Interview with Daniele Casuccio
THE BOSS BOOKS (BB): What made you decide to write this book?DANIELE CASUCCIO (DC): Since the end of the 90s I have read many books about improving sales and about different aspects of neuroscience, but I haven’t been able to find any that combine these two apparently unrelated topics. While leading workshops for salespeople and their managers all over Europe, I realized that many questions to which I was giving an empirical answer could actually be answered scientifically, based on the way our brain works. After holding seminars and training courses for several years, I decided to collect the most effective techniques and practical tips in a book.
(BB): How can neuroscience be applied to sales?(DC): Understanding customer behavior is essential for sales professionals because if you want to sell something, you need to know which factors influence a person’s decisions. Modern neuroscience teaches us that logic and rationality are not as involved in our decisions as we may think. Actually, it turns out that our apparently rational choices are influenced by a variety of factors that are more closely connected to emotions than rationality: external circumstances, social pressure, conscious and unconscious desires, the way we perceive a certain choice, our expectations, and even the mood we’re in. Being aware of this is of crucial importance if you want to boost your sales: in order to win a customer, you have to understand these mechanisms and create the right emotions.
(BB): Does this mean that your readers should have a scientific background?(DC): Absolutely not! This is a very practical manual, in which I explain how scientific findings can be applied to our daily interaction with other people. There are several real-life examples and exercises that anybody can do to practice these techniques. I’ve done a lot of research on these topics so my readers don’t have to! If anybody is interested, there is also an appendix that provides a simple, basic outline of the way our brain works, but this is just additional food for thought.
(BB): What is the most important skill for a salesperson, in your opinion?(DC): To become a better salesperson you need to understand how your customer’s brain works and how to communicate efficiently and effectively. You will sell more if you improve your communication skills by leveraging insights from neuroscience and conversational analysis. In order to communicate effectively, the first obstacle you have to overcome is the customer’s initial mistrust, due to our brain’s natural resistance to change. If you manage to build a conversation that creates trust, the customers will listen to you and give you the opportunity to find out all you want to know about their problems and needs. Then, to close the sale, you’ll have to resort to effective communication and persuasion techniques. Although communication today is obviously different from the way it was 2,000 years ago, some patterns – like our ancestors’ interest in storytelling – are still relevant.
(BB): What advice would you give the manager of a remote “sell and serve” center?(DC): Contact centers and remote “sell and serve” centers around the world are currently worth more than 400 billion euros a year (and only 30% of them are outsourced). Their impact on the global economy was growing steadily until the Covid pandemic accelerated this process by turning remote working into a standard part of our business life. Nowadays it’s essential to improve the success rate of remote sales operations by teaching the most up-to-date techniques to our sales representatives. This kind of training will allow them to become successful professionals who are aware of the variability of customer behavior and are consequently able to handle a wide range of situations.
The Author: Daniele Casuccio
Daniele Casuccio is an international expert in customer operations, as well as the founder and managing director of Customer Analytics, an international boutique consulting company specialized in helping clients increase revenue and reduce operating costs when managing complex customer operations.
After completing his master’s degree in nuclear engineering, he decided to work in customer operations because of the fascinating combination of rational and irrational elements that characterizes this dynamic sector.
Daniele is considered one of the leading European experts in customer operations.
He is an independent external senior expert for McKinsey & Company, where he previously worked as a full-time consultant, and other top-tier consulting firms. While living in Germany,
he founded and managed a boutique BPO center focused on serving e-commerce players.
Prior to joining McKinsey, he was Director of Operations for a major Italian company specialized in CRM outsourcing, managing a call center with 1,500 operators.
Over the last 25 years he has worked with more than 300,000 people in about 400 call centers located in 40 different countries. This experience has given him a unique opportunity to observe customer behavior and test the success rate of different selling techniques.