Neuromarketing Book Summary Part III
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 III comprises Chapters 14-20 which describe in detail the Seven Impact Boosters that will help you sell to the old brain. If you have not yet read the Neuromarketing Book Summary Part I and the Neuromarketing Book Summary Part II, 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 it 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 the previous Part II Summary and this summary.
“If the message building blocks (previous Part II Summary) are the dishes on a restaurant menu, the Impact Boosters are the spices you sprinkle on any or all of them to make them more appealing.”
Chapter 14, The First Impact Booster: Wording With “You”
The old brain is self-centered and egotistical. Your prospects don’t care about your products, only what your products can do for them.
Don’t say, “the new system will save 50% less energy”. Say, “you will save 50% on your energy bill”.
Place yourself in the prospect’s mindset and ask yourself these questions:
- Why should I, as a prospect, care about a specific feature of your product?
- How will I, as a prospect, really benefit from that feature?
- How does this feature contribute to reducing or eliminating my pain?
When we’re in the selling seat, our old brains are often only focused on us. We forget that our message is intended for the customer. Wording with “you” makes the message more customer-centric. The word “you” makes your prospect’s old brain unconsciously experience owning and using your product or service. Using the word “you” makes your message more personal. Most sales people are trained to sell the benefits instead of the features. Focusing on “you” beats focusing on the benefits – hands down, every time.
“The Seven Impact Boosters add meaning and flair to the Six Message Building Blocks. As for the first, don’t you listen better when someone talks to you instead of at you? Be sure that you deliver your message by wording with “you” . . . and we managed to say it three times in one sentence!”
Chapter 15, Impact Booster #2: Your Credibility
(Heads up, Chapter 15 is the longest chapter in the book).
Your credibility factor will contribute a significant amount to your selling effectiveness. Your credibility is the core of what makes other people believe you.
Credibility is a function of six qualities:
- Your Creativity
- Your Fearlessness
- Your Passion
- Your Integrity
- Your Similarity
- Your Expressiveness
Credibility Variable #1: Your Creativity
The power of creativity is peerless, but being creative takes a lot of work. Most of us stick with a routine because we know it takes time to be creative. Luckily there is a shortcut to creativity — it’s called variety. Variety keeps the old brain alert.
Tips to Achieve Variety
- Include pictures, audio, or video segments whenever possible.
- Vary colors in text or copy
- Use a different medium than the status quo. (If everyone else uses PowerPoint, then you use a flip chart or enact a mini-drama)
- Use a different speed.
- Red: Symbolizes Power, Activity, Rescue
- Pink: Symbolizes Calm, Feminism
- Orange: Symbolizes Movement, Construction, Energy
- Yellow: Symbolizes Light, Future, Philosophy
- Green: Symbolizes Money, Growth, Environment
- Blue: Symbolizes Trust, Authority, Security
- Purple: Symbolizes Royalty, Spirituality, New Age
Credibility Variable #2: Your Fearlessness
Your prospects should not detect any trace of your fear – of losing their business! Most decisions are based on fear. The old brain is a specialized organ for processing fear and detecting it in others.
The opposite of fear is fearlessness. Fearlessness might also be called non-attachment. By displaying an attitude of high intention but low attachment to the outcome, you send a strong message to your prospect’s old brain that you are motivated to win their business but have no fear of losing it.
Improving your Fearlessness
- Act with high intention but low attachment.
- Keep a positive outlook. (Emotions are contagious, your prospect will catch your positive attitude)
- Remember that even the best and most brilliant people do not win 100% of the time.
- Practice, practice, practice.
According to one study, the highest ranked fears in descending order are fear of speaking in public, fear of heights, fear of insects, bugs and reptiles, fear of financial difficulties, fear of deep water, fear of sickness, fear of death. (All those fears rank higher than the fear of death, public speaking was number 1). You are not alone.
Credibility Variable #3: Your Passion
Passion is that intangible factor that you can sense without really knowing where it comes from. It is difficult, if not impossible to fake. Emotions are contagious; your passion will make others more enthusiastic. Your passion can be detected in your words, your voice, and you body, and the best way to increase your passion is to be passionate about it!
How to Maximize Your Passion
- Learn to measure your level of passion (also your level of energy and mood, do your pitches when you’re most passionate, not tired or sad about something else)
- Surround yourself with passionate people
- Practice and rehearse – this will not increase your passion, but will decrease your nervousness so others can see through to your passion.
- Remember: you can never be too passionate.
- Do what you love, and love what you do.
When you last met a passionate person, didn’t you feel that person was interesting even if his or her field of passion wasn’t high on your priority list? To increase your credibility, increase your passion.
Credibility Variable #4: Your Integrity
Your integrity is what keeps you in business for the long run. Relationships end when someone does not tell the truth. Meeting your commitments, making decisions that are based on what is good for your prospects, and walking your talk may have immediate costs, but long-term benefits.
How to Show Integrity
- Don’t fake it.
- Be honest.
- Know when to say “no” or “I don’t know”.
When you communicate with integrity, you have no fear of being trapped in deception. The old brain of your audience will sense a perfect alignment between you and what you say.
Credibility Variable #5: Your Similarity
We all like people who are similar to us. A huge amount of research known as Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) demonstrates that highlighting similarities between yourself and your prospect makes your solution much more appealing. NLP studies have demonstrated that when two people communicate in a nonthreatening environment, they will adopt a common langauge, a common voice, and a common posture. They will even start to breathe in synchronicity. (Breathing is also controlled by the old brain; it’s all subconscious).
To be trusted, look, feel, and sound like your prospect’s best friend.
Do you take the time to customize your message to fit the profile of your prospects? Or do you copy and paste your PowerPoint slides from a template with the hope that “one message fits all”? To be accessible to your prospects, align yourself with your target audience; tailor your message to address their specific pain. When your prospect’s old brain perceives you as its “best friend” with little or no difference between the two of you, it relaxes and becomes more receptive to your message.
Credibility Variable #6: Your Expressiveness
7% of the impact of your communication comes from your words. 38% comes from your voice. 55% is achieved with body language (the visual component of your message)
How well you express yourself depends on three factors:
- Your Words
- Your Voice
- Your Body Langauge
Expressiveness: Your Words
When you simply want to inform, the written medium is best. People statistically read five times faster than they speak. This engages rational thinking which takes place in the new brain. If you want to persuade people, speak to them. This carries your energy, passion, and emotion better than written words do, and it engages the old brain. When speaking, two rules apply:
- Your words must be carefully chosen.
- Minimize the number of written words that you use, especially when displayed on slides.
DON’Ts of Communication:
- Don’t use words that your audience may not understand.
- Don’t use expressions like “I think,” “I believe,” or “hopefully.”
- Don’t use non-words like “uh”, “umm,” or habitual “like”s or “ya know”s.
- Don’t use words that are too abstract or that do not give a precise measure of a benefit.
- Don’t repeat what’s already written on your slide, or worse, read your slides word for word.
- Don’t say, “I will try to demonstrate”. Either you will demonstrate or you won’t, you won’t try.
DOs of Communication:
- Utilize pauses. This gives your audience a chance to process and highlight important information.
- Use simple, precise, and concrete words.
- Use the specialized vocabulary of your prospects. This opens the old brain to believe that you’re “one of us”.
- Use short and simple sentences.
The twelve most persuasive words in the English language are:
The most powerful combinations of words are:
- Thank you.
- Would you please?
- What do you think?
- I am proud of you.
You don’t have to have a PhD or masters to be a good speaker. Just start by using “you” a lot and be positive and polite!
Expressiveness: Your Voice
The human voice is characterized by six parameters:
Avoid the worst – people who are loud and/or speak aggressively are not listener-friendly. Our old brain feels threatened, rushed, or confronted with noise in such settings.
The most effective voice to reach the old brain is your “best friend” voice. Address your audience at an equal level. When you speak to your friends, you naturally vary your voice: your tone is deep and you pause frequently to think, emote, or emphasize a point.
A voice with a lower pitch is more persuasive. People who speak about 20% faster than average have more influence. Speaking faster demonstrates passion. Tape yourself and listen. Practice if you need to. Take the time to analyze your voice. Ask friends and colleagues about it.
Expressiveness: Your Body Language
Body language will immediately disqualify or emphasize what you are trying to communicate. To maximize your positive effect on the old brain, incorporate the following habits into your presentations:
- Maintain a strong posture and purposeful movement.
- Use gestures and facial expressions to reflect energy and attitude.
- Make sure you always remain facing your audience.
- Dress appropriately and be aligned with your listeners.
- Use as much space as reasonably possible.
- Involve the audience.
Do not hesitate to videotape yourself and review your body language. Check the following:
- Is your body totally still, or are you moving too much?
- Are you making any movements that are distracting for the audience?
- Are you varying your voice and your body attitudes?
- Are your movements synchronized with your words? (The book has a specific exercise to practice here on pg 161 – 162)
Expressiveness: Your Eye Contact
Although your audience will react to many aspects of your body language, the most important is eye contact. To build trust, make eye contact for at least four to five seconds. This will seem like a long time, but people naturally do this when talking to their best friends.
When you are not making eye contact, the message you are sending is that you are not trustworthy.
Improper eye communication includes staring at the back wall, staring at your feet or at the floor in front of you, making eye contact with only one or two people, breaking the eye contact in the middle of a sentence or the middle of a thought, and making eye contact for two seconds or less.
The principles in this book are valid among all cultures since the old brain is independent from cultural backgrounds. However, in some Asian cultures, too much eye contact is disrespectful. Inquire about local practices before applying the four second rule of eye contact.
Practice is absolutely critical to make habits of expression natural. These skills should become completely automatic to you.
“Credibility is an important, intangible quality that largely depends on six different variables:
- Your Creativity: Dare to be different.
- Your Fearlessness: Demonstrate self-confidence.
- Your Passion: Enthusiasm is contagious.
- Your Integrity: It is the only way to go.
- Your Similarity: Identify with your audience.
- Your Expressiveness: Reinforce your message with your words, voice, and body language.”
Although this chapter was long, it is also packed with useful tips and information. This is another chapter that would make the buying the book worth it even if it were the only chapter in the book.
Chapter 16, Impact Booster #3: Contrast
A sharp contrast is often needed to help the old brain make a decision. In a sales context, the absence of contrast will bring the decision-making ability to a halt. How much contrast do you have in your messages?
Demonstrating contrast is difficult to achieve in text or PowerPoint presentations. Mini-dramas, contrasted big pictures, and stories can easily generate contrast. Contrast often requires creativity. When using contrast to your advantage, demonstrate it in terms of:
- Without your solution/With your solution
- You/Your competitors
- [prospects with their pain/then without their pain]
Research on our senses suggest that we are not just passively noticing changes such as change of sounds, lighting, and such; we are actually proactively scanning the environment to detect changes. Serving contrast to the old brain is giving the audience what they are already watching for subconsciously.
“The old brain often needs sharp contrast to nudge it into making a decision. Without contrast, decision-making is often stalled. With a little creativity, you can help your prospects “get” the pain, claim, and gain, all through a little negative-to-positive contrast”.
Chapter 17, Impact Booster #4: Emotion
The emotions attached to a significant event are powerful memory-makers. (Where you on September 11, 2001?) Many people think that emotions happen to us – emotions are actually an inner source of energy, information and influence. Whenever we experience strong emotion, our brain creates a cocktail of hormones that acts as a memory-maker and a decision trigger. Emotions accelerate the formation of connections between brain cells. People are “creatures of emotion” not “creatures of logic” (Dale Carnegie). There is a scientifically documented reason that our brains make memories: it’s called emotional marking.
There are a few real-life examples and research results in this chapter. For this summary, it’s important to know that the prospect won’t make a decision unless you evoke some emotion.
“Delivering your message only at a rational level is not enough to convince the old brain. You have to generate emotion to help your customer decide to buy from you. Mini-dramas are especially powerful emotion inducers, but people will also respond emotionally to compelling stories, strong contrasts, and “you”-focused claims. Any of your Message Building Blocks can have emotion . . . be creative!”
Chapter 18, Impact Booster #5: Learning Styles
One of the most important things you can learn about yourself is your information-gathering style. There are three different channels to learn: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.
- The visual channel depends on seeing to learn.
- The auditory channel depends on hearing to learn.
- The kinesthetic channel depends on touch to learn.
The visual mode is the native mode of the old brain.
The visual channel can be used to interpret pictures, graphics, images, icons, props, the visual component of a video or printed ad, and the visual component of a well-told story, mini-drama, or demo. When you describe a setting (the sun rise), the listener must go into visual mode to “see” what you’re describing.
The auditory channel can be used to interpret elements such as any written text, any spoken words, the audio section of a movie, the legend in a picture, the auditory portion of a well-told story. “I heard a bell” stimulates the auditory portion to imagine hearing a bell.
The kinesthetic channel is used when people are asked to perform tasks or exercises that involve touching, with props, and in the kinesthetic portion of a good story or mini-drama. “The sun heated the asphalt until it was hot as fire” stimulates the kinesthetic channel.
All three channels are used in well-told stories, well-acted mini-dramas, and demos in which the audience is involved. Everyone has one channel that is more effective than the others. Statistically, 40% of people are primarily visual, 20% are strongly auditory, and 40% are kinesthetically dominant. Most messages are auditory. Make yours more visual or kinesthetic. Use all three when you communicate to an audience to avoid neglecting those in the audience with a different learning channel.
Many people who are tech-savvy tend to primarily use their new brain (thinking and logic), which is why most tech companies only use the auditory channel. They sell in a linear, rational, feature-centric way. Even a diagram could be inefficient in teaching a visual learner if the learner has to read too much (there is a specific do/do not sample in the book).
- Retention increases from 14 to 38% when listeners see, as well as listen to, a presentation.
- Group consensus is 21% higher in meetings with visual aids.
- The time required to communicate a concept is reduced by 40% with the use of effective visuals.
The book has three tests to demonstrate what your learning channels are. These tests use a unique printing strategy that cannot be transcribed from book to blog. To take these tests and see which learning channel is yours, buy the book.
Tips to access all three channels:
- Tell stories
- Use good visuals
- Involve the audience (kinesthetic channel), have them raise their hands, ask questions, let them touch an object, etc.
- Use words that evoke each channel, “do you see what I mean?”, “I hear you”, “it feels good, doesn’t it?”
When closing, use a neutral “what do you think?”. If you stimulate a particular channel when closing, then you miss those with different learning styles.
“Although all people use the three learning channels — visual, auditory, kinesthetic — everybody has a favorite one. To address your audience effectively, vary your learning channels. Your message is apt to be primarily auditory: make it more visual and kinesthetic by using real pictures, props, exercises, mini-dramas, and stories.”
Chapter 19, Impact Booster #6: Stories
Stories are so effective, they should be required in every presentation. Even though we know movies are fake, we still get emotional because the old brain cannot tell the difference between reality and a well-told story.
To create a good story, it is essential to:
- Create a world of sensory impressions using visual, auditory, and kinesthetic clues to fool the old brain.
- Clearly connect the story you are telling with the world of your client: why should they care?
- Make sure your story really has a point or a punch line.
Most people don’t know how to tell a good story and they don’t even know that they don’t know. The impact of a good story depends on two factors:
- Your Content
- Your Delivery
You must excel at both to compel listeners. The canvas to create a good story is by starting with the pain of the prospect, followed by your unique claims and the supporting proof of gain. The delivery will depend your creativity, fearlessness, passion, integrity, accessibility, and expressiveness (words, voice, body language) as described in previous chapters.
The best stories are stories that really happened either to you or someone close to you. Either you were born a good story teller or you can learn it. Read books or take a class if you need to.
Good stories make a concept visual and tangible. They can make it personal, show contrast, and generate powerful emotion. Stories speak a powerful language that reaches the heart and the old brain.
“Stories are a powerful way to grab attention and stir up emotion. For a good story, create a world with sensory details that make good listeners feel it really happened, clearly connect your story to your client’s world, and make sure that it has a clear point or punch line. Learn how to tell good stories, and then tell them.”
Chapter 20, Impact Booster #7: Less is More
Focus your message on one to three claims that address your prospect’s pain (even if you have 10 or more). The old brain (survival brain) likes to see the best choice at a glance.
Go for quality instead of quantity.
Ask yourself, “is the information I am giving absolutely necessary in order for my prospect to understand the bigger picture or in order for him or her to make a buying decision?” Before you finalize your presentation, review your Message Building Blocks and condense your message until you can no longer remove anything without losing value.
“More words do not equal more impact. Telling does NOT equal selling. As you get ready to deliver your message, remove anything from your message that has no value for your prospects. Think impact or emotion rather than quantity”.
Conclusion for Neuromarketing Book Summary Part III
The seven impact boosters are:
1. Use the word “you” frequently
2. Maximize your Credibility with these traits: Creativity, Fearlessness, Passion, Integrity, Accessibility, and Expressiveness.
3. Use Contrast everywhere
4. Generate Emotion
5. Vary Learning Styles
6. Tell good Stories
7. Less Is More: cut down your presentation to what is truly essential
This book is marketing doctrine with evidence-based neuroscientific claims that its contents will make you a better marketer for your business, your clients and yourself. It is jam-packed with actionable tips and information. Buying a copy of the book is highly recommended for your personal study and continual future reference. The examples (story telling) and scientific facts that were left out of this three-part summary can be exponentially valuable for helping you learn how to apply the principles in the book. Buy a copy on Amazon or your preferred book store.