What if you could use science to close your deals faster? What if it took only an hour or less to read a book about using science to close your deals faster?
John Asher posits that you can do both with “The Neuroscience of Selling,” a book published by Simple Truths under the Ignite Reads series of books on professional topics that can be digested quickly.
Buyers buy because of emotion and justify their decisions with logic, Asher says. The decision to buy comes from a part of the brain that senses feelings, excitement and engagement called the mammalian brain, which scientists say began to appear about 150 million years ago with the advent of mammals. Justifications for the purchase come from the analytical part of the brain called the hominid brain, which is only about 2 or 3 million years old.
Asher provides examples and guidelines aimed at targeting the older parts of the brain so that you can make more sales. He backs up his techniques with references to scientific research and gives practical ways you can begin applying the knowledge in your sales strategy.
Asher leads off with tips for getting the attention of the buyer’s old brain, then identifies 25 cognitive biases, or shortcuts in how the brain works, and how they can affect sales. Knowledge of these biases can affect how you interact not only with buyers but also with people in your own company.
For each cognitive bias Asher identifies, he provides advice for how to put knowledge of that bias to work. In a chapter about prospecting for new leads, one of the biases he mentions is the “choice-supportive bias,” which appears after a decision. People affected by this bias can be blind to information that goes against the choice or against a strongly-held belief. As advice to combat that bias, Asher suggests watching out for new information that could indicate a qualified lead is no longer qualified.
Another concept known as the familiarity bias, in which familiar things are favored more than new things, appeal to the human need for safety. Asher suggests that successful sales can be helped by repetitive interactions with qualified leads, to make the salesperson familiar to buyers. He also provides advice for following up with the leads, with communications that are frequent, useful and easy to process.
There’s also a chapter on biases of buyers. If a person feels another person is honest and has integrity, their trust and confidence in that person will increase, a phenomenon described as the trust bias. Because of that, Asher recommends always telling the truth and doing what you say you will do, the way it should be done, and on time, so that you demonstrate not only honesty but a competent knowledge of your product or service.
Much of the advice you find in this book may be in line with advice you find in other sales books. Any sales book will tell you to dress professionally to make a good first impression. This book will tell you that first impressions play into the primacy bias, the tendency for the first few things we notice about someone can influence how we interpret information about them later.
There are a lot of cognitive biases to cover in the book, and in the time it’s taken you to read this review, you probably could have read about three or four of them. While it’s silly to expect that just one hour with a book will turn everyone who reads it into a master salesperson, this book has just enough bits of knowledge to get you thinking about how to use science to make sales.
The Neuroscience of Selling
Proven Sales Secrets to Win Over the Buyer’s Heart and Mind
By John Asher
Simple Truths. 168 pages. $16.99.