3 Components of Trauma Sensitive marketing with Laura Larios – Episode 57

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How nervous system coach and consultant, Laura Larios, teaches marketing & sales pros how to understand their audience to increase client retention, referrals, and sales. Good for leaders, employees, teammates, and results. 

THIS EPISODE AT-A-GLANCE

  • The term, trauma sensitive marketing
  • Laura utilizes trauma sensitive marketing
  • What it takes to understand your nervous system
  • The signs to assess so you can improve
  • What triggers should you be aware of?
  • Three components needed to elevate customer experience
  • What is neuroception?
  • Where do you get started?

Full Podcast Transcription

Laura Larios:
The client retention levels doubles. Um, and this was another kind of, yeah effect of the nervous system stabilization, was because she was now able also to hold space and really listen to what her clients were telling her. They were giving her feedback for years and she wasn’t hearing it like, but also was literally, she couldn’t hear it. She was in such a survival state, which I think most of us, especially in corporate, that’s just something that’s kind of trained in. 

Sarah Panus:
Hi, my name is Sarah Panus. I have spent the last two decades driving digital content for billion dollar brands. Now I help content marketers build winning brand storytelling strategies and reduce feelings of overwhelm and confusion. Join me as we discuss strategy, creativity, confidence, and building a better connection with your audience. Think of this as a creative content marketing jam session mixed with chicken soup for the soul. This is the Marketing With Empathy Podcast. 

Sarah Panus:
Hey, Hey, kindred speakers. It’s been an interesting couple of years. Hasn’t it? To say the least. Um, we’ve all experienced a lot of ups and downs during this pandemic. Haven’t we? And I would say dare this venture, you know, some level of trauma in our life and in the lives of people around us, whether, you know, there’s different kinds of trauma too, right? There’s like the capital T trauma or the lowercase T trauma and there’s varying levels. So when I heard that there was someone who specializes in trauma sensitive marketing, I was super curious. And when I brought it up, even my intern on my team told me that in college, they talk about trauma marketing in one of her college courses recently. And I was like, I’m gonna be honest, I have no idea what trauma marketing is, right? I’m like, I guess I’ve just lived through it the last 20 years in the business working on the marketing side.

Sarah Panus:
But being more empathetic to your audience is a key part of this podcast and what we talk about. And it’s a key part of, um, what I work with corporations on, when I talk about applying an empathy filter to in their strategic storytelling plans as a way to better connect with their audiences. So I had to have this expert on this show so I could get better educated on this, and you could all get better educated on this. And I’m super intrigued because she applies it to, you know, business results, which is important for all of us. So today’s expert joining me is Laura Larios. And Laura is the founder and CEO of The Potent Ceo. She’s a consultant and coach that delivers customized nervous system and adrenal support to leaders and entrepreneurs who are growing and scaling their businesses to six and seven figures.

Sarah Panus:
The Potent Ceo brand also provides executives and coaches with a signature nervous system and premium sales branding methodology that provides companies with more sustainable growth and income, higher team and client retention, and a trauma sensitive sales process. Right? That sounds super interesting. So Laura’s signature methodology combines a blend of nervous system stabilization, somatic practices, adrenal support, and neuroscience, right? This is so fascinating. And these things provide her clients with greater stress optimization and the ability to grow their brand sustainably. Laura’s a coach and consultant for one of a Silicon Valley’s top marketing companies and has been the go-to consultant for Fleur, a top restaurant in Vegas and San Francisco. She resides in San Francisco with her husband who is from Madrid, Spain. And she has a passion for travel, fashion, music and old films. Welcome to the show, Laura. 

Laura Larios:
Thank you, Sarah. It’s so great to be here. 

Sarah Panus:
Oh yeah. I’m just super intrigued by what you do and like the list of all the things that you do – I know nothing about. So you are so perfect to come on here and talk with us. I love podcasting for this reason cuz I get to talk with all these smart people who know tons of things that could apply to all of us. You know, there’s a few different reasons I wanted to have you on the show. I know I teed it up in the beginning a little, just with the craziness we’ve been going through, you know, since you’re a nervous system coach and consultant. And after two years of dealing with the pandemic, I think everyone listening right now could use your help in some way, right? Personally, and in their organizations within their companies.

Sarah Panus:
So I love that. Two, I love that you help your clients increase client retention and referrals, which is something everyone listening right now is gonna be interested in. And the third was, like I said, I’ve never heard the term trauma sensitive marketing and sales. But it does, it does sound a little like my empathy filter that I talk about, um, with my corporate clients in terms of it’s about like connecting heart to heart and mind to mind & using data and understanding what someone is feeling or thinking. So I love that you go super deep into this. So first off, I just wanna like jump right in cause I’m so curious about this. So first off, like for everyone listening and for me, like what does trauma sensitive marketing mean?

The term, Trauma sensitive marketing

Laura Larios:
Yeah, great question Sarah. And, um, so it’s similar to what you were talking about with empathy marketing. So trauma sensitive marketing is that marketing it’s predominantly focused on building connection. It brings in curiosity and choice. So there’s, there’s this aspect of connection, curiosity, and choice in the marketing. So marketing that doesn’t focus primarily on using pain points or manipulation to sell products or services, um, like really again, building connection through asking, engaging questions, dialoging with clients, really understanding them on all levels, not just their, but at the business level. Um, also at a personal level because we’re more than just one thing. And so when you can really build strong connections with people, by asking questions, being able to listen and not force like certain, um, agenda that you have per se on what, uh, and or a, um, what’s, what’s the word I’m looking for? It’s like, um, assumptive languaging too. 

Laura Larios:
A lot of marketing uses a lot of assumptive languaging around where somebody is as opposed, and there’s ways to frame it though, where you can like step into someone’s shoes, but still leave it open and like, leave it curious. Versus this is what you’re experiencing therefore, this is what you have to do. And also again, this trauma sensitive marketing is bringing into this aspect of most of us have trauma. Like you were talking about at the beginning of the show. Like there’s different types of trauma, yes, but all of us at some level or degree, have it. And up until this point, a lot of marketing and, and how it’s been taught is to actually kind of prey on that a little bit. Uh, I, I think it’s, it’s again, using pain points and using ways to, uh, manipulate and or use people’s emotional, uh, high emotional states like their survival state to buy. 

Laura Larios:
And this is it, it technically works, right? We’ve seen it work. Companies use it if people buy, uh, unfortunately though what it can lead to though is, um, well, a couple of things and we can probably go into a couple of those things later in the show. But what I’ve found is that it, uh, people don’t necessarily will buy from you once, but I won’t necessarily buy from you again. Um, also because it was more like survival base. Like this kind of like, oh, I need this thing and I have to get it otherwise I’m not gonna be okay. Like you’re coming in, you’re bringing a client in from this type of trigger, for example. Um, those are the types of people too, that are gonna be very challenging to work with as well, honestly. So sustainably for your company, you wouldn’t want to have continually using that, this type of marketing where you’re not taking into account the client’s, um, point of view and what they’ve been through and asking them questions and really bringing in, like you said, more empathy and, and curiosity. 

Sarah Panus:
Mm, okay. So can you give us an example of a brand that you’ve implemented this with, or that you’ve seen this like before and after, or like just kind of bring that to life through an example with us? 

LAURa UTILIZEs trauma sensitive marketing

Laura Larios:
Absolutely, yeah. So I was hired a couple, uh, I think this was last year actually by a, uh, marketing firm in Silicon Valley. And actually it was interesting because I was originally hired by the CEO of the company, um, because she wanted just to, she was having some adrenal issues, like trouble sleeping and she was kind of on-the-go all the time. Um, she was, you know, drinking lots of caffeine. Like the, the last two years of the pandemic had really obviously, you know, had a toll on her other, I think at that point it was a year, but, um, and so she reached out to me for nervous system support. But she also was reaching out because she was saying, I was, she was having difficulty communicating with her team on marketing ideas. Uh, she was, you know, her client retention levels were low. 

Laura Larios:
Um, like people would sign up, but then they wouldn’t resign with the company. And so she was kinda like, I think it has something to do with how I kind of run things in my state, but I don’t. Anyways, I wanna work on this. So we started working together and what was really fascinating to see and for her too, was she kind of came in at, at the beginning, from this point point of view of just for herself. Like I wanted to stabilize my own nervous system, which we did work on. But what we’ve, what I found was, and she found was after working with her and her nervous system for several months, she began to have extremely like potent marketing ideas, like innovative ideas that no longer had this undertone of urgency. And the reason for that is because her system wasn’t so much in that survival, hyper aroused state. 

Laura Larios:
So that’s when her, like, this is where we bring in the neuroscience a little bit. Um, her brain the higher cognitive regions of her brain were no longer shut off and cuz she wasn’t in survival mode. And so this then turned on those regions of the brain and she was able to like, like come up with like more empathetic and like curious type of, um, like connection type marketing ideas with her team. And she also was obviously better able to communicate with them as well because, um, she was no longer in such a hurry and she was not feeling so rushed in the experience. So she could actually hear the ideas and like let them like, you know, totally, um, germinate within her system. And also she, the client retention levels doubled. Um, and this was another kind of, yeah, effect of the nervous system stabilization was because she was now able also to hold space and really listen to what her clients were telling her. 

Laura Larios:
They were giving her feedback for years and she wasn’t hearing it like, but also it was literally like couldn’t hear it. She was in such a survival state, which I think most of us, especially in corporate, that’s just something that’s kind of trained in. It’s like you work these crazy hours, you don’t get a lot of sleep. You use caffeine in the morning to get you going and even throughout the whole day. But what you’re not realizing in that process is that you have all this adrenaline that’s going through your body. And it feels energizing on one level, but there’s always a crash with adrenaline. And also, like I said, literally these parts of your brain, like these higher cognitive regions aren’t even fully on. So it’s challenging for you to listen, to hear feedback, to hold space for other people. And this is what you need in order to really know what, what somebody in order to create something that someone’s gonna want to buy over and over again. 

Sarah Panus:
Wow. Okay, so that’s fascinating. Um, just the fact that being in that survival, it makes sense as you explained it, just being in that survival mode how it just shuts off that higher cognitive function, like you said in the brain. I’m always fascinated by how our brains work and I don’t know anything about them, but it’s always so intriguing. 

Laura Larios:
Yeah, exactly. And that was the thing. So after working with her, she was like, Hmm, like actually got kind of curious, like what, how would this work with like my sales team? And like, so I went in and started doing some trainings with the, with the sales team as well around this. And um, and this is where we, I bring in some other aspects of some nervous system work and, and, and, uh, neuroscience with the team. Um, was cuz they were doing, they were doing a lot of sales calls, um, and talking directly with people in this marketing firm. So, um, yeah, after the few trainings we did, I did with them, uh, their, their sales also doubled and it was. And the reason for that being again is because of, um, helping the, helping their sales team to realize a different like subconscious ways that they were with their, the state of their nervous system and how it was influencing the client on the other end on the call.

Laura Larios:
And, uh, being able to stabilize their nervous system so they could listen more and attune more to what that person, you know, is saying. And what they’re going through and where, and, and also just kind of being able to assess when was the moment to actually bring up the offer. Cause there’s a whole like, you know, way in which you approach the us in a way where you don’t like it doesn’t come off as, um, forceful or pushful or urgency, cuz then you’re gonna get that person right into that, the client into that survival state as well. 

Sarah Panus:
Interesting. Okay, so how long does a process like that, like when you were working with the CEO, like how long does it take to open up that part of your brain? And to like understand what’s going on and to regulate your nervous system? 

WHAT it takes to understanD your nervous system

Laura Larios:
Great question, Sarah. Um, you know, it varies from person to person because we are looking also a little bit at trauma. So each person, depending on what their experience has been, some people, they, you know, just having this information and having someone hold space for them, like some people within just a couple of months, like start to notice a big difference. Um, other people, it takes a little bit longer also depending on what state you’re in. So there’s different states of the nervous system, different branches. And so people who are more in the shutdown, um, which I don’t think most of your, probably your listeners who are watching are in corporate, usually are in shutdown. They’re usually in more of like the sympathetic, like fight flight response. Um, but people who are more in the shutdown, it takes them longer. Cuz the system literally is like shut down and you have to gradually like, um, bring it online. 

Laura Larios:
But for those that, and again, depending on the trauma too, that’s occurred. Um, but I would say in general, like I work with my clients for about six months is when I notice like the biggest difference. Because that gives us a good amount of time, cuz a nervous system, you also don’t wanna, you have to go slow in order to go fast. You can’t rush the system. So six months may sound like a long time in some regards, but another, in other regards it’s actually not, especially for a system that’s been operating this way for 20 years or 30 years. So. 

Sarah Panus:
Okay. So follow up question on that then is, and then I wanna jump after that. I wanna jump into like the three components and what companies can do to kind of think through this. But my follow up question is, you know, for people who are listening right now, I mean you just threw out a really great example with a amazing before and after how. And, and I think, you know, kudos to that CEO for recognizing that she was in head space, that she needed some help. Right? How for anyone listening right now, like how. How do I ask this? How do they think, how do they know they need help? Like what are the symptoms like if you’re listening right now and you’re like, if you have any of these symptoms or if you’re feeling any of these ways, this is a sign that you need to like assess this so that you yourself can improve.  

The signs to assess so you can improve

Laura Larios:
Yeah, that’s another great question. Um, so, well there’s a couple things. So for example, I’ll just kind of bring this CEO again as an example. But, um, lack of sleep is, is a big one. So if you all are finding that you’re having trouble falling asleep at night or staying asleep or um, at all then or waking up feeling very exhausted. Sleep is so imperative for your brain and your nervous system to sort of repair in the night. So if, if that’s disrupted at all in any kind of sense where you’re either not falling asleep or you’re staying, you’re waking up a lot or waking up exhausted in the morning, even after technically sleeping seven hours, eight hours. That’s another sign that, there’s your nervous system, there’s destabilization that’s happening. You’re in a, like in an, in some type of survival mode.

Laura Larios:
Um, and another sign I would say is, um, in terms of connecting this also to the, to the corporate world, is that there’s this sense of like, you’re always feeling the sense of urgency around everything and it’s hard for you to slow down. You’re multitasking. You’re probably also finding that, um, it’s difficult to connect with others. Um, there’s an aspect too, maybe you’re talking with them but you’re having a difficult time listening or even remembering what they told you. Um, that’s another sign, um, difficulties. And receiving feedback because your system is so on high alert that you’re not open enough to receive the feedback from another person. Um, so a lot of my clients sometimes will tell me like they either get really defensive or they shut down. Like they just don’t even, they kind of leave the room, so-to-speak. And I think we’ve all experienced this on some level, especially if you worked in corporate. Maybe you’re at a meeting and you suddenly find yourself not there anymore, like you kind of like lost the last like 10 minutes of whatever somebody was saying. 

Laura Larios:
And that’s because your nervous system was, you know, is in that survival mode. So it was, it was doing its job. It’s like trying to protect you. So you’re kind of spacing off and if you miss something really important that someone just said, or, or an idea that someone had but you didn’t take that in because you were literally not in the room. And, or you were in really defense mode on some level, and you also were like, just getting ready to talk about what you wanted to say next versus really hearing what maybe a colleague or your boss was speaking about. 

Sarah Panus:
Oh man. I, I guarantee everyone listening has at least one of those things. I do. I’m like, oh yep, uh huh. Um, okay. So then, you know, as we’re working for our. So this is so interesting, right? Because as you’re talking, this topic is so applicable to us as individuals, but it’s also applicable to our teams. Our, you know, large scales of people, you know, within our work environments, um, to help improve all this. What do you, before we get into the three components um, that companies should be thinking through. What do you, like when it comes to trauma sensitive marketing, like what seems to be like the top triggers for like, for people like audiences too, for that companies and people should be aware of? 

What triggers should you be aware of?

Laura Larios:
Yeah, that’s another great question. So some of the top triggers that I have I’ve found to sort of identified along with others, um, is the, this, um, lack of choice is I think a big one. So again, there’s this feeling of, I don’t have a choice in the matter, like they’re not asking me, there’s just this assumptive type languaging, this is what you have to do. Uh, that’s a trigger for people actually. Um, there’s a sense of urgency too, and a lack of emotional attunement. That’s another big one I would say is like, there’s no real connection really being felt or made in either the, um, the email or the video that you’re doing, or even just the call. Like maybe you’re talking to someone and you’re like sharing something with them about a program or something that you’re offering, or it’s a contract or proposal of any kind.

Laura Larios:
But there’s no like real like connection with the other person. Like you’re not asking them anything maybe outside of the business proposal itself. And it’s funny cuz I think it’s something that’s been taught over and over again that like stick to business, don’t bring in the personal but it’s actually not true. Uh, the clients that I’ve worked with, um, and the research that I’ve done is actually has found the opposite. That when you really take the time, again it’s taking the time. It’s getting system to slow down enough to take the time to be patient, to listen and to really connect emotionally with another person. And of course that takes a more stabilized, nervous system to do this. But once you do, you open things up, the other person starts to feel relaxed. They start to feel more in safety. They start to feel more connected to you. They trust you more. They wanna be around you more.

Laura Larios:
And so when you talk about triggers, like a big trigger for people, is this feeling of like, they don’t care. Like, I mean, and they can people, we can sense it. It’s not even something you even have to be saying. It’s the way in which you’re not making eye contact. It’s the way in which you are rushing the conversation, you talked over them in some way, you didn’t reflect back something that they mentioned to you that was important. Things like, they’re very subtle things, body language too. If they’re you’re sitting directly with someone or they can see you over zoom. Uh, and these are the things I teach, uh, sales teams a little bit about in terms of being aware, being, bringing some awareness to these things that maybe they hadn’t thought about before that all brings in that emotional connection with the person that you’re speaking with. 

Sarah Panus:
Oh, okay. So creating this like elevated experience for our target audiences is something we can all relate to and you know, whether we’re at a large company, small company or we’re a solopreneur. So tell us more then, about the three components that companies need to deliver an elevated customer or, or client experience.

Three COMPONENTS needed to Elevate CUSTOmer EXPERIENCE

Laura Larios:
Yeah. So there’s, there’s three elements I’ve identified. So the first one is authenticity. So really creating an authentic again, connection with the client through the deep listening, reflecting, space holding, as well as also really being transparent with your services, offering some prices. I can’t tell you how often too, it’s something, I think that’s been taught in business school where, or marketing somewhere. Uh, to not reveal your prices until maybe you’re on the call or till you have the client right in front of you. Um, and while again, this tactic and there’s controversy around this can, can again, does work and has worked. I’ve also found it’s not necessarily trauma sensitive, uh, though either because you’re springing in the, like kind of at the moment versus like getting them to just, listed on your website or on your social media for people to look at and then make a plan for, for example. 

Laura Larios:
So if there’s a, if you’re you work in corporate and your company, you know, has a service or some type of consulting offer having it doesn’t have to be the exact price, but it could just be a range even for companies and or, or consumers to look at. Um, and this is way, this is way more trauma sensitive for them to like in order to prepare. So you’re bringing the authenticity of like, okay this is who we are. This is the service we provide, this is the pricing. So really being transparent in that as well, and then building authentic connection. 

Sarah Panus:
Okay. That makes sense. And then what is the second component? 

Laura Larios:
Yeah. Second one is anticipation. Um, so this is interesting. So it’s anticipating the needs of the clients. Um, and I think, again, this is somewhat what I teach in, um, like sales teams and marketing teams. It’s like looking for those subconscious sort of nuanced cues that I mentioned earlier, uh, the non-verbal cues basically. So, um, you know, getting to deeply understand how your client get deeply, understand and know your client beyond just the product or service again, that they’re seeking. So, um, you know, asking about their personal life, finding out like, are they married? Do they have children? What do they do for fun? Like, what is, what’s their favorite type of music? Where do they like to go on vacation? Like again, some of these things might seem irrelevant on some level, maybe for some people working in corporate, cuz you’re like, oh, I’m just handling a business deal. 

Laura Larios:
And I don’t really need to know where my client goes on vacation, but, um, again, if you wanna increase client retention in and bring a more trauma sensitive type, you know, marketing experience and elevate your client experience, you need to be able to anticipate what their needs are. And, and part of that process then is knowing all facets of that person. Again, not just, um, the business aspect of whatever service you’re providing them. It’s also kind of getting to know them at these deeper personal levels. Cuz if, you know, for example, uh, your client is going through, I don’t know, a big launch of something like they’re just releasing something they’re really excited about it, but they’re also like maybe stressed and on top of that, like their, their spouse is, you know, um, having, they’re having some difficulty with their spouse. And so that’s important to know for you to anticipate, okay, this client probably this week may have a harder time getting back to me. 

Laura Larios:
Um, they may not be answering all the questions thoroughly that I’m sending them or they may not seem as present. And so, when you know all the facets of the client on some level or as much as you can or take an interest in this, um, then you’re gonna be able to anticipate when you know, what’s happening, you can anticipate what they’re gonna need next. So maybe for that particular person, who’s going through a launch and then also having a difficulty with their spouse on that week or whatever. You can then, you know, customize it more so you can check in on them a little bit more. We ask them some questions, “how they’re doing?”. You know, maybe even give them, um, some type of, I don’t know, uh, some of my clients will also like send them a gift during a highly stressful time that they know is something they’ll enjoy. And it puts the client like more ease and feel, they feel seen, they feel heard, they feel validated. All of these type of experiences really elevate things for, for the client because they’re like, “wow, they really care”. Like they know exactly what I’m going through, they’re willing to take the extra step. And not only that, but they’re also like customizing and amending maybe the business plan for this week because of all these things that I’m going through. 

Sarah Panus:
Yeah. And as you’re saying it too, it’s so applicable. I think right now with all, all the changes teams, even as employees are having to go through on a day to day basis, with kids being at home from school or you know, if people are getting sick and they have to stay home and they’re trying to work. And you know, there’s all the things. So I think just having that level of, um, anticipation and understanding like what’s going on with your own teams too, like this applies so many different ways. Like clients, people, teams, managers, employees. Like doesn’t it? I mean, it really just covers the gamut.

Laura Larios:
It really does. Yeah. I mean, I’m glad you bring brought up these last, especially these last two years, like you said. And I think this where’s great on one level that clients are, I mean, companies are looking more into this because they’re noticing that, um, you know, there’s, there’s a, a lot that’s happened. There’s people who have trauma from what’s what happened over the last year cause everything just abruptly ended. People one day were at the office, the next week they were told not to come back to the office. People left their personal belongings, couldn’t get back to them yet. They didn’t know what was gonna happen tomorrow. That’s trauma, you know? So when you, and then not only that then having their kids at home and their whole schedules disrupted and, and their social engagement, everything was disrupted. So the more we’re in isolation on some levels. 

Laura Larios:
So yeah, these are facet you have to start looking at now as a company. And being able to really know like how, how’s your team doing. What, what, how are, what are they going through? What is it they need? And being able to, um, meet them with those needs anticipate. So also not only for client, about client retention, but also employee retention. Like if you have a boss or you’re working for a company, that’s really bringing this type of, um, connection and empathy to the workplace, like you’re gonna probably stay with that company much longer than one that doesn’t ask you or doesn’t care. Or even not only that maybe even forces you to kind of keep moving ahead, even if you’ve got all these things like on your plate. 

Sarah Panus:
Yeah. And you see that with, um, you know, people leaving jobs, right? They’re, they’re leaving where they’re not happy and they don’t feel valued and it hasn’t been. So there’s all these levels of these components, like you’re talking about, haven’t been, I’m assuming good enough to keep them. They haven’t, they haven’t been in an environment they’ve that they’ve felt like. And you see it, you see it all the time on LinkedIn, people who are really happy with the teams, with their bosses, with the environment and the culture that they’re working at. And they’re so over the top, like appreciative and that those are the environments where your employees stay and do more work and can be more creative. Um, I actually think, I know a lot of the folks over at, um, the company Shutterfly and I think my, um, a friend of mine, Jen George, she’s been on this podcast as well, does just an amazing job with her team. Cause I see it over and over and over again with like so many people across the Shutterfly team of just how they have that culture. It’s really, it’s really cool to see. 

Laura Larios:
Yeah. It’s so, it’s so important. I mean, I think it was always important. But I feel like in, in the times we are now and with everything that everyone has experienced, it’s vital. Like if you wanna keep employees, if you, um, you know, and also again, like whatever’s going on in the company also then filters out into the client experience as well. So if you think, oh, it’s just isolated to my employees and what’s going on, like in our boardroom, it’s not uh, because the state of which you are you’re in, in that boardroom is the state of which then you’re doing you’re, you’re interacting with your clients as well. Um, so you’re, if you can’t fully connect to your employees, if you can’t fully, um, listen, empathize, understand what they’re going through. How are you gonna do that for a client? So that’s kind of like how I usually kind of pose some of these things to when I, when I talk to, um, companies around this. It’s like, you wanna increase your client retention, let’s also look at what’s going on inside the boardroom here.

Sarah Panus:
Okay. So then we’ve, um, we’ve covered then authenticity, anticipation. Then what’s the third component that companies need to deliver this elevated customer, client, or employee experience. 

Laura Larios:
Yeah. It’s attainment. Um, so kinda like what kind of like similar it’s like deeply attuning to your client’s emotional needs. Uh, basically it’s attuning to their nervous system. I say attuning, like maybe really connecting. Like you’re in sync with that person, uh, emotional state and nervous systems. So helping your clients to really, again, feel seen and at ease every time they interact with you. Um, and this is, this is actually accomplished through a process that I teach called um, well, I didn’t, this is, this is a process that was formed by Dr. Steven Porsche who came up with the polyvagal theory, but it’s called neuroception. And so it took his concept or his discovery of neuroception and applied it to, um, to sales and bringing in this elevated client experience. 

Sarah Panus:
What’s neuroception? 

WHAT is Neuroception?

Laura Larios:
Yeah, good question. So, uh, neuroception refers to our innate unconscious awareness. Um, so it’s, it’s just done through the autonomic nervous system. So it’s not something you’re conscious of, um, and it’s, and what it is, is your nervous system taking in the environment and the interactions, uh, between, between you and other people. So in other words, this is a system and a process that we do unconsciously to detect danger, um, before we have time to think about it. So the system is scanning for whether somebody is safe or not, uh, safe or, or dangerous. Um, the environment is this safe or dangerous? And we’re doing this all the time consistently. And there is ways to work with neuroception, soto speak, so knowing that this is happening unconsciously within the nervous system. Um, there’s, there’s ways you can work with it.

Laura Larios:
Like how you, how you decorate your environment. Like when you’re meeting with someone, for example. Like having lots of light or maybe plants around, um, nice music playing. Um, you know, all of that’s gonna signal to the, to the nervous system, okay this is safe. You know, your tone of voice, um, how you’re dressed, how fast or how, like, if you’re holding your breath. Like if someone’s really holding their breath, that’s a sign, um, uh, that they’re in some type of survival response. So that might trigger the other person then to start holding their breath and then they go into a survival response. Um, sound and I think I mentioned sound and voice, and then there’s like, you know how you’re tilting your head, how you’re making eye contact. These are all aspects of neuroception.  

Sarah Panus:
Wow. This is fascinating. I bet you’re like the best person to talk to in person, aren’t you? Because you know, all those things, you’re probably like the most com – I know we’re not looking at each other right now, but I bet you’re like just the most comforting person ever to like, have a conversation with. 

Laura Larios:
I mean it’s funny, it’s funny, cuz like even before I was fully studying all this, Sarah. Like that was something that people would tell me all the time. They’d be like, “gosh, you’re just so easy to talk to”. 

Sarah Panus:
Okay. So we’re gonna take a quick commercial break. So stick around folk, we’re gonna keep going on this great conversation after the break.

Commercial break

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A word to the skeptics

Sarah Panus:
Okay, Laura. So since my audience is filled with marketers, I guarantee there’s probably someone out there right now that might be scratching their head saying. Yeah, it sounds really nice, but you know, like urgency messages help drive sales. Um, pain points creates a hook to like engage the customer. So what would you say to a skeptic listening right now, that about like, how to think about this advice you’ve been sharing around trauma sensitive marketing? 

Laura Larios:
Yeah. Great question. And sometimes I still actually do meet a few of those skeptics myself, which is, which is fine. I welcome it. I love it. Um, so I, what I would say is first of all, this, this type of marketing and low, I also call it low adrenaline type marketing. Um, and really it, it works first off. So, um, and you’re always looking for something that works, right? You want something that, you know, is, is not a, just a theory or an idea that its actually brings results. And I have found through the years of applying this work to marketing and to sales, that it, it absolutely works. And it, it creates a more sustainable, also a more sustainable business model for your brand. So yes, the other type of marketing urgency, the pain points, that works too. However, long term for your company or for like again, client retention levels, um, referrals, um, the longevity sustainability of your team and the environment is gonna be much lower because you, if you’re operating from a place of urgency and pain points, you’re gonna be attracting clients in a, uh, from that, from that space. 

Sarah Panus:
So however they’re, um, buying from you is a state of which they’re, so whatever state they’re in when they’re buying from you is a state they’re coming into the, to the program or to the consulting offer or whatever it is. And if they’re already in that kind of worked up, like I need this, it’s, it’s a lot of, um, survival, energy and urgency. Um, that’s gonna exhaust you over time. So imagine having hundreds and hundreds of clients that are in this urgency energy or this urgency type of, um, feeling in their body and having hundreds of those over time. That’s gonna take a big toll on not only your body and your adrenals and your energy, but your team and your entire company. And when people start to, course this is why Google and some of these others now are bringing in, um, not just Google, but some of the big ones in the valley, are bringing in like meditation and things like that. Because they’re recognizing their clients are having adrenal fatigue, they’re burning out. 

Laura Larios:
And so they’re figuring out ways to bring in like meditation or any other forms of modalities they can bring in to help, you know, bring some, help calm their nervous systems, help their brains to come back online and for them to feel more refreshed. And so if you’re only marketing from this place, like I said, of urgency and pain points, you’re gonna be drawing in people in that state and have, um, a lot of clients in that state over time. You’re gonna your, your company and your business will experience some level of burnout. And, uh, that, that is gonna cost you money too. 

Sarah Panus:
Definitely. So is there anything else I should ask you about, but I haven’t yet related to this? 

Where do you get started?

Laura Larios:
I know. So there’s so many things I could say about it, but I’ll just say one last thing, Sarah. I guess, you know, so a lot of what I, we were talking about today, there’s a lot of different concepts obviously that I threw in here. Um, but I was in some, maybe for some people wondering like, okay, where do I get started. And I, I would say one of the first things to look into, if you are you, maybe you’re not the CEO of the company, but you’re listening to this and you work for somebody. Um, would be first time you starting to look in maybe some nervous system stabilization, maybe just at least for yourself, you know, because I think a lot of the people I work with who are in corporate, they’re very, a lot of them do have some type of adrenal fatigue or burnout. 

Laura Larios:
And so therefore it’s, um, yeah, very challenging then to focus and very hard for them to communicate at times, um, or they’re getting sick a lot. You know, there’s just various aspects of adrenal fatigue and so getting some of that support for yourself first. And then I would also, uh, anyone who’s leading a team maybe is a manager or somebody that is, um, like, you know, I said, works with a team of people is to maybe start looking into something for yourself too, but looking at bringing in some type of nervous system support for your team. So having that as part of your business plan, it’s almost like, like you have, uh, a certain budget set aside for, um, you know, for marketing and for sales and for client retention. And all of these outreach and all these things, having a portion of your budget also laid out or, um, nervous system work and basically trauma work. Um, especially with over what’s happened over the last, uh, two years. So because it really in a long term gonna really pay off, um, for your business in more ways than one 

Sarah Panus:
Awesome. What is, is I was gonna ask you, like, what’s one thing, like you want everyone to take away from this conversation? Is it what you just covered in terms of like, uh, getting the help yourself or bringing it forward for your team? Or is there any other takeaway that you wanna highlight before we wrap up today?  

Laura Larios:
Yeah, I would say it’s the main thing, Sarah. And also, I would just say that the nervous system also, you know, we’re, we’re starting to learn more about the nervous system, which is great. Um, the nervous system really is like, it’s automatic, it’s, it’s something that’s there to help protect us and keep us alive. And there’s ways to work with your nervous system that can actually help you thrive. And so again, we’re not always trying to talk about all the things in which like are, you know, heavy or, and, or, you know, needs a lot of healing in terms of the nervous system. The nervous system is also malleable and stretchable and, and, and when you’re working with it, like, there’s, there’s so many amazing things that can happen and you, it really is the CEO of your company actually, it’s your nervous system. So you’re working with your nervous system. You’re gonna, you’re gonna have, like I said a much more, um, thriving company and team. 

Sarah Panus:
Awesome. Okay. Well, that was wonderful, Laura. Thank you so much. I now know, I cannot say now that I don’t know what trauma sensitive marketing is and it, it has such a wide range of implications for, for us. So this was really valuable for my listeners right now to hear. So how can people connect with you online if they wanna follow up with you?

Laura Larios:
Yeah, great. Um, so they can check me out on social media. I’m there a lot. So there’s, uh, my Instagram, which is @lauralisalarios. Um, and then I also, uh, I’m on Facebook as well and LinkedIn. So on LinkedIn, you can find me, um, Laura Larios or The Potent Ceo. And then I have, um, Facebook as well, which is, um, Laura Larios. Um, yeah, those are the three places mostly that I check in with clients. So I think for most of your listeners, probably be LinkedIn. Um, but if they do check out, uh, social media, I would say, maybe go check out my Instagram. 

Sarah Panus:
Perfect. I’ll make sure I put the link to all of those in the show notes folks, so that you can easily click and find Laura. Um, this was so incredibly helpful. Thank you for the work that you’re doing and helping everybody, Laura. This was great. All right, folks. So that wraps up today’s episode. I’m super curious to hear what you took away from it. Ping me and drop me a DM on LinkedIn or on Instagram. I would love to hear from you. And I’m just fascinated by this approach of tapping into this type of training with both marketing and sales teams. It makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? So I hope you enjoyed that and we will talk with you next week. Until next time, kindred speakers.

CLOSing remarks

Hi fives for finishing another episode. When faced with an obstacle, you’re the type of person who gets better instead of bitter. I hope you feel creatively inspired and invite you to check back often for more goodness from me and my guest. If you want more actionable advice and inspiration head over to kindredspeak.com for show notes, all discount codes from today’s episode, and to sign up for my newsletter. Subscribe now to the Marketing With Empathy Podcast on Apple podcast, Spotify and wherever else you get your podcast. And if you’d be so kind, will you please leave me a review. This helps my podcast get noticed by others. Keep smiling.

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ABOUT SARAH PANUS

Sarah Panus is a brand storytelling marketing strategist, Minnesota mom, and owner of Kindred Speak, LLC, a remote consultancy that helps corporations attract upper-funnel leads that drive bottom-funnel results through storytelling.  Her mission is to add value to the world by humanizing brand+consumer connections. Her online courses teach content professionals inside corporations think like Editorial Directors for their brand to drive stronger results while enjoying their jobs more.  She’s spent the last 20 years helping brands including Sleep Number, Starbucks, Nestle Waters, Christos Bridal, Game Crazy, Cone Inc, and others, speak a kindred language with their audiences, driving brand advocacy and millions in revenue and brand engagements. Learn more at www.kindredspeak.com. Follow Sarah on Instagram and LinkedIn.