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Small Favors, Big Success

Most of us need to persuade people that we don’t know personally to do things. A salesperson wants to close a deal. An office worker needs to persuade the new computer guy to fix her computer first. A fundraiser wants to get a potential donor to make a pledge. Our natural instinct in such situations is to avoid asking the individual we want to persuade for any favors other than the one that’s important to us. After all, the only thing worse than being asked for a favor is being asked for multiple favors, right? As you might expect here at Neuromarketing, the obvious and logical conclusion is wrong. Behavioral research shows us that sometimes asking for one favor first can greatly increase the probability of success with the second favor! […]

By |September 9th, 2008|

Our Prejudiced Brains

Years ago, I worked with a group of field representatives selling industrial equipment, and found that many had interesting adaptations to local culture in different parts of the U.S. One based in Texas always kept a Western-cut sheepskin jacket in his car. If he was visiting a plant in a remote location, he’d shed the suit coat he wore in Dallas and put on the rugged-looking jacket. The reps in Detroit, meanwhile, were always careful to show up in the appropriate brand of vehicle – one wouldn’t take a Ford engineer to lunch in a Chevy! While these strategies of blending in may seem obvious, it turns out there’s some sound neuromarketing involved. […]

By |February 5th, 2008|

Are Women Better At Sales?

In our recent article on The Mating Mind, we described how “romantically primed” men were much more likely to spend lots of money than men who were not so primed, and than women in either condition. Separately, we’ve also noted that female salespeople seem to dominate some areas, and that these women seem to skew toward the attractive end of the spectrum. One example is the pharmaceutical sales rep, who prototypically is an attractive female who spends much of her time calling on a predominantly male physician customer base. That’s an overgeneralization, of course – there are lots of female docs, and lots of male drug reps. Still, the stereotype is sufficiently valid that a physician acquaintance of mine expressed mock shock at seeing a middle-aged male drug rep, quipping, “I don’t think I’ve seen one of those before.” […]

By |August 23rd, 2007|