396 episodes

Consumers are weird. They don't do what they say they will do and don't act how we think they "should." Enter Melina Palmer, a sales conversion expert with a personal mission to make your business more effective and brain friendly. In this podcast, Melina will take the complex concepts of behavioral economics (the study and science of why people buy - or not) and provide simple, actionable tips you can apply right away in your business. Whether you're a small business or thriving corporation, Melina's tips can help your business increase sales and get more customers.

The Brainy Business | Understanding the Psychology of Why People Buy | Behavioral Economics Melina Palmer

    • Business
    • 4.7 • 166 Ratings

Consumers are weird. They don't do what they say they will do and don't act how we think they "should." Enter Melina Palmer, a sales conversion expert with a personal mission to make your business more effective and brain friendly. In this podcast, Melina will take the complex concepts of behavioral economics (the study and science of why people buy - or not) and provide simple, actionable tips you can apply right away in your business. Whether you're a small business or thriving corporation, Melina's tips can help your business increase sales and get more customers.

    Reflecting on the Past: The Reality of Hindsight Bias (Refreshed Episode)

    Reflecting on the Past: The Reality of Hindsight Bias (Refreshed Episode)

    In Episode 396 of The Brainy Business podcast, host Melina Palmer explores the intriguing world of memory reliability and the common misconceptions that alter our perception of past events. Melina delves into how our brains often mislead us into thinking we understood or predicted outcomes that were, in fact, unforeseeable. With insights into cognitive biases like leveling, sharpening, and survivorship bias, this episode uncovers how these mental processes distort our understanding of reality and influence business and personal decisions. 
    Drawing from vivid examples and thoughtful analysis, Melina offers practical strategies to combat hindsight bias and enhance decision-making clarity. Whether you're reflecting on past business strategies or personal experiences, this episode provides valuable lessons on the importance of questioning our instincts and memories. Tune in to learn how to navigate your reflections with greater accuracy and less bias, preparing you for better outcomes in future endeavors. 
    In this episode:
    Gain insights into the impact of hindsight bias on decision-making and how to mitigate its effects. Understand the influence of memories on business choices and learn strategies to harness this influence for better decision-making. Explore the hidden dangers of survivorship bias and its implications for strategic planning, along with methods to counteract its effects. Acquire effective techniques to combat hindsight bias and enhance the quality of decision-making processes. Discover the critical importance of pre-mortem analysis in decision-making and how it can revolutionize strategic planning. Show Notes: 00:00:00 - Introduction
    Melina welcomes listeners to the Brainy Business podcast and introduces the topic of hindsight bias, reflecting on past decisions and events with a biased perspective.

    00:03:08 - The Nature of Memories
    Melina discusses the inaccuracy of memories, how they can be distorted over time, and the impact of biases like leveling and sharpening on memory recollection.

    00:05:03 - Survivorship Bias
    The concept of survivorship bias is explained through the story of planes in World War Two, highlighting the importance of considering missing data and the potential impact on decision-making.

    00:07:53 - Overconfidence and Cognitive Dissonance
    Melina delves into the overconfidence that arises from hindsight bias, how people often claim to have known outcomes all along, and the role of cognitive dissonance in justifying past beliefs.

    00:12:59 - Tips for Combating Hindsight Bias
    Melina provides three practical tips for combating hindsight bias, including being comfortable admitting surprise, taking notes beforehand, and considering alternative outcomes when reviewing past events.

    00:15:44 - Overcoming Hindsight Bias
    Melina discusses the importance of doing thorough analysis before making decisions and the value of admitting when you don't know the answer.

    00:16:58 - Taking Notes and Evaluating Decisions
    Melina emphasizes the importance of writing down suspicions or ideas before making a decision, as well as evaluating the decision-making process in a post-mortem.

    00:17:40 - Reviewing What Happened and Considering Other Outcomes
    Melina encourages thinking through alternative outcomes and considering the possibility of missing information when reviewing past decisions.

    00:18:44 - Avoiding Overconfidence and Generalization
    Melina advises against putting too much weight on finding the exact answer and using it as a general rule for future decisions. Context matters and overconfidence can be detrimental.

    00:20:27 - Conclusion
    What stuck with you while listening to the episode? What are you going to try? Come share it with Melina on social media -- you'll find her as @thebrainybiz everywhere and as Melina Palmer on LinkedIn.
    Thanks for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Android. If you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTune

    • 23 min
    Mastering Negotiation: Strategies for Success with Kwame Christian

    Mastering Negotiation: Strategies for Success with Kwame Christian

    In this episode of The Brainy Business podcast, host Melina Palmer welcomes back the captivating Kwame Christian, host of the Negotiate Anything podcast, for a deep dive into the art of negotiation. In this richly insightful episode, Melina leads a dynamic reverse interview, unveiling Kwame's revered Compassionate Curiosity framework. Discover the transformative potential of acknowledging emotions, fostering genuine curiosity, and the strategic power of joint problem-solving. 
    Be enthralled by the exploration of affect labeling's effect on emotions and learn how breaks in negotiation can precipitate better outcomes. We navigate the cultural nuances crucial for negotiation success and share valuable insights on the synergy between sales processes and negotiation skills. Whether you are looking to enhance your professional dealings or elevate personal interactions, this episode offers groundbreaking strategies that honor both the psychological and practical aspects of communication. 
    In this episode:
    Master negotiation techniques for personal branding to elevate your professional image and achieve greater success in your career. Apply behavioral economics in negotiations to gain a strategic advantage and maximize your deal-making potential. Explore Kwame Christian's Compassionate Curiosity framework to foster stronger relationships and achieve mutually beneficial outcomes in negotiations. Implement effective anchoring strategies in negotiations to influence perceptions and drive favorable terms in your favor. Cultivate cultural intelligence in negotiation processes to navigate diverse business settings with skill and finesse. Show Notes: 00:00:00 - Introduction
    Melina introduces Kwame Christian, host of the Negotiate Anything podcast.

    00:02:41 - Compassionate Curiosity Framework Recap
    Melina and Kwame discuss the Compassionate Curiosity framework, a three-part framework for having difficult conversations, which involves acknowledging and validating emotions, getting curious with compassion, and utilizing joint problem-solving.

    00:06:47 - Balancing Priming and Anchoring in Emotion Recognition
    The conversation delves into the trade-offs of priming and anchoring when offering emotion descriptors, specifically when using the Compassionate Curiosity framework, and the potential impact on the emotional temperature of the conversation.

    00:11:39 - Examples of Excellent Framework Implementation
    Kwame provides examples of individuals who demonstrate each part of the compassionate curiosity framework, highlighting podcast hosts as exemplary question-askers and interviewers who excel at acknowledging and validating emotions.

    00:12:28 - Co-negotiators and Good Cop Bad Cop Strategies
    The discussion explores the concept of co-negotiators and the effectiveness of the "good cop, bad cop" strategy in negotiation, considering the role of relationship builders and problem solvers partnering towards a common goal for a client.

    00:14:07 - The Hot Ones Interviewer and the Power of Preparation
    Kwame talks about the interviewer from the show Hot Ones and his exceptional preparation skills. The ability to ask in-depth questions beyond the surface level helps build rapport and reciprocity with guests.

    00:18:22 - The Value of a Co-negotiator
    Kwame shares a story about a negotiation where the relationship with the counterpart was strained. He discusses the value of having a co-negotiator in complex negotiations to bring in a fresh perspective and facilitate a fair outcome.

    00:20:28 - The Role of Negotiation in Personal Branding and Success
    Kwame reflects on how negotiation skills have been instrumental in securing media deals and partnerships, contributing to the success of his personal brand. Negotiation played a crucial role in landing opportunities and creating mutually beneficial deals.

    00:23:02 - Negotiation in Sales and Marketing
    Kwame explains how negotiation techniques are integrated within the sales proces

    • 40 min
    Anchoring and Adjustment in Business (Refreshed Episode)

    Anchoring and Adjustment in Business (Refreshed Episode)

    In this episode of The Brainy Business podcast, we delve into the compelling world of anchoring and adjustment. Host Melina Palmer breaks down this influential psychological concept, showing its power to shape decision-making in everyday transactions and big-ticket purchases alike. Discover how simple numerical suggestions can dramatically shift consumer behavior and increase sales, whether it's the number of Snickers bars you buy or the perceived value of jewelry. 
    Learn tactics utilized by savvy entrepreneurs who've exponentially grown their revenue by grasping the subtleties of high anchor-setting. Whether it's in real estate, retail, or service businesses, anchoring holds the key to influencing customer perception and boosting profitability. This jam-packed episode not only explores anchoring's practical applications across various industries but also arms you with the strategies to apply this knowledge in your professional and personal life. Get ready to anchor your way to success as we unravel these fascinating insights. 
    In this episode:
    Implement anchoring and adjustment to drive business success. Understand the profound influence of anchoring on consumer behavior. Craft effective strategies for setting compelling price anchors. Utilize behavioral economics techniques to elevate your marketing strategies. Master the art of using high and low anchors to achieve favorable negotiation outcomes. Show Notes: 00:00:00 - Introduction
    Melina introduces the concept of anchoring and adjustment and its impact on decision-making, setting the stage for the rest of the episode.

    00:03:05 - The Power of Anchoring in Decision Making
    Melina explains how anchoring influences decision-making, using examples such as estimating the number of countries in the world and the value of a necklace based on Social Security numbers.

    00:09:08 - Case Studies on Anchoring and Adjustment
    Melina discusses the Snickers bar and canned soup studies, highlighting the impact of anchoring and limits on consumer behavior and purchase decisions.

    00:13:43 - Applying Anchoring and Adjustment in Business
    Melina provides practical examples of how businesses, including jewelry stores and retailers, can leverage anchoring and adjustment to influence consumer purchasing behavior and drive sales.

    00:16:31 - Setting the Right Anchor
    Understanding the impact of anchoring in setting customer expectations and influencing purchasing decisions. The importance of setting a high anchor to avoid unintentionally limiting the customer's budget.

    00:18:48 - Real Estate Anchoring
    Exploring the impact of anchoring in real estate transactions and the need to disconnect from low anchors to be realistic about available options. Using high anchors to set customer expectations in comparison shopping.

    00:21:39 - Anchoring in Retail
    Utilizing anchoring in retail settings to influence customer perceptions of price and value. Strategic placement of items to create a perception of bargains and reasonable prices.

    00:23:03 - Anchoring in Car Sales
    The impact of anchoring in car sales and the effectiveness of presenting bundled options to influence purchasing decisions. The importance of presenting the top-of-the-line model to encourage spending.

    00:26:19 - Service-Based Business Anchoring
    Case studies of entrepreneurs implementing anchoring strategies to increase sales and up their income in service-based businesses. The effectiveness of creating high anchor packages to influence customer purchasing decisions.

    00:32:10 - Understanding Anchoring and its Impact
    Anchoring impacts decision-making and budget requests. Setting a high anchor can lead to a higher budget request, but suggesting a realistic low number can influence a lower request.

    00:33:39 - Using Anchoring for Travel and Training Requests
    Anchoring can be used to justify higher expenses, such as conference attendance. Presenting a higher cost option and then offering a more reasonable a

    • 43 min
    Mastering Workplace Conflict with Karin Hurt

    Mastering Workplace Conflict with Karin Hurt

    In this episode of The Brainy Business podcast, host Melina Palmer and Karin Hurt, esteemed author of Powerful Phrases for Dealing with Workplace Conflict, delve into the art of turning office disputes into constructive conversations. Discover Karin's proven strategies from her extensive leadership experience and learn how to embrace the four C's—Connection, Clarity, Curiosity, and Commitment—to transform workplace tensions into collaborative triumphs. 
    Gain insights into practical phrases and tactics that not only navigate but enrich the dynamics of workplace interaction, fostering an environment where healthy conflict leads to innovative outcomes and stronger teams. Whether you're managing remote teams or navigating the intricacies of an office setting, this episode offers invaluable expertise for anyone looking to enhance their conflict resolution skills and cultivate a culture of open communication and psychological safety. Prepare to be empowered with the tools to handle even the most challenging conflicts with grace and resolve.
    In this episode:
    Mastering Strategies for Handling Workplace Conflict: Learn effective techniques to navigate and resolve conflicts in the workplace, fostering a harmonious and productive team environment. Building Human Connection in Leadership: Cultivate the essential skill of building strong human connections as a leader, leading to improved team dynamics and collaboration. Setting Clear Expectations: Understand the crucial impact of setting clear expectations, leading to enhanced productivity and reduced misunderstandings within the team. Using Powerful Phrases for Conflict Resolution: Acquire powerful phrases and communication tactics to effectively resolve conflicts, leading to smoother interactions and reduced workplace tension. Leveraging Constructive Conflict in Teams: Discover the advantages of embracing and managing constructive conflict within teams, leading to enhanced creativity and innovative problem-solving capabilities. Show Notes: 00:00:00 - Introduction
    Melina introduces Karin Hurt, the co-author of Powerful Phrases for Dealing with Workplace Conflict. Karin shares her background and the work she does.

    00:03:41 - Grounding the Book in Research and Structuring the Content
    Karin discusses the importance of grounding the book in research and how they structured the content to provide practical tools and techniques for dealing with workplace conflict. She highlights the use of expert insights and short chapters for quick reference.

    00:11:30 - The Four C's of Constructive Workplace Conflict
    Karin explains the four dimensions of constructive workplace conflict - human connection, clarity, curiosity, and collaboration. She provides examples of powerful phrases and strategies for each dimension to navigate conflict effectively.

    00:14:00 - The Importance of Connection and Clarity
    Karin delves into the significance of human connection and shared understanding in conflict resolution. She emphasizes the need for genuine curiosity and interest in other perspectives to navigate workplace conflict effectively.

    00:15:32 - Constructive Conflict
    Karin explains the four dimensions of constructive conflict: human connection, curiosity, clarity, and commitment, and emphasizes the importance of scheduling follow-up to ensure next steps are agreed upon.

    00:16:50 - Importance of Combination
    Karin emphasizes the importance of the four dimensions working in combination and the need for human connection in conflict resolution.

    00:18:20 - Building Relationships
    Karin stresses the importance of genuine human connection and building relationships, particularly in a remote working environment, to approach conflicts with understanding and empathy.

    00:23:29 - Check for Understanding
    Karin shares the concept of a "check for understanding" in communication and how it can prevent misunderstandings and save time, emphasizing its effectiveness in professional and personal i

    • 44 min
    The Intrigue of Incentives with Tim Houlihan (Refreshed Episode)

    The Intrigue of Incentives with Tim Houlihan (Refreshed Episode)

    In this episode of The Brainy Business podcast, host Melina Palmer and special guest Tim Houlihan open a window into the intriguing world of motivation and incentives. This thought-provoking discussion sheds light on the unexpected triumphs of non-monetary rewards over cash, offering compelling evidence from the frontline of employee engagement. 
    As they share personal tales and professional insights, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the nuanced ways in which we can all reach our goals more effectively. They challenge traditional wisdom, advocating thoughtful goal-setting and emphasizing the impact of non-monetary recognition on loyalty and drive. This episode invites listeners to rethink what motivates them and provides practical guidance on setting personalized goals. Perfect for anyone interested in applying behavioral science in practical settings, this conversation could change how you approach motivation in both personal and professional landscapes. Tune in for an enlightening exploration of human behavior that will leave you both informed and inspired.
    In this episode:
    Understand the Power of Motivation and Incentives in the Workplace: Explore the impact of effective motivation and incentives on employee engagement and performance. Harness the Influence of Non-Monetary Rewards on Employee Motivation: Discover how non-monetary rewards can drive employee motivation and lead to improved workplace dynamics. Utilize Behavioral Science to Set Effective Goals: Learn how to apply behavioral science principles to set goals that drive employee productivity and satisfaction. Evaluate the Impact of Incentives on Employee Performance: Gain insight into how incentives can influence and enhance overall employee performance within an organization. Develop Strategies for Personal and Business Goal Setting: Acquire practical strategies for setting impactful personal and business goals that drive success and fulfillment. Show Notes: 00:00:00 - Introduction
    Melina introduces the episode and guest Tim Houlihan, discussing the focus on motivation and incentives in behavioral science.

    00:05:38 - Setting BHAGs and Breaking Them Down
    Tim and Melina discuss setting big, hairy, audacious goals (BHAGs) and breaking them down into smaller, actionable parts called "bricks."

    00:09:08 - Importance of Self-Selected Goals
    Tim emphasizes the importance of self-selected goals and the role of visualization in achieving them, discussing the impact of shifting perspectives on goals.

    00:11:32 - Virtual Runs and Motivation
    Melina shares her experience with virtual runs and the shift in perspective on goal achievement, highlighting the impact of social media on goal commitment and achievement.

    00:13:12 - Deadlines and Choice Architecture
    Tim and Melina discuss the effectiveness of deadlines in goal achievement and the role of choice architecture in setting specific final objectives while allowing flexibility in execution.

    00:15:26 - Individualized Performance Rewards
    Rewards were individualized based on performance, leading to a significant 43% improvement in performance compared to general guidelines.

    00:16:09 - Penalty for Underachieving
    A separate group faced penalties for underachieving and no benefits for overachieving, leading to a more calculative mindset and lack of intrinsic motivation.

    00:17:07 - Call Center Environment
    The conversation delves into a call center environment, revealing how different personalities approach goals and the impact of choice architecture on performance.

    00:19:19 - Context Shaping Decisions
    The context, including payment rates and communication of objectives, can shape individuals' decisions and mindset, impacting their approach to achieving goals.

    00:23:16 - Time-Sensitive and Measurable Goals
    Setting time-sensitive and measurable goals, with a focus on achievable short-term objectives, increases the likelihood of achievement and provides a dopamine spurt for motivation.

    • 48 min
    The Art of Apology with Marjorie Ingall and Susan McCarthy

    The Art of Apology with Marjorie Ingall and Susan McCarthy

    In this episode of The Brainy Business podcast, host Melina Palmer dive into the fascinating world of apologies with Getting to Sorry coauthors Marjorie Ingall and Susan McCarthy. Discover the transformative power of saying 'I'm sorry' as Marjorie, a seasoned journalist, and Susan, an expert in wildlife behavior, share their insights from their journey with Sorrywatch.com to penning their book. Uncover the art and science behind making and accepting apologies, and why a well-crafted apology can mend bonds and heal wounds. 
    Our hosts and the coauthors navigate the delicate balance between public and private apologies, and reflect on personal stories that underline the impact of a genuine apology. Understand how an apology's sincerity can forge pathways to forgiveness, as highlighted in the six key steps to a good apology. With wisdom to offer both the apologizer and the recipient, this episode sheds light on how to effectively address bad apologies and the significance of moving forward after making amends. For a thought-provoking discussion that goes beyond a simple 'sorry', tune into this episode and experience the nuanced dance of contrition and forgiveness.
    In this episode:
    Master the Art of Crafting Effective Apologies in Business Understand the Psychological Impact of Apologies and Forgiveness Learn the Importance of Public vs Private Apologies in Business Discover the Steps to Make a Sincere Apology in Professional Settings Know How to Respond to Apologies Professionally in Business Interactions Show Notes: 00:00:00 - Introduction
    Melina introduces the guests Marjorie Ingall and Susan McCarthy, coauthors of Getting to Sorry, and sets the stage for a discussion on the psychology of apologies.

    00:02:45 - Passion for Apology
    Marjorie and Susan share their passion for the subject of apology, driven by their personal experiences, backgrounds, and a desire to explore the psychology behind apologies.

    00:08:34 - Building Sorry Watch
    The guests provide insights into building and evolving their business, sorrywatch.com, focusing on the importance of staying true to their passion, pivoting when necessary, and becoming a resource for journalists.

    00:14:23 - The Strength of Apology
    The conversation delves into the misconception that apologies are a sign of weakness. Marjorie and Susan emphasize that offering a sincere apology is an act of great strength and vulnerability, not cowardice.

    00:32:00 - The Etiquette of Apologizing
    Marjorie and Susan discuss the etiquette of giving and receiving apologies, emphasizing the importance of not putting someone on the spot and using the right phrasing when seeking forgiveness.

    00:33:01 - The Art of Forgiveness
    The conversation delves into the importance of forgiveness and the significance of word choice in both giving and receiving apologies. They highlight the value of allowing space for both parties to think about the apology and forgiveness.

    00:36:07 - Responding to Apologies
    Marjorie and Susan share six steps for responding to apologies, including the importance of asking for clarification and understanding the impact of the apology. They also discuss the need to accept or reject an apology genuinely.

    00:39:11 - The Value of Accepting Apologies
    The discussion emphasizes the need to genuinely accept or reject an apology and to set clear boundaries for moving forward. The importance of owning one's response and giving both parties the space to reflect is highlighted.

    00:43:06 - The Art of Apologies
    The conversation touches on the familiar framework of bad apologies and the cringy phrases often used. The value of humor, self-reflection, and genuine communication in crafting meaningful apologies is emphasized.

    00:47:22 - The Power of Apology
    Apologizing more and better can make the world a better place. Show notes include links to past episodes, books, and ways to connect with Marjorie and Susan at sorrywatch.com.

    00:48:03 - Conclusion
    What stuck

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
166 Ratings

166 Ratings

Hdavekos ,


I love brainy business and the content they provide. Super helpful for my startup.

Kari_mus ,


This podcast is brilliant. Superb information not just for business but for life.

NHarhut ,

Love this podcast!

Always something interesting - and useful - for marketers! Lots of awesome guests, plus some fantastic foundational episodes. Melina makes behavioral science easy to grasp, and she always leaves you thinking.

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