I had a reconfirmation of the power of setting frames a couple of days ago. I thought I would share this result with you as it is a very simple idea to apply and can create some spectacular results.
Pre-frames a Powerful Hypnotic Persuasion Technique
Like all simple ideas it is very flexible and has a multitude of uses. So let’s get on with explaining the idea and then how you can use it.
What Frames Exist Around a Conversation?
A coaching client of mine was complaining that he was finding a variety of prospects that would not tell him their budget.
Looking from the prospect’s perspective there can sometimes be a belief running that if they say their budget the sales staff will sell to that budget. A prospect might see this as a problem and that the question is being asked as a sales tactic. Unfortunately in some cases that is probably true and it might be where this belief came from.
But in a lot of cases it is helpful to know what the budget is. If you are providing a complex consultancy solution there may be many different ways of getting a result each with differing pros and cons. The net result is that by knowing the budget a sales professional can tailor their pitch to better save time and energy and present appropriate solutions. My coaching client works in this complex business to business environment and he is hampered if he does not know his prospect’s budget.
Inoculations and Pre-frames
The suggestion I gave him was to inoculate or preframe the problem away before it gets to be a problem. The traditional approach would be to tell a little story before the meeting about the prospect that was tied up for hours looking through meaningless options and proposals because the sales professional didn’t know the appropriate level to pitch at. Or the company that lost out on the best deal because they didn’t say their budget and everyone assumed they couldn’t afford the best deal. The sales person pitched a lower quality product they accepted and no one realised until it was too late to change the order.
Education vs. Adversarial Approaches to Sales
Another possibility and the one that was taken up by my client was the educational approach. A preframe I layer on to the sales process is that it is about educating the prospect. Spending time educating people helps them make informed choices and that should lead them to your products and services.
My approach would start before the sale meeting. Before it started I would explain to my prospect that I will be asking a variety of questions, some of which might seem a little strange. I would then take the budget question as an example and give my prospect some huge benefit statements about why they should tell me their budget and the consequences if they didn’t.
I usually add lots of “colour” into this by painting the clever buyers being honest and the really stupid ones closing down and not giving out the information. I sometimes tell the prospects a whole “How we laughed at them” type story about the stupid ones. By the time I have finished the prospects tend to be very compliant in the sales meeting.
My coaching client took this on board and redid his email template incorporating some of these ideas. The very next email response he got contained all the information, including budgets, which he needed. This was before he had even started speaking properly with them.
The Pay Off
You might think this is just another sales example but consider what happens when you see every conversation or exchange as a pre-frame for the next. For example your thoughts pre-frame your actions. How about other people and their actions pre-framing your thoughts about them and therefore your actions.
Here is a more specific example. The other night I was completely outplayed in a game of poker. I had watched this one guy play a few hands and he had made what I would consider some pretty dumb moves. My thoughts pre-framed a whole bunch of actions. I helped him to trap me and bust me out of the game because of the way I thought he played.
Here some other ideas. Have you noticed food tastes different depending where you are and who you are with? How about the type of day you are about to have? Have you possible already pre-framed the quality of your day based on your thoughts?
Have another read through this article pre-framed with a question. The question I might suggest is, “How can I use the information in this article to dramatically improve my life?” Try it and see what happens.
If you want some bigger more powerful ideas on how pre-frames work specifically in sales sign up to my Hypnotic Sales Techniques Course that you can find it right here.
If you want to explore how your thoughts frame your reality and the impact that can have watch this little video clip. Btw this clip is just a small segment of some of the mind altering concepts you will get when you download the Advanced Persuasion Patterns. Here is the video: