Tag Archives for " unique position "

Brain Rule 5 – to turn failure into success

How to avoid a sub-optimal marketing campaign

Many marketing-campaigns are sub-optimal. This article covers the 5th brain rule, a very basic one, but many marketers forget to use it  in their brand strategy and therefore lose many clients.

Why do people show up at the event of your competitors and not at yours? Why don’t they buy your new vitamin product or invest in your new technology?

Psychology plays a big part when people make a decision. Offering pleasure and a better future is not a main driver to getting them into action. That’s why you shouldn’t focus on pleasing your clients.

What kind of person is most likely to buy a hamburger? Right, somebody who is hungry! Not the people who just like hamburgers or those who have had hamburgers in the past. Although those last two groups could be good leads, too. They need to be hungry… So what does this mean?

Let me give you another example.

Who is most likely to buy your weight management product? An overweight man or a lady who needs to fit into her evening dress to meet her new lover? It’s the lady. Why? Because, like the man who is hungry, she is facing a problem, that she wants to solve.

Avoiding immediate pain is much more motivating than gaining immediate pleasure. This means that, talking about the direct benefits of your product will not immediately grab people at first. When do you immediately take action? Not if you are promised something nice in the future. You take action if you want to move away from a negative situation.

Problems (pains) trigger our urge to survive and make us take action

The 5th Brain Rule says: Focus on the Pain, not on the Pleasure

Your reptilian brain, that takes the decisions, wakes up if there is a problem. It will tell you: be careful, danger! And will immediately be alerted and take action in order to survive.

The 5th brain rule is related to the most basic of all Mazlow’s needs: the need to survive. Haven’t you heard about Mazlow, yet? Read the first brain rule to learn more.  The need for survival is the need for food, drink, shelter, sleep and oxygen. If you are cold, sick or hungry you will do your utmost to change this situation.

So, what can you do take bring this rule into practice?

How can you make people decide for your brand, event, therapy, company or hospital, using brain rule 5?

1 Describe the real PAIN

You can press the Survival Button of your clients by describing their pain.

Domino’s Pizza
shows a good example. They knew that their consumer’s true pain was not that they didn’t have pizza. The real pain was in not knowing when the pizza would arrive. By installing an online ordering system that tells you exactly when your pizza is on its way, they increased sales exponentially.

So, find out what the real pains of your ideal client are. Ask them, search which posts have many reactions, check which books on your topic score high on Amazon. Mention their problems in your communication, so they will feel understood and feel the urge to take action.

2 Translate your USP’s into Survival Triggers

Translate your USP’s into the impact it has on financials, time, relationships, health or happiness. These have a real impact on your clients.

For example: a kidney clinic helps clients to improve their lifestyle. That’s a USP. How can you translate this into survival triggers? Improved lifestyle can result in less dependence on others and therefore improved happiness. Less dependence on others is a stronger trigger than an improved lifestyle. Also improved mobility and less time that you need to spend on check-ups are strong triggers.

3 Create Scarcity and Urgency

Show your clients that they need to be fast in order to not miss out on your offer.

How this works? Your survival button is pressed when something is taken away from you. You will immediately take action. May be you have heard of FOMO before: The Fear Of Missing Out. This is one of the most impactful psychological strategies you can use to increase the success of your marketing efforts and brand promotion.

People hate it if they miss out of something. A study states that 69%of millennials feel a fear of missing out when they cannot attend some sort of event. This applies to users of all age groups!

So, use phrases like:

Don’t miss out
Only 10 places left
Tomorrow higher price


4 Create Contrast

Be very clear about where you are different than others. This makes it very easy for potential clients to choose for you. This can be done by a contrast-rich description versus the competition, but even better by a picture.

Our reptilian brain, which takes the decisions, is very alert to contrast. Our forefathers were alerted to a sudden movement in a calm landscape or any other change. This helped them to survive.


Brain Rule 5 triggers your customer’s need to survive. This makes them take action. So, it is not about listing the mode of action of your product, what kind of services you offer or even your USP’s. Knowing and listing your customer’s problems triggers them. And offering them a scarce solution that they should pick urgently helps them make up their mind. Apply brain rule 5, help your clients solve their problems and create a unique position!

Do you know more ways to trigger the need to survive? Share them in the comments.

Want to learn more ways to build a leading market position? Click here:

How you add 95% to your influential power

3 Do’s & Don’ts to engage your customers

Don’t introduce your brand without using these 3 strategies

10 ways to increase your revenue through trust

With survival greetings,


Senz – brand positioning & client attraction, www.senz.biz

p.s. Want more strategies to build a leading market position in the healthcare or services market? Click here to get access to our FREE resources with the newest marketing strategies and Senz & Brain Tips

Brain Rule 2 – 3 Do’s & Don’ts to engage your customers

For Ultimate Client Binding

Have you ever asked yourself why some sales reps and business people sell more than others?
Why they have more loyal clients? How they were able to build a unique position?
They use brain rule 2!

I had to order new business cards and stopped at a few print shops. Pretty amazing how they treat their potential clients! One found his food more important than me, the other just mentioned the price and showed me his own, ugly 😉 business card.

Then, a friend advised me to go to Jameson.
This business-card-specialist touches the paper with love and explains the differences between mat and shiny cards full of dedication. So, he obviously loves his job and believes in his product. But there is more… he also asked me questions about my preferences, about my business. He listened to what I find important. He made me feel important. I matter to him.

The same goes for top salesmen. Many salesmen talk a lot, but have you ever noticed that the top salesmen actually listen more and are really interested in you?

This brings me to:

Brain rule 2: Value & recognize your clients & employees


Even if you do not always realize, everybody needs attention, recognition and to be valued. Your reptilian brain, the part of the brain that takes your decisions, is very self-centered (learn more about the reptilian brain). It feels: I am the only important person on earth. It needs attention and acknowledgement.

Mazlow’s Hierarchy of Needs

It has already been said that the brain rules are very closely related to
Mazlow’s hierarchy of needs. See Brain Rule 1.
The 2nd brain rule is very closely related to self esteem.
We all desire to be accepted and valued.

So, what are the 3 do’s and don’ts to value and engage your clients?


1. Listen more than you talk

Don’t: Just talk about yourself and your product. Don’t try to impress them by your knowledge.

Do: Listen to what your clients really want. Ask questions and listen to their answers. Impress them by your understanding.

Easy Win: Notice today how often you ask a question (it all starts with awareness).

2. Use more ‘YOU’ than ‘I’ or ‘We or ‘Our product’ at your website

Don’t: Just talk about yourself & explain about your product or service.

Do: Talk to your clients, say you. Talk about the gains/benefits for your client.

Easy Win: Search for ‘I’, ‘we’ or ‘the name of your product’ at your website. And see how you can replace this by ‘You’ or ‘Your’.

3. Recognize the point of view of your clients

Don’t: Just try to convince them about your product.

Do: Get involved in your clients. Understand where they are coming from. Give them the opportunity to interact and react. Each piece of information should be about them: from their point of view! Mention the problems/issues/ struggle of your clients. Use their words.

Easy Win: List the issues of your previous and current clients (in their words). You can also do this with your team. How can you use this information to adapt your acquisition, your website, your sales talks and/or your offer?

This is how you can start engaging your clients. Make them feel important! This way you build a unique position.

But what if your team members don’t make your clients feel valued?
What if they don’t feel valued and engaged themselves?
What are the do’s and don’ts in this case? I will share this with you next time (brain rule 2 continued).

With engaging greetings,


Brain Rule 1 – How you add 95% to your influential power

To Inspire your Clients and become a Leader

Here is the big idea in 86 words
There is a big disconnect between how you sell your products and how it is received by your clients. As a result, 9 out of 10 times your important messages don’t get through. Messages are sent from the smart and new part of the brain. But they are received by the part that is 5 million years older (and not as bright). This is a serious problem if you want to be successful. You need to understand why this disconnect happens in order to overcome it.

Although we think that decisions are being taken by our rational brain, this is not true. Research shows that 95% of our decisions are actually driven by our subconscious mind. This subconscious mind sits in the most primitive part of the human brain, called the ‘reptilian brain’.

Many of our survival mechanisms are ‘saved’ in the reptilian brain, like our instinct and our fight and flight mechanisms. It takes care of our blood pressure, breathing, immune system, but also of our emotions, humor and behavior. The reptilian brain has its own life and does not listen to the rational parts. If you try to sell your products based on rational info alone, you only use 5% of your influential power.

By triggering the reptilian brain, you can talk to the heart and minds of people. I will share ‘proven brain rules and tips’ with you to trigger the reptilian brain and add an extra 95% to your influential power. In this article, you find brain rule 1.

Have you ever heard of Bart de Graaff?
When you look him up, you will read the story of a Dutch 9 years old boy,
who was run over by a car, lost his leg, and developed a kidney problem (because of bacteria)
and a growth disorder.
When he was 20 years old (and still looked like a small kid) he took part in a funny TV-advertisement and was asked to make an own program for one of the biggest Television Channels in Holland.
After that, he started, as a jolly, extravert brat a new public television channel: BNN: Bart’s News Network (with a wink to CNN).
Their programs shared stuff that you usually don’t talk about, they made fun about things
(also about himself), that you usually avoid mentioning.
He wanted to show that you should live life to the fullest, nothing should limit you and hard things should be confronted. He spent more time in the hospital, than outdoor, but still he continued making programs full of energy and enthusiasm in his own playful, shocking way.
This way, he developed his own successful empire with engaged team members and spectators
(read: clients).

There is a reason why some people and companies, like Bart with BNN, have so much energy and are so successful. They attract clients who trust them and want to belong to them. Opportunities and clients come to them, spontaneously. Bart has a mission, a higher goal; he has something to share with this world. And he connected himself to this with his heart and soul.

Brain rule 1 is: Share WHY you exist, your higher goal.

Have a clear and inspiring message. What do you have to offer as a company, team or individual? Those who know their WHY are the ones who lead. They are the ones who inspire. It’s definitely worthwhile to read Simon Sinek’s bestseller: ‘Start with Why’.

It’s remarkable that the brain rules are very closely related to
Mazlow’s hierarchy of needs.
Do you remember this impactful model?
This first brain rule is very closely related to self actualization. This level of psychological development can be related to finding a meaning in life. And this is exactly what you are offering with you WHY. A WHY triggers the internal drive of people.
Can you imagine how this positively impacts your clients and employees? And yourself 🙂

Companies with a WHY are very inspirational and attract employees and clients, spontaneously. They have created their own niche, their own space in the market, they focus on a specific group and you immediately recognize them by their approach and style. Their group of clients wants to belong to this and will be loyal fans and clients. This also means that a premium price for specialized services and products is possible. On top of this, team-members love to work for this kind of companies; they feel engaged and each of them feels part of the success.

I worked with quite a few brand- and company owners who are passionate about what they want to achieve in this world. Stefan invents products to improve quality of life for the disabled. Jeffrey wants to shape habitats for poor people in Brazil by selling investment funds, Thomas wants to make the world a little better by his health innovations. Big ideas! I believe they can make the difference!

One of my favorite examples is Dove. They have a clear WHY and are extremely successful. They advocate that every woman is beautiful. This brand is honest, pure, feminine, optimistic and confident. They show this everywhere: in their packaging, advertising and in their Dove self-esteem project. This project helps young people develop a positive relationship with the way they look. They are highly successful.

Finally, let me share my own experiences. In my first job as brand manager of a product to relieve cancer pain, I realized how many people are suffering of chronic pain and how this impacts their life. My mission was not to sell as much of this product as possible, but to really help those people with pain, to give them a place to go to, to educate care providers, to give them the tools to relieve their pain. The side effect: we became market leader in the Netherlands. Also in other fields, like urinary incontinence and BPH, my team and me developed programs to support ‘patients’ to not feel ashamed and improve their quality of life. This way, my team made 4 products the global market leader! Now, I help companies, who also have a mission, to attract more clients. That’s my mission!

With mission greetings,


5 Question to check if your website works for you

First Aid to Keep more Visitors at your Website

Visitors of your website decide in 2.6 sec. whether to leave or stay. Do you know what percentage leaves after 2.6 sec.? According to Google: 70-90%! You may have spent quite some money to make clients visit your website and then they immediately disappear.

Why? This is because your visitors don’t get the triggers that they need. Research shows that 95% of our decisions are being taken by the part of our brain that is 5 million years old and not very bright. This old part is called the reptilian brain. In order to get our messages across, we need to speak to this part of the brain.

Imagine how it would be if your website helps you get more clients. What would this mean?  You do not need to do any cold calling, network events will not be crucial to your business anymore and you can spend less money on advertising.

So, how can we talk to the reptilian brain and make your website work for you? Your reptilian brain is triggered by basic needs and listens to simple and clear language. If you know how to use this information, you get more customers that contact you, sign up to your email list, like you or buy your products.

Let me share the 5 questions visitors want to be answered while visiting your homepage.

Go to your homepage, image you are a new visitor and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What is this all about?

    Face-to-face, most business people can make clear what their business is about, but is it immediately obvious at the homepage?

    Make clear what business you are in & what is the purpose of this website. Are you a pharmaceutical company, are you a consultant, are you a business school, are you a clinic for children? Does this sound obvious to you? Still, this often goes wrong.

  1. Is it for people like me?

    Is it clear that they write to me? Does it solve my problem?

    The ‘Reptilian Brain’ is very self-centered. It feels: I am the only important person on earth. This means that it should be immediately clear that it is all about your client. If you use their words, describe their problems and solve their issues, you will catch their attention. 

  1. What makes this unique?

    Does it offer a new solution or special method? Is it offered in a different way? Is it faster, more cost effective, easier, most advanced, most loved, best rated, scientifically proven, does it give better results, is it more practical? Is it offered by someone I trust?

    Contrast alerts our brain that something special is happening. You need to give your clients a very good and clear ‘picture’ of the differences. Are your competitors saying the same as you? You are not the only one. My advice: take the effort to find your unique position. This makes the difference between being average and being a leader, being able to ask for a premium price or not, the need to spend loads of money on advertising or not.

  1. What do they sell? What can I do here?

    Do I immediately get an idea of the offer?

    We get millions of triggers a day and are quickly distracted and bored. It immediately needs to be clear what product(s)/service(s) you offer. Maybe, your client is interested in the solution, but if they cannot quickly find how you deliver this, you will lose them fast.

    For example: they want to look younger, but do you offer anti-aging creams or operations?
    Or they want to lose weight, but they are not sure whether you offer a product, exercises or healthy food tips. Or they want to improve their sales, but are not sure whether you offer consulting services, trainings or software. This should be clear right away.

  2. Where should I click?

    Am I pointed to where they want me to click?

    You probably have heard this before: clients need a call to action. Tell them what you want them to do or otherwise they will get lost. Make sure it is very obvious what action they should take at each page.

Take a critical look at your own website. And why don’t you ask 5 other people to give you an answer to these questions, too? A few simple improvements can make a huge difference!

With unique greetings,