music

4.  HOW TO GIVE MEANING
  • Use logic
  • Provide facts
  • Provide analyses
  • Do demonstrations

5.  HOW TO MAXIMIZE IMPACT - TELL A STORY

Stories are memorable, condense input into a few, relevant points, capture the power of emotion, and justify what is felt intuitively. In a word, stories sell to all three brains. Forms of stories include:
  • Case histories
  • Before / After
  • Problem / Solution
  • Slice-of-life
  • Short narratives

EXAMPLE

(One way to begin a presentation)

"Let me show you how a company just like yours overcame incredible odds to regain the coveted top position in its industry…"


HOW TO USE NEUROMARKETING IN YOUR BUSINESS

Short-term vs long-term selling situations
  • If your sales cycle is short and the risk of a bad decision to buy is small, then you will want to focus primarily on gaining attention to stimulate impulse buying.
  • If your sales cycle is long and the risk of a bad decision to buy is great, then you will want to schedule a series of communications that deliver all five steps.

In stressful vs. stress-free situations
  • Because the thinking brain can become short-circuited when in stress (triggering survival instincts), primarily employ the attention-getting tools because they belong to the survival brain, and reinforce with emotion which can trump conceptual thinking.
  • In stress-free situations, apply the tools that give meaning but only after gaining and maintaining attention.

During Trigger Events
  • When your customer is experiencing an emotional trigger event (e.g. lost sales that threaten layoffs), use emotional triggers to relate to the customer’s state of mind in the course of gaining attention and to the emotional relief from the benefit your product or service provides.


BACKGROUND

Neuromarketing helps you understand and responsibly reach the parts of the brain that make the buying decision.

THE THREE BRAIN MODEL

The most efficient model for understanding the brain in terms of its evolutionary history is the famous triune brain theory developed by Paul MacLean in 1960. According to this theory, the following three distinct brains emerged successively in the course of evolution and now co-inhabit the human skull:

1.  The reptilian brain, the oldest of the three, is the “survival brain.” In addition to controlling the body's vital functions it is focused solely on its well-bring and survival. It’s call the reptilian brain because it includes the main structures found in a reptile's brain.

2.  The limbic or middle brain emerged in the first mammals. It can record memories of events that produced agreeable and disagreeable experiences, so it is called the "emotion brain." It is also the seat of the value judgments that we make, often unconsciously, that exert such a strong influence on our decisions.

3.  The neocortex or new brain, called the "thinking brain," first assumed importance in primates and culminated in the human brain with its two large cerebral hemispheres.  The left hemisphere communicates by using words, has highly developed verbal abilities, is logical and systematic, concerned with matters as they are. The right hemisphere communicates using images, has highly developed spatial abilities, is intuitive and imaginative, and is concerned with emotions and feelings.

These three parts of the brain do not operate independently of one another. They have established numerous interconnections through which they influence one another. For example, the new brain can communicate with the reptilian brain using images. Additionally, it can describe and transform the images into a narrative. (David Icke)


WHY THE REPTILIAN BRAIN IS IMPORTANT IN THE BUYING DECISION

Buying decisions are partially triggered by our survival instincts found in our reptilian brain and these fall into 4 categories:

1. Egocentrism: Egocentrism is characterized by preoccupation with one's own internal world (Wikipedia). Other people do not count, including their well-being and survival. Therefore, focus entirely on your target (and not on yourself) and liberally use the "you" and "your" words. Avoid “I, me, mine.”

2. Visual Imagery: The "language" of the reptilian brain is visual imagery; it does not understand words.  (David Icke) Visual imagery is a function of sight (compared to words and ideas which take longer to process), movement (associated with sight), and difference (which aids in making comparisons and accelerates decision-making). All contribute to the ability to make decisions faster which is important to survival.


3. Materiality: the old brain prefers what is physical and concrete. To gain attention, relate with visuals and words to what can be felt over what must be conceptualized.

4. Efficiency: thinking consumes energy, and for the old brain, energy conservation means survival. Generate efficiency in all forms of communication by pinning key points to the beginning and end of communication, using visibility to generate immediate recognition, and applying materiality to images and words.

HOW THE SURVIVAL BRAIN INFLUENCES YOU TODAY

reptilian brain customer acquisitionImagine yourself as a reptile and you are concerned with only two things: find food and not be eaten in the process (survival at its most fundamental level).

You would scan the environment as quickly as possible by looking for movement, contrast, and something familiar (tangible and noticeably different). If you find neither a threat or food, you will pay less attention to the environment (save energy) until visual cues gain and maintain your interest.

Now imagine yourself in a presentation. You look for what is important, respond to visual cues, are engaged with movement and variety of media, and rapidly lose interest when redundant or less critical information is presented.

You are responding with your reptilian brain.

THE POWER OF EMOTION
  • Emotions can motivate us to take action.
  • Emotions help us survive, thrive, and avoid danger.
  • Emotions can help us make decisions.
  • Emotions allow other people to understand us. i.e. communicate
  • Emotions allow us to understand others.  i.e. communicate
(Source: about.com purpose-of-emotions)

Discover how to capture customers at a very fundamental level with this Quick 20-Point Customer Acquisition Checklist.

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Photo Credit: Austin Kleon via Flickr Creative Commons License







How To Boost Customer Acquisition With Neuromarketing: Part 3

  
  
  

2 Quick and Easy Neuromarketing Checklists to Make Your Customer Acquisition Actions More Effective customer acquisition buy button


What we learned in Part 1 and Part 2
(see Part 1 and Part 2)

  • Customers have 3 brains
  • We must market to all 3 brains
  • There are 5 key marketing actions

 

The 5 Marketing Actions

  1. Gain Attention
  2. Maintain Attention
  3. Add Emotion
  4. Give Meaning
  5. Wrap It Up In A Story

Apply Neuromarketing By:

  1. Putting Emotion Into Your Advertising
  2. Crafting The Ideal Selling Message
  3. Use Social Media With Its Neuromarketing Triggers
  4. Opening The Sales Door by eliminating threats
  5. Selling The Right Way To The Executive C-Suite


Checklist #1: Always Ask These 5 Questions

To ensure that you are pushing the buy button, ask yourself these questions based on the 5 key actions:



1. Is the buying message stated in attention-getting form? 



Your customer wants to hear what's in it for him or her. Begin messages with "you" or "your" and use these words often. This is the "you" language. A common problem for companies is that they speak the "me" or "my" language, which is all about the company. Additionally, provoke curiosity, promise rewards, and avoid sameness.



2. Is interest in the buying message maintained?

  • Expand the variety of presentation devices
  • Create surprise with the unexpected
  • Interrupt the flow, but with relevance
  • Reinforce rewards


3. Has emotion been added?

To add emotion, insert relevant events that trigger emotional experiences via the senses (primarily sight), not words or ideas.

  • Use visuals that show emotions like fear, anger, security, triumph
  • Use facial features to communicate emotion
  • Include familiar situations to provide context
  • Include music


4. Have you given meaning to the buying message?

  • Use logic
  • Provide facts
  • Provide analyses
  • Do demonstrations




5. Have you maximized impact by telling a story?



Stories are memorable, condense input into a few, relevant points, capture the power of emotion, and justify what is felt intuitively. In a word, stories sell to all three brains. Forms of stories include:

  • Case histories
  • Before / After
  • Problem / Solution
  • Slice-of-life
  • Short narratives


Checklist #2: Adapt Neuromarketing To The Customer Buying Cycle


SUSPECTS

Who they are: every possible person who fits the criteria of your target market or persona but hasn’t yet taken any action after accessing your content.




What they need: information without selling, such as:
    •    Infographics
    •    Non-demo videos
    •    “Infotainment” content

Neuromarketing tactics:

    •    Engage the buying brain of the suspect with content aimed at their self-interest (using the "you" and "your" words liberally).
    •    Use multiple message styles (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) to maintain engagement or to capture the primary learning style of different individuals.
    •    Tell stories that condense difficult or extensive information into easily swallowed bits.

PROSPECTS



Who they are: a consumer in your target market who has actively supplied personal information in exchange for content



What they need: content that feeds their professional interests and begins to solve a problem, such as:
    •    Events (both online and in-person)
    •    eBooks/Guides
    •    Chapters from physical books
    •    Licensed analyst reports
    •    Webinars

Neuromarketing tactics:

    •    Target the propects' pain
    •    Continue to grab the prospects' attention with mini dramas, word play, rhetorical questions, or a story.

LEADS



Who they are: prospects who have demonstrated a desired behavior or intent and have offered additional personal or contact information



What they need: advanced content demonstrating professional competence and/or greater problem-solving insights and capabilities, such as:
    •    White papers
    •    Case studies
    •    Demo videos
    •    Product comparisons



Neuromarketing tactics:

    •    Show contrast between your solutions and your competitors'.
    •    Remain credible by being objective.
    •    Trigger emotion by identifying with the leads' pain.

OPPORTUNITIES



Who they are: leads who are looking to make a purchase



What they need: clear information and additional support to help with a quick buying decision such as:
    •    ROI calculators
    •    Pricing sheets
    •    RFP generators and templates



Neuromarketing tactics:
    •    Demonstrate the gain from your solutions with multiple proofs of gain (financial, strategic, and/or personal).
    •    Provide a simple, big picture graphical representation to illustrate the positive impact of your solution.

Neuromarketing is a powerful tool, but it's not the only tool. Discover more tools with this Quick-20 Point Customer Acquisition Checklist.

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How To Boost Customer Acquisition With Neuromarketing: Part 2

  
  
  

customer acquisition neuromarketing buy buttonHow to trigger messages, visuals and social media and push prospects' buy button faster and more often.


What we learned in Part 1
(go to Part 1 here)

  • Customers have 3 brains
  • We must market to all 3 brains
  • There are 5 key marketing actions

The 5 Marketing Actions

  1. Gain Attention
  2. Maintain Attention
  3. Add Emotion
  4. Give Meaning
  5. Wrap It Up In A Story

Customer Acquisition Applications of Neuromarketing

1.   Put Emotion Into Your Advertising

Neuromarketing tells us that emotion should be a dominant factor in your marketing efforts and overall strategy.

This may be difficult to accept by companies and executives who manage analytically and rationally. These companies and executives tend to use the "I" and "we" voice in marketing messages, that is, the voice of the company. And these messages are typically recitations of facts, features and benefits-interesting to company execs, but not compelling to customers.
"You've got to say it in such a way that people will feel it in their gut. Because if they don't feel it, nothing will happen." - William Bernbach, Advertising Legend

What motivates customers is the "you" voice, the voice of the customer. And when emotion is coupled with the "you" voice the "buy button" in the customer's brain is pushed.

      How To Put Emotion Into Your Advertising

A useful framework for deciding where to insert emotion into advertising is taken from advertising legend David Ogilvy who said, "When you sell fire extinguishers, open with the fire."
  

  • Use visuals that show emotions like fear, anger, security, triumph
  • Use facial features to communicate emotion
  • Include familiar situations to provide context
  • Include music



2.   Use This Template To Craft The Ideal Selling Message

Here is a template for the ideal selling message using the 6 old-brain stimuli discussed above:

Start with a clearly defined, tangible benefit directed to the "you" of the customer, contrast it vividly to your competitor's offering, support it with emotion, and repeat the benefit at the end.


3.   Replace Traditional Media With Social Media And Its Neuromarketing Triggers

The success of social media has to do, in part, with the absence of stimuli that cause us to instintively go into survival mode (the wrong kind of stimuli that distract us from the buy button). Social media simply offers a more comfortable way to live our lives.

1. Traditional media pushes or imposes messages; social media is about attracting messages. 
An imposed message is not about "me," it's about the advertiser. The advertiser has its interest in mind, not mine. It's about the advertiser's survival and self-interest, not mine. So, I tend to fight it or flee from it, i.e. ignore it or become irritated that I am exposed to it against my will.

2. Traditional media is invasive-it invades my space. The natural tendency, then, is to resist the "invasion." With social media I look for a safe place to enter.

3. Traditional media may contain hidden agendas. Social media strives to be transparent.
 We are all too familiar with bait and switch tactics, from the TV commercials to the used car lot. Their intent is to deceive for their own self-serving purpose. What I find attractive about social media is that success goes to those who are most transparent. This means allowing-even welcoming- criticism and responding with sincerity.

4. Consider, also, social proof.The ability to demonstrate social proof, from online ratings (e.g. Amazon book reviews) to online chat, helps remove the "where is the snake in the grass?" mentality that infects so much of traditional communication. There's no hidden agenda here.

4.   Open The Sales Door

The wrong cues trigger the fight (resistance) or flight response, neither of which is helpful in the sales process. For you as the seller to survive, you must eliminate the perceived threats that can trigger fight or flight. Here's how.

   First, eliminate the visual threat: The reason for this is that visual cues are processed by the old brain faster than audio cues, and the initial instinctive response may be the dominant one. Is there anything in how you look (grooming, attire, facial expression, or posture) or move that is threatening? 



   Second, eliminate the verbal threat: Next, point attention to what the buyer can gain, rather than risk, by engaging with you. Do this by liberally using the "YOU" words; "you", "your" and generally any words that fall within the buyer's "what's in it for me" mindset.

5.   Selling To The Executive C-Suite

Neuromarketing helps to sell to the C-Suite because it focuses on what executives need and value from content, and how to deliver that content.

What Executives Need and Value:
    •    Focus on outcomes
    •    Provide a clear path to value for time invested
    •    Use authentic and respected sources
    •    Do not waste time on "salesy" pitches and lightweight stories

To Satisfy Executive Needs and Values, focus content on:
    •    Hard facts, including research, white papers, and third party publications
    •    Actionable and timely information on issues that matter
    •    Summarize, summarize, summarize: address short attention spans
    •    Match content and format to channel: make content easily accessible
    •    Present a provocative vision for future possibilities
    •    Evolve from the technical to the strategic

In Part 3 we'll look at two quick and easy checklists that will make your customer acquisition actions more effective. (Receive Part 3 automatically by using the RSS Feed button above.)

Neuromarketing is a powerful tool, but it's not the only tool. Discover more tools with this Quick-20 Point Customer Acquisition Checklist.

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"Buy button", the 6 neuromarketing stimuli, and related concepts are attributed to www.salesbrain.com

How To Boost Customer Acquisition With Neuromarketing: Part 1

  
  
  

customer acquisition with neuromarketingUse these 5 actions to optimize messages, visuals and social media and push prospects' buy button faster and more often.


What you need to know about neuromarketing

Neuromarketing tells us that we are hard-wired for survival and self-interest by our old brain (450 million years old). Sometimes called the Reptilian Brain because it is the most primitive part of the human brain, it it is focused solely on its well-bring and survival.

Marketing to your customer's brain

You've probably heard of these expressions: keywords, demographics, target audience, and personas. They're all an important part of marketing, but they don't make decisions. Decisions are made by customers or, more accurately, customers' brains. That's why we market to the brain.

Customers have 3 brains

Actually, there are three brains involved in the decision-making or buying process and so we must market to all three.

1.  The reptilian brain, the oldest of the three, is the “survival brain.” In addition to controlling the body's vital functions it is focused solely on its well-bring and survival. It’s call the reptilian brain because it includes the main structures found in a reptile's brain.

2.  The limbic or middle brain emerged in the first mammals. It can record memories of events that produced agreeable and disagreeable experiences, so it is called the "emotion brain." It is also the seat of the value judgments that we make, often unconsciously, that exert such a strong influence on our decisions.

3.  The neocortex or new brain, called the "thinking brain," first assumed importance in primates and culminated in the human brain with its two large cerebral hemispheres.  The left hemisphere communicates by using words, has highly developed verbal abilities, is logical and systematic, concerned with matters as they are. The right hemisphere communicates using images, has highly developed spatial abilities, is intuitive and imaginative, concerned with emotions an feelings.

These three parts of the brain do not operate independently of one another. They have established numerous interconnections through which they influence one another. For example, the new brain can communicate with the reptilian brain using images. Additionally, it can describe and transform the images into a narrative. (David Icke)

Neuromarketing and the 5 Key Marketing Actions

The power of neuromarketing is to understand how decisions are triggered.

   1.  GAIN ATTENTION

  • Use visuals, not words
  • Use contrast and avoid similarity. Create a clash between options.
  • Focus on what is real and concrete and not on concepts or ideas
  • Employ movement and avoid being static
  • Provide variety and avoid sameness
  • Provoke curiosity
  • Promise rewards
  • Above all, focus on the self-centeredness of your target, not on yourself


    2.  MAINTAIN ATTENTION
(The goal is to maintain an interactive, involved brain.)

  • Continue to use the attention-getting tools, above
  • Expand the variety of presentation devices
  • Create surprise with the unexpected
  • Interrupt the flow, but with relevance
  • Reinforce rewards


    3.  ADD EMOTION

Emotion can have an instantaneous and powerful impact on the decision-making process.

To add emotion, insert relevant events that trigger emotional experiences via the senses (primarily sight), not words or ideas.


    4.  GIVE MEANING

  • Use logic
  • Provide facts
  • Provide analyses
  • Do demonstrations

5.  MAXIMIZE IMPACT - TELL A STORY

Stories are memorable, condense input into a few, relevant points, capture the power of emotion, and justify what is felt intuitively. In a word, stories sell to all three brains. Forms of stories include:
  • Case histories
  • Before / After
  • Problem / Solution
  • Slice-of-life
  • Short narratives
In Part 2 we'll look at specific ways to use neuromarketing to acquire customers.
(Receive Part 2 and Part 3 automatically by using the RSS Feed button above.)

Neuromarketing is a powerful tool, but it's not the only tool. Discover more tools with this Quick-20 Point Customer Acquisition Checklist.

 

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"Buy button" and the 6 neuromarketing stimuli are attributed to www.salesbrain.com

Sell Creatively With Your USP – Unique Story Proposition

  
  
  

story USP sellingWhat is your story? Is it engaging? Does it sell?

All marketers are familiar with the expression Unique Selling Proposition or USP (essentially a unique claim).  Brian Clark in CopyBlogger puts a twist on those letters with “story” substituting for “selling.”

In reality, there is little difference between the two because of the power of stories to sell. Stories sell because they touch emotional cords that facts and logic do not. Stories make powerful and meaningful connections. They become like old, trusted friends.

In Your Unique Story Proposition, Brian suggests creating a story that can serve as the basis for a sales letter and, further, bring life to a stuffy sales plan.

For the story he suggests:

  • Focusing on what you offer customers or clients that your competitors do not.
  • Coming up with a newsworthy headline but not a benefit-driven headline that screams “sales pitch.”
  • Describing your benefits using a short anecdote, and relate it to a real customer experience.
  • Now, and only now, relating your benefits in terms relevant to the customer.
  • Ending with a clear call to action.

Once you’ve experienced the power of stories to sell you will never approach a marketing or sales opportunity without one. And stories can be made more powerful when neuromarketing principles are used.

In Use Stories to Help Sales And Marketing Sell More you’ll learn the 6 neuromarketing triggers that can ignite the buying button in your customer’s brain. And take a peek at Why You Should Write Your Corporate Short Story to get you over the hurdle of developing a true strategic plan.

And from there you can create your own powerful Unique Story Proposition.

Want some advice about using stories to sell? Just contact me here and mention USP.

Photo Credit: ClaraDon via flickr CC

Brain Energy - Your Most Valuable Business Asset

  
  
  

energyFrom the C-Suite down, brain energy is your most important business asset, more important than cash flow, brand equity, and market share. That's because you need brain energy to survive. The consequence of the lack of energy is obvious.

But business executives often act as if brain energy were a cheap commodity, easily replenished. It's not, and understanding why can have dramatic impact on the success of your business and personal growth. One way to conserve brain energy and maximize its return is to Makes Things Simple.

Here's what Dean Minuto has to say about making things simple.

Your brain is the most energy-consumptive organ in your body. It uses 25% (one quarter) of all your body's energy. And for one primary purpose: keeping you alive.
 
It is not in our species' best interest for our brain to burn energy. Our brains are wired to save energy.
 
The brain likes things that are simple--things that it can touch and feel. Simple things don't require the brain to burn energy.
 
Simple, easy, real.
What the scientists call "tangible".
 
Every person you want a yes from is looking to understand your message, without needing an instruction manual.
 

  • How simple can you make your message?
  • How much energy are you making people use to understand your message now?
  • How easy is it for them to hear the signal from radio station WIIFM (What's In It For Me)?

 Success in selling is about making it simple.

HOW NEUROMARKETING SPEAKS TO THE BRAIN IN SIMPLE TERMS

Neuromarketing principles can help you speak to the brain - your customers's brains, your management teams' brains - in simple, effective, and persuasive ways that conserve energy. Learn more with Neuromarketing Basics for Marketing and Sales, or go to an entire section devoted to neuromarketing.

IS IT TIME TO RE-THINK YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY AND SELL MORE?

Click here to download How to Re-Think Your Marketing Strategy and Sell More: 10 Ideas to Get You Started.

 

Photo credit: boliston via flickr

New Insights for Selling Effectively to the C-Suite

  
  
  

selling to executives in c-suiteTop executives need the information and solutions you possess. You need to shape them in a way that meets their needs and personal style, and to deliver it powerfully to their "buying brain." Here are 2 articles that can help you sell your solutions more effectively to the C-Suite.

5 Tips for Presenting to Executives

In this article, Bruce Gabrielle, author of Speaking PowerPoint: the New Language of Business, identifies 5 tips to keep in mind to ace your next executive presentation. Here's a summary of the 5 tips (see the full article for details):

  1. Get to the point in one minute.
  2. Talk about problems winning in the marketplace.
  3. Sell a vision before discussing the details.
  4. Lead with stories, not data.
  5. Don't be afraid of executives; be afraid FOR them.

 This article also contains a PowerPoint presentation on Slideshare.

How to Sell More to the C-Suite With Neuromarketing and Focused Content

This article combines insights from Roanne Neuwirth's post "How to Reach the C-Suite with Content" with how neuromarketing principles can help deliver the content more powerfully.

For example, Neuwirth says that executives need and value:

  1. A focus on outcomes
  2. A clear path to value for time invested

And, among the items to include in presentations, she suggests:

  1. Hard facts
  2. Actionable and timely information
  3. Present a provocative vision for future possibilities

NEUROMARKETING

Neuromarketing principles help to create content and deliver it so that it triggers buying decisions. The 6 stimuli that trigger buying decisions are summarized here:

  • Self-centeredness: Focus entirely on your prospect and liberally use the "you and your" words. Avoid talking about yourself and your company.

  • Contrast: Create maximum contrast among your solutions and competitive alternatives.

  • Tangible Input: Use numbers and easily grasped words like "more money" rather than concepts and esoteric statements.

  • The Beginning and the End: Place the most important content in the beginning (focused on the "you"), repeat it at the end, and repeat it as often as necessary during the course of the communication to regain interest.

  • Visual Stimuli: Use visual stimuli which are processed faster than words and concepts.

  • Emotion: Content is best remembered when it is experienced with strong emotions. Use stories to help create emotion.

SUMMARY
Both articles provide valuable tips to selling to the C-Suite and complement each other. Neuromarketing helps you to deliver your message more effectively.

What to go farther, faster? You may need to re-think your marketing strategy. Click here for the article How To Re-Think Your Marketing Strategy And Sell More, or download the detailed whitepaper here.

Selling to the C Suite starts with an effective customer acquisition strategy. Download the Easy 20-Point Customer Acquisition Checklist, below.

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The DNA of Success: Survival and the Darwin Code

  
  
  

CrocMan Darwin CodeWhy do some executives succeed and others fail?

Is there a secret "success code"?


Perhaps there is. Astonishingly, it may originate in the part of the brain that has helped us survive for hundreds of millions of years, the old "reptilian" brain. Could the secret of success today be found in the brain we share with reptiles?

The Darwin Code

The Darwin Code is an idea drawn from success stories, the habits of successful executives, and the new principles of successful marketing.

The Survival Instinct

Our greatest instinct is survival and this instinct powerfully manifests itself today. Yet, we may not recognize it or even be consciously aware of it. Here are 3 survival actions:

1. To uncover threats quickly and fix them.
2. To save energy. It is important to note that this includes saving mental energy.
3. To find food; to aggressively pursue what sustains you, gives you energy. This last point is figurative and can include money, power and position.

The survival instinct is rooted in the part of the brain that developed over 400 million years ago. This old brain responds to certain stimuli, and is distinct from our middle (emotional) brain and the new (rational) brain.

Neuromarketing And Actions That Promote Success

In business, knowledge of the survival instinct is being leveraged via the art and science of neuromarketing to connect sellers with consumer buy buttons. SalesBrain is leading the charge. It has identified 6 principles that push the buy button. I've translated those principles into actions that promote success:

1. Self-centeredness: successful executives are self-centered, the ultimate survival focus.
2. Contrast: successful executives respond to contrast because contrast speeds decision making and reduces (mental) energy.
3. Tangible Input: successful executives respond favorably to tangible (versus complex or conceptual) input because tangible input helps them to quickly focus on the most relevant outcomes.
4. The Beginning and the End: successful executives are more efficient at interpreting the essence of communication by piecing together pieces of information, often what is presented at the beginning and end of communications. The brain does not focus on all input, but on what it deems critical, and then pieces together the rest of the story. This saves (mental) energy.
5. Visual Stimuli: successful executives respond favorably to visual stimuli because these stimuli are processed faster than words and concepts, and are more closely related to identifying threats and opportunities.
6. Emotion: successful executives use emotions as the glue that binds all the data they receive.

How Executives Focus on Information

Consistent with these principles is the following summary of the kind of information executives need and value. Note how focused these points are to saving time and energy:

1. Focus on outcomes
2. Provide a clear path to value for time invested
3. Use authentic and respected sources
4. Do not waste time on "salesy" pitches and lightweight stories

Recently posted in the online Harvard Business Review, Peter Bregman addresses the need for executive focus to, again, save critical energy for the most important actions. He says,

"Never before has it been so important to say 'No.' No, I'm not going to read that article. No, I'm not going to read that email. No, I'm not going to take that phone call. No, I'm not going to sit through that meeting."

Darwin Code Hypothesis

Successful executives (and successful individuals in general) are those who, consciously or not, have honed their survival instincts for the marketplace (or any endeavor). This is the Darwin Code: a superior strategic and tactical focus on survival actions.

How tantalizing it is to think that success may be as simple as honing our primordial survival instincts for today's marketplace.

Interested in how the Darwin Code can help your business succeed? Click the Darwin Code button, below.

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Use Stories to Help Sales And Marketing Sell More

  
  
  
Inspiration storyOnce you’ve experienced the power of stories to sell you will never approach a marketing or sales opportunity without one.

Apply neuromarketing principles to stories to trigger your customers’ buy buttons.

WHY STORIES WORK

Stories derive their power by appealing to our earliest brain (we have three) that evolved hundreds of millions of years ago. To our old brain, stories are like old, trusted friends.

STORIES APPEAL TO OUR SURVIVAL INSTINCT

The old brain is our instinctual, survival brain.  The brain composes just 2% of body mass but can consume as much as 25% of its energy. Its purpose is to help us survive by preserving energy and avoiding wasting energy. This means using energy efficiently, effectively, and as sparingly as possible. Selling effectiveness can be interpreted as appealing to the survival instinct of your customers.

To the old brain of your customers, great stories are stories of survival. These gain attention, engage the customer with your message, and trigger their buy button.

HOW STORIES WORK

Stories stimulate our old brain is positive and productive ways. According to SalesBrain, the old brain is stimulated in only 6 ways, and the most powerful selling stories contain these 6 stimuli:

1. Focused on the listener (Self-centeredness): the old brain is exclusively concerned with its own survival. Only what threatens or protects its survival is important; the survival of others is not its concern.

2. Contrast: contrast makes it easy for the old brain to distinguish between what is or is not important. The more contrast, the more the old brain takes notice.

3. Tangible: the more tangible the deliverables in a story, the more appealing the story. The old brain does not want to conceptualize or think deeply about what it hopes to gain.

4. Beginning and End: The old brain prefers to have a strong beginning and end to the story, with both focused on what’s in it for the listener. In this way, the brain more easily replicates the full story with ease and without much energy.

5. Visual: concrete visuals (e.g. props) and visually exciting words trigger the old brain and keep it activated.

6. Emotion: emotions help trigger the stimuli and are the glue that holds the story together.

PAIN MAKE STORIES MORE POWERFUL

Focus on pain over benefits. The removal of pain is more important that the gain of benefits.

POWER FORMULA FOR WRITING STORIES

Center your story and presentation around your customers’ pain, make it tangible with concrete examples, make it visual, add emotional components like fear and drama, and differentiate your product or service by ending with a high contrast relief to the beginning pain.

STORIES ATTRACT NEW CUSTOMERS. DISCOVER 20 MORE WAYS.
Download this quick 20-Point Customer Acquisition Checklist.

New Call\u002Dto\u002DAction

Photo Credit: via flickr creative commons alicepopkorn.

Anatomy of a Marketing and Neuromarketing Success Story

  
  
  
Umpqua BankEver wonder what a success story feels, looks, sounds, smells and tastes like? Here it is: a huge marketing success story with neuromarketing connections. It's inspirational and highly instructive, and combines entrepreneurship with brilliant strategy. (New to neuromarketing? Find helpful articles here.)

The Umpqua Bank Success Story

This story comes from a blog post on the Harvard Business Review Blog Network by Bill Taylor, cofounder of Fast Company magazine. Entitled Find the Revolution Before It Finds You, Taylor tells the story of Ray Davis, president and CEO of Umpqua Holdings and the transformation he made at Umpqua Bank.

Davis grew a plain vanilla bank in southern Oregon in 1994 with 6 offices and $150 million in assets to one of the industry's rising stars with 183 branches, $11 billion in assets, and a footprint that stretches from Seattle to San Francisco.

It's not just shifting the paradigm. It's crashing and burning and nuking the paradigm!

Umpqua's growth had little to do with the products it markets, which are virtually identical to its competitors. Success came from creating a one-of-a-kind value proposition. "What's distinctive about Umpqua has to do with how it offers these products-its commitment to reimaging the experience of interacting with a bank" says Taylor.

Reimaging How A Bank Feels, Looks, Sounds, Smells and Tastes

How The Bank Feels
Davis is quoted as saying, "We don't want the experience of banking here to feel like banking anywhere else." That's why the bank is designed to appeal all human senses. Beautifully appointed branches host community activities in addition to banking activities. These include book clubs, movie nights, knitting and gossip groups, and Wii bowling leagues that compete on a 144-inch high definition screens.

How The Bank Looks
Bank branches evoke the spirit of a sleek hangout space, more like Starbucks or a well-appointed art gallery than the neighborhood savings-and-loan. (Note the word "spirit:" how often do see it in marketing strategy? Not often enough!)

How The Bank Sounds
It's filled with the sound of music. The bank signs indie bands to its Discover Local Music project and invites customers to listen to songs on in-branch kiosks or download them from the Web. It even sells compilation CDs of the best songs.

How The Bank Smells
Being in the Pacific Northwest, it's no surprise that the bank has chosen to focus on the smell of coffee. Branch employees are happy to brew customers a cup of the bank's own Umpqua Blend, which it also sells by the pound.

How The Bank Tastes
Every transaction ends with a piece of gold-wrapped chocolate served on a silver platter.

How The Bank Succeeded-A Lesson For All Businesses
The bank succeeded by:
  • Changing the conversation with customers and the community
  • Making itself interesting in a world where most banks are boring
  • Becoming a passion brand in an industry sorely devoid of passion

The Neuromarketing Connection

While there's no indication that Davis consciously followed a neuromarketing strategy, all the elements contributing to his success have neuromarketing connections.

The Customer's Buy Button

In Neuromarketing: Understanding The Buy Buttons In Your Customer's Brain, authors Renvoise and Patrick state that, of the three brains that we all possess, it is the old brain that triggers decisions. (See Marketing To Your Customer's Brain for details on our three brains.)

According to Renvoise and Patrick, here are three stimuli that speak to the old brain. "Incorporating these ... stimuli will give you fast access to the old brain and will immediately improve your ability to sell, market, and communicate."

1. Visual Stimuli: The old brain prefers visual stimuli which are processed faster than words and concepts. Umpqua Bank has many stimulating visuals, from decor to Wii set-ups.

2. Self-Centeredness: the customer is interested in himself or herself. Umpqua Bank has clearly focused on the customer.

3. Contrast: contrast vs. competitors helps customers identify what's best for them. Umpqua Bank is differentiated from its competitors clearly, prominently, and substantially,

Emotion

We remember events better when they are experienced with strong emotions. Umpqua Bank's emotion is "fun". "Some customers are waiting to see their banker, and others are bowling! It's incredible. It creates an environment where people say, 'That was fun, let's go back.'"

Appealing To All The Senses


According to Martin Lindstrom (Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy) "…visual images are far more effective, and more memorable, when they are coupled with another sense— like sound or smell."  Not only has Umpqua Bank leveraged smell and sound, but has included taste and feel.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

1. This is a huge success story about revolutionizing an industry through radical differentiation. It's a story that every business owner in any industry can write for themselves.

2. Neuromarketing concepts pervade business, often without our realization. The more we know about neuromarketing, the greater our opportunity to succeed like Umpqua Bank.

START HERE TO BUILD YOUR OWN SUCCESS STORY

Interested in creating your own huge success by radical differentiation and the application of neuromarketing concepts? I'd be delighted to explore the possibilities with you. Just connect with me here and mention this article.

Photo Credit: Umpqua Facebook Page

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