Emotional Data, Leadership, Market Research, Marketing Research, Marketing Strategy, Messaging, Positioning

The Three Parts of the Brain You Need to Understand for Marketing and Sales Success

by: Grant Gooding

What characteristic does the human brain and water have in common?

The answer: It always wants to find the path of least resistance to find a solution. What does this mean? The brain is super lazy. It hates to work. So, the easier you can make things for the mind for sales and marketing, the higher the probability you will achieve a positive outcome. The following will give you an understanding of what you need to know about the three parts of the brain to be successful in sales and marketing that your lazy brain will appreciate.

Meet The Three Parts of the Brain You Need to Know

Think of your brain as having three distinct personalities, each with its own responsibilities and quirks. They work together but not quite as efficiently as you might think.

  1. The Reptilian Brain. It is the most evolved part of your brain, and like the ancient, wise reptile that only cares about the basics—survival, safety, and efficiency.
  2. The Limbic System. It is your emotional epicenter. It is responsible for decision-making and is utilitarian, meaning it is only interested in making you feel good. 
  3. The Neocortex. It is your smart brain. It loves complexity, reasoning, and problem-solving.

The Reptilian Brain: The Simplicity Brain

Our reptilian brain is the gatekeeper to quick decisions. It’s all about efficiency, saving energy, and avoiding unnecessary thinking. When faced with a choice, it prefers to rely on shortcuts, like habits or gut feelings – sometimes called heuristics. Heuristics are like shortcuts or programs your brain creates so it doesn’t have to work. Heuristics play a big role in your visceral decision-making.

If you are trying to sell something to the reptilian brain, avoid complexity, details, and using too many words. Be as simple and straightforward as possible and relate what you are trying to sell to something they already understand and that working with you will make their life easier. In essence, make it a ‘no-brainer.’

The Limbic System: The Emotional Brain

Now, the emotional powerhouse—the limbic system. The limbic system loves stories, feelings, and social connections. The emotional limbic system is where decisions are made and the critical area you need to win over to get someone to engage with your sales or marketing. 

To make an impact in marketing and sales, you must connect with the limbic system. Creating emotional resonance through your messaging and customer experience is how to break any heuristics that may keep you from successfully connecting with your audience. Making emotional appeals should be at the forefront of your attention in all sales and marketing efforts.

The Neocortex: The Logical Brain

The neocortex is the least evolved part of your brain and has little to no decision-making authority; its job is to process complexity. Communicating messages that activate the neocortex is the most common blunder made in marketing and sales. You can quickly spot bad marketing or bad salespeople when they start talking about details and how things work. This only activates our thinking brain which is the last thing we want to happen if we are trying to get someone to buy something. If you have ever been in a sales conversation where someone says, “I have to think about it?” you know that really means you lost the sale. If you want your marketing to work or get someone to sign on the dotted line, avoid the smartness of the neocortex at all costs.

The Winning Combo: Reptilian Efficiency + Limbic Emotion

To truly succeed in marketing and sales, you need both the reptilian brain and the limbic system on your side. By embracing simplicity and directness, marketers can engage the reptilian brain, ensuring decisions are made swiftly and with minimal effort. Meanwhile, tapping into the emotional depth of the limbic system through storytelling and emotionally charged content can create a powerful resonance with consumers, circumventing the analytical paralysis of the neocortex.

Thought-provoking insights & advice—learn more from the experts at PROOF.