The Crudeness of the Reptilian Salesman

Posted by Tom Hannon
on 19 May 2015

Sales and marketing intellectuals with audiences of envious volume are talking about gaining new customers by not interrupting them. Interruption is a thing of the past. You must apply your efforts towards “hand raisers”. In these digital times, they emphasize, old methods are dying.

The death of direct marketing may be overstated but there is no doubt that you can market anything to a group that is specifically geared towards that thing, whatever it may be. There is a group online for just about anything. Narrowcast marketing is a thing of the present and most likely the future.

Despite the elegance and organization of the internet and it’s splintering of marketing efforts, one idiom of brutal and crude consequence still holds true; necessity is the mother of invention. I’m willing to go one step further and extend the element of crudeness and say that we are still driven by our base desires at the highest levels of accomplishment and that will never change.

Facebook was started to impress a girl. The deepest recesses of the human brain wired for reproduction have inspired a technical revolution. The fastest growing sport worldwide is mixed martial arts. The human desire and ability for combat is based in the those same recesses of our brains. The number of gun owners in America is growing at a rate higher than ever before. Our deep seated desires for security manifest themselves. 

Technology, entertainment, security and even our capacity for empathy are driven by our most base and reptilian parts of our brains. That should not be forgotten in any sales effort. In fact it should be emphasized.

Now, I’m not talking about the Jerky Boys skit where the aspiring car salesman describes his techniques as "putting their freakin’ face on the hood of the car and telling them they're going to buy it…” I paraphrase.  But a gentle consideration for the natural drivers of human action must play a part in everything we do simply because we are there, and we are we. We are human.

I’m not a big fan of fear selling like when an alarm company tells you that an office down the street has been broken into recently. I also do not like crude sales people. So there is a fine line, I suppose. Where that line is is subjective. Get it right and you're good; get it wrong and your offensive, or worse, you've lost an opportunity.

Tell me about your experiences as a lizard. I’d like to learn from them or share them on RDI’s blog. Please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.