Neuromarketing is the process by which you speak, advertise, and sell directly to your prospects in a way they’ll understand. Breaking it down, neuromarketing is the style of marketing designed to sell specifically to the brain. It understands how the brain works and is able to craft messages that will get through the jumble so the brain can then understand and make faster decisions.
When it comes to neuromarketing, SalesBrain is one of the leading experts on how to effectively sell to your prospects. This blog will go over some of their most profound tips and how you as an insurance agent can apply them to your current process to ultimately sell more.
If you’re new to sales, or just looking to improve your sales strategy, using tools like SalesBrain can be incredibly helpful. They help you dig down and dictate who you are talking to and how to communicate with them.
The Breakdown of the Brain
The brain is made of two halves that work together, the left and the right hemispheres. If you’re not familiar with these, then here’s a brief breakdown:
- The left hemisphere is the center of linear thinking such as language, logic, and mathematics
- The right hemisphere is the center of conceptual thoughts such as art, music, creativity, and inspiration
Image Source: How It Works
Bridging the two halves is the corpus callosum which is the gateway for both hemispheres to talk and function properly.
The 3 Distinctive Parts of the Brain
Breaking it down further, the brain is split into three distinctive parts that communicate with and influence each other. Each has its own specialized function that works with the other sections to help you function, think, and make decisions on a day-to-day basis.
- The New Brain. This is the thinking part of the brain. It processes rationalized data.
- The Middle Brain. This is the part of the brain that feels. It deals with and processes emotions and is responsible for those gut feelings you have.
- The Old Brain. This is the deciding portion of the brain. It takes into account the input from the two other parts (Middle and New), but it’s the one that actually makes the decision. The Old Brain is also called the reptilian brain.
Image Source: Sales Brain
As you can probably guess, the Old Brain is the oldest part of the brain. It’s been around for roughly 45,000 years. To put that into perspective, consider the following:
- Spoken words have been around for about 40,000 years
- Written language has been around for about 10,000 years
What’s important to note about these time variances is that since there is a large discrepancy between the age of the Old Brain and the age of written language, the Old Brain struggles comprehending the written word. In terms of evolution, it just has not had the time to catch up.
The Old Brain is also called the reptilian brain because it’s the part of the brain that’s still present in reptiles today. It is where our oldest, most primal selves and instincts lie. The Old Brain determines which sensory inputs will go to the new brain and what decisions will be accepted. That’s why it’s so important to know how to sell to this part of the brain.
How to Speak to the Old Brain
There are six stimuli that have an impact and connect with the Old Brain:
- Tangible Input
- The Beginning and The End
- Visual Stimulation
Image Source: Sales Brain
Let’s break these down and discuss.
The term “self-centered” is often combined with a negative connotation, but in reality, it’s not all that bad. Humans are, generally, rather self-centered creatures. The vast majority of decisions we make and things we do are with ourselves in mind. Our self-centered nature is connected directly with our resilience and our ability to not only survive, but thrive.
In selling, make sure to focus the conversation on them. In fact, 100% of the conversation should be focused this way—meaning you should hardly be saying “I”. Your audience must hear what this plan or this rider can do for them before they will pay any attention to you or give the plan a second thought.
An example: “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?”
By definition, contrast is a comparison by which to show unlikeness or differences. A really easy example would be the colors black and white—they are the perfect contrast as they are complete opposites.
Using contrast allows the Old Brain to make quick, risk-free decisions that don’t weigh heavy on the mind. Without the provided contrast, the Old Brain will delay making the decision—or worse, make no decision at all.
In selling, contrast is using verbiage and painting a picture of what life would be like with the product vs. what it’d be like without. Use words like before/after, with/without, risky/safe, and slow/fast.
These help to illustrate the difference and better iterate to the Old Brain the necessity of your product and why the change needs to take place.
WARNING: Using contrast verbiage is an easy way to over-promise something to your prospects and clients. Ensure what you’re saying is both doable and true.
A tangible input is when we scan for the familiarities in an unfamiliar scene. Think of it as when you search for a friendly face in a crowd or try to find a pattern in a math problem or puzzle. It’s our brain grasping to find something recognizable, something concrete, and something with which it can connect.
The Old Brain can’t process a flexible solution; it doesn’t dwell in the grays. It’s better suited to simple, easy-to-grasp concepts and ideas.
In selling, use actionable phrases like less money, easy to use, 24/7 access. These short phrases have a lot of power and resonate with the Old Brain.
The Beginning and The End
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 this blog?
Our society is full of skimmers and scanners who sift quickly through content to glean the vital pieces of information. That’s why presenters always clamour to either be the first or last to go because they know their audience is most captive at the beginning and the end of a long day of presentations.
Use this to make your presentations stronger. Create anticipation and excitement with powerful openers and strong deliverables at the end. Avoid placing the important parts of the pitch in the middle when the audience is less attentive.
In selling, start strong, answer important whats, hows, whens, and whys, then finish with something really compelling. Plug the beginning of your speech with all the important information (whats and whys) and end it with a solution to meet those needs (hows and whens).
They say a picture is worth a thousand words—and for the Old Brain, this is definitely true. Remember, the Old Brain cannot comprehend or interpret the written word; it needs visuals to help it understand.
We are hardwired to make decisions that are mostly based on visual input; you cross a road if you see that it’s clear, you don’t listen for the cars or feel for the rumbles.
In selling, use visuals to your advantage and have some prepared for your prospects and leads. This will help you better illustrate your point, allowing them to better grasp what you’re saying.
Visuals can include charts, graphs, and spreadsheets. Pull out big numbers that emphasize your point. Make them colored and vibrant to help differentiation for your prospect’s brain. Color is important for the brain. As you can see below, there is a significant difference in how you engage with and consume the two graphs even though they’re the exact same.
Humans are very emotional creatures; many of our decisions are based on emotions alone. It’s connected to our self-centered view. We remember better when we have an emotional tie to the memory. Example, I can clearly remember where I was and what I was doing when 9/11 happened; my parents can clearly remember the day when the first man walked on the moon.
In selling, connect your pitch to their emotions and passions. Figure out where those lie and integrate them into your conversation. It just simply is not an option for you to ignore their emotions.
Some examples could include:
- Focusing on how life insurance would benefit their growing family/spouse/partner
- How life insurance would cover debts (like student debt) that aren’t forgiven with the holder’s passing
- How the benefits of health insurance outweigh the costs (monthly cost vs. the cost of emergency surgery like appendicitis, broken leg, etc.)
- Why a cancer plan is important to have as it helps cover out-of-pocket expenses for them and their family (cancer isn’t something they’ll face alone; their whole family will be there facing it with them)
Make it personal for them. Tell stories! Insurance is an industry where making it personal is completely welcomed and expected.
How to Tap Into the Old Brain
We discussed the six stimuli to triggering the Old Brain’s attention, but here are the four steps—the 4 D’s—to using those stimuli and actually communicating with the Old Brain.
- Diagnose the Pain
- Differentiate Your Claims
- Demonstrate the Gain
- Deliver to the Old Brain
Image Source: Sales Brain
Diagnose the Pain
A big part of connecting with the Old Brain is listening. Remember, the Old Brain is self-centered and focused on survival. It is where our most basic and primeval instincts lie.
It should come as no surprise to you that listening is an integral part to being a successful insurance agent. Listen for the connotations and the underlying messages. Rely both on your eyes and your ears to hear and see the microexpressions your prospects are giving you. Doing so will help you to diagnose their pain. You can’t diagnose until you understand.
Here are some tips for listening more closely:
- Determine if their pain is financial, personal, or strategic
- Ask open-ended questions
- Restate back to them what they’ve said to ensure you understand
- Inquire and reflect
Differentiate Your Claims
What makes you different from all the other insurance agencies out there? It has to go beyond just the products you offer. Many agencies offer very similar products. So what makes you different?
Hone in on that difference and use it to propel yourself to the top. Insurance is a relationship industry—52% of insurance consumers are relationship buyers. Your prospects want to create a relationship with you built on trust, loyalty, and understanding. If they don’t feel you can provide all three for them, then they’ll search elsewhere for someone who will.
Ask yourself: How are you different and why does that matter to them? The Old Brain is self-centered; it doesn’t care if you’re different for difference sake. It wants to know how that difference benefits it.
Demonstrate the Gain
There are four great ways to demonstrate the gain to your prospects:
- Customer Story 80-100% proof
- A demo 60-100% proof
- Data 20-60% proof
- A vision 10-40% proof (a story of your own)
Customer stories are the most powerful sales tools you can use. These can include case studies, written testimonials, and video testimonials. They are powerful because they are genuine.
If the testimonials or case studies you have are not genuine then you should not share them. Think of how often you shop online and read the reviews from previous purchasers to determine if you want to buy. We hold customer reviews, testimonials, and stories in high regard, and they significantly impact our final decision.
Remember, the “gut reaction” occurs in the Middle Brain which converses with the Old Brain to determine what you should do. If your Middle Brain believes your customer stories lack authenticity, it will trigger a gut reaction that will deter the Old Brain.
The other three can be powerful, too, but nothing is as powerful as a customer’s story or their testimonial. If you are lacking testimonials, reviews, or case studies, then revisit those top clients of yours and ask. As my mom always said, “the worst they can do is say no.” But usually, they’ll say yes. Use your own gut reaction to determine who’d be best to reach out to to help build your customer story library.
Deliver to the Old Brain
Humans are not rational creatures. Rather, we make the bulk of our decisions based on emotions, gut reactions, and instinct. The Old Brain, as the decision maker in the brain, takes these emotions and uses them to determine our final decisions.
We choose based on what we feel is right. Think of the last time you purchased something expensive like a tv, a car, or a home. How often did you rule out certain models because they just didn’t feel right? How often did your final decision come from a gut feeling that it was the right decision?
This is why it’s crucial to sell to the Old Brain. It’s the final decision maker. Yes, it interprets the opinions of the Middle and the New Brains, but the Old Brain ultimately makes the decision. Using the tools above to appeal to and better communicate with the Old Brain means better conversations with your prospects and, ultimately, closing more deals!
It’s digging down to the most basic part of who we are and finding a common connection. From there, you can build the relationship, strengthen it, and, hopefully, use it for further gains (think testimonials or reviews).
Using a combination of all the tools above will help put you in a more direct conversation with the Old Brain itself. Get rid of the fancy-fare and the small talk we all can’t stand. Get down to the meat of why you’re there, why they’re looking, and what you can actually do for them. The rest is all fluff.
Once you engage with the Old Brain and open that channel of communication, your odds of conversion can rapidly improve.
Why? Because your prospect will just get it.
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