Emotional Impact in Property Sales
There is a reason you fall asleep during Powerpoint presentations; your mind is not interested in numbers, it needs a reason to get excited about the presenter’s core message and idea.
How do you explain when year after year, a competitor company is able to outperform you, even though they have access to the exact same resources? Simon Sinek believes you should look deeper at how the brain works, and how to create emotional engagement. He believes that our “outgoing message” needs to be structured in reverse to match the “incoming acceptance” of the recipient, or your prospect; the person you are trying to convince.
Simon’s lesson is simple: you must make an emotional impact, because the emotional part of the brain is the one in charge of making decisions; not the rational part that understands numbers.
Rey Kurzweil, in his exceptional book “How To Create a Mind — the secret of human thought revealed” asks us to do a simple experiment, which goes to prove Sinek’s assumption that information must reach our brain in the right order to make a lasting impact. Here is the experiment:
- recite the alphabet
- recite the alphabet backwards
The brain is a mechanism that stores patterns, not discrete items. Which is why 1 is easy and 2 is nearly impossible without practice (installing the pattern). Knowing that we are pattern seeking and pattern storing creatures, let’s dig a little deeper and see what else neuroscience has to say, and how it all relates to helping us actually close more deals.
The newest part of the human brain, the neocortex, is the part that has the ability for language and communicating complex ideas. It is so developed in humans and high function mammals that it is folded to fit in the size of the cranial cavity that hasn’t grown large enough to fit it flat like in smaller animals. But it doesn’t make decisions. It takes directives on decisions, depending on how the glands have tagged the information coming in. More on this later.
Digging deeper under it we have the limbic system, which is responsible for behavior and emotions, and it is well developed in most mammals. This is where we make decisions. This is where you need to make an impact. This part of the brain is stingy with information, and has little to no capacity for language. So showing it facts is an exercise in futility.
The input you receive from your senses would drive you insane if the brain did not ignore most of it; so your brain is excellent at ignoring things that are not essential for survival; by the way, this is why you fall asleep during those Powerpoint presentations. But let’s look at how that happens.
For hundreds of thousands of years, our species was forged in the African savanna to run long distances (which is why half of our body is legs and we sweat through the skin), and evaluate that respective environment for survival. We have the ability to work efficiently with low numbers and collections of things, and our reaction time ensured survival. This means we didn’t have time to analyze things. Those who did, died. The survivors that passed their genes to us are the ones who “felt” and took instinctive quick decisions. So here is how we process input:
- Information comes in
- Primitive brain feels something or nothing (can I mate with it? no. can I eat it? no. can it eat me? no. is it new or different? no. then I’m going to ignore it.)
- Your message will then be ignored no matter how much sense your presentation makes to the neocortex, because it was already tagged as “boring”.
This is a little discouraging, because unless you have Hollywood looks, TV anchor speech, a $20,000 pearl white perfect smile, and are selling the latest iPhone or other exciting gadget, chances are you will be ignored.
This part of the brain also tags incoming information with endorphines or “pleasure drugs” when it is excited by something, and it will make the neocortex very receptive to it.
It will also instantly tag the incoming information with a toxin when a threat is discovered or anything that causes instinctive repulsion (body odor, bad breath, a missing front tooth, etc.)
However, if you made it this far with your lecture, you must have an intuitive understanding that this “nonthinking” part of the brain responsible for filtering information can also be manipulated.
So how do we make it past the “survival filters” without triggering them, and obtaining their blessing to enter the logical mind while our message is liked and welcomed by the recipient? We are a weak species compared to our competition in the wild, and it was our fear and mistrust that kept us alive for millions of years.
In my next article I will share with you some of the “power tools” in my arsenal. For now let’s focus on how you can improve your presentation.
We are beasts and every human interaction is a d**k measuring contest. All the “kumbaya” rhetoric about equality trying to avoid this fact is useless in a sales meeting. You enter a meeting room with the intent to close. They receive you with the intent to ignore you unless you are the most useful or interesting thing they have ever seen, but perhaps will only work with you if you are both.
In that meeting only one point of view will survive, and that is the point of view of the Alpha that dominates the room (Oren Klaff — Pitch Anything). The rest of the opinions have entered that room to die.
- Never start with features or benefits, and forget all the literature that says “focus on benefits rather than features”, etc. That is not a starting point, it is a closing point (remember Simon Sinek’s circle). Instead use the first moment you open your mouth to establish authority. Never utter “please”, “thank you” or “I am sorry”. These three expressions will lower your status and will create the biological predatory desire in the other party to dominate you.
- Create trust by demonstrating a deep understanding of their precise problems. This way you establish a business dialogue instead of a cheesy “sales presentation”.
- Offer a compliment, reinforce it with a statement and a question so it is accepted, not deflected. How not to do it: “Nice desk” They deflect it “It’s nothing, we have a customer in the business”. How to do it “Nice desk… it looks perfect in your office… where did you get it?” “We have a customer in the business, he made it for us”. By answering your question they accepted your compliment, a higher level of rapport was created.
- Surprise them with something interesting and completely unexpected; this can be an add-on to your service or product. When selling properties or businesses we enhance the properties with:
creating an instant “wow” emotional reaction that floods the brain with dopamine and a feeling of “I want it, I want to buy it now, this is the one”.
It is said that more is discovered in one day in the field of neuroscience than any single one of us can learn in a whole year. Above anything else, it is important to stay informed and read a lot on how the brain works and why it behaves the way it does. It is fascinating, and it helps us perform at a higher level of abstraction, with more control over the world around us, than when we are just pushed around by others and by events and circumstances.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org