Neuromarketing is a powerful sales tactic – here are some practical examples and ways you can use it as a life and health insurance agency.
Marketing is a critical part of your sales strategy. It can help you reach both potential and existing clients with essential information at the right time. Neuromarketing is a science-backed marketing technique that, when done right, can help you sell more and get a leg up on your competitors.
Let’s explore what neuromarketing is and how to use it in your sales pitch.
What is Neuromarketing?
In technical terms, neuromarketing is defined as the process of using a combination of neuroscience and market research to speak, advertise, and sell directly to your audience in a way they’ll truly grasp. Simply put, neuromarketing is a style of advertising designed to sell specifically to the brain’s decision-making region.
The Two Distinctive Parts of the Brain
The brain is made of two halves that work together: the left and right hemispheres. The left hemisphere is the center of linear thinking such as language, logic, and mathematics. The right hemisphere is the center of conceptual thoughts like creativity and inspiration.
Along with the two different hemispheres, the brain also has two distinctive systems that communicate with and influence one another. They have their own specialized purposes and work in tandem to help you function, think, and make decisions on a day-to-day basis.
Image Source: SalesBrain
- The Rational Brain. This part of the brain is where we think, compute, and rationalize information. It’s also where we predict outcomes, assess risks, and confirm actions. The Rational Brain is highly conscious, and its dominant purpose is cognition, so it handles writing, reading, and math and keeps a timeline of past, present, and future events.
- The Primal Brain (also known as the Reptilian Brain). This is the part of the brain that’s responsible for decision-making and bases these decisions on your senses and intuition. It takes into account the input from the rational brain but is dominant when it comes to maintaining safety and survival. Different from the Rational Brain, the Primal Brain doesn’t utilize (or really comprehend) rationalizing, reading, and writing and can only understand very basic math.
Your odds of conversion become much more likely when you understand how to communicate with the Primal Brain, which we’ll discuss next.
Six Ways to Stimulate the Primal Brain
There are six stimuli you can use to inspire action from the Primal Brain. Let’s break each one down and discuss how to use them in your sales pitch.
Image Source: SalesBrain
Keep It Personal
Because its main goal is survival, the Primal Brain is inherently self-centered. This means it’s really good at keeping emotions and larger considerations out of the picture in order to prioritize safety; being self-centered can mean the difference between existing and not.
The vast majority of decisions we make are with ourselves in mind. This natural attitude is connected directly with our resilience and ability to not only survive but to thrive. In order to appeal to the Primal Brain’s criteria for well-being and survival, you need to make your pitch personal.
How you can use it: Make sure to focus the conversation on your prospects. In fact, 100% of the conversation should be focused this way—meaning you should hardly be saying “I." Your audience must hear what your products and plans can do for them.
In application: “You need to have coverage, but you mentioned the rate you currently have isn’t working. Here’s a plan that can offer you similar coverage but at a lesser rate. Would you like to learn more about what this plan has to offer you?”
Contrast is a comparison used to show differences. A really simple example of this would be putting the colors black and white next to each other; they are complete opposites, thus have the highest level of contrast.
The Primal Brain makes quick decisions that don’t weigh heavy on the mind. Without clear, concise contrast, it can become confused and may delay making a decision—or worse, make no decision at all. Use contrasting language to explain in a simple, straightforward way how you can help your prospects.
How you can use it: Utilize storytelling to paint the picture of what life would be like with your specific product versus without it. Use contrasting words like before/after, with/without, risky/safe, and slow/fast.
These help to illustrate the need of your product or service and why this change is necessary to the Primal Brain.
WARNING: Using contrast verbiage is an easy way to over-promise something and be disingenuous to your prospects and clients. Ensure what you’re saying is both doable and true.
Utilize What’s Tangible
The Primal Brain is hardwired to search for things that are familiar and tangible in an unfamiliar scene. Examples of this are when you search for a friendly face in a crowd or try to find a pattern in a puzzle. Our brain is searching to connect with recognizable, concrete concepts.
How you can use it: Use actionable, concise phrases like "save money," "easy to use," and "24/7 access." These short expressions have a lot of power and quickly resonate with the Primal Brain.
Simple concepts, ideas, and language are easier for the Primal Brain to grasp as it cannot comprehend ambiguity. It needs a black and white, clear-cut message in order to understand and take action. Avoid language that is heavily conceptual or general, like “scalable solution” or “flexible approach.”
Make It Memorable
When was the last time you listened to a song the whole way through or actually read something word-for-word? Are you even reading every word of this blog?
With short attention spans and busy schedules, people typically skim and scan through content to find only the most vital, relevant pieces of information.
Use this to make your presentations and content marketing tactics stronger. Generate excitement with powerful openers and save your strong deliverables for the end. Inspire action by getting straight to the benefits of your product and service. Avoid placing the important details in the middle or overloading your clients with too much information.
How you can use it: Fill the beginning of your pitch with all the important information (whats and whys) and end it with a solution to meet those needs (hows and whens).
We are hardwired to make decisions based heavily on visual input; you cross a road once you see that it’s clear, you don’t listen for cars or feel for the rumbles in the road. Visuals help the Primal Brain decipher and react to information quickly.
How you can use it: Use visual aids like graphs and charts to better illustrate your selling points and help your audience clearly grasp what you’re saying.
Appeal to Emotions
Whether you’re new to sales or a seasoned veteran, there’s no getting around the fact that humans are emotional creatures. Every person has fears, desires, and goals in life. We also recall things better when we have an emotion tied to the memory.
In one neuromarketing study, it was found that people’s thoughts, feelings, and memories unconsciously changed their experience and enjoyment of Coca-Cola over Pepsi during a non-blind taste test. This was due to the strong emotional connection that Coca-Cola has fostered with many people, which, when evoked by the sight of the branded soda can, unconsciously influenced participant preference toward Coca-Cola.
How you can use it: Connect your pitch to your client's emotions by making it personal and telling stories. Take time to learn what they care about and integrate these things into your conversation. After all, finding the right insurance is a personal experience, so doing this will make you a more effective agent.
Here are some ways to bring emotion into your pitch:
- Discuss how life insurance would benefit their growing family/spouse/partner and highlight key examples, like how their policy can cover debts (like student debt) that aren’t forgiven with the policyholder’s passing.
- Show how the benefits of health insurance outweigh the costs of medical bills by comparing monthly policy costs to the cost of emergency surgery due to appendicitis, broken bones, etc.
- Describe how a cancer plan can help cover out-of-pocket expenses for your client and their family, so that they can focus on overcoming cancer without financial pressures.
The Four Steps to Communicating With the Primal Brain
Now that we’ve discussed the six stimuli that trigger action in the Primal Brain, let’s dive into the four steps you can follow to effectively communicate with it:
Image Source: SalesBrain
Step One: Diagnose the Pain
Pain – whether it be physical, emotional, financial, etc. – is personal. The Primal Brain is constantly looking for ways to avoid or solve pain. Your job as an insurance agent is to get an understanding of your client’s problems and pain points and guide them to the right solution.
Good communication is a two-way street – you have to listen in order to communicate well. You can’t diagnose someone’s problem and help them find the right solution until you fully understand it. Here are some tips for listening to your clients well:
- Determine if their pain is financial, personal, or strategic
- Ask open-ended questions
- Reflect on what they’ve said and restate it back to them to ensure you understand
- Keep an ear out for any connotations that may reveal underlying messages in what they’re saying
- Observe their facial expressions and body language
- Acknowledge how they feel
In action, this could look like setting up a call with a client that doesn’t have life insurance. After asking a few questions, you may find that their pain is the worry that they will leave their loved ones with financial burdens. The solution: a life insurance policy.
Step Two: Differentiate Your Claims
Once you’ve identified your client’s pain points, you want to highlight what makes you different from your competitors. Many agencies offer very similar products, so it’s important to show your prospects the benefits of working with you that they can’t get anywhere else.
An agency with great customer service, for example, may have been challenging for your prospects to find. Consistently communicate valuable, relevant information to them to build this trust. While it takes time, this will pay off in terms of client acquisition and retention. Plus, there are certain tools you can use to save time on the process – like an industry-specific CRM.
Step Three: Demonstrate the Gain
The Primal Brain is self-centered. It doesn’t care if you’re different for difference's sake; it wants to know how that difference benefits it. There are four great ways to demonstrate the benefit of working with you to your prospects:
- Client success stories, such as case studies and written or video testimonials
- A demo of your product or service
- Facts and statistics
- Sharing your vision
Customer testimonials are one of the most powerful sales tools you can use – in fact, almost half (49%) of consumers trust them as much as personal recommendations, which are the most trusted form of advertising by 92% of people. These are powerful because they are genuine.
The other three tactics can be impactful, too, but nothing is as powerful as a customer’s story or testimonial. If you are lacking testimonials, reviews, or case studies, ask your top clients for some.
Step Four: Deliver to the Primal Brain
Selling to the Primal Brain rather than the Rational Brain allows you to be much more effective in your sales pitch. People don’t have time or energy to waste, and if you’re requiring them to work to understand you, they will likely go to a competitor.
The tactics above can help you communicate with your prospects in a way that instantly resonates with them, increasing your chance of conversion. Once a prospect becomes a client, you can use these steps to repeat the process and retain those relationships for life.
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This blog was originally published on May 1, 2018, was updated on March 10, 2020, and updated again on May 17, 2022.
By Allison Babberl on May 17, 2022 in Selling
Allison is the Content Lead at AgencyBloc. She manages the creation and schedule of all educational content for our BlocTalk and Member communities. Favorite quote: “Conversation is the bedrock of relationships. Without it, our relationships are devoid of substance.” -Maribeth Kuzmeski More articles