Getting Sales Messages Past the Crocodile Brain

“Crocodile Brain!?” Yes. Research shows that the most rudimentary part of our brains, the part responsible for survival, filters what gets through to the rest of our brains. If you can’t get your sales messages past the crocodile brain gatekeeper, you haven’t a chance of informing or persuading your prospects.Crocodile

Our brains are divided into three main components:

  1. Neocortex – our human computing engines.
  2. Lymbic System – where our emotions reside.
  3. Brain Stem – our fight or flight vigilance.

Psychologist, Robert Ornstein, has researched and written several books on the human brain. He calls the brain stem the ‘old brain’ or ‘crocodile brain’. Dr. Ornstein’s research shows that the crocodile brain filters all the information we gather through our senses before making it available to the lymbic and neocortex. (If a bus is about to run you down, you need to take immediate action – not mull it over).

Most of the information constantly streaming through your senses is filtered out by the crocodile brain. If all sensory input was passed through to your neocortex, you would literally lose your mind, becoming catatonic as you tried to process mountains of information.

So what?

In order to get your sales messages past the crocodile gatekeeper (to have a hope at being considered), they must pass the admissibility test. Dr. Ornstein has identified seven key features that enable safe passage into the lymbic and neocortex. They are:

  1. Concrete
  2. Contrast
  3. Emotional
  4. Firsts and Lasts
  5. Personal
  6. Simple
  7. Visual

You don’t need all seven to get through – one good feature will do the trick; but if you can include three or more of these features, your message will get passed through marked “Urgent – Your Attention Required!

In my next post, I’ll outline in detail how to make your messages ‘concrete’.


About the Author:

Managing Consultant at acSellerant. Seasoned business marketer currently focused on positioning, sales messaging, content marketing and visual storytelling.

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