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Sales Enablement: What are you Risking?

bill reed

By Bill Reed
Posted on July 2014 in Product Marketing

My house almost burnt down in May. I live in North County San Diego and temperatures that month hit 103 degrees with winds whipping up to 45 MPH. The combination ignited grassfires that raged out of control for an entire week. Nearly two dozen houses and buildings were turned to ash and thousands were evacuated from their homes. Two fires, both only a few miles away, swept directly toward my neighborhood. Several of my neighbors, especially the ones with small children, packed up and headed out of town or to nearby shelters. Smoke and ash swirled into the air like chimney soot and coated the sky with an ominous gray sheen. Fortunately, firefighters, police officers and other first responders did an outstanding job of teaming with local military facilities to efficiently and quickly put out the fires with minimal loss of property and life.

A few weeks later, one of my air conditioning units went out. I called the experts and they sent out a professional to take a look. He did some tests and explained that a ton of soot from the fires had been spewed into the air and clogged up my filters. This caused a strain on the startup capacitor, which eventually gave out. He replaced the capacitor but cautioned that it might not hold, and that I might need a device to help spin up the unit. If the A/C went out again, they’d come back out to install this part. The tech was knowledgeable, friendly, and efficient, but he did not try to upsell me in any way for any of their additional services.

About a week later the A/C went out again, I called, and they sent out a different tech. This guy was a bit younger and very enthusiastic. He spent time showing me exactly what had happened and why. Once he’d installed the additional part, he put on his sales hat and proceeded to impress me.

He pointed to the soot lining the bottom part of my A/C unit and delivered all of the logical reasons why I needed to subscribe to their service. He provided several facts and figures related to lowered efficiency, improved performance, longer life, etc. All intelligent and important details, but I remained unconvinced. He then switched to emotional arguments. He talked about how much cleaner my air would be, how I could lower allergy problems, and perhaps even prevent upper respiratory illnesses for my family. I warmed a bit more, and agreed with him, but wasn’t quite ready to sign on the dotted line.

He then hit me with some powerful instinctual triggers. He said that without proper and frequent inspections and cleaning of filters and components, a fire could be triggered. We’d just survived a close call, so that made me raise an eyebrow. He then said that tens of thousands of fires were triggered each year in the U.S. due to improper servicing of A/C and heating systems. “Don’t risk being a statistic,” he said. “Isn’t it worth your peace of mind to ensure your family is safe and protected from fire? All it takes is one spark.”

That did it for me. I took out my credit card and signed up.

What happened here, and how does it relate to product marketing? As consultants, Aventi Group often helps our clients develop and deliver sales enablement and training programs and tools for reps and partners. We frequently see technology marketers focus almost exclusively on logical triggers. Our solution is twice as fast. It will lower IT costs by up to 75%. It’s 33% more efficient. Big Data is increasing by 25%, and so on. These facts, figures, and statistics are all important, but by themselves they are not enough to convince a customer to buy or move forward in the sales process.

Hundreds of years ago, Aristotle taught us that to “sell” someone, we must properly appeal to all three triggers for Logos (Logical), Pathos (Emotional), and Ethos (Instinctual). He called this the Persuasion Model. He did not, of course, understand the neuroscience behind it, but he did leverage many years of observational science to validate his claims.

Today, marketers with leading firms like Coca Cola and Frito Lay are discovering that neuromarketing prescribes something similar to Aristotle’s Persuasion Model. Scientists now recognize that buying decisions, or for that matter almost all decisions, are governed by three key areas of our brains. The Neurocortex (New or Forebrain) responds to more logical arguments, the Limbic System (Middle Brain) responds to emotional appeals, and the Reptilian Brain (Oldest Brain) to instinctual triggers. Top sales professionals may not be aware of all that neuroscience, but they naturally understand, as Aristotle did, that it takes more than just speeds and feeds to close a customer.

Recently, I spearheaded a client project wherein we designed and delivered sales training courses for a large multinational client. Because “facts tell and stories sell,” we uniquely aligned the training with the Three-Act-Play story structure divided into four stages. Under each stage we had three phases, wherein each focused on the Logical, Emotional, and Instinctual buying triggers. We created solution and sales messaging that aligned with the latest neuroscience and the most frequently used sales methodologies, and imparted solution selling information, techniques, and role-play examples throughout the course to help reps convince and close customers.

The feedback was outstanding. Virtually all of the sales teams, trainers, and field marketing groups gave the new training courses “five stars.” Now this client’s sales teams are empowered to engage with and sell customers like never before. Perhaps somewhere out there Aristotle is smiling. For certain this client’s executives are smiling in anticipation of increased revenue and customer satisfaction.

Don’t risk being a statistic. Contact us today to find out how Aventi’s Neuron-Marketing™ programs, workshops, and sales enablement and training solutions can make a big difference in your sales and marketing results.

CLICK HERE to schedule a brief call to find out how you can dramatically improve sales results in less than 2 hours for under $10K.

CLICK HERE for a brochure on Neuron-Marketing and Sales

“Aventi Group’s Neuron-Selling workshop is an effective way for sales reps to improve their ability to captivate prospects/customers, and close deals. The Neuron-Selling session takes our natural conversational thought process and turns it into a ‘sales tool’ that can be easily retained and used by sales reps.”
—Luis Curet, VP Sales, Intermedia, Inc.