Over recent months, in a series of articles, we have been providing an in-depth perspective on our sales and marketing lifecycle model; which we utilise to boost sales and marketing performance for our customers. In this article, we will look at what the latest thinking in human performance management and psychology can teach us about making the sale. One of the very best models we have used to great effect is the book, ‘The Chimp Paradox’ by Professor Steve Peters. By adopting some of Professor Peters’ core success principles, we have seen how sales conversion rates can be boosted significantly, leading to happy and contented employees and clients.
What is the Chimp Paradox?
Professor Peters describes two key parts of the human brain driving human behaviour; the limbic system (which he calls the ‘Chimp’), which controls emotions such as fear and pleasure, and our innate drives, including hunger, sex and caring for our offspring. The other part is the Prefrontal Cortex (the ‘Human’), which is essential in planning, decision making, and moderating social behaviour. Most will immediately see a natural conflict of interest between the two parts of the brain, with one acting from emotion, the other from reason and logic.
The essence of the Chimp Paradox is that by understanding the internal forces driving human behaviour, we can get the best from ourselves, achieve success, and better relate to others.
How can I apply the Chimp Paradox to my sales and marketing function?
The principles of the Chimp Paradox will help your sales and marketing team meet their own sales targets and objectives and improve the interaction between your staff and prospective clients, as follows:
Setting up Sales and Marketing Team with a winning mindset
Professor Peters believes that successful people think with their Human brain, and less successful individuals allow their inner Chimp to dominate. By training your sales and marketing team to understand and apply this, they can take control of the process of making the sale.
Firstly, teach them to do all they can to take personal responsibility for fostering the best conditions for making a sale; the Chimp will naturally wish to blame outside circumstances if things are not perfect. In other words, make sure problem-solving at this stage is being done by the human, not the chimp.
Secondly, it is possible to raise the level of confidence of your sales team; an unconfident salesperson is less likely to close a sale. The Chimp will naturally want to base their confidence levels on their ability, with a focus on others and the consequences of their actions. In a sales closure situation, this is likely to create fear and anxiety – not ideal for a successful sales team. On the other hand, by gaining confidence by genuinely doing their best, and not on consequences, they will feel relaxed and centred – leading to a clearer mind and improved conditions for a sale.
Indeed, US sales training specialist, Jeff Shore, is a big believer in the need for confidence; he states, “Many customers approach the purchase process lacking confidence. It’s unfamiliar “turf” for them. That’s why your confidence is so important. Your customer actually gains confidence through their interaction with you.”
Effective communication is vital to closing the sale
Empowering your sales team with the ability to understand the dynamics of communication will lead to significantly improved results. Professor Peters explains the vital importance of understanding how two minds interact with each other, and how this can lead to greater success. Essentially you have four ways to communicate:
Chimp to Chimp
Chimp prospective client to Human salesperson
Chimp person to Human prospective client
Human to Human
Ideally, we want a human to human conversation as this makes the decision-making process logical and positive. Inevitably, however, some clients will be communicating using their Chimp, so the challenge for the salesperson is to a) ensure they themselves are using their Human brain, and b) know how to communicate with a Chimp brain in the context of closing the sale. Some tips to effectively communicate with a prospective client in Chimp mode include:
Use open and relaxed body language
Speak steadily and with moderate volume (i.e. not fast and loud)
Offer friendship or kindness with words
Watching the overall ambience created by the combination of demeanour, stance, and mood.
This is akin to building ‘rapport’ with your client; a vital ingredient in earning confidence and trust. By understanding and implementing these simple behavioural steps when engaging with a client pondering whether to make a purchase will ensure their [the client’s] inner Chimp is not encouraged or aggravated. And, doing so will lead to a more predictable and favourable outcome.
It could be reasoned that some aspects of Chimp behaviour may be desirable in a sales context; i.e. impulsivity may lead to a sale; however, remember our main objective is to gain control and optimise the interaction between your business representative and your prospective client. Ultimately, the way in which your sales team package the message they need to convey will be critical to the success of it being received.
Any organisation can make the mistake of having all of the vital ingredients for a successful sale and fall at the final hurdle because of ineffective communication with potential clients. By teaching your sales and marketing team to understand the drivers behind their own behaviour and that of others, they will learn to take control of key client interactions. The effect of this on your overall conversion rate can be substantial. And rather than having one or two stellar sales performers who naturally understand these concepts, you can ensure your whole team is able to close sales with the same confidence, poise and control.
Reach Revenue, based on a combined four decades of senior sales and marketing leadership with some of the UK’s largest brands, work with small, medium, and large enterprises, to reliably promote robust sales growth and foster a loyal and committed client base.
By engaging our services, we will create a tailored strategy to achieve your business objectives in a manner that preserves your budget, prioritises the actions which will have the greatest benefit, and ensures a rapid implementation of your new sales and marketing processes. Call us today – your business has everything to gain.
Reach Revenue works with business owners, leaders and investors to develop high performing sales and marketing teams aligned to the strategic objectives of their business. To find out how we can help you, please call 0203 858 8030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.