The science of better selling



i 27d3301bf70ef03ed1a629088ef49cba brain The science of better sellingTogether with 120 other entrepreneurs from CEO Global (a Toronto-based CEO coaching organization), I spent a morning two weeks ago listening to Christophe Morin, marketing guru and author of Neuromarketing: Understanding the Buy Buttons in Your Customer’s Brain

The premise of the book – and the talk – was that we can use the latest brain research toredefine our sales messages and deliver them with more impact by better understanding how people make buying decisions.

Candidly, I was not sure what I was in for. But with low expectations, I was more than pleasantly surprised and left the session with a number of good ideas that I thought were worth sharing.

Chris Morin’s main point was surprisingly simple!

All decisions are made by what he calls the “Old Brain”. The Old Brain takes in inputs from the New Brain (which thinks) and the Middle Brain (which feels) and then ultimately decides. The Old Brain is self-centered: it pays attention only to it’s own selfish needs and benefits. So if we want to make sales and shorten our sales cycle, we have to make our presentations appeal directly to the Old Brain.


This means:

  • get focused on your prospect as quickly as possible. The customer’s Old Brain has little patience for how good your company is, what your mission statement is and what your values are;
  • the Old Brain does not get excited by claims that “our firm is one of the best in our industry”. The Old Brain much prefers comments like “We are the only provider of …”
  • Chris reminded us to make sure that our key points are made at the ‘beginning” and the “end”. What do most of us do at the beginning? We make the mistake of telling them all about us – our company, our products, our value, our people etc. By the time we are finally ready to tell them why they should do business with us, they are barely listening. The Old Brain is in idle mode.

He suggests 4 steps to appeal to the Old Brain.

Diagnose the Pain - be ready with questions that will uncover your prospect’s pain. If you are selling drills, for example, the prospect’s Old Brain will not be interested in the features of your drill. Instead, he will be interested in the holes he has to make;

Differentiate your Claims - the claims are what you offer to relieve the pain. Choose the customer’s top 3 pains. Present the claims to show that your solution is unique and different from what the competition offers;

Demonstrate the Gain – the Old Brain prefers concrete information so be ready to prove out your claim in tangible terms. To illustrate the point, Chris chose an example from the investment business: if an extra 2% return per year would result in enough money to buy a house over 20 years, show your prospect a house;

Deliver to the Old Brain – At this point, fewer words is usually more. Remove everything of no value and subject each claim to the “So What’ test. Instead, focus on impact and emotion. The Old Brain loves carefully selected stories. Want proof? Just think of the television ads for charities seeking money for poverty in the undeveloped world.

In summary, the Old Brain is your decision maker and you need to speak its language if you want to make a sale. You can learn more at








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