Decision Logic VS Chimp Logic

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4th October 2017

Have you ever sat watching television to enjoy a little downtime when an overwhelming urge to snack overcomes you? Did it happen right after you saw a commercial for piping hot pizza? Of course it did. The ad did its job! It triggered a major craving for pizza, so you hit pause to either make a mad dash for the kitchen, or call UBER Eats.

We’ve all been there and it’s totally normal. Advertisers know food triggers powerful feelings in people. So do television’s marketing minds, and also some of the world’s leading scientists. There’s a really good reason why food commercials are so effective: hunger is a huge motivating factor in our lives. Food is our lifeline—we need it to survive, and we instinctively answer its call whenever it speaks up. Right?

Or wrong?

Do we really have to act on every impulse or urge we feel whenever we see food?

Of course the obvious answer is NO. At least that’s what your logical or “rational mind” told you. Or did your instinctive, reactionary “chimp mind” come to that logical decision??

Let’s take a look _ at how your inner chimp may be working behind the scenes in your decision-making process.

With every decision you need to make—even the obvious ones—your brain ends up at a crossroads, and has to decide which way to go. Your brain hits a crossroads even with the tiniest of decisions, and it takes place countless times all day long.

Many of these obvious decisions, such as brushing your teeth or eating, become habits. The other, more complex decisions are where things get interesting. When you understand the science of how people actually make decisions, it changes a lot of things.

Here’s how.

Let’s jump back to the pizza craving. The ad did its job and did it well: after seeing it you’re hungry, and want pizza. But seconds later reality sets in. “Oh no,” you say to yourself. “I can’t have that pizza after all.” Why? Well, you remember that a few days ago you decided you wanted to lose a few pounds, and your doctor told you to ‘watch that cholesterol.’ Is pizza the best option? You begin to debate whether to devour pizza, eat celery, or go back to your show and have no snack at all!

WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED TO THE PIZZA?! And why are you debating with yourself to ignore your diet or doctor’s advice?

It’s because the logic in your impulsive or chimp brain quickly processed the food-related images and said, “BOOYEAH PIZZA!” Unfortunately for the pizza-loving chimp, when your logical, or rational brain started to evaluate the risk of the food it saw, it began to let the chimp know that pizza was not a good idea because of the ‘values you set’ for weight loss—starting that pesky diet, and taking your doctor’s advice.

Now if the chimp were hungry enough and pizza was your only option, the rational brain might just give in to the instinctive need for survival. Your diet and doctor’s advice would be out the window, and the pizza would win. However, if that risk of hunger hit when other food options were available, your rational brain would kick in and decide that a healthier snack would be the choice. There would be no pizza.

Understanding why and how we make decisions can get applied to everything we do and everything we say. Our chimp and rational brains are working all the time. The chimp gets hit with information first, and then subconsciously decides how to pass that information to the rational brain so it can process everything and keep you safe. It’s how we’re wired, and in business it is no different.

What you ‘say’ to a prospect will ‘speak’ to your prospect’s chimp brain first—it always does. If you get lucky, or take the time to know what is important to your prospect, you might hit one of your prospect’s ‘set values.’ When you do this, you’re talking to their chimp brain, which will immediately trigger the rational brain and get the prospect to listen to what you have to say.

But more often than not, sales conversations don’t hit your prospect’s ‘set values’, and never interest the chimp. This usually occurs in the first few moments of a conversation and when it does, the chimp sees no need to listen. It feels no risk, urgency or excitement so it moves on, without passing the information along to the rational brain for processing.

Craft your sales conversations as carefully as marketing minds have created food commercials that trigger those timely food cravings. Make sure you capture your prospect’s attention with something that’s important to them, and give them information that will help them choose your solutions instead of someone else’s.

When you do this, it’s very similar to satisfying a food craving in a healthy way: you will subconsciously help your prospects make informed decisions with decision-making science.

Or as we like to call it, Chimp Logic.