The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 10 months ago

Why the Brain Buys: The Neuroscience of Sales w/ Dr. Terry Wu

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

You’re throwing an office party now and you need to get noisemakers, silly hats and confetti. You know you can find all of these things on Amazon, but lately, you’ve also been fielding increasingly-aggressive office visits from a door-to-door party clown from the local clown college trying to sell you all of these very items — and he warns that, if you don’t, you’re a terrible manager and hate puppies. Who do you go with… and why is it Amazon?

Today’s guest, neuroscientist Dr. Terry Wu, Owner at Neuromarketing Services, says you choose Amazon not because of John Wayne Gacy or the movie IT, but because our brains are wired to love buying but hate feeling like we’re being forced.

This is just one of many examples Dr. Wu shares in the latest episode of how neuroscience influences buying behavior — and how understanding the science helps you make a sale.

We discuss:

  • The difference between helping a customer buy and selling to them
  • The power of framing when it comes to buying decisions
  • How freewill — or lack thereof — plays into buying behavior

And be sure to check out:

Now that you know why the brain buys, are you ready to learn how to foster human connection to build high-performance teams, or how to overcome buyer resistance? Check out the full list of episodes: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience.

You're listening to the BDB revenue executive experience, a podcast dedicated to helping executives train their sales and marketing teams to optimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three, two, one. Welcome everyone to the BB revenue executive experience. I'm your host, Chad Sanderson. Today we're talking about the brain, about neuroscience. If anybody listens to the podcast before, they know this is a pet subject for me. I love it. We want to get into the reasons for why we make certain decisions, how we can reduce buyers anxiety influence their buying decision and we're going to go really deep and figure out if we actually have free will. So, for those of you haven't seen it, I highly recommend checking out Dr who's Ted talk on the new science of consumer decision. It's a great watch. To help us, Dr Terry Wu, who received his master's degree in neuroscience from Duke University and his PhD in neuroscience of Vanderbilt, focused on research into learning and memory. Terry, thank you so much for taking time and welcome to the show. It's my pleasure our chat. Thank you for inviting me. So we always like to ask a question of the beginning just to get a sense for you as an individual, and we like to ask something kind of off the wall, which is, those that know you largely through your professional life. What is something you're passionate about? They might be surprised to learn about you chat. I have to say I love running. The interesting thing is I actually hit a running all my life until about twelve years ago and I caught the running bug. I just cannot shake it off and I I right now. I run about six to eight miles a day and I have done twelve marathons and I just like a running is just the best thing ever happened to me of the last twelve years. Wow, keeps me stay stable and keep me calm and get it gives me clarity. I love it. Excellent, all right, perfect. So let's jump into the topic to day and let's start with the difference between selling someone something and helping them buy something. So to help the audience understand kind of the underlying neurosigns. If you go into that force I'd appreciate it. It's A. I want to give you an example of helping someone buy something. First, think of Amazon. Amazon does not have a single sales person, but Amazon is the biggest seller in the whole world. But how does Amazon sell? Amazon has developed model helping buyers to buy. Amazon doesn't really sell you anything, amazone. Let people make their own decisions and on their own. So as a buyer, you can do your own research and you can find your products, you can compare prices and features and then even you even you can choose shipping options. So buyers are pulling on their own. Amazon it just there to help you buy. Amazon doesn't really make any seals, pitch, doesn't give you any high pressure to step to selling anything. So Amazon has created create this beautiful model to help ...

...you buy, and this very successful. And here's a very interesting example of help selling someone something. So this actually kind of very current right now. Vaccine as a big topic for the covid for the last half a year, more than half a year, the government has been selling the idea that everybody should get vaccinated. I've been vaccinated, my family has been vaccinated, and but if you look at the whole process for the government to encourage people to get vaccinated almost like a it look like a salesperson going through the classic cell training or Sales Board, play by play. First the salesperson presents the so called the value proposition. You need to get this done so you can stay safe. And then it presents facts, features and data to persuade so called the buyers to buy into this idea, to get vaccinated. And then it works really hard to handle objections because a lot of people there resistance idea. And then government gives people, start giving people incentives to motivate more people to get vaccinated. It gives gift cars and give a lot of raise. And then, when people are still not convinced, guess what the Cell Sman does? Is Use some high pressure tactics. It is, you know, some that hacks of like a shaming and blaming. Shaming the vaccine and people who don't really want to get a vaccinated. The shame them. Then let's blame them. You're you guys are causing this problem. Is that this problem? And then when everything fails, guess what does the salesman resource? The last thing, which is mend it. You have to do this, otherwise you're going to pay a penalty. So this actually kind of is really focus on how to sell, how to sell, but there's a big difference between helping someone buy something and selling someone something. The difference is who's in control. When Amazon helps you buy everything, you're in total control. You control when you buy, what you buy and which option you want to choose and which shipping option you want to choose. But when you sell something, people don't only have a lot of choice, they don't have a lot of control. There's this old statement or cliche that people don't like to be sold but they love to buy. And this really about who's in control really and if you put people, put the buyers in control, they love to buy, but if you really force people spy something, they're very reluctant. And so when we think about this, when we when we get into this, there's this concept of buyers decision anxiety and and it gets in the way right now, but partially probably has something to do with control as well. But when we think about kind of stepping back and saying, right what's in play here, when we talk about buyers decision anxiety, what's what's in play in the brain? And how should sellers approach this or what should they be aware of? It's a great question, Chad is here's the thing is, when people were...

...we had as humans, we have the nate. These are to be in control. When we lose a sense of control, we have this anxiety. And then when people are deciding, whether the buyer or not, if they feel like they're being sold too and they don't have any control, they have this developed a decision anxiety. So, Chad, you must have heard this million times in the past in the especially in the batb of world. This old statements say no one gets fired for buying IBM. Yeah, yes, I actually reference that class yet. Yeah, so this statement you can look from the virus perspective and looking for you can look at from the seller's perspective, from the sellers but perspective. If I'm a seller, I want to become the BYBM because if you buy it from me, this is a very safe choice because you know I'm going to leverage the crowd influence. Everybody buys from by BM, so social you. So it gives you a sense of a safety. But from the buyers perspective, this exactly talks about the decision anxiety. And if I make the wround decision, I'm going to get fired. So there's that hidden designs undided. People don't think too much because really, but by the this anxiety is really it's real. It just has a lot to do with control. I want to give you a kind of interesting experiment. This is a classic experiment demonstrate why not having control causes stress anxiety. So let's imagine this scenario. You put a volunteer in the room, then you blast a loud, obnoxious noise randomly. When then you measure this volunteers blood pressure, the volunteers bloodressure or go through the roof because he's under a lot of stress. Then imagine this second scenario. You put a volunteer in the room and then you give this volunteer a button the press. You tell him when you press us button, you can reduce lifly the likelihood of hearing that noise. He keeps pressing the button the room while you blast the same lot of noxious and obnoxious noise randomly, but this time he's blood pressure stays low. Is simply because that button gives him a sense control. So this is the demonstrate that when we're having control, our anxiety level becomes lower. I feel more comfortable as easier for our to frout make decisions. And then here's another thing. Actually Chat. This is something a lot of a salespeople kind of they have the this blind side site or blind spot. They think, when I'm selling you this product or service, I know this product safe and know the service safe it you have no problem buying it. But from the buyers perspective they're taking a risk buying this and into our unconscious rains, a small risk and a big risk. They're not that much different. And here's a rather very interesting study, Chad. In this study the researchers asked one group volunteers one question, and the question is how much are you wanting to pay to avoid a one percent chance of getting a painful electric shock?...

One percent chance? How much I are you wanting to pay the avoid it? So the volunteers on average they're willing to pay about seven dollars to avoid a one percent chance of getting at this select a shot. Then then the researchers gather another group aunt her say okay, here's scenario. How much are you wanting to pay to avoid a ninety ten percent chance of getting a painful elector shot? Biological Reason. You Chat, you think one percent chance of seven dollars. Ninety percent chance. That should be in the range of a six hundred to seven hundred dollars. But what the resources found was those volunteers were wanted to pay about ten dollars to what a ninety ten percent chance of getting a painful elector shot. So to our unconscious brains, a small risk on a big risk. There's not really mother that's difference. So when buyers making decisions, this word, the decision anxiety comes in. When they had decision anxiety, a small risk and a big risk, they're pretty much the same. So even from the bier, in the sellers perspect we think, Oh, you're not taking any rest, this is safe. But from the BIERUS per sective, perspective, it doesn't really matter. It's a same the risk the same, whether it's one percent or ninety nine percent. So it comes down to the perception of risk, the perception of risk in the perception, the perception of control. If I'm in control at some point maybe I have more ability to, I don't know, prepare myself for the electric shock. I mean I'm kind of I'm kind of flabber gassed that they're only willing to spend ten bucks. I was thinking I'd spend a hundred. Yeah, okay, okay, but you're very rational. Then then chat. Your very rational. But but when it comes to this not very rational decision. But because when it comes to that the brains a small risk, it triggers this fear response, and then fear really makes people, we're UN rationally irrational. And the thing is chat. One thing once the salespeople can do to give customers a sense control is to give them a choice. Won't have more choices? With all like we're having control. So here's a really interesting study about choice. In this study, the researchers want to see if having more choices would impact shoppers buying a DVD player. You probably could guess this. The study was downe probably about fifteen years ago, because people will strove buying DDV and so with. In the first condition shoppers had a one DVD player as the only option. But in this condition potential shoppers can only ten percent up potential potential shoppers made a purchase. Then the second in the second condition shoppers could choose from to DVD players. In this condition, sixty five percentage potential shoppers made a purchase. So when you increase in the number of choices, people can fill and can beside which choice best for me? So when they have more control, they buy more and think about from a different perspective. Chat when you just have one option, inside the people buyers brains they're...

...deciding should I buy this or should not? But should I not buy this? But when you introduce two choices, you switch their decision from buying versus not buying to which one you should buy? Why should buy? So that's subtle choice. Is that Subtle Swish? Actually take that not buying decision off the table subtly. So you give them decision. You shift their decision making from buying versus not buying to which one I should buy. Is a big ship. And then that's why it increase the sales by that much. That's a pretty that's a pretty impressive study. I look forward to reading that one. So all right, so let's go like another step down and let's talk about the concept of free will in sales. And I guess the first question we should ask is do we actually have free will, which it's kind of a big question. It is big question. This question has been deep debated by so many people for so long, and I don't know the history of this debate by I don't think that really matters. But just over the last twenty to thirty years, neuros Sientes start jump into this decision. Now jump into the debate and the general consensus that we don't have a lot of free will. We're under a lot of influences that we don't realize. I hear give examples. Chad, this was a study dumb a few decades ago. So you want Jack had you you walk in the grocery store, you say you want to buy ground beef. Most stores, at least probably all the stores, on the on the label, they say ground beef. This is a eighty percent fat free. You have no problem buying it. But, Chad, think about this. If that packer says in self saying eighty percent fat free, it says twenty percent fat, will you buy it? Probably not. It's probably not. This actually exactly the result of a study publish about a few decades ago. They did a study at a grocery store. They found out if eighty percent fat free, people bought it and twenty percent fat nobody bought it. But eighty percent fat free and twenty percent fat. They're identical. But why people makes dramatic, different, different decisions when this is the same thing is simply because a subtle influence all side are awareness can make a big influence on the subtle change in how the packet is framed can make a big influence on our decisions. So the question is our way in control our decisions? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. And here's another example. At the beginning pandemic, toilet paper hoarding was, you know what's a big thing. So I think about it. You know it's let's say, you know chat, you bought toilet paper, but you bought toilet paper. Was that your decision? With that somebody else decision? Where that your neighbor's decision? Were people you don't even know. It's their decision. You simply follow their decision. So if that's if your if that was not decided by you, and then who are making the decisions? So sometimes we think we have total decision, will have total control our decisions, but they're often we don't.

And I ask this questions. It's very relevant because I always ask people this question. When you go to on Amazon to buy something last time, think about last time you bought something I Amazon. Did you make that decision yourself? Where did the Amazon make that decision for you, before you even went to Amazon? If you can get a clear answer that question, you can kind of get a clear answer whether we have free will or not. Most likely, I think, for me, I think that decision pretty much is made by Amazon. Amazon has made all the despine decisions for its customers before we have gone to Amazon. So this kind of bout this wife had, this concept of free will is really relevant to selling and the idea is is really as sells people, you need to help people make buying decisions well, and that's I think it's a very it's subtle but it's extremely important, because most people will walk out and say, Hey, look at how cool this product or solution or service we have is. You definitely need one of these, much like the governmental example you were giving earlier. And then there's you know, hey, some data, some case study, some references, rather than really engaging in a true conversation to understand what someone truly finds valuable, what problems are trying to solve, and how do you get them to go across the finish line to make the decision to work or purchase what you're providing rather than telling them they need it right up front. And it's a subtle skill shift, but I think it's becoming ever more critically important, especially as we get into, you know, the type of labor markets were in right now and the type of growth we're seeing in some sectors. I'm curious, have you worked with companies or talk to, come to your scene companies where they've taken this subtle shift in, instead of selling something to really managing a buyers journey, if they kind of internalized it it all, or if you seen somebody that's been really successful with it? I have spoken to several companies in this regard. I haven't got any feedback yet. It's kind of listen, I did the research not too long ago. Is that kind of develop this line of a thinking try, you know, for sales, from people's perspective, the main job is helped buyers make buying decisions, like Amazon has done, and really help buyers to reduce our decisions. I like Amazon has done. So I haven't really you know, I don't really have any solid data to support that this works. But from the brains perspective we really need to pay attention to how people make buying decisions. I go. I developed this whole speaking series titled why the Brain Buys. This really kind of targeting how we make buying decision, how buyers make buying decisions. A if we just teach people how to sell, we all understand why the brain buys, why people buy, we're kind of missing half the game. Absolutely, absolutely, all right, I love it. I could talk about this for hours, but I want to be respectful of everybody's time, so let's change direction here a little bit. We ask all of our guests to standard questions...

...towards the end of each interview. The first is simply, you know, as an expert, as a person who's out there talking, you become a prospect for people that are trying to sell things. Yeah, and I'm always curious to understand when somebody doesn't have a trusted referral into you, how do they capture your attention and earn the right to time on your calendar? What works the best for you is a kind of a difficult to think. I think I'll give a cup two examples. One time, a coach, I think is a bysiness coach, just emmiately reached out to me say, Terry it, I can teach you how to set goals, but I kind of thought, well, I had a chuck out. How boy, I run to aught marathons. I know how to set goals. No thanks. But I wouldn't go out there and tell Michael Jordan I can train him and how to. I can teach him how to play basketball, but either. But then one time this guy, he reached out to me. I don't nowhere, but he said I watch your tet talk. It was really insightful, but I hear want to coach you how to grow your business. He caught my attention for about two seconds because he's mentioned he watched my tet talk. Right, but he didn't really elaborate as to why. When you know why that relates to, he's Buisin coaching, why you know if he if he kind of dug in a little more, because he got my what? He got my email address, so he knows my website. He could have said, you know, Terry, you you create a kind of a new category because you do neural marketing, which not a lot of people are in this business. If you're in you're into this new category. There's some challenges. I can help you navigate those challenges. That would have him more kind of persuasive, more convincing for me to pay more attention to it. But he just immediately kind of moving too this trengths transaction and mode trying to make a sell. That kind of turn me off. But he did catch my attention for two seconds because he didn't tell me he watched my tight talk with so he showed you that he had done some level of research, although not enough, obviously. Yeah, yeah, but it's that concept of, you know, connecting to what's valuable to the person that you reaching out to rather than trying to push what you find valuable. And that's right. It's amazing the number of horrible outreaches we see on a regular, regular basis. That could be the topic of a whole nother podcast. Yeah. So, so last question. We call it our celeration in sight. There was one thing you could tell sales, marketing or professional services people, one piece of advice you give them that you believe will help them hit their targets, what would it be and why? I think, Chad, we're in the age of a explosion of a science technology these days. I think for salespeople is no longer enough to follow, to learn from only personal stories or anecdotes. Is Important to pay attention to decision signs, how people make decisions, why they make decisions. Once you understand why people make mind decisions, you're at a much better point or spot to make a sell. I give you example. I heard this kind of narrative of story so many times. The typical storyline is...

...the cells trainer tell the story. Okay, say this guy's named John, John DOE, John DOE says. My wife and I went to a bank and way set down with a banker, but the banker does were so rude, is not pay attention to us. Blah, Blah Blah. One thing you know from a science scientist as a sign. As a trained scientist, I immediately can tell that story is not verifiable. I don't know whether he made that up or that was real or is verifiable, but it could be he has some different perceptions as to what really happened. But the other thing is, you know, one alternative explanation. But that guy was in a pissy mood on that day and then nobody could sell him anything. So it really when you look at a personal stories, rand of those is very difficult extra track, you know, extract real in size. But if you rely on signs, science makes cells and makes selling more predictable or reliable. That's my right. That's my recommendation. I love it, absolutely love it. All right, Terry, I can't thank you enough for being on the show today. If there's if there's listeners that are interested in learning more or talking with you about neural marketing, obviously the Ted Talk. Everybody should be checking that out. Is there some other place you'd like us to send him or some way like them to get in touch with you? I'll chat. Thank you for bringing that up. I am along. I'm on Lincoln. AM also on different websites, my company's websites and Neuro Marketing Servicescom, and also I have a website called why the brain biascom. I can be reached I both places. Excellent. Again, I can't thank you for taking time to be here today. It's been an absolute pleasure. Thank you for having me chat. All right, everybody that does it for this episode. You know, the drill be to be REV exactcom share with friends, family, Co workers. I feel like what you here. Leave us a review on itunes. Until next time, we have value selling associates. We shall nothing but the greatest success. You've been listening to the BB revenue executive experience. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show and Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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