The Brain Audit by Sean D’Souza

What if selling was a science? A set of principles that you could easily apply, getting people to buy your product regardless of their objections?

Just a dream?

Thanks to Sean D’Souza, it’s not.

In the Brain Audit, he outlines the psychology of why people purchase, why they don’t, and how you can sell to practically anyone.

For every entrepreneur, selling is a remarkably necessary skill. If you don’t know how to sell yourself and your product, you’ll never build a business.

Here’s the exact formula that you need to sell stuff.

Bookmark this page and use it as your guide to writing copy, creating a presentation, and winning customers.

1. The Problem

Let’s be honest. You and I are nothing but glorified cave people who pretend to be a whole lot smarter than we actually are.

Recently, I reminded someone of this quote:

“If you ever start taking things too seriously, just remember that we are talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe.”

Despite your disappointment at learning that you’re far less cool than you thought, it’s that very fact that makes selling to people easy.

You see, since we’re cave people, we still have many of the same instincts that our ancestors had.

Namely, for our purposes, we pay attention to problems.

Back in the days of sticks, spears, and berries, our problem-instinct was mostly triggered by a cougar in that nearby bush or a snake trying to nip between your legs.

Lucky for sales people, we all carry those same instincts about other problems.

Which is exactly why, whenever you’re trying to sell something, start by making the problem as bad as you possibly can. Emphasize the pain that your prospect is going through and don’t tell them how you’re going to solve it yet.

Just make it hurt like a bitch.

“The problem gets our instant attention. This is because our brain is always on the lookout for the problem While solutions may or may not engage the brain, a problem always gets the brain’s attention.”

2. The Solution

The solution sucks on its own. The worst thing you can do is start by presenting your solution.

After all, no one cares about a solution until they recognize the visceral problem that solution is associated with.

But once you’ve illustrated the problem that prospects are facing with shocking detail, you can describe the solution.

Just remember this. Don’t present a problem that you can’t solve. When people are listening to you, they get excited when you’re presenting the problem because they know that you’re going to solve it for them.

If your solution sucks, they’ll be severely disappointed.

Your solution to the prospect’s problem should be able to live up to the severity of the problem you illustrated. If it can’t, then you need a new product or a better salesperson.

“Solutions are just as important as problems. But they have to follow the sequence. They should only show up once the problem has been introduced. Don’t jump the gun and put your solution before the problem. Doing so will greatly reduce the impact of your communication.”

3. Target Profile

You probably have a demographic for the people you’re trying to target. You might even know some of the interests of the person that you’re targeting and what their hobbies are.

But very few people have that much information, and almost no one has more information.

Luckily, you don’t need more information, you need different information.

A demographic is useless. A hobby set is useless.


Because they aren’t nearly specific enough.

What you need is a target profile. A target profile is one person. And not a made-up customer avatar, but a real, living, breathing person who would be interested in your product.

Target that single person with your message and you’ll get better results.

The more specific your targeting, the more people you’ll get. It’s counterintuitive, but it’s marketing common sense.

Most people just don’t do it.

“The ‘target profile’ is just one person. A real person, with a real name, with a real address, and real phone number. And with real problems.”

4. Trigger

Next comes the trigger.

Basically, the trigger is your solution dressed up in fancier clothes. If your problem is, “Looking like a 50-year old” and your solution is “Looking like a 30-year old,” your trigger might be “How to look 30 when you’re 50.”

The trigger combines the problem and solution to illustrate the magnificence, via contrast, of what your product offers.

It should be something that fascinates your prospect and draws them into the rest of your sales pitch.

“A trigger instantly gets the attention of the brain. And when faced with the trigger, the brain — your brain or the client’s brain — has very little option but respond very predictably.”

5. Objections

Everyone hates objections.

You know you have an amazing product but that douché bag, Dilly, keeps telling you about all the reasons you’re going to fail.

When it comes to objections, we’re not talking about Dilly. Everyone hates him.

We’re talking about the person who listens to your sales pitch but then says stuff like, “Man. That’s cool. But I don’t think I have the money for it,” or “Awesome! But how do I know it really works?” or “I would love to buy that, but is it going to be reliable?”

These objections are good. They mean that your customer is interested. They’re trying to reason themselves into buying the product they already want. Your job is to address these hurdles one at a time so that the prospect is left with only their desire to buy your product.

To do that, identify all of the objections someone could have to buying your product. These usually involve,

  • Price Tag
  • Delivery Time
  • Convenience

Then, address these one at a time with the following steps: testimonials and risk reversal.

“The objection is a big signal that the customer is interested. Disinterested customers don’t object, or ask questions. They simply walk away. It’s when customers are interested, that they feel the risk, that they start asking questions and objecting.”

6. Testimonials

You probably know how important testimonials are for selling a product.

No one wants to be the first person to purchase. They want to know that other people have walked the same path and come out the other end satisfied with their decision.

But there’s a problem.

A lot of people don’t trust testimonials because they sound like goddy and forced, robotic representations of a human you say said something, but did they really?

They don’t feel real and thus they don’t feel trustworthy.

To get testimonials that feel trustworthy, ask clients who love your product these questions:

  • What was your biggest fear when buying my product?
  • How did I solve that for you?
  • What have you experienced since buying my product?

Testimonials that start with transparency and end with the solution (much like the beginning of your sales pitch) are the most authentic and effective.

“It’s the seeming lack of reality in a testimonial that makes us doubt its genuineness. So the way to pump back the reality is to give a testimonial a before/after effect. And voilá, we get the ‘reverse testimonial.'”

7. Risk Reversal

When someone is thinking about buying your product, the number one thing that will stop them is the absorption of risk.

They feel as though there is too much risk involved in the purchase and they’ll talk themselves out of it.

This means that you have to absorb all of the risk for them.


By including lifetime warranties, an excellent return policy, free trials with no credit card required, and other things that make your customer feel safe to buy your product.

Remember, we’re cave people and we want to feel safe. Risk works wonders at killing businesses.

But not risk for you, risk for your prospects.

“For customers to even try the biriyani, they need to know that all the risk lies with the seller. This makes a customer far more willing to buy your product/service.”

8. Uniqueness

Don’t be the same as every other company on the face of this cluttered planet.

There are a ton of businesses in this world and many of them are similar. Because of that, there are a lot of businesses that fail and plenty of surviving businesses that remain mediocre.

If you want to achieve the level of lucrativeness that I know you want to, you have to be unique. You need to stand out.

But how do you determine what makes you unique?

Well, you don’t. You create it.

How can you market yourself differently than everyone else? How can your product be a little bit different than the competition? How can you deliver something that feels as though it’s the only one in the world?

Answer those questions and you’ll have a winning product on your hands.

“Instead of finding your uniqueness, it’s easier (and more efficient) to create your uniqueness. To create your uniqueness, all you have to do is make a wish for your customers. If there is one thing you’d wish to improve in the life of your customers, what would that one thing be?”

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