October 20, 2014

Sales and Marketing Advice for Florida business

How to help prospects make decisions in your favor

Ron Stein | 7/8/2013

I’m frustrated. When I land on your website, it’s all about your company. When we meet at a networking event, it’s all about you. Last Tuesday you called me and the only thing you talked about was your offering.

Hey, I understand. We’re human and get excited about what we sell. We can’t seem to shut up and ramble on about our product or service, and many times about ourselves.

The usual advice on how to get the attention of your audience is to have a message structured for maximum impact based on where their problems intersect with your solution. True, but that’s not enough.

You must first understand how people’s brains work. The only way to do a great job helping your prospective customer solve their problem is to get to know their sub-conscious mind. But, not mind games or deep psychoanalysis kind of stuff.

Here’s the thing, we have two basic sides to our minds. One goes back to primitive times and is geared for survival. It’s our “old brain” and it makes buying decisions based on emotions.

The other side is much more logical. Our “rational brain” is normally a little slow getting to the party. Only after someone’s old brain has acted on information the rational brain will kick in. By that time it may be too late for your business because the old brain has control over final decisions.

Here’s a primer on the battle for our brains and how to help your prospects make great decisions.

The old brain is self-centered. People first focus only on those things that contribute to survival. They really don’t care about you, your product, or service. You’ll shut off the old brain if you start with “I” or “we” centered language. Appeal to your audience’s selfish side. Start writing about and talking to your prospective customers about the things they care about. Soon they’ll start caring about your and your company too.

The old brain is simple. Your prospects need concrete things to respond to, not abstract or complex concepts. Keep it simple. Reduce your message to the most tangible form possible. Develop simple and easy to remember processes. Use stories to get your point across — they help people accept ideas that they wouldn’t normally understand.

The old brain needs context and sharp contrast. To catch the attention of the old brain you must create a disruption and shatter the status quo. Help prospects realize why it is no longer safe where they are, which opens them up to consider alternatives — the safe haven you provide. That context and contrast will create urgency when you present your solution. Otherwise your prospect will not see any reason to move in your direction. This is how you establish value.

The old brain responds well to images. Paint a picture with your words. Use simple visuals or even props when talking about complex concepts when you can — stick figures are preferred! Pay attention to what prospects see as well as what they hear. Again, telling a story is particularly effective.

It’s not about you. Prospective customers are not buying you — they’re buying a solution to their problem. Help them get that solution in their hands. To grab people’s attention you need to speak the language that the decision-making old brain understands.

Keep your message focused on your audience from the start — talk about their problem. Clearly demonstrate that the benefits and value of your product or service is greater than the cost with easy-to-grasp descriptions. Then prove your differentiated claims through a story.


Ron Stein is President of FastPath Marketing (www.marketing-strategies-guide.com). He works with small business owners, helping them to energize their marketing and sell more of their products and services. Ron has developed his own highly successful 7-step approach to winning new customers as a result of his experience as a small business owner, corporate CEO, marketing and business development executive, salesman, and mentor at two nationally recognized business accelerators. Ron offers one-on-one and small group mentoring, conducts seminars, and consults. He can be reached at 727-398-1855 or Ron@FastPathMarketing.com.

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