You’re in sales. Whether it’s in a job interview, presenting a multi-million dollar pitch to a room of investors or your online t-shirt store – you’re constantly selling something. Once you’ve gotten a potential customer through the door – you’re selling.
Psychology of the sale
I sleep with a psychology book on my nightstand. I love diving in to how the mind works because once you understand how we’re wired, it makes certain things like selling quite simple.
Here’s the three-step cycle going on in your prospects mind before they purchase anything, hell before they even approach you:
1) Fight or flight (THE LIZARD BRAIN!) or spam filter to your pitch
2) What does this mean to me (providing social context)?
3) What problem does this solve (very analytical)?
Before visiting you online, setting foot in your store or chatting with you at a networking event, humans primal extinct is to fight or flee the situation. It’s only been for the past century or so where our basic standards of life (in the Western World anyway) have been covered to a point of not having to worry about a large predator jumping out of the bushes and devouring us on the spot. However, our minds have been slow to change.
This is the lizard brain quickly deciphering whether we should run or stand put and duke it out to the best of our ability. Our mind has been conditioned to conduct a quick survey of our surroundings within nano-seconds. Once this assessment is complete – the body chooses whether to fight or flee.
This is why you may find your palms or brow get sweaty before a pitch. For me it’s my lower back and armpits. Hell, I get sweaty before I ask my wife about whether or not she wants pizza or a pita for dinner. It’s human nature.
Knowing this primal instinct is hardwired into everyone’s mind – you must get it to calm down before moving to the second part of your prospects decision making mind. To do this you must be clear, concise, while sprinkling in a bit of humour (if you can).
The Lizard Brain is very picky
The lizard brain is essential for survival. This is why it’s so difficult to get past. In your pitch you’re selling using data, metrics and all these things the lizard brain doesn’t care about. Remember the lizard brain is the spam filter. 90% of what you’re saying or pitching isn’t getting through. The lizard brain is lazy and if you’re throwing numbers, and business jargon its way it will get overwhelmed and discard the vast majority.
The lizard brain likes black and white. It’s taking care of your survival. It doesn’t care about data. Your pitch needs to be clear and concise. The lizard brain is lazy, so don’t make it do too much work.
How to get past the lizard brain
- Focus on the big picture in black and white. No grey areas. Remember this is fight or flight you’re dealing with.
- Use emotion through visual and audio cues
- Create novelty (how are you different and exciting?)
- Throw in concrete facts (verified evidence)
Your entire sales pitch is wasted unless you get past the lizard brain. Your pitch was created with the analytical part of your brain. Having said that, don’t pitch to the lizard brain with analytics. Get past it using the points above. Once through the lizard brain you can dive into the details.
Jordan ‘The Guy with the Bow Tie’ Rycroft
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