Banner Plumbing Supply hosted an NKBA Oktoberfest chapter meeting on Tuesday, October 21. The event began at 5:30 p.m. with members networking and socializing over seasonal-themed food and beverages. Half way through members gathered together to listen to Robb Best, senior advisor of cognitive strategy and Elkay director of education and design, CKD.

“Robb Best has been a guest speaker before and he was back by popular demand,” said Steven Vincent, partner at Symmetry Group. “He has an attention grabbing delivery style, knows his topic and gave us something substantive to take back with us.”

Best talked about three neuroscience techniques to making a sale — communication, creativity and decision making. “These three things are key skills to have when becoming a sales ninja,” Best says. He then went on to explain the ‘five steps to selling success’ — greet, educate, select, review and close.

In greeting a customer, one should be acutely aware of the buyer’s peripersonal space. “Often times, we as sales people tend to step into a handshake,” Best said. “This can be off putting to a buyer. You want to stand firmly where you are, about an arm’s length away.” The proper way to greet a buyer is with HENS — handshake, elbow touch, name and smile. This introduction method has been scientifically proven to produce Oxytocin, a “bonding hormone.”

Becoming educated about your buyer’s kitchen habits is another key in making a sale. Every homeowner who spends a lot of their time in the kitchen has what Best calls a “power spot.” Many attendees said they enjoyed learning about this section and found it the most interesting. Move this spot and it won’t matter how good the design is, it will feel off for the client. “Ask your client where there power spot is — where they spend 80% of their time preparing for meals,” Best recommended. “Then ask permission to move it — 50% of the time the sale is lost because of this.”

When closing a deal, a good salesperson can influence the brain. Best demonstrated this on attendees. “I’m going to ask three questions,” he began. “One, write down the name of the person who created the iPhone. Two, write down the color of a stop sign. Three, write down the first fruit that comes to mind. … How many wrote apple? Do you see how I lead you to that?” 

The layout of the closing document can influence a homeowner in the same way the three questions did. Best discussed the importance of “you,” the anchoring concept that a brain hold to the first number it sees and dismisses the rest, the cathedral effect, binary contrast, priming, cognitive dissonance, loss aversion and quote justification (see picture below).

“The information Robb Best shared is good to have,” said Cindy Frenzer, interior designer at Interiors 4 U. “We all learned how great a tool the mind is and how we can use it to deal with clients to sell our business.”

Other lessons learned were: how important first contact is with a perspective client; how the invasion of personal space can lose a client; how to better present a contract; and how important the power space is.

This event was the largest it has been in over four years, with 170 people in attendance. “As NKBA members we attend these events to support the chapter, network with other members and exchange information and ideas with them, and hopefully learn something new from the guest speaker,” Vincent said. “And this event met all those expectations.”