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“The more your selling efforts are aligned with how the brain naturally formulates buying decisions, the more successful you will be.”
– David Hoffeld 

The following is from the book The Science of Selling, by David Hoffeld.

Let’s review what the false beliefs, common knowledge we all hold dear as truths about salespeople and selling.

  • You are born with the personality and ability to be a good sales person or not
  • Great sales people are extroverted people
  • Selling is an art
  • The buying decision happens at the Close

And more……

All based, not on science, but on experience and what has worked for some who have succeeded in sales. But are they backed up by scientific studies? No they are anecdotal.

Today I want to relate what David Hoffeld has uncovered about the Science of Selling (maybe it should be renamed the Science of Buying), as it comes to the actual process of selling and buying.

He uses this equation to explain the Sales Formula: BD=f(SW, Es)

Don’t leave me here — it is really simple. BD is the buying decision and f represents the function of the Six Why’s or SW and the buyers Emotional State is ES.

So if you have a qualified buyer with the budget and authority to buy and you guide them through and get commitment on the Six Why’s and the buyer is in a positive Emotional State at the time of the conversation you will always get the sale.

Said another way:

Commitments to the Six Why’s + Positive Emotional State = Positive Buying Decisions

What are the Six Why’s?

Science has proven that these Six Why’s are the steps the brain goes through in making decisions. If, as we go through them, we fail to get commitment to any of them the sale will break down. Thus science shows that the decision to buy is not at the end – what we call the CLOSE – it is being made through the whole conversation and we need to get commitment at each stage or we will get a decision at the end.

The root of every objection is found in failure to get commitment to one or more of the Six Why’s . Ironically, or not, this process expands on but follows the Value Proposition outline I have been teaching for years.

What is the pain?

What is the best solution?

Why are we the best solution provider?

Here they are, and remember as you go along you must get verbal agreement /commitment on each. Failure to do that on any one of them will result in a lost sale:

# 1 Why change?

  • Find the Problems
  • Understand the problems (find the scope)
  • Make problems hurt (deeper questions to help them feel the pain of the problem)

# 2 Why Now?

  • Guide them through with questions
  • Why the hurry? What is the cost of waiting?
  • The more time we give our brains to decide the more likely the brain will procrastinate

#3 Why your industry solution?

  • Why your industry has superior solutions to their pain
  • Your competition may be another industry and you have to first get commitment yours is best

#4 Why you and your company?

  • Reduce the risk but forming trust in you and your company
  • Demonstrate expertise as science shows it is the primary component of trust
  • Share relevant information to demonstrate expertise and build trust
  • Display confidence – studies show  it also is a component of trust

#5 Why your product and service?

  • Clear compelling reason for the buyer to choose your product or service
  • Two types of competitive advantage
  • Cost Leadership – not right for small businesses
  • Differentiation – your value proposition/message must be unique and what you do that is unique, must really be unique and most important valued by the buyer
  • Profile your Ideal Customer and build your distinct value to match their pains and the your unique solution to solving it

#6 Why spend the money?

  • Desire for gains
  • Fear of loss – science proves fear of loss is a powerful motivator to spend money.
  • Studies also show that the fear of loss communicated by itself is not very effective. There must be a way to alleviate it through a solution.

Now you know the stages the brain goes through in making a buying decision. Hoffeld then goes into more detail about how to lead people through these Why’s and gain commitment at each level of the conversation.The second half of the Buying Formula was BE the buyers emotional state at the time of the conversation. More to come…