Neuroscience of sales

The 2018 FPSA Sales Conference will feature two days of education and networking to help you accelerate sales growth and improve sales performance and results. We recently interviewed Jeff Bloomfield, who will give a presentation entitled “Sales Isn’t Rocket Science. It’s Neuroscience.”

“Tell stories.” “Establish personal connections.” “Solve your customers’ problems.”

You’ve heard these pieces of sales advice before, but be honest — do you follow them? Or do you still walk into sales meetings with a stack of facts and figures that you hope will convince someone to buy whatever products you need them to so you can meet your goals?

This isn’t unusual. Most sales training programs still teach old school philosophies and tactics. The problem is that these approaches run counter to how people make decisions.

This is a lesson that Jeff Bloomfield learned early. He was raised on a farm in Ohio by his grandfather, from whom he learned to solve problems, fix things, and connect with people by telling stories.

When Bloomfield was in junior high, his grandfather died of lung cancer. Years later, Bloomfield found himself on the sales team working to commercialize a drug for lung cancer.

He went through their standard sales training, which he describes as “three weeks of indoctrination on cell proliferation, randomized control trials, etc.” But when he talked with clients, these aren’t the things he talked about. Instead, he told stories about his grandfather and how he would have given anything to have more time with him. These stories resonated with his customers, and Bloomfield saw his sales numbers go up. “People from sales and marketing would ride with me and be scratching their heads because they didn’t understand what I was doing. It wasn’t what I was trained to do, but it worked,” he says.

Next month, at FPSA’s Fall Sales Conference, Bloomfield will provide an introduction to the neuroscience of decision-making as well as identify some practical applications and tools salespeople can start using right away.

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