by Andrew Milbourn, CEO of Kiss The Fish
I feel as if I should first apologise up front for such a gratuitous headline but hopefully it’s got you reading. There is a link between mood and what you eat. In fact you can directly lift your mood if you eat food that contains Tryptophan which is the chemical you need to produce Serotonin. This is the mood enhancer that makes you feel good and is known to stave off depression (found in bananas and pineapples). So, ponder on this – if you can get your buyers to eat “mood lifting” food in a meeting, surely you might just make them more likely to buy.
Honestly, try taking a bunch of bananas next time you go out selling and offer one to the buyer (or team of buyers) you are presenting too. I did this recently just to see what would happen and in fact it turned out rather well. The meeting ended with a strong deal being struck. The buyer started laughing when I told him I’d bought him a banana. He asked why and was taken aback when I said it was to make him ‘go easier on me’.
A banana is such an odd thing to offer anyone (there is comedy in a bright yellow fruit that looks like a toy telephone being offered to a stranger) but believe it or not it will actually trigger the neuroscience of trust and that will help buyers warm to you and your offering.
In selling we know that we need to build trust as soon as possible in any new buyer/seller relationship.
Trust is built on a cocktail of brain chemistry that includes Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin and Endorphins. These brain chemicals, or ‘super transmitters’, are produced when various triggers occur in someone’s day to day experiences. For example, Serotonin (boosted by some foods, including bananas), can be stimulated when a person is rewarded for their leadership, or ego (that’s why flattery works). Dopamine is the addiction chemical which can be triggered by completing a task (it’s also the chemical that glues us to our phones) but the most stunning of all of these is Oxytocin known as the ‘empathy’ hormone.
Read more about Oxytocin in Six Second’s post here.
Oxytocin is the human bonding chemical and did you know it is automatically boosted in someone’s brain when they perceive that someone is gifting them something. It is why families function better on Christmas morning because people give gifts to each other. (word of warning here – Oxytocin can’t be stored in the brain so once the presents are opened, life may return to the usual bickering)
The point is that when I turn up at someone’s premises for a sales meeting and I gift them something (even a banana), it will make them feel better about me being there and it will automatically make them want to come towards me as a friend or at the very least, they are likely to be warmer than they otherwise would have been.
Gifts work – even if that person doesn’t take up the gift in the moment, the simple act of offering someone something may be enough to trigger the brain chemistry to boost trust levels of a total stranger. For salespeople I strongly recommend taking something with you when you go on a meeting. Offering donuts or even biscuits will have the same effect and it shows that you have thought about them, not that you have just turned up in the same way that everyone else does.
Of course there is no substitute for good questioning technique but I like to have the buyer on my side by the time we get into the serious stuff. It doesn’t always work but more often than not it does. It’s obvious really – if you give someone something, it changes the mood and warms them to you.
I am not a qualified dietician and I’m not giving you diet advice here. I have read online that if you have a kidney problem, then eating bananas may be detrimental to your health – apparently too much Potassium (one of the key health boosting minerals and present in bananas), may in fact do you harm. I understand that eating several bananas a day may not be a good thing as you can overdo it on Potassium. Check out this info here. Most of it is really good news but only take advice that has been verified by the experts.