If you want to persuade, galvanize, sell, motivate, convince, incite or excite others to action, think like a reptile!
Why? Because according to leading neuroscientists, as much as 95% of our decisions are controlled by our subconscious mind. In particular, the inner and most primitive part of our three part brain, the reptilian brain actually manages much of how humans behave. This brain is interested in only “YOU” and only in “YOUR” survival. It doesn’t think, nor is it interested in fairness. It acts viscerally responding by fight or flight; is ruled by hunger and fear; and is solely interested in the “What’s in it for me?!”
Be warned – despite its simplicity, the reptilian brain has the power to overrule input from the more evolved feeling and thinking parts of your brain and override how you might act and react. According to brain scans, the reptilian brain makes decisions in about two milliseconds, far faster than the 500 milliseconds than your rationale brain requires.
So if you want your customer, patron, audience, listeners to act and act quickly on your call to action, offer them the strongest appeal to their self interest, not yours. You must be interested in what’s in it for them, rather than trying to be interesting yourself. If there are multiple decision-makers in your audiences, you’ll need to be prepared to address all of their different self interests. This means not just intellectually, but emotionally, as well. Do your homework! It’s the DNA for success.
Recently, together with my Golden State Warriors’ partner, Joe Lacob, we accepted San Francisco’s elected leaders’ invitation build a new world class venue in their magnificent city which would be the future home to the Warriors, our NBA professional basketball team.
By being interested in their self interests rather than trying to be interesting or focused on our own, it created a win/win proposition which hopefully will increase the odds of success.
This gave us the opportunity and challenge to appeal to the self interests of a widely diverse group of stakeholders. This group included the city which was interested in new jobs and new revenue by attracting major conventions, national and international attractions, as well as broadcast events which would showcase San Francisco. It also included artists and performers who were vitally interested in an incomparable venue to showcase their talent to global audiences. Other stakeholders included the Chamber of Commerce and convention bureaus who were interested in attracting political and economic events to their city. And, finally, it would appeal to the self interest of the athletes who would want to live and compete in a great city with a formidable media and economic environment like New York, Los Angeles and Miami, who also wanted these athletes to perform on their teams.
By being interested in their self interests rather than trying to be interesting or focused on our own, it created a win/win proposition which hopefully will increase the odds of success. And that’s the power and promise of aiming at their reptilian brain. Tap into theirs to catalyze your success again and again.