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Rahila Ismail: Exploring Buyer Psychology

Rahila is a Buyer Psychology Strategist, the Founder of Consulting Out Loud, and a 20-year veteran of running a multimillion-dollar consulting practice fueled by her professional qualifications and expertise in psychology and neuroscience. She also created The Buying Brain Playbook: The 21 psyche-approved, battle-tested stimuli that help you to nail every sale and seal every deal!

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MyPodcast.Media 0:00

The following podcast is intended only for listeners who are intent on growing the business. Welcome to Innovate Marketing, where we are bringing you interviews with the brands, the influencers and the nonprofits that are making waves and growing a business. We are brought to you by MyPodcast.Media. MyPodcast.Media produces high quality podcasts that authentically connect you to your ideal audience. And now I'd like to introduce you to your hosts for innovate marketing, Sherry Peak.

Sherry Peak (host) 0:42

Welcome to innovate Marketing Podcast. Today, our guest is buyer psychology strategist, Founder of Consulting Out Loud, Rahila Ismail. Welcome to the show today, Rahila.

Rahila Ismail 0:56

Thank you, Sherry. It's a pleasure to be here. Thank you.

Sherry Peak (host) 1:01

You're welcome. It's a pleasure to have you with us today. I'm excited to get into our conversation. So simply put, I read that you said you answer the burning question how to get people to buy. My question is how can you ethically persuade people to buy?

Rahila Ismail 1:21

Yeah, great question, Sherry. So before I answer that question, I just want to give a little perspective. My background is in #psychology and #neuroscience. And for over 20 years, I've been running my own consulting practice... global practice multimillion dollars working with over 100 of the Fortune 500 companies. And intuitively, although my field wasn't directly the work I was doing wasn't directly in psychology, and neuroscience, it was the underlying theme. But intuitively, I was using principles from psychology, from consumer economics, from social cognitive neuroscience in the way I was positioning my offers- the way I was marketing my business, the way I was actually even selling my services. And I realized that, you know, people were struggling, and they would come to me like, Rahila, how's business going? And, oh, it's going great, you know, better than ever. And they would be scratching their heads wondering like, Oh, that's weird. Maybe she's lying, but I wasn't lying. Really, it was going fabulous. And I sat down, and I thought about it like, what, what am I? Am I doing something different? Are they doing or they're not doing the things I'm doing? What's going on here? So I sat down, and I realized that I was using these principles in all my marketing and all my #selling situations and scenarios. And when I looked at what other people were doing, for example, you know, we've all heard this tagline, "your one funnel away from your next million!" And I'm like, Yeah, right. The 10 second pitch, that's gonna have investors wanting to kidnap you and lock you up and hold you hostage until you promise to take all their money. Yeah, right. 10 seconds, you know, or that magical email script. And when I looked at them closely, some of the things that they were saying made sense to me from a psychology perspective, the way the brain processes information, but a lot of it was totally off the mark. And these are just tactics and schemes, and they just don't work. They might work in some instances, but majority of the time, they just don't work. And then I thought about it. Okay, so what am I doing? I am actually using the Psychology of Persuasion in my #sales and marketing. And so when you ask that question, what is ethical, right? Ethical is when you have something of real value to offer. Like Sherry, if you had the cure to cancer, you know, the cure to AIDS, and you keep it hidden, and keep it all to yourself, you don't let it out and let it serve people it can actually help, then that is unethical. And so when we talk about ethical selling, ethical persuasion, the first criteria is you must have something of value to offer. And once you have that, and you combine it with the way the brain actually makes the buying decision, you understand all the triggers the buttons to push to get to the yes, when those two come together, that equals ethical persuasion.

Sherry Peak (host) 4:52

Interesting, very interesting. So let's talk a little bit about emotional intelligence. Why is it #Emotionalintelligence so important in the world of marketing and sales?

Rahila Ismail 5:05

Really great question. In fact, I was having a session today with a group of men mentees, right? I'm a #mentor to a group of people. And this was an interesting question because one of the participants, they were trying to pitch an offer or compose their offer. And where they were off the mark is they did not understand their buyers Emotional Hot Buttons. So my my background is also in emotional intelligence. So what is emotional intelligence? One of the core elements is social awareness, it's being aware of the people you are interacting with, what are the triggers that will bring them closer to you, emotionally engage them with you, and what are also the triggers that are going to emotionally disengage them from you. So emotional intelligence is like a critical, it's a core skill that every marketer, every salesperson, every I'm even gonna say, every business owner, every founder, every leader needs to have,

Sherry Peak (host) 6:19

it's so important. And I would absolutely agree with you because it can make a world of a difference in a sale, or perhaps not a sale. So let's talk a little about how, or can you explain how the stimulus like the words, the imagery, the phrasing the hooks, is important to persuasion in sales and marketing as well.

Rahila Ismail 6:40

Yeah, it's all about the stimuli. There's multiple stimulus is, right, stimuli. And interestingly, a lot of people, a lot of marketers and salespeople, they are doing bits and pieces, but they're not pushing all those trigger points. They're not using all the potential stimuli that they should be to get to the fastest, smoothest "Yes". And what you need to do is not only make sure you have the right buttons identified, but you actually push them in the right sequence. And what that sequence is, is how the human brain actually processes information. So I'm not sure if you're familiar, Sherry, your brain is obviously very complex. But there are three major networks of neurons systems that process incoming information, different with different priorities. So do you know how the brain gets information? How does information input into the brain do you know? The five senses, okay? The ear, through your smell, your to your taste. So the five senses. So in marketing and sales, the sense that we're stimulating are the ears and the eyes. So we're using words, language, and imagery. But the brain does not pay equal attention to every single word and every single image at the same time. So there are three kind of like gates of the brain that you have to go through with your words and imagery. The first and most critical gate is of the primal brain. And the primal brain network is basically right at the base of your skull, right where your neck and your skull come together, scientifically, or if you use medical terminology, it's like your cerebellum, right. And this is private, it's called Primal not because it's primitive. It's a highly complex network of neurons. It actually manages your body temperature, your breathing, your circulation, your digestion, all your basic survival mechanisms. And the key word is survival. So the key for marketers, and salespeople is, we need to be able to grab the attention of the primal brain. Because if we don't grab attention, then our message is not going to go deeper into the other regions of the brain, which are the emotional brain and then after that, the logical brain. So first, you need to grab the attention of the primal brain with the right imagery and the right words. Once you've gotten open the lock and you've entered your buyers brain. Now you want to stimulate desire for your offer, what you're selling, and again, with the right imagery and the right words. We've all heard the saying that we buy based on emotion we justify our purchase or the buying decision based on logic. So once we've stimulated and triggered desire in our buyers emotional brain, now the message is ready to go to the logical brain for justification. So there you have to give another set of imagery and words to satisfy the logical brain. So primal, emotional, logical, and each brain has its own language and has its own stimuli, which types of imagery pictures, which types of words, it's actually going to process and pay attention to,

Sherry Peak (host) 10:39

Wow, this is such powerful information. I never thought about that aspect of it. So very, very interesting. So how have you seen #B2B buying behaviors change in the last year?

Rahila Ismail 10:54

That's a really good question. Last year is like our first like post-pandemic official year, right? In terms of b2b buyers, I don't see much of a change except in one area. Now, before b2b buyers would be very in terms of hands on physical interaction, physical connections. Now, they are like other consumers, b2b buyers, they're like other consumers. And they're very online, they're researching. They're finding out information, they're looking you up. They're looking for solutions. And so I read a very interesting research report. This was published by the rain group a couple of years back. And they asked this question of b2b buyers, like, what is the number one factor behind your decision to hire a service provider, as a buyer, right, as a B2B buyer? And what is the number one factor that you reject a service provider? Can you guess what the number one factor was? Out of 42 items, they had to rank them? So can you guess what the number one factor for hiring a service provider was B2B

Sherry Peak (host) 12:17


Rahila Ismail 12:18

Experience? No.

Sherry Peak (host) 12:21

Sales? Customer?

Rahila Ismail 12:24

No, this is what we think, right, this is exactly what we think. But interestingly, the research that I read, and it's available online as well, you can look it up the ring group, what makes a good salesperson. The interesting thing, the factor, the number one factor was these b2b buyers said, the service provider helped me to look at my situation, my problem, with new insights. They gave me insights. And that caught me right away, because insights happen in the brain. And there are certain things you have to say in a certain order in order to trigger an insight in someone's brain. So that was like, Oh my God, number one reason they made me look at things differently. I see my situation differently. And interestingly, Sherry, the opposite end, what was the number one reason they rejected service providers, these b2b buyers, they were doing the same thing like everyone else. There was nothing new, there was no innovation, there's nothing different. It was like I was, you know, whatever I asked, they gave me that they were like, order fulfillers, and not really helping me see my situation in a new way.

Sherry Peak (host) 13:51

I love that, because that really speaks to the creative side of people, you know, and them having that space to be creative in the problem solving. And so I like that, and that would be a reason that I would choose to. So going into 2023, how do how do brands and B2B services need to look at web and search engine optimization?

Rahila Ismail 14:17

#SEO. Oh, my God, it's so important. It's so important. You know, the, it's part of the stimuli, the words, right? When we go on to #Google, as if I'm ready to buy something, I have a problem. I don't know, even know if there's a solution out there. But what do we all do? We all go to Google. And we type in our problem, right? How do I What is you know, it's like we're asking this oracle, great Google, you know, to solve our problems. Now, as a business owner, if you don't understand SEO, search engine optimization, and you don't understand your buyers brain, like when they're looking at their situation, what are the words coming in their mind that they will be entering into the search bar? If you don't understand how they're thinking, then you won't be able to show up in their search results on Google. So you have to understand how they look at their problem. What at a fifth grade level they would be typing into Google Search to find a potential solution to their problem? And does your website, does your LinkedIn profile, do your social media profiles contain those key words in enough quantity for you to actually show up in those search results on Google for that potential buyer? So it is absolutely critical for us to really understand first, our buyers brain, what they're thinking what they're looking for at that point, where they want to be finding a solution and making a purchase, and then matching our online social presence - our web presence - to match the thought process in our buyers brain.

Sherry Peak (host) 16:10

So let's talk a little bit about your 30 Days of Persuasion. Can you tell us what that is about?

Rahila Ismail 16:17

Yeah, absolutely. So what I found is because when I was looking at the market I've been using these strategies and cheat codes from buyer psychology in my own #business. And when I surveyed the market, I found that you know, there's no one really purely talking about this in terms of marketing and sales, and even business strategy development, offer creation, perception management... no one's even talking about Buyer Psychology, where it's like we're working on in a vacuum, right and making it based on assumptions, flavors of the month, when in our hands, we already have decades of psycho psychological research, neuroscience research brain studies, we have studies from FMRI research studies where we can actually see the brain lighting up, when it has an insight when it makes a decision when it's motivated and happy when it's upset and wants to have a fight or flight, you know, get away from a situation. We have all this data and research. But we don't have any practical step by step application, or tools or templates or scripts that incorporate that research in a practical way. So what I decided to do was to kind of throw this out there in the market with a 30 day audio series, called the 30 days of persuasion, where every day I'm sharing these cheat codes to the buyers brain and sharing a little tool, a little template, a little script. And people are, Sherry, they're just like laughing it up. And they're like, Oh, my God, where was this before? Like, we we wish we had known this stuff before. Because it's science backed. It's research backed. It's all built on the fundamentals of human behavior and psychology, not the whim of your favorite guru of the month. Right. And so that's what this 30 days is all about. It's a LinkedIn audio series that I'm doing daily, consistently for 30 days, and today was day 23. And believe me, Sherry, I've never done anything this consistently other than maybe to take care of my kids. But you have to do. If you don't, you're a bad parent. So I had to do that. But this is the first time I've been so consistent.

Sherry Peak (host) 18:50

Congratulations to you ... sounds like a wonderful opportunity. So yes, I'm going to have to find you on LinkedIn and take a look at that. Sounds awesome. So what are you doing on Clubhouse these days?

Rahila Ismail 19:05

You know, interestingly, I'm broadcasting simultaneously. So on clubhouse I have a club for my company, Consulting Out Loud, and just in the last month, it's like doubled in terms of people who join that club, because I think what I'm saying really speaks to a lot of people. So in this 30 Day audio series, I've decided to really now promote my club on Clubhouse, and I'm broadcasting simultaneously both audio LinkedIn and audio Clubhouse. Now LinkedIn, one of the the negative points I find so far is, LinkedIn does not allow for replays. There's no way for us to store the recording for our own retrieval. LinkedIn keeps a recording, but we don't get it as creators. So simultaneously on Clubhouse I get to store the replay there so inside the club people if they missed a session, you know, they were busy, they were in a meeting, they were picking up kids or whatever, they can go back and what listen into the replay on the Clubhouse app. And so I'm using it in this kind of manner simultaneously.

Sherry Peak (host) 20:15

Okay, that sounds really good. Now, you also created the Buying Brain Playbook. Let's talk a little bit about that. And let's let people know how they could find your book or any other information like this that they might want to buy in the future.

Rahila Ismail 20:34

Absolutely, you know, this Buying Brain Playbook are the 21 stimuli that trigger the your buyers brains journey, not the buyers journey, your buyers brains journey to the "Yes," to the sales decision. And so these 21 stimuli are structured according to the primal brain, there's five that you need to like push the buttons you need to push for the primal brain, there's six more for the emotional brain, there's more for the logical brain. And so it's structured across the buyer's brain's journey. And it's not available, like as a book, but what I am doing is next month in December, I'm launching a four week kind of group coaching program where I'm releasing the Buying Brain, right, this playbook, and walking people through the journey, along with the tools, the templates, and the scripts for each of those 21 stimuli. So that is available will be available in December. But if someone really wants to get started applying buyer psychology, I have a free resource they can download. It's called the LinkedIn Captivating Headline Guide. And there are four formulas that I've put together using buyer psychology, how to grab the attention of the primal brain, how to create desire in the emotional brain, and how to justify the need of the logical brain for evidence and credibility. So these formulas capture the language of all three regions of your buyers brain. And if you use any one of those four formulas, and you update your headline with this revised formula, and take a screenshot of your LinkedIn stats before you change your headline, first, get the numbers like how many profile views how many search results you've had, with your old headline, update your headline, and after 30 days, four weeks, check your stats again, I can guarantee my people I've helped with the headlines with using these formulas, minimum 2x to up to 10x increase in your profile views and increase in your search results. LinkedIn is a search engine as well. So increasing your search results. So I'd be happy to share that with the listeners as well.

Sherry Peak (host) 23:12

Oh, that's great. So thank you for offering that. So as we round out our time today, a couple more things. One, what would be your final thoughts you would leave with our listening audience today?

Rahila Ismail 23:26

Well, you know, we, as business owners, maybe you're an expert and you sell your expertise as a consultant, maybe as a coach, maybe as a B2B service provider. And no doubt you are really good in your area of expertise. No doubt, no question about it. However, you also need to be good in selling. And unfortunately, a lot of us hesitate to sell. We don't feel comfortable. We feel like it's pushy. It's aggressive. It's sleazy, it's slimy with that, oh, you know, that used car salesman metaphor that we all visualize? No, it doesn't have to be that way. It can be very easy. You can nail the sale and you can seal the deal if you only understand and apply buyer psychology. So those are my parting words.

Sherry Peak (host) 24:26

Wow! Okay, can you tell our listeners, Rahila, how can they connect with you beyond our time together here today?

Rahila Ismail 24:34

Absolutely. You can look me up on LinkedIn, Rahila Ismail. You can look me up and connect with me there. You can also find me online You're welcome to join my monthly- I call it a co working session - It's the first Monday of every month. It's free. We get on a Zoom and we tackle your marketing and sales dilemmas and challenges using buyer psychology, and you can also download my LinkedIn Headline Guide, I'm sure you can share those links as well.

Sherry Peak (host) 25:14

Rahila, thank you for joining us today. Truly this conversation and time spent with you has been very insightful for me and I'm sure to many of our listeners today. Again, thank you listeners for joining us today and until we talk again, be great and stay safe.

MyPodcast.Media 25:34

That brings us to the close of this edition of Innovate Marketing. We're glad you tuned in. Innovate Marketing is brought to you by MyPodcast.Media. MyPodcast.Media produces podcast for brands, influencers and nonprofits. Find us online at MyPodcast.Media. Your producer for innovative marketing is Beth Fried. Executive producer Shawn Neal, and your host is Sherry Peak. We'll see you next time. Be sure to tune in

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