Summit Session: Boost Your Sales with These Brain Hacks

By Alan Wolf, YSN

One of Summit’s most fascinating educational sessions harkened back to the classroom with its focus on neuroscience.

In “Turn Your Showroom into a Selling Machine,” speaker and author Robb Best offered a host of selling tips and sales insights based on the latest findings of brain research. By quantifying the factors that influence purchasing behavior, retailers can more readily replicate sales success, rather than depend on the intangibles of individual sales stars, his presentation seemed to suggest.

Following Best’s advice to avoid overwhelming the customer, we’ll condense his session down to four main takeaways:

  1. This or That. According to Best, the human brain is wired to make two choices, A or B. Present a sales floor packed with a potpourri of products and the average consumer can get overwhelmed by choices and wind-up walking away. What’s a dealer to do? Taking a cue from the binary algorithms of dating sites, or the “Which is better?” approach used by optometrists in finding the right eyeglass lens, Best suggests displaying like products and colors together and quickly narrowing down a customer’s options based on their preferences.
  • The Rule of Three. An extension of Best’s “less is more” argument, his Rule of Three tenet suggests that a sales associate only highlight the top three features of a product when pitching it to a customer, or risk their eyes glazing over.
  • Engage the Senses. Research shows that the more the senses are engaged during an experience, the better people remember it — which explains in part why in-store selling is more effective than phone sales. Besides sight (seeing the products) and sound (hearing the sales associate), home goods dealers should make sure to leverage touch. That means letting the customer open and close a refrigerator, lift the door of an oven, open crispers, slide racks, and of course sit on a couch and stretch out on a mattress.  With shoppers visiting two to three stores on average, remembering their experience in your showroom improves your chances of winning the sale.
  • Know Thy Customer. According to Best, there are four core categories of shopper, and identifying which type you’re selling to can help you better tailor your pitch. The four kinds are: dopamine-dominant “drivers,” who are looking to get the best deal; estrogen-fueled “actors,” who want the latest and greatest gear; serotonin-soaked “managers,” who are interested in how the product will improve their lives; and testosterone-toned “engineers,” who want to hear all about the product’s features and specs.

Best’s other showroom recommendations include:

  • Encourage longer stays by offering customers a beverage or a snack, since the longer they linger the more likely they are to buy.
  • A corollary to that is to avoid crowding your customer, which will make them feel uneasy and move through the showroom faster.
  • Make your signage more effective by hanging it from the ceiling, as humans tend to cast their gaze up and then down (the “cathedral effect”).
  • Keep your product displays well lit (“You can’t have too much light,” Best said).
  • Use home vignettes, which create an assuring sense of familiarity.
  • Exceed customers’ expectations, which will make them more inclined to buy.

“All those tiny little things by themselves don’t seem like very much,” Best said. “But when you aggregate them together, that becomes the tipping point in which you move your customer much closer to the sale.”

Best’s complete presentation, “Turn Your Showroom into a Selling Machine Using Neuroscience,” is available on demand on the Summit platform.

BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, furniture, mattress and CE dealers.