The Persuasion Code Book Club Discussion — with Patrick Renvoise

How to deliver your message so that your customers’ primal brains respond...

August 11th, 2020

Turns out we’re all just 500 million year old lizards walking on two feet — and so are your customers.

Don’t believe us? Patrick Renvoise, co-author of The Persuasion Code, proves it with just a few simple experiments that will blow your mind.

He covers the differences between primal brain vs rational brain, and how to deliver your message so that your customers’ primal brains respond.

He also covers Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow and how it applies to marketing.

If you’ve ever been interested in tapping into neuromarketing, this is the perfect introduction to some theory…

Bonus, if you want to see a question asked 10 different ways and still not answered… then you can listen past minute 25. Otherwise, you may want to stop there.

Some additional information on Neuromarketing…

What is neuromarketing

Neuromarketing is the science of human decision…it loosely refers to the measurement of physiological and neural signals to gain insight into customers’ motivations, preferences, and decisions, which can help inform creative advertising, product development, pricing, and other marketing areas.


The most primitive part of our human brain is referred to as the “Primal Brain”.

Although it controls the most complex of life-sustaining functions such as breathing, heart rate, etc., it is remarkably simple in terms of what types of stimuli trigger its attention.

There is a simple language that you can use to stimulate the Primal Brain and it consists of 6 stimuli.

1. PERSONAL: The ‘Primal Brain’ is a very self-centered entity and general considerations about others do not reach it. Think of the ‘Primal 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.

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

3. TANGIBLE: Numbers work for the Rational Brain, but the ‘Primal Brain’ won’t decide based on numbers alone! The ‘Primal Brain’ is constantly scanning for what is familiar and friendly, what can be recognized quickly, what is tangible and immutable. The ‘Primal Brain’ cannot process concepts like “flexible solution”, “integrated approach”, or “scalable architecture” without effort and doubt.

4. MEMORABLE: The ‘Primal Brain’ forgets most of the information it needs to process. 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.

5. VISUAL: The ‘Primal Brain’ is visual. Neuroscience demonstrates that when you see something that looks like a snake, your ‘Primal Brain’ warns you instantly of danger so that you react even before the Rational Brain physically recognizes it’s a snake. This is because visual processing enters the ‘Primal Brain’ first, which can lead to a very fast and effective connection to the true decision-maker.

6. EMOTIONAL: The ‘Primal Brain’ is strongly triggered by emotions. Neuroscience has clearly demonstrated that ‘emotional cocktails’ create chemical reactions that directly impact the way we memorize and act.


NO PAIN, NO GAIN. There are countless examples of products and services marketed without a sophisticated understanding of the specific pains they are supposed to eliminate. Even with multi-million dollar advertising campaigns, they ultimately fail. Though we cannot reduce the complex and mystical paradigms underlying every human decision, buying patterns are more predictable than generally believed. The Primal Brain is Personal. Under the stress of making a purchasing decision, it plays a central role in controlling the final decision. That’s why you need to quickly identify the pain of your audience if you want to get immediate attention. But how?

You’ll need to learn to answer the following 4 questions:

  • What is the source of the pain?
  • What is the intensity of the pain?
  • What are the worst consequences of eliminating the pain?
  • Is the pain acknowledged?


No CLAIM, No Fame… If you are not selling something that is clearly unique, you are selling as much for your competitors as you are for yourself. You must highlight the uniqueness of your solution to succeed: At SalesBrain, they believe that CLAIMS solve limitations of existing inventions the same way your brand’s uniqueness should solve the core PAIN of your client.

Here’s how you can nail your claims:

  • List the top 3 PAINS as uncovered during your diagnostic process.
  • Describe which unique feature your product or service offers to eliminate the PAIN.
  • Describe the resulting benefit as experienced directly by the customer.
  • Consider putting the CLAIMS in front of a good sample of customers before you can use them.


No Evidence, No Confidence…If your benefits are greater than your cost, your customers are foolish not to buy. But it doesn’t always work that way. Why? Because the ‘Primal Brain’ is skeptical. It needs concrete evidence before it can commit to a decision. This means that rather than ‘talking’ about the value, you need to ‘prove’ it. Selling to the ‘Primal Brain’ is a game of GAIN!

Most books written about sales focus on accelerating the buying decision—not ‘solidifying’ the commitment to buy. If you present a strong ‘Proof of GAIN’, you do not need to create an ‘artificial urgency’. It will be built into your message.

Why would your customer delay a buying decision if you have proven the GAIN they will get from your CLAIMS?

Gains fall into 3 categories:

  • Financial gain or ROI: The Financial GAIN or ROI – Return On Investment-is maximized when customers see measurable returns on their purchase like saving money or increasing revenue or even boosting profits.
  • The Strategic Gain: The Strategic GAIN includes benefits that are less measurable yet provide significant enhancements to your business such as increased quality, product diversification, shorter market cycles, access to new markets, etc. The strategic GAIN cannot always be translated into financial value.
  • The Personal Gain: The Personal GAIN is achieved when specific employees of your customers experience peace of mind, more fun, pride of ownership, improved chances for a promotion, sense of accomplishment, self-satisfaction, etc.


No Clarity, No Close…Being unique by Differentiating your CLAIMS and proving your value by Demonstrating the GAIN are vital steps in affecting your audience. But alone, they are not enough. The most solid and logical message, though it may be of interest to your prospect, will still not trigger a buying decision unless the ‘Primal Brain’ quickly and effortlessly understands. Delivering your message with maximum impact to influence the real decision maker, the Primal Brain, truly gives you the edge.

Resources Mentioned

Our lizard kingdom isn’t for everyone,
but it might be for you...