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Established 2009

Ready, Aim, Fire: 5 Brain Triggers for Firing Your Prospects’ Buy Neurons


Every business owner and marketing manager wrestles daily with the same challenge: bridging what we call the “inaction gap” in their prospects’ brains. At MindEcology, we define the inaction gap as the space between when a prospect first hears about your product or service and the moment they actually making the conversion (… the moment your cash register rings. Cha-ching).

Your Prospects Make Decisions Like Brain Neurons Do

As you know, neurons are the brain cells that carry the electrical activity that allows each of us to think. Each neuron is connected to up to 10,000 neighboring neurons, resulting in trillions of possible connections throughout your brain. Neurons communicate by passing low-voltage electrical currents to each other, all the time, 24/7. Each individual neuron defaults to the “off” position – but it can be switched “on” based upon the activity it senses from its neighbors. It takes several firings from neighboring neurons for a given neuron to bridge its action potential threshold – in other words, for it to decide to turn “on.”

This is an excellent metaphor for how your prospects make buy decisions – that magic moment they suddenly take action to buy from you. Your prospects rely on multiple message inputs at different levels of awareness, from different sources, at different times, and with some frequency – in order to switch from “not buying” (the default) to “buy.” In other words, from “off” to “on.” And “on” is the magic moment when YOU make a sale. Cha-ching.

It’s Never Just One Thing

It is a common misconception among unseasoned marketers that your prospects’ decisions are ever caused by just one thing. Behavioral psychologists have shown that our decisions are influenced by many factors, including: our immediate needs, our long-term needs, our moods, the environment, and more. Plus, we are subject to cognitive biases that color (or discolor) our perception. This messy decision-making situation is the challenge marketers face on a daily basis. And there is no silver bullet solution: since these factors are always changing, prospect behavior is a moving target. Despite all of this complexity, the majority of marketers latch onto just one or two marketing methods for capturing new customer conversions. Big mistake.

At MindEcology, we regularly use the phrase “it’s never just one thing.” We know from long experience that prospects’ decisions are multi-causal – meaning – they are influenced by many different factors.

The 5 Brain Triggers You Need to Learn

So what can you do to stack things in your favor? Here are 5 brain triggers for firing your prospects’ buy neurons:

1. Define your solution and target market with crystal clarity: Many marketers sub-consciously trick themselves into believing that their product or service can be all things to all people. Well, it can’t, plain and simple. The sooner you recognize that only a particular subset of the universe of prospects is likely to buy from you, the better you can hone your message to convincing them to buy.

2. Build credibility: An important contributor to the firing of your prospects’ buy neurons is that of credibility. To improve your chances of a buy decision, work to quickly establish that you are a trusted source for them.

3. Tie their future pain/pleasure directly to your solution: This is sometimes called the A to Z technique. Meaning: your customers are currently at A and their ultimate goal is Z (whereby Z is defined by some specific reduction of pain or increase in pleasure). Your solution may not be Z itself – but it may lead to Z. Either way, you need to tie your solution to your prospects’ ultimate goal – their “Z.” For example, a person may want to acquire higher social prestige by buying an expensive car. While the car doesn’t confer prestige by itself (“Z”), the car can contribute to that “Z” goal in the person’s mind. In this example, the car dealer wants to focus their messaging the “Z” factor for this type of prospect.

4. Message across multiple marketing channels – and do so frequently: Your message is more powerful when it is heard by your prospect via multiple channels and often. Seeing a banner ad, seeing a social media post, and hearing word-of-mouth from a friend together are much more powerful than any one of those by itself. Don’t become over-reliant on a single channel or technique. And message them frequently.

5. Create a sense of urgency: Finally, to push your prospects past the action potential threshold and fire their buy neuron, give your prospects a reason to act NOW. Depending on your brand guidelines, that may involve: running a promotion, reminding them that their friends/neighbors are already doing this, creating a limited-time offer, or reminding them that they are missing opportunities to benefit every day they don’t act.

Combine these 5 brain triggers and your prospects’ buy neurons are certain to be firing left and right. Which will result in your cash register ringing, again and again.

Contact MindEcology to find out how.

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