Neuromarketing Book Summary Part II
The book Neuromarketing, Understanding the “Buy Buttons” in Your Customer’s Brain, by Patrick Renvoise & Christophe Morin, combines neuroscience with marketing. Neuroscience is the study of the brain and nervous system. A better understanding of how people think and make decisions can facilitate your marketing efforts. If you follow these tips, you’ll likely see an increase in conversion rate and sales. While this book is based on neuroscience, it is written for the common person. The chapters are short and sweet and they conveniently have a brief chapter summary at the end of each chapter. (It’s almost as if the authors understood that humans don’t like reading). Since the “old brain” doesn’t like reading much, one could easily look at the length of this blog post and get discouraged by it. However, this blog’s easy-to-read, three-part summary has all the essential information of the book, which is 236 pages long.
The Neuromarketing Book Summary Part II comprises Chapters 8-13 which describe in detail the Six “Selling to the Old Brain” Message Building Blocks. If you have not yet read the Neuromarketing Book Summary Part I, then it would be beneficial to do so for context. Chapters 1-7 of the book introduced the “old brain” as the decision maker, it gave the only six stimuli that speak to the old brain, and introduced a 4-step methodology for speaking to the old brain. The final and most important step of the 4-step methodology was delivering to the old brain. This is achieved through the details that are described in this summary and the next summary.
Chapter 8, The First Message Building Block: Grabbers
(Heads up, Chapter 8 is the second longest chapter in the book)
The old brain tends to be most alert at the beginning and end of interactions. It is crucial to make a powerful impression early or you may loose your prospect forever.
When beginning a presentation, do NOT waste time on one of the following topics:
- Who you are or what your background is
- The agenda of your presentation
- An overview of your company
- Features of your product or service
Product demonstrations are often presented too late in the presentation. This shows unique and measurable gain to prospects and should be given when the attention level is high.
The purpose of using a grabber is to present your gain upfront. Just like mining for gold, your prospects will pay attention longer if they discover several gold nuggets in the first three minutes.
You only have one chance to make a first impression, it needs to be a strong one. Once judgement is passed, it’s very difficult for the old brain to change its first impression. Begin your presentation with a message that is centered around your prospect’s most prominent pain.
The five natural stages of human reaction are:
Using a grabber helps the prospect pass through each stage over a quicker period of time.
Types of Grabbers
The best grabbers to reach the old brain can be classified into five specific categories:
- Mini-dramas: describing a painful day in the life of your prospect contrasted with the benefits of your solution.
- Wordplays: utilizing creative language to get attention.
- Rhetorical Questions: letting their brain produce the answer you want.
- Props: using an object that symbolizes what your solution could do for your prospect.
- Stories: sharing a story that will elicit a response from the old brain.
Grabber 1: Mini-Dramas. A mini-drama is a reenactment of a “day in the life” of your prospect without the benefit of your product or service. It should make your prospect relive the daily pain without your product. It should close with a second act which is a reenactment of the same day with your product and absence of pain. This stimulates the contrast-sensitive old brain. It creates both an emotional reaction and a strong, memorable event.
Grabber 2: Wordplays. These add another layer of meaning, typically through humor or logic, to the original content of a sentence. As such, they engage the whole brain: new, middle and old brain. Example: More bank for your buck, in other words Wells Fargo offers the best banking.
Grabber 3: Rhetorical Questions. There are no guarantees that your prospect will actually listen to what you’re saying. “Why not start by asking a question designed to engage the brain in seeking an answer which coincides with one of your strong benefits?” Here are some good types of rhetorical questions:
- “What if you . . ?”
- “What do these words have in common?”
- “What do these numbers have in common?”
Grabber 4: Props. Props are tangible and visual. They even remind us of toys we had as kids. This attachment for simple, concrete objects or props is deeply rooted in our old brain. Objects identified as “tools” have the biggest impact on the old brain. Using a prop will ensure that your prospect will remember your message. The object you choose should have powerful significance in the world of your prospect-its not mere entertainment. “That’s the power of using a prop: people will remember you and your presentation long after the impact of a traditional message normally fades away.”
How to Use Props
- Use a prop to illustrate a specific point of your presentation
- Choose a prop that is appropriate in the environment in which you are presenting
- Rehearse (nothing can make you look more foolish than if your prop fails to illustrate your point)
Grabber 5: Stories. The impact of a good story is that it makes your old brain believe that you have actually lived it. Stories put the audience in a world of sensory impressions that make it impossible for the old brain to differentiate between the reality and the story: the old brain feels that it has lived the experience even if it has only heard it. Whenever you tell a story, the subliminal message is that you care for your audience. It opens up their old brain to your message. Stories equal caring.
Here are a few tips that make for good stories:
- Be sure that your story has a point, and be sure you make the connection for your audience.
- Make the story personal. (use a name, or your name, or their names)
- Put passion into your story. Add details that prove you really lived it.
An effective way to use a story with a prospect is to tell a customer story. When telling a customer story, be sure to:
- Include the company name (if confidentiality is not an issue)
- Make it personal.
- Contrast what your prospects life was before your product
- Present specific, tangible benefits
- Highlight the gain
“It is crucial to speak to your prospects’ old brain at both the beginning and end of your presentation. Use a strong grabber to jump-start your presentation and wow your audience early, when they are still attentive. Grabbers include any of the following techniques:
- A mini-drama to generate strong emotions
- A wordplay to force your audience to think about the benefits of your solutions in a creative, sometimes fun, way
- A rhetorical question to convey important numbers or information without putting your audience to sleep
- A prop to make sure they will remember your point . . . forever
- A story to influence your audience without appearing pushy or even showing that you are selling.”
(There were a lot of details and examples that were left out in this summary. Obviously, it’s a summary. Purchasing this book just to read the details in chapter 8 alone would make you better at marketing your business, your clients and/or yourself)
Chapter 9, Message Building Block #2: Big Picture
The old brain registers images long before the new brain can recognize or analyze them. The reaction time is much faster (from a biological perspective) since it is related to survival. The visual nerve (which transmits information from your eyes to the brain) is forty times faster than the auditory nerve (which transmits information from your ears to the brain). Also, the visual pathway from the eyes to the brain passes through the old brain.
The best way to add a visual component to your message so it goes directly to the decision-maker (the old brain) is A Big Picture. A big picture is a graphical representation of how your solution can impact the world of your prospect.
Often people use graphs or images which they think are big pictures, but are not. The two reasons most images or pictures are not big pictures are:
- They do not reflect the world of the prospect
- They are not real visuals
Contrasted Big Pictures consist of two images: first, the life of the prospect without your product, which clearly emphasizes the prospects’ pain. The second illustrates the relief of pain. Before and after pictures, with and without, uses extremely effective visual contrast that directly impacts the old brain. Show the pain first (on the left in Western societies since they read left to right).
“The Second Message Building Block you need from the Selling to the Old Brain toolbox is a Big Picture. Delivering a big picture helps your prospect visualize the benefits of your solution. Big pictures are graphical representations of how your solution can impact their world – not block diagrams of your system! Even more effective, a contrasted big picture shows the prospect what his life would be like before/after your product or with/without it. Be sure to show the prospect’s pain first, and then the relief gained by your solution.”
Chapter 10, Message Building Block #3: Claims
It is vital that your prospects have a solid understanding of your claims. Claims are your key selling points; they represent the actual value of your solution– your proof of gain. Your claims are the top reasons your prospects should buy from you.
Clear, focused claims will help your prospects retain your core message. If the claims are short, you will satisfy the old brain’s bias for tangible and simple information. Be sure to include several absolute proofs that show the gain for each claim. Repeat your claims frequently throughout your message. Repetition prompts the old brain to note, “I should remember that”.
Fool-Proofing Your Claims
- Edit your claims to make them short and simple
- Keep your claims relevant to the prospect, be sure they cure the prospect’s pain
- Repeat your claims so the old brain will bookmark them as important
Communicate Your Claims
When doing a presentation, use the following phrases to signal your claims to your listeners: “the only thing you need to remember is . . “, “let me repeat . . . “, and “it all comes down to . . .”
Again, repeat your claims
If you have multiple claims, it is typically in your best interest to narrow them to three. Research shows that humans remember information more easily when it comes in sets of three, so your claims will be more memorable.
Bullet point your claims, and then build your presentation and proof for each one of them using a grabber, stories, and proofs of gain.
“Claims are the reasons why the prospect should buy your product; they are your key selling points. Use a maximum of three claims, and keep them short and easy to remember. Organize all your points under these three claims, and repeat them often throughout your message.”
Chapter 11, Message Building Block #4: Proofs of Gain
This chapter is like a brief review of chapter 6, see Part I Summary and/or buy the book. Delivering tangible proof of the gains is where you should spend 70% of your selling effort. Remember, the old brain is self-centered. After presenting your grabber, big picture and claims, you need to back it up with proofs.
The best proof of gain is a customer story (testimonial or case study), followed by a demonstration, use of data, and a description of a vision in declining order of effectiveness.
Building Compelling Value Matrices (includes the use of creating the table or matrix that is described in the Part I Summary)
Find a customer story and provide the following precise information:
- The name of the company with one or two people will relate their high satisfaction with your product or service (references)
- Three common points between the customer and the prospect who is listening to your presentation
- A specific problem the you solved for the customer
- Before/After: what the customer gained from using your solution
If you can’t find a customer story, prove your claim with a demo. Be prepared to address these points:
- Will showing the product be enough to prove your point?
- Can you show them visual proof? Is it a hands-on demo or does it require conceptual extrapolation?
- Can you do a A/B comparison demo (your product vs competitor’s product) to show how yours is better?
If you can’t use a demo, provide data:
- Do you have marketing or statistical data that can prove your benefit? This will make it easier to attach a concrete financial benefit.
If you don’t have any of the above, share a vision to prove your benefit:
- Use a story, analogy, or metaphor to best metaphor to prove why your prospect would receive benefit from you.
Your objective is to demonstrate that the value your prospect receives is greater than the cost. Their gain is defined as:
Gain = Value Claim 1 + Value Claim 2 + Value Claim 3 = Cost
This equation should include the financial, strategic and personal dimension of the value and cost.
Though all the building blocks that have been shared are important, proof of gain is the most critical part of your message. If you cannot reasonably prove the measurement of a benefit, FIND ANOTHER CLAIM!
“For each claim, you must find a proof for each benefit and make a strong effort to communicate that proof in such a way that it becomes easy and fast for your prospect to “believe” what you say. The burden of proof is always on you, not on your customers.”
Chapter 12, Message Building Block #5: Handling Objections
This is a favorite topic in sales training. Objections fall into two categories:
- Valid Objections
Handling Objections resulting from Misunderstandings
Step 1: Restate the Objection (and openly ask, “is this your concern?”)
Step 2: Step into the Objection (move toward the person– a powerful body language expression that signifies you have no fear of the objection. Communication experts estimate that 55% of your impact comes from your body language.)
Step 3: Hear your prospect out (suspend judgement and practice true listening)
Step 4: Deliver the Proof (tell a story, offer a customer testimonial, conduct a demo, or present the result of an independent benchmark to reaffirm the previously misunderstood concept)
Close the objection by openly asking, “did that help resolve your concern?”
Handling Valid Objections
If your prospect objects to your price, you should:
- Make sure you have fully uncovered your value proposition or gain.
- Revisit your proofs and make sure they are stronger, more valuable, more tangible, and more personal.
The old brain is not purely rational, and its reactions are based on fear, a highly emotional concept. Here is the most effective way to diffuse a valid objection: reframe it. Do this by following these steps:
Step 1: Restate the objection
Step 2: Step into the objection
Step 3: Wait for their feedback
Step 4: State your personal opinion (“I understand that your concern at this point is about ____. Personally I find that our [solutions, prices, etc.] are very competitive for the value we offer.” You kindly and tactfully use the power of your credibility to convince your prospect to see your point of view from a new perspective. This is a step, but it’s not enough)
Step 5: Present a positive side to the objection (Whatever the objection, find the positive side that best counteracts it [higher price means higher quality, old technology means familiarity, slow means secure, etc.]. Then present that unique benefit so it goes directly to the old brain. Tell a story, use an analogy, or a metaphor that highlights the importance of the flip side of the objection.)
Keep an on-going list of the most common objections you receive on a day-to-day basis. Prepare a script for each and practice delivering and fine-tuning it to achieve the best results.
The most important thing to remember about handling objections is that if you’re put on the spot and can’t come up with a good response, be sure and remember to move forward when you hear an objection. Your body language does speak louder than your words.
“Misunderstandings and valid objections are a normal and expected part of the sales process, especially when proofs of gain were not communicated as clearly as possible. To handle them effectively, make sure you understand the concern, and then reframe it. Logic alone will not influence your prospect; to reach their old brain, use a story, analogy, or metaphor that highlights the positive side of the objection. Above all else, make sure your positive body language (moving toward the one who objects) conveys calm confidence and respect.”
Chapter 13, Message Building Block #6: The Close
Many sales books suggest a variety of calculated closing techniques. If you follow the Four Steps (see Part I Summary), and design your message to impact the old brain, there is no need for sophisticated closing techniques. Your closing does not have to be a high-pressured situation. Yet, you also know the old brain pays attention to the beginning and end of a presentation. The most effective closing technique for the old brain is:
- Repeat your claims one final time (“In conclusion, we are the only company who …”). This final repetition reminds the old brain what is important.
- Ask for positive feedback. (“What do you think?”). If you have a large audience, you can direct your question to one or a few individuals. This gives you positive public feedback which commits the person to remain consistent with whatever he or she says. Making a small commitment first triggers a larger commitment. The Law of Consistency states that once someone has made a first step in a particular direction, his or her old brain will want to remain consistent with the original decision. If the first comment is positive, it will be easier for them to take the next step. If the first comment is not positive, then address it as an objection (Chapter 12 summary above).
- Ask for the next step. (“Where do we go from here?”). Be patient and let the prospect commit. The key to triggering the Law of Consistency is not to ask for feedback, but to wait for it. Even if they suggest further evaluation, the law of consistency commits them to make that meeting happen if the comment comes from them instead of you.
“If you have followed the Selling to the Old Brain steps, the close is a natural conclusion to your presentation, not a make-or-break, do-or-die finale. To close effectively, simply
- Repeat your claims one final time.
- Trigger the audience’s Law of Consistency by asking: “what do you think?” and then wait.
- Trigger the Law of Consistency again by asking: “where do we go from here?” and then wait for the prospect’s commitment to the next step.”
Conclusion of Neuromarketing Book Summary Part II
Since this is a summary, a lot of the examples of application (i.e. storytelling) was left out. These examples are extremely valuable when learning to practice the principles given in this book. This is one of the many reasons why buying this book to read and study in detail is suggested over and over again in these book summary posts. Learning to apply these principles will make you a better marketer for your business, your clients or yourself. The Part I Summary comprised chapters 1-7 and introduced the old brain, the 6 stimuli for the old brain, and the 4 step methodology for speaking to the old brain. This Part II summary comprised chapters 8-13 and included the Six “Selling to the Old Brain” Message Building Blocks which will assist you in applying the 4 step methodology. The third and final Part III summary will comprise chapters 14-20 and include the Impact Boosters, which will also help you apply the 4 Step Methodolgy of speaking to the old brain (the decision maker in each of us).