Brain Rules

How Our Customers Decide To Buy.

Broadly speaking, there are two major decision-making systems in our brain. While these two systems function very differently, they have the same goal; to make the most accurate decision with the least amount of energy.


“The brain is about 2% of our body weight but consumes 20% of our energy (a high fixed cost).”


The Reflexive Brain – Your knee-jerk, gut reaction center. This is called the System 1 brain – and more decisions and reactions result from this part of the brain.


Reflective Brain – Your slow, ‘think-things-through’ center of the brain, also known as System 2.


Too often our customers make reflexive decisions. Many customers immediately decide they don’t like you or, decide your product isn’t good before you can even explain.


This is because our brain is also a cognitive miser. It consumes so much energy but still needs to take shortcuts in decision-making to conserve energy.

A couple ‘shortcuts’ your brain takes to quickly and efficiently make decisions include:

Heuristics – Rule of thumb thinking. When you grab a product that’s lightweight, you think ‘this is cheap’. You associate a lighter weight with cheap plastic or materials. That’s a heuristic that our brain created based on past information, and it’s our way of making quick decisions without thinking too hard.

Relevancy – Have you ever been listening to a speaker and your focus begins to drift off to other subjects? Your brain is telling you the content being delivered is not relevant to you and you should only pay attention to more important things – like checking your emails. 


Contrast – The brain is always looking for differences. If your brain can’t tell the difference between two things, it’ll ignore both. That’s why we as salespeople have to differentiate our products immediately to avoid losing our customer’s interest. If they can’t tell the difference between your product and a competitor’s, they’ll likely shift their attention elsewhere and go for the least expensive option. 


What can we do?

Break the Brain Rules.


If a company doesn’t want to work with you because your company is too small or young, you have to break their heuristic on young businesses. Point out the advantages of a small, agile company right off the bat to dispel their preconceived (negative) ideas.


Make it meaningful.


Make sure it pertains to the customer, so they can directly relate to your product.


Draw Contrast.

We as salespeople have to differentiate our products immediately to avoid losing our customer’s interest.

If you can incorporate all these 3 things, you will have the customer’s interest for much longer, increasing your chances of a close.


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