Dr. Christophe Morin, Chief Pain Officer of Sales Brain is in the studio during this “National Advisory Showcase” segment to talk about painless persuasion.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Matt Register: Hey guys, welcome back to the show Texas Business Radio. Texasbusinessradio.com being the website. 844 814 8144 is the 24-hour call on the line. That means get your calls in now, and get them in later. Doesn’t really matter to me. We’re gonna get the experts in here to get those questions answered. I’m your host Matt Register, Jay Curry who’s normally sitting over there in the co-host chair had to duck out. He’s gonna join us here shortly. But in the meantime we’re gonna talk a little bit about persuasion. And I don’t care what business you’re in, you are in the business of persuading somebody. You’re persuading a customer, you’re persuading employees. You’re persuading somebody. And I hate to break this to you, but most of you guys are not persuasive. Most of you guys are doing it wrong. And we have an expert in here that’s gonna tell us all about it.
We have experts coming in to Texas all the time to talk to CEOs, and they have a wealth of information. We like to get these guys in here in a segment we like to call The National Advisor Showcase. And this is one of those segments. Doctor Christophe Morin who is here from Sales Brain is here, talking to CEO. Sales Brain is the company. The Persuasion Code is the book. Let’s go ahead and let him tell you about it. Doctor Morin, welcome to the show, sir.
Dr. Christophe Morin: Thank you, Matt. Very very happy to be here with you.
Matt Register: So tell me a little bit about the Persuasion Code and Sales Brain. What do you do? Who do you do it to?
Dr. Christophe Morin: Well, you introduced persuasion perfectly. You may or may not realize, every single day, maybe even every single hour we are on a mission to convince a client, an employee, and how about family members?
Matt Register: Sure.
Dr. Christophe Morin: So those of us who have parenthood stories will remember how difficult and frustrating it is to convince your own children. Well, it turns out that persuasion doesn’t need to be as painful, because
there is a science behind it. And that’s what the book is revealing in terms of how it works in the brain.
Matt Register: Okay. The science behind it. We were talking during the break, there’s a lot of work and a lot of research that went into what it is you’re doing. I mean, you’re talking about measuring hundreds of times a second, and brain impulses, and sweat. Tell me a little bit about how you figure out what’s effective, what is not effective when it comes to persuasion.
Dr. Christophe Morin: So persuasion and the field od persuasion is boring, all right? I teach. I’m a professor of media psychology. And I have to go through these old obsolete models where we have assumed for a long time that we are these perfect rational, decision making machine. And as long as we organize our arguments logically, we’re gonna close deals and arguments. It doesn’t that way.
Matt Register: It just doesn’t work that way, right? Yeah.
Dr. Christophe Morin: And so I became as a researcher extremely frustrated when I was talking to people, because the stories I would get is, “I am a rational person. I’m gonna decide based on price, based on features,” and so on. When in fact, the evidence coming from sales data or what we know is the measurement of advertising effectiveness.
Matt Register: Points a different direction.
Dr. Christophe Morin: It doesn’t line with what people tell us. So I decided to not talk to people anymore. I decided to measure their brain activity.
Matt Register: Okay.
Dr. Christophe Morin: And that brought in neuroscience, the science of understanding how the brain works, into marketing. And this was initially a little bit of a controversial subject. When I started this, 2002, a lot of people thought I was on a mission to implant chips in people’s brains. When in fact I was just really trying to reveal what is the biochemical play inside the brain of attention. What is attention? What’s comprehension? All those phenomenon are explained in the brain.
Matt Register: Well, in not doing that does not give you … You get answers that people want to tell you, right? They say, “I’m a logical person. I buy based on logic.” When in fact the evidence points the opposite direction. So you’re not getting valuable data without taking measurements of the unconscious, the brain activity, right?
Dr. Christophe Morin: Precisely. And to make it easier on everybody’s brain, I want to introduce the brain in two systems. One system that we all have is considered primal. It’s on the bottom of the brain. And it measures and controls all the activity that corresponds to life, blood flow, temperature, heart rate activity. Your capacity to stay awake is controlled by what’s called the primal brain. Now, we don’t think about that brain, and that’s a good thing. Because imagine if you had to think of your breathing?
Matt Register: Right. No, no, no, that’s right. It controls your basic … The lizard brain, they call it, right? I mean, that’s the-
Dr. Christophe Morin: Lizard brain, reptilian brain. We assume that it’s only a fairly effective brain, but it doesn’t participate in cognition. Well, that’s a wrong assumption. Because your research has demonstrated that to be persuasive, to actually be effective in convincing people, you have to in fact speak and communicate to the primal brain first.
Matt Register: Interesting. But what percentage of marketing efforts are going out there that makes no attempt at this, and gets this wrong? I mean, I woulda have to assume that more than half. Like a lot of it is wasted effort, right?
Dr. Christophe Morin: I would claim 95% of messages are bypassing the primal brain, and seeking to influence us through logic.
Matt Register: Which is not the way we make decisions, despite what we say.
Dr. Christophe Morin: We do only to the extent that our primal brain has been served. So let me just try to sell you a very simply a solution for extinguishing fires.
Matt Register: All right.
Dr. Christophe Morin: Typically, messages on extinguishers are about the features and functions of your extinguishers, how wonderful technology you’ve build in. But that’s not a message that is primal. The message that would be primal is, I should talk about a fire, and the possibility that this fire’s going to destroy your home. And as David Ogilvy brilliantly said, “To sell extinguisher, all you need to do is light a fire under the chair and then present the extinguisher.” So you see, you have to sententially first engage the primal brain, which understands the urgency and the relevance of an extinguisher, not the extinguisher first.
Matt Register: Right. They care less about the features of the extinguisher and more about avoiding the pain associated with not having one, correct?
Dr. Christophe Morin: Precisely. And so in our book, we talk about how important it is to diagnose the pain, how important it is to keep your message simple, because the primal brain doesn’t have neurons to read and write, and do complex math.
Matt Register: Sure.
Dr. Christophe Morin: But it controls emotion. It controls the way we perceive things visually. So our recipe is essentially a checklist of best practices that we’ve now applied in over 30 countries that will totally transform the initial impact of your message. Now, I’m not saying, “Don’t talk about the sophisticated aspect of your technology and products.” But it’s not what matters first. First, engage the primal brain.
Matt Register: Okay. So you have two choices, guys. One of them is, hire these guys to do a Facebook, Google, Department of Defense level study and measure your particular clients’ brains. Or you can buy a book that gives you the short answer on how to short-circuit this and start implementing this into your marketing. Tell me a little bit about the book, The Persuasion Code.
Dr. Christophe Morin: The book paradoxically includes the summary of the entire book on one visual. It took us some convincing to sell to the publisher, Wiley, the value of developing an infographic-
Matt Register: Yeah.
Dr. Christophe Morin: … on the back of the cover, which is a summary of the entire book. It’s extremely important that we walk the talk. And we know that learning for anybody’s brain is quite taxing in terms of energy. In fact, 70% of all business books are never read. Why?
Matt Register: I believe that. I believe that.
Dr. Christophe Morin: Why? Because we’re not reading machines. At the primal level, we seek to understand through very visual and intuitive experiences.
Matt Register: Now, it’s interesting. I mean, it’s something that a lot of people get wrong. It’s something that with this book itself is … I just received the book. It will be on my reading list. It’s going on my nightstand tonight. So it will be read. It’s interesting stuff. And I think that if even as a small to mid sized business, this is not something that’s beyond your ability to do. This is very much within your ability to do. And the book kinda gives you a cliff-notes version of some of this exhaustive research that’s going on with this. You’re even working with the military on some of their stuff, right?
Dr. Christophe Morin: Yes. I was born in France. I also am American. And obviously extremely traumatized by terrorist activity, particularly in Europe. And I really also wanted to make sure that my work, my research on persuasion would be serving a goal such as making all of us safer. So I participated in and was recruited in a think tank organized by the joint chief of staff, in which I shared my theories on who propaganda works on the brain. How messages recruit young soldiers to join ISIS for instance.
Matt Register: Well, and it’s something that we need to be incorporating ourself. And our military needs to be incorporating to be able to combat that. The Persuasion Code is the book, available on Amazon, available where books are sold. We’re gonna have it right there on Texasbusinessradio.com on our essential reading list. So get the book. Sales Brain, salesbrain.com is the website if you wanna learn more. Doctor Christophe Morin, thank you very much for joining us. But we’re completely out of time, and we gotta go pay some of our own bills. We’ll be back right on the other side of the break with whole lot more Texas Business Radio. We’re just getting warmed up. We got a whole lot more to bring. We’ll be back right after this. Don’t go anywhere.
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In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.