6 Savvy Ways to Fire Up the Old Brain & Close Diesel Deals
The logical new brain demands that your diesel products or services be excellent. That’s a given. But you can gain a competitive edge if you understand how the old brain works [link to related post] and if you deploy marketing and sales strategies that fire up that old brain and influence the new brain’s decisions.

At a recent gathering of small business owners in central North Carolina, sales trainer John Asher shared six ways you can move buyers through the sales process faster by selling to the old brain.

1. Understand that the old brain is all about “me, me, me!” Here’s the brutal fact you must face. The old brain does not care about the diesel product or service you’re selling. The old brain cares about the raw, emotional needs that your diesel product or service fulfills.

Especially in a technical area like diesel, sales people can become so caught up in the product’s technical benefits that they dwell on just that and just spew out specs. To close the deal, you must focus just as much on your customer as you do on your product, if not more. Sales people must have the emotional intelligence necessary to size up the prospect’s old brain and to connect with it.

Tip: If your diesel business sells B2B, Asher says that Crystal Knows is a great tool for helping your marketing and sales folks understand a customer’s behavioral preferences and needs.

2. Keep your diesel business’s sales and marketing materials as simple and easy-to-grasp as possible. Remember, the old brain is lazy. If your site, signage, advertising, or catalogs are too cluttered or complicated, you’ve lost the old brain’s attention. It will seize upon something that is less complicated instead and tune out what you’re trying to sell.

“But what if I’m selling something really complicated?” you may ask—because as a diesel business, you are. Your marketing and sales strategy must communicate your message clearly and simply. Good copywriters and designers can help.

3. Always begin and end a every sales encounter with an emotional connection. Sure, your conversation will contain lots of logical, technical details to engage the new brain, but it’s an emotional connection at the beginning that will spark the old brain to engage in the conversation more fully. Similarly, a reinforcement of that emotional connection as you close the deal ensures that the customer remembers it and becomes a repeat customer.

Tip: Start every B2C conversation with “how’s your truck doing?” and every B2B conversation “how’s your company doing?” If the customer’s emotions surrounding the situation don’t come up in the initial response, follow up with “how are you feeling about that?” That question brings the old brain’s emotions into the conversation and unlocks pain points that your product or service potentially solves.

If you’re asked that same “how’s your company doing?” question about your own company, a good answer is an enthusiastic “unbelievable!”—it can mean so many things and is never inaccurate, Asher jokes.

4. Communicate clear contrasts. The old brain responds to novelty, Asher explains, so to make an impression on a prospective customer, your unique selling proposition must be crystal clear. Not sure you have a clear USP? Go here and here for some tips.

5. Appeal to the eyes. This is the reason for booth babes and display trucks, y’all. At a typical trade show, you have 3.3 seconds to make an impression for passers-by—3.3 seconds for people to decide whether you’re relevant to them and whether they are going to check you out, says Asher.

It’s easier to quickly grasp images than it is to read words, so our lazy old brains gravitate towards images and videos. Even when we engage our rational new brains, images stay with us. The old brain grabs and stores 3-D stimuli particularly well, Asher remarks, which is why it’s worthwhile to haul vehicles and parts to events and to arrange them in visually striking ways.

6. Become part of your customer’s story. The old brain engages more readily with stories than it does independent facts. Ironically, to become part of your customer’s story, you must know even more about your diesel business’s products or services. You must know the facts so well that you can marshal particular facts that are relevant to the story the customer is telling you.

Asher’s advice to sales people who are ramping up? “Burn the midnight oil,” he stresses. The more you learn on a compressed time frame, the sooner you can help your prospects in ways that lead them to close.

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