A New Decision Model Based on Neuroscience

The current model for how people/patients make decisions is WRONG!

For over 100 years marketers have assumed that a person recognizes they have a problem → initiates a search for a solution → evaluates alternatives → makes a logical decision → and then makes the purchase. Their experience with the product/service then makes them a loyal fan, or not. This is your standard decision model and it’s the gold standard for all marketing philosophies.

Neuroscience has proven that model to be wrong. Science has shown that 95% of all our decisions are driven by the subconscious/Primal Brain – not the rational/Logical Brain. This would insinuate that if we want to persuade someone of something, we have to appeal to their Primal Brain and not simply their Logical Brain.

Consultants and marketing agencies keep telling us that we need to appeal to patients’ emotions (what does that even mean?!). But the Primal Brain isn’t just a ball of emotions. It turns out the subconscious has a logic of its own!

That’s where our proprietary STAR Decision Model™ comes in. It is the result of neuroscience research findings combined with decades of sales and marketing experience. Our model shows how the human brain is powerfully driven by 3 main goals…


If you don’t survive nothing else matters. And there are specific strategies used by the Primal Brain to help us survive. One of these strategies is ‘Resource Conservation’. We are driven to save time, energy and money at all cost. We all know discounts catch a person’s eye, but what if we don’t want to discount our services all the time? People also have an instinctual need to choose the most convenient choice possible – which appeals to their need to save energy and time. This is why companies like Amazon and Uber have become so huge and why companies like (ahem) Smile Direct Club are growing so fast. The more convenient you make scheduling appointments, treatment consults, processes and finances the more growth you’ll see.


Mere survival isn’t enough though, people want to triumph! And the Primal Brain has strategies to achieve that goal, too. One of these strategies is ‘Personal Transformation’. This strategy fuels the multi-billion dollar self-improvement industry. As you can imagine, a great way to convey personal transformation is with ‘before & after’ photos. However, showing photos of only the teeth is not the most effective technique. Research has shown that our Primal Brain is wired to look at faces because we need to decide whether someone is a friend or foe. In order for people to care and connect with the before & after photos they need to see the entire face. When they feel a connection with someone else’s transformation, they’ll want you to give them the same journey.


If you are going to survive and triumph, you need every advantage you can getand the emotional brain has strategies for that, too! Why is the universal need for human connection so strong? To gain an advantage to survive and triumph! A tribe is always stronger than an individual. Case in point, we need to change our perception of the online space. Getting reviews and posting to Facebook isn’t just a task to be checked off. Social media is your instant (and free!) connection to your community. But the only way to be part of the community is to engage with it. You must respond to every comment and every review. If you don’t, someone may feel slighted. We have found that simply by engaging with your community online, you can organically grow your practice without the need to jump straight to paid ads.


Finally, once we have appealed to one of the above goals, the patient’s Primal Brain will make its decision and, only then, allow the Logical Brain to…


Rationalize the decision! If you are discussing a treatment process or financing with apatient and you see her eyes glaze over, it’s because her Primal Brain hasn’t determined how the treatment will impact her life. Therefore, no decision has been made by the Primal Brain, and she doesn’t have the capacity to rationalize the decision. Take her glazed-over look as an indicator that we need to back up and appeal to her needs for Survival, Triumph and/or Advantage by discussing how this will positively impact her life.


By decoding the logic of the subconscious mind, we can create intentional verbiage, processes and marketing strategies that will be so much more effective and efficient than ever before. Our understanding of the Primal Brain’s strategies and how to leverage them gives you, the private practice owner, a huge advantage over your competition!

We at BrilliantDoc envision applying this modeled approach – developed using neuroscience – to the areas of your practice that impact you the most. To start, we are applying it to marketing, specifically digital marketing, because that is an area where the majority of dental professionals have been mislead and can use the most help. Contact us to learn more.

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