What can sales leaders learn from cybersecurity awareness? A lot!
My guest in this episode of the Modern Selling Podcast is Perry Carpenter, author of Transformational Security Awareness: What Neuroscientists, Storytellers, and Marketers Can Teach Us About Driving Secure Behaviors, and he brings some great insights for sales leaders and marketers.
He currently serves as Chief Evangelist and Strategy Officer for KnowBe4, the world’s most popular security awareness, and simulated phishing platform.
Previously, Perry led security awareness, security culture management, and anti-phishing behavior management research at Gartner Research, in addition to covering areas of IAM strategy, CISO Program Management mentoring, and Technology Service Provider success strategies. With a long career as a security professional and researcher, Perry has broad experience in North America and Europe, providing security consulting and advisory services for many of the best-known global brands.
Listen to our conversation to learn three things your sellers should do to prospect more effectively.How to Use Behavioral Psychology to Sell More Effectively with Perry Carpenter, #175 Click To Tweet
1. Sellers Must Become Storytellers
Any time your sellers are prospecting, they have to:
- Tell a story about a gap or need within the prospect’s life, reminding them of something that is not optimal in their lives
- Tell the story about what the prospect’s life looks like without the solution you offer and then paint a picture of the hope, the joy, the risk reduction or whatever happens anytime the seller comes in and fills that gap.
“In the security space,” Perry says, “it’s all around, so if you do this or if you don’t do this you’re putting the organization at risk, you’re putting your family at risk. You’ve got identity theft or something like that that may happen. And, therefore, you need to either plug this product in, or change this behavior, or adopt this mindset or so on.”
Perry says that understanding the customer journey is very important for sales leaders looking to grow their sales pipeline.
“On the security side,” Perry says, I want to understand what is the equivalent of that for somebody just walking through their daily life. What is the journey map of a person as they move in and out of their daily life and make decisions that are related to security? And then what I want to find out is where are the intersection points that I can come in and meet that person so I do end up standing in their path, telling a story and then moving them where I want them to be.”How to Use Behavioral Psychology to Sell More Effectively with Perry Carpenter, #175 Click To Tweet
2. Sellers Must Use the Right Terminology
Perry and I also talked about understanding the optimal terminology to use when speaking to clients and prospects.
“When it comes to describing security things, or products, I’ve learned that
I need to understand the terminology that my prospect is already using and I need to reinforce that. I might need to change the frame later on, but I need to start with the frame that they are already in, and that gets into a whole psychological principle: framing and reframing.”
Listen to the whole episode to find out how Perry learned about the importance of terminology when he was hypnotizing people in the streets of Las Vegas (hint: he used what is known as a neuro handle!).
3. Sellers Must Understand the Basic Principles of Human Nature
Perry says that everything comes back to the behavior and the psychology of the prospect.
If you want real sales engagement, your sellers must show they’ve done their research about what makes the person and company unique.How to Use Behavioral Psychology to Sell More Effectively with Perry Carpenter, #175 Click To Tweet
Perry cites the research by Stanford researcher BJ Fogg, who created the Fogg Behavior Model, which is the basis of most apps and social media platforms.
Fogg says that humans are lazy, social, and they’re creatures of habit. And salespeople should take into account those characteristics.
“So on the laziness front,” Perry says. “As a salesperson, if you can make my life easier somehow if you can reduce my research, and you can give me trusted sources for things, if you can help with the scheduling of an appointment, if you can give me some kind of sample so that I have less to invest in, then you get my attention.”
Sellers must also include social proof in their messaging and position their product as the norm (or better than the norm), as something they must have.
Lastly, remember that humans are creatures of habit. “People like to do things the way that they’ve always been doing them. And so, if we’re expecting to disrupt their lives with something that is different than what they’ve done in the past, we have to help them so they can codify a new behavior and a new habit or we’re always going to be coming up against a wall.”
If we try to work against human nature, we will fail.
Listen to the whole episode to learn about how to grab a prospect’s attention in a crowded environment, and some sales email best practices, including what Perry calls Trojan horses for the mind.
Finally, Perry recommends two books, Pre-suasion by Robert Cialdini and Contagious by Jonah Berger, for strategies and tactics to get executive buy-in.