Top Tip #9: Sell the solution to a problem

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Do you sometimes feel like your sales messages go unheard? In this blog we examine why your prospects are inherently lazy, why they ignore your sales messages and why all they really care about is sausages. Then we give you a simple framework to create a powerful sales message that connects quickly with the most important part of the prospect; their reptile brain.

By Jen Wagstaff, Director of CreativeMind and author of the Top Performer Journal; a powerful daily planner to help you develop great sales habits for success.

Your prospective clients are lazy.

It is not through any fault of their own, their brains were just designed like that. 

Hit them with a barrage of information about what you sell and they zone out and start planning their exit strategy.

It's not that they don't care about what you have to say.

Ok well, actually they don't.

Most people don't really give a monkey's about what you have to say at all.

All they care about is sausages, and how to get more of them.

Let me explain.

Our brains have developed over millions of years. 

REPTILE BRAINS: We started in the good ol’ glory days with reptile brains. The main function of our brain was fulfilling our primal needs (eat, sex, hunt, food, fight, flight, hunt, sex, food). Needs fulfilled = happy you.

"I want meat. Meat make me feel good."

SOCIAL BRAINS: Then we developed social brains.  On top of the reptile brain was layered a bit that started thinking about other people’s thoughts. 

 "If I take four sausages, will she think I’m a greedy bastard?"

COMPLEX BRAINS: Finally we grew complex brains. Around the other brains, we developed a bit that allowed us to plan, plot, reason and use logic.

"If I eat two sausages before she sees, I may be able to take two more in front of her and get one of hers"

Ultimately, however complex the brain, at it's root, it just wants more sausages*.

* The word sausage can be substituted for other basic needs people have. For example more money, more time, more security, an easier (stress free) life, a more positive image.

Yvonne on reception: she just wants more sausages.

Yvonne on reception: she just wants more sausages.

So how does this link to your sales message?

Well, all three types of brain are involved in our day-to-day reasoning

And every bit of new information our brains receive is processed first by the reptile, then the social, and then the complex.

In that order.

Reptile, Social, Complex.

The problem is that most of us communicate to our prospects by starting with highly complex messages (i.e corporate waffle).

We make statements designed for the complex brain:

You,"We provide telecommunication solutions for communication providers and equipment vendors…"

Prospect's reptile brain, "Huh…?"

You, "We are an online platform for collaborative consumption... "

Prospect's reptile brain, "WTF?"

You, "We are a crowd sourcing organization and open innovation platform…"

Prospect's reptile brain, "I just want more sausages"

In order to connect with people's reptile brains there is no point giving them complex information.

That type of info has to pass through two filters to even be registered, and no prospect is going to try that hard to understand.

Instead, you have to connect quickly with their reptile need. You have to show them very clearly and very simply how you can help them get more sausages.

Clearly and simply. 

In one statement.

How you can help them.

Cut the crap and throw your prospect a sausage

Cut the crap and throw your prospect a sausage


In order to connect with your prospect’s reptile brain, you have to quickly show them how you can help them fulfil the basic need they have. Start with a mindset of good intent. Then show them how you can solve the problem they have.


Here’s how you do it:

FIRST… Download the free guide

To make this really easy, download our illustrated guide on mindset and influence and fill in TOP TIP 5 to master your message and become more influential when selling. Once you have downloaded it, follow these steps:

STEP 1. IDENTIFY their common PROBLEMs

Think about your ideal prospect. List all the common problems they have (that you can help them with). What keeps them up at night? What are they most worried about? What is sparking their need for change?



Next to every problem write the relevant product or service you provide that resolves their problem. What do you offer that will cure their problem? How can you make their life easier? What will help them get to where they want to be?


STEP 3. IDENTIFY the BENEFITS your Product / service will bring (IE. throw them a sausage)

Now, next to every product / service, write the biggest and most relevant benefits your solution will bring. How will your offer actually affect them?

How will it impact them? Their business? Their customers? Their profitability? Their workload?

How will it fulfil their basic needs? How will it save them time? Make them money? Increase profitability? Improve productivity? Solve their problems?

When you talk at this level you are connecting directly with the reptile brain- the part that listens.

If you get stuck, imagine your prospect saying, “Telecommunication services? So what? How will that impact me?" until you get to the real impact your solution will have on their business.

A good guideline to know if you are talking about real benefits is to use the SISI acronym: How am I helping them Solve, Improve, Save or Increase something?


STEP 4: Add a Powerful EXAMPLE

To be a top performer, next to every solution, write an example of how you have put this solution in place with one of your customers. This is the real 'ah-hah' moment for the reptile brain as the prospect can visualise exactly how you will be able to help them.

For example, the message goes from:

Complex corporate brain waffle:

“We provide end-to-end, bespoke telecommunication services including VIOP telephone operating systems and cloud-based blah blah blah to small, medium, large and global sized organisations.”


Simple reptile brain message:

We help tech teams ensure their online shops are always online, even in the event of a technical apocalypse.

For example, recently Banana Co. had a fire and their central server went down for 3 weeks. Because of the system we’d put in, their shop remained online, saving them £3.5 million in revenue.”

Once you have completed these four steps, you have everything you need to create compelling sales messages you can use anywhere (from your telephone opening to a stand up pitch) that connects directly with your prospect's reptile brain.

In Summary

In summary, your prospects (like you and me) have lazy brains. They don’t have the time or patience to cut through all the crap they hear on a daily basis.  So...

Simplify your thoughts.

Sell a simple solution to a problem.

And connect with the part of the brain that listens.


Got a sales team? Want some ready made training material to use in your next team meeting?

1. Download the Sales Mindset success pack

2. Print off the ready made worksheets to use in your next team meeting (Top Tip 5 in your pack)

3. Follow the examples and coach your team to create their sales message


5 Top Performer Tips for a Powerful Sales Mindset

  • Increase confidence with 6 mind-hacks of top performers

  • Build motivation through epic rewards & celebrating success

  • Strengthen influence with powerful persuasive language

Download the mindset success pack for free here

Or order your very own Top Performer Journal today.

Blog written by Jen Wagstaff, CreativeMind Sales Training

"All-you-can-eat sausages with every training session bought."