7 Things to Know About How the Human Brain Responds to Your Sales Tactics

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Maybe you’ve got your marketing materials and your sales tactics figured out already — or think you do.

But before you’ve considered how the human brain, and the average consumer, will respond to it, your work isn’t done.

Here are seven things worth knowing.

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1. People Have Short Attention Spans

Maybe you’ve heard this statistic before or maybe you skimmed over it, but the average web user’s attention span is eight seconds long. In addition, most of us read just 28% of the words on the page.

The question is, how can you make sure your sales tactics are cutting through the noise? One answer is to avoid common mistakes, like misspellings, that can turn visitors off immediately and slash your potential sales literally in half.

Another tip is to keep your written content short and punchy and straight to the point.

2. You Need to Tell a Story

Much has been said and written on the subject of stories and the human mind. Suffice it to say: we both crave and are literally changed by storytelling.

Although we just gave you advice on getting straight to the point, that was more a comment on capturing your audience’s attention.

After that, you need to keep it. A powerful narrative is still the quickest way to warm our hearts and a powerful motivator to spend money on ourselves and others.

3. The Human Brain Doesn’t ‘See’ Ads, Exactly

A clinical definition of “habituation” is that it’s the brain’s way of “tuning out” after repetitive exposure to the same type of stimuli.

You might sleep like the dead someplace where trains thunder past all night long, while a creaking floorboard might send you flying from your bed in a panic.

Our brains are really good at filtering out all kinds of stimuli that are like everything else. What’s the famous saying?

It’s better to provoke hatred than indifference?

Consider how saturated the average consumer is with too-clever-by-half marketing messages on TV, social media and search engine results before you decide how you’re going to go about trying to convince somebody to buy something from you.

4. Some Words Are More Persuasive Than Others

“You” and “because” are considered two of the most persuasive words, but there are others.

Another example?

Try to use “value” more often than “price” and “and” instead of “but.”

The truth is, the human brain ignores words that sound spammy or deceptive and prioritizes words that sound impactful and like they concern us directly.

Now that you’re going over your email templates and making line edits, here’s one more tip about word choice: be mindful of how you use positive and negative language.

As an example, lots of customers respond to messages emphasizing what they’re missing out on instead of what they’ll gain.

5. People Respect Personality and Authority

Recent research suggests brands are ramping up, not throttling down, their spending on influencer marketing.

Internet personalities still drive sales in almost every industry — and even without specific credentials in many cases, these influencers still manage to turn heads, make appealing sales pitches and inspire jumps in sales.

Consumers respect authority almost as much as they respect the personality, though.

That’s why subject matter expertise has to be as much a focus of your marketing as your products and services.

When customers interact with you, they should never be too many steps away from your LinkedIn page, a portfolio of recent work, or a list of your awards, certifications, and credentials.

6. Price Doesn’t Motivate Buyers, but Values Do

There’s a temptation in selling, when you’re trying to undercut somebody else, to mention price early on and make it central to your message.

But, as it turns out, price isn’t nearly as big a motivator as the chance to connect with another person’s values.

People want to know that they can consume responsibly and have a good time — and, as often as possible, know that their purchases are helping to improve the world or give something back.

7. People Are Often Grateful for a Follow-Up

Whether your sales tactics involve cold calling (or emailing) prospects or not, remember the power of following-up.

Getting ignored the first time around isn’t a definite “no.” In fact, it’s not even an indication they’ve seen and discarded your offer.

Sometimes it means your email or voicemail was deleted by mistake or just got forgotten about in a busy moment.

Don’t be afraid to follow-up with your prospects. From a psychological standpoint, folks will see that you’re committed enough to what you’re selling to try again.

And they may be grateful to you for reminding them you exist — you may have just temporarily slipped off their radar or inboxes.

Try following up three to five times for truly “cold” cold calls, but don’t send more than one per 48-hour period.

For anybody who’d like a more comprehensive look at how to improve the quality and the results of your sales calls and emails, we’ll let this infographic do the rest of the talking.


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