Perry Powell Consulting





A couple years ago, I had the opportunity to attend the best sales seminar I’ve ever experienced. The title of the seminar was “Selling to the Old Brain.” The seminar concentrated on the premise that the decision-making faculties are centered in the most primitive portion of our brains, and that we make decisions based on very limited stimuli.

The speaker went so far as to state buying decisions are made with the portion of our brain that’s similar to a crocodile’s brain. We have to understand those stimuli on which purchasing decisions are made — and market to consumers by presenting the purchasing options in a way that the old brain can receive and process the data.

This type of marketing is called “neuromarketing”, and it allows us to bypass the normal sales cycle and sell in the most efficient manner possible by presenting stimuli in specific ways which trigger purchasing as a base animal impulse.

As I meditated on this course in the time that followed, I began to consider the issue of car wash menus as sales devices. Most car wash menus are hand-me-down concepts which are derived from the historical methods of advising car wash consumers. A new approach may benefit untold numbers of wash owners.

First, let’s consider the six stimuli says will reach the “Old Brain” and how these may apply to car wash menus:

1) The Old Brain is Self-Centered

The Old Brain is a very self-centered entity, and general considerations about others do not reach it. Think of the Old Brain as the center of “me.” Do not assume that it has any patience or empathy for anything that does not immediately concern its survival and well-being.

Menu Application: Every consumer has been trained to look for the best bargain for each dollar they spend. A correctly designed menu will posture the presentation of the information in a way that concretely demonstrates the best value for the dollar. This can best be achieved by clearly showing the relationship between dollars spent to services received.

2) The Old Brain Seeks Contrast

Before/after, with/without, slow/fast all allow the Old Brain to decide. Contrast is a safe decision engine. It allows the Old Brain to make quick and safe decisions. Without contrast, the Old Brain enters a state of confusion, which ultimately results in delaying decision.

Menu Application: Most menus grossly fail in this area. A correctly designed menu will present the selections in such a way that the consumer can instantly determine the differences between the wash options offered, as well as the dollar spent, to the services that will be received, for each option.

3) The Old Brain is Tangible

Numbers work for the New Brain, but the Old Brain won’t decide based on numbers alone! The Old Brain is constantly scanning for what is familiar and friendly, what can be recognized quickly, what is tangible and immutable. The Old Brain cannot process concepts such as “flexible solution,” “integrated approach” or “scalable architecture” without efforts and doubts.

Menu Application: Keep it simple! A correctly designed menu will offer a few selections in the cleanest and most non complex manner possible. It will aid consumer decisions by showing an advantage that spending more per wash is in their best interest. A menu that offers too many selections or too many a la carte items will only make the consumer feel that a wash is trying to nickel and dime them to death. This will lead to a feeling of mistrust.

4) The Old Brain Remembers Beginning and End

The Old Brain forgets most everything in the middle. This short attention span has huge implications on how to construct and deliver powerful messages. Placing the most important content at the beginning is a must, and repeating it at the end — an imperative. Keep in mind that anything you say in the middle of your delivery will be mostly overlooked.

Menu Application: Relying on verbal presentations by a service provider without the aid of visual presentations that work will leave the consumer in the position to purchase your last option offered. Graphics and co-operative

Perry Powell Consulting - Neuro-Marketing, Car Wash Signs Consulting, Car Wash Menus Pricing Consulting, and Electronic Message Signs
P.O. Box 101508 Fort Worth Texas TX 76185 Ph: 817-307-6484