Episode 13: Prologue: Reframing Concerns with Slight of Mouth Part 2
Episode 13: Prologue: Reframing Concerns with Slight of Mouth Part 2
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Jason McClain: Welcome to Evolutionary Sales. I’m your host, Jason McClain, and your guide in the 21st-century marketplace. Last week on Evolutionary Sales we talked about reframing concerns; we talked about eight powerful language patterns, ways in which you can assist people in being leveraged beyond their limitations, so they can have what they’ve always wanted to have in their life, in their business, in their relationships, what have you. And today we’re going to go over the rest of those language patterns, an additional six, and we’re going to drop right into that, to keep the flow. And we’ll get to the other details at the end of the episode.
Jumping down to one of my favorites, what specifically would you need to know, to invest in your team right now? So in other words, they say, “Well, you know we can’t move forward because we really can’t afford this right now,” and you say, “What specifically would you need to know, to move forward right now?”… “Will it be worth it?” Is that the question you’re asking? I should also say this is Tony Robbins’ favorite reframe, in fact I think this is one of the, I think this is step seven of nine in his Turning Objections into Convictions or something like that, that he calls it… I always know if I need to get to a reframe, then I haven’t asked enough questions up front… First of all, I’m just taking care of them. I am in service and contribution. Second of all, I’m pre-framing, which we’ve already talked about. Third of all, I’m making sure I have permission every step of the way… Have fun with it at Whole Foods; have fun with it at Starbucks; have fun with it at Toys “R” Us; have fun with it at the gas station; play with it. Get permission from your friends, you know, you know, frankly piss them off, but have fun…
Jason McClain: So next… the last was ‘change outcome frames’, but next is ‘redefine’. If somebody says, “You know we really can’t do this because we don’t have it in our budget,” or, “We can’t afford it,” you say, “You know, it’s really not about spending money…it’s about being willing to make the investment to have the kind of business that you know is possible.” Or team, or life, or whatever it is. Or another example would be, “This may be one of those times when you really need to stretch yourself to get what you want and deserve in your life. This may be one of those times when you need to allocate resources to the appropriate place, so you can finally stop chasing that golden egg.” Or whatever it may be for the specific context of your prospect. But redefine. So in other words, it’s not really about the money; it’s really about something else.
Next will be ‘chunking up’… and we haven’t talked about chunking, and we’re not going to, most likely. Maybe we will in the future if someone asks about it, but ultimately this is about going to a more abstract level. So you essentially ask “for what purpose?” “Well, you know we can’t spend the money on this right now.” You say, “You know, suppose that you… how you do one thing is how you do another thing. Are there other areas in your business where your failure to allocate resources is negatively impacting the long-term health, well-being, fulfillment and bottom line?” Again, let me stress rapport on that one.
Chunking down is one of my favorites… What specifically would you need to know, to invest in your team right now? So in other words, they say, “Well, you know we can’t move forward because we really can’t afford this right now,” and you say, “What specifically would you need to know, to move forward right now? What would convince you that this is the right place to spend your money right now?” What happens in that moment is they give you the criteria by which they’re going to make a decision, and you deliver that, and the deal is closed. The relationship is opened.
Next is called ‘counter-example’… Do you remember a time when you knew you needed to do something to make your business more effective, even though you weren’t sure if you could afford it, and as a result you found the money? Have you ever had an experience like that? It’s called ‘counter-example’.
Next… “We can’t move forward because we can’t afford it.” You say, “You know I can appreciate your desire to be responsible with your finances, and I’m curious, what, what, what, what, what, what…” And right there you fill in all sorts of other opportunities to leverage, and that one’s called ‘intent’ and what you’re doing is you’re ‘chunking up’ to their positive intention. You know, “We can’t move forward because it’s really not in our budget.” “You know I can really appreciate your desire to be frugal with your budget,” or, “I can really appreciate your desire to make sure that you’re only spending money on that which you know is going to add to your bottom line,” or, “You know I can really appreciate…” And you do all those, it could be any number of things, and it will be based on what you’ve learned about them so far. And then you simply say, “And I’m curious…” and you may add one of the other ones in… “And I’m curious, has there ever been a time when you were clear you needed to invest; otherwise you were just going to hit a wall?” or something like that. Questions, Questions, Questions, Questions, Questions… all with a tone of curiosity.
And the final one… ‘conversion’, which again is one of my favorites, and by the way I should also say I only use about four of these. There’s fourteen or sixteen of them… I think I lost count. But I only use three or four of these, mostly because some of them just don’t fit my style, and you’re going to find those that fit your style, and those that are more effective or less effective with your particular kinds of prospects and that’s fine. There’s plenty of choices for you here. But the final one, ‘conversion’… you know, “We can’t move forward because we really can’t afford it,” and you’re saying, “The question I’m hearing you ask is ‘Will it be worth it?’ Is that the question you’re asking?” I should also say this is Tony Robbins’ favorite reframe. In fact, I think this is one of the, ah, I think this is Step Seven of nine in his Turning Objections Into Convictions, or something like that, that he calls it. And it’s a great reframe. It also takes a lot of other steps, typically, to get up to it. But it’s a really powerful way to relate to it. “You know, the question I’m hearing you ask is ‘Will it really be worth it; will it really do what I say it’s going to do?’ Is that the question you’re asking?” And I have never had anyone say, “No, that’s not the question I’m asking,” and I used to use this one a lot when I was working for the Anthony Robbins and Associates organization. What will happen, if they say, “No, that’s not the question I’m asking,” you simply go, “Oh, great… well what is the question you’re asking?” And suddenly you’ve turned it around into a question; and questions can be answered. Objections…well they can’t really just be ‘answered’; I mean you can’t answer those with a statement. You have to convert them to a question, and the question then you can answer. “The question I’m hearing you ask is, you know, ‘Will it be worth it?’ Is that the question you’re asking?”
With all of those concerns, first of all let me say that only 10% of the times are these reframes even necessary in my business and in my practice. I don’t experience concerns very much, largely because I deal with rapport very intensely. Then I do detailed information gathering, and I listen to their values thoroughly, and then I rigorously make sure I’m gathering permission when giving my offering, and engaging in units of meaning, and units of conviction, and then I make sure that I spend a lot of time building vision and possibility, sometimes after ten minutes asking them, “Well what else would it make possible?” And they tell me and I go, “Wow, that’s, yeah, that sounds really great.” “Well what else would it make possible?” And then they tell me and I go, “Oh, wow, holy cow, you know I've always wanted that too.” And of course making sure that this is true for me and making sure that I can actually take on their perspective, but only ten percent of the times are these reframes even necessary.
And since we talked in the last session, or maybe it was the episode before, about the idea of taking responsibility, when I get to this place of vision and possibility, and then they have a concern that I’ve isolated, and it… I know [laughs]… I’m sorry; it’s just so funny because I’ve seen so many different sales people not take this on… I know that the reason we’re there is because I didn’t ask enough questions upfront; I didn’t build enough rapport upfront, or I didn’t have them build vision and possibilities strong enough. Maybe I forgot to ask a question. Maybe I simply skipped a step. This happens; we’re all students, no matter how good we are, there’s something we’re still learning, we’re still perfecting. We are not robots. We might be distracted that day; we might be unresourceful that day; we might be hungry; we might need the money for some particular project we’re investing in, any number of things that might fog us for a second. I always know if I need to get to a reframe, then I haven’t asked enough questions upfront. Maybe I haven’t financially qualified them. There’s any number of things. But your job is a sales professional, somebody going from service and contribution, and somebody who’s being willing to leverage people beyond their limitations. It’s your job to find out where those possibilities are, those limitations are. And to make sure that you’re following every step of the way, and if you happen to get to a place where you need to reframe a concern, know that you need to back up and find out where you need to improve, in your flowchart. Okay.
So that’s reframing. Now the one piece that I should warn you about is you want to make sure it’s their only concern. And right after their vision and possibilities they say, “Well, you know this is really great, but you know I’m not sure I can afford it,” you go, “Oh, okay, great, you know I can appreciate that. Is the money the only thing stopping you?” They say, “Yes,” you go, “Great, so if the finance, the financial concern were handled, would we be moving forward today?” They say, “Yes,” you say, “Okay, great.” Maybe they say ‘no’. They say, “Well, no, you know there’s this other thing. I mean I’ve got to consult with my boss,” or ‘my wife, or my…’ whoever it may be. Go, “Oh, okay great, so if the money were handled, and also the other person were involved in the decision-making process, would we be moving forward today?” And you make sure that you isolate the concerns, because if you don’t you might be chasing your tail for several weeks.
I’ve also come to the point where I’ve realized that ultimately if people don’t make a decision when I’m meeting with them for the purpose of making a decision, which they’ve definitely found out that’s what’s going to happen, at least twice, usually three times, and here’s how I usually do it when I work with clients… Somebody refers somebody to me, let’s say, and I let them know that, “Well, here’s how the process works. How the process works is I will give you a call to make sure that I’m the right practitioner for you and you’re the right client for me. That means we’ll have a ten-minute phone conversation where we discuss what you want, what’s been stopping you in the past, and I determine if I’m kind of the right guy for you. If I am, then what we’ll do is we’ll schedule a complimentary exploratory session, where you get to come in, you talk more about what you want in greater detail, I explain what I actually do, which is fairly complex, fairly detailed, and then at the end of that session, if it makes sense, we’ll move forward, I’ll print out an agreement, and we’ll make a decision as to ‘work together or not’. Does that make sense to you?” They say, “Yes.” Now they’ve gotten that in email, and then I also send them an email saying, “Great, here are the coordinates to my office; here’s what you can expect; here’s the FAQ page to read, and by the way, here’s what will happen.” And I repeat all of that, including the fact that they’ll make a financial decision. Then, believe it or not, sometimes some people get into my office, and they’re not clear that that’s what we’re doing, so I’ve learned to just take care of them, and they sit down; I say, “Great, so here’s how this session goes.” And I tell them a third time, “Here’s what we’ll do… you’re going to tell me what you want, what’s been stopping you in the past; I’ll get up, I’ll give you a full presentation on the scope of my work, and then I’ll print up an agreement and we’ll make a decision as to whether to work together or not. Is that okay?” And they say, “Yes.”
Again what I’m doing here is first of all, I’m just taking care of them. I’m in service and contribution. Second of all, I’m pre-framing, which we’ve already talked about. Third of all, I’m making sure I have permission every step of the way. They might say, “Well no, I’m not willing to do that.” And still, occasionally, occasionally, and this is why I bring all this up, there’s somebody who goes, “You know… can I think about this?” And I say, “Well, sure, of course you can think about it. I mean, you’re free to do whatever you like.” And here’s what happens when people think about it… and I simply tell them the truth about that graph of intensity and time duration. I let them know what the statistics are, and I have actually got them, the numbers, on the difference between people who want to move forward today or not -- they make a decision in this session -- or people who want to think about it. And I simply say, “Look, it’s my job…” and by the way, those statistics are staggering; it’s 100% versus what, 15-, I think 17%, something like that, in terms of people who want to go ‘think about it’, over the course of the last five years.
And what does that mean? Well, what that means, my friends and listeners, is that that person didn’t get what they wanted. That they did not get the vision and possibilities that we built together in that session, and so what that means is I’m not doing my duty as an evolutionary sales professional, to leverage them beyond their limitations. And what does that mean? Well, what that means is it’s my duty, it’s my job, to make sure they make a decision in that session, and I tell them all of that. I just say all of that to them, and they might hem and haw, and they might be uncomfortable, and I ask them if they want some more tea, ask them if they need some more water. Sometimes I excuse myself to the bathroom, while they think… But ultimately there’s a reason that I’ve got 100% close ratio of people who are financially qualified, in the last year. And that’s because I let them work through that. My most recent experience, just a few days ago, was I had a potential client come in and they were excited and they noticed all their concerns and their objections, and I said everything I’ve just said I would say, in this podcast… I said all of that to them, and they asked me what my opening ratio was, my close ratio, and I said, “Well, I have 100%.” And I said, “Well it’s not that people don’t have concerns, but they typically work through them. And my job here is really is to leverage you beyond your limitations. So I’m going to go to the bathroom and you think about what you want to do and how you want me to serve you. And when I come back we’ll make that decision.” Long story short, I came back and the person just said, “Where’s a pen?” And it was done. Now I was there smilingly, compassionately, openly… I wasn’t concerned; I don’t need the money; you know I’m clear I’m there in service and contribution to this individual having the life that they’ve always wanted to have and that frankly, that they deserve. And it’s those moments that are what evolutionary sales is all about.
So that is the essence of reframing. Reframing is taking one perspective and changing it to another. And there’s lots of different ways. I’ve just given you fourteen, fifteen, sixteen of them. Play with them. Practice them. Live them. Have fun with them. Use them on your friends; use them at the counter at Safeway, or Albertson’s or wherever you shop, Ralph’s Club, or whatever it is. Have fun with it at Whole Foods; have fun with it at Starbucks; have fun with it at Toys “R” Us; have fun with it at the gas station; play with it. Get permission from your friends, you know, you know… frankly piss them off, but have fun.
So I’m going to answer a listener email, or actually a comment on the blog, and fortunately this listener has asked a question about an industry I was formerly in. This question is from Jim, Jim A. And Jim has asked… first of all he said some very kind things, but Jim’s also asked about the health care recruitment field as a headhunter. And it seems like he’s placing and acquiring candidates for placement. And while I haven’t worked in the health care field, I’ve certainly worked in that industry before. And so you know, what I would recommend to you first of all, Jim, and for all those listening, and here’s kind of the ‘money paragraph’…
“Your sales strategy, and those of other sales trainers seem to be focused on more traditional selling, where you set meetings and showcase a product or service. I map people at the organizations, and I do it over the phone, all over the country. My question to you is: I’ve never seen a recruiter sales training program anywhere. Why do you think this is? And if you were to develop one, how would you train me to get more contracts, given the limited number of clients available and the large number of competitors in the marketplace?”
Well first of all, Jim, thank you for the depth and richness of your question. And second of all, I’ll say if I were to design one I would pretty much design what you’re listening to. Having been in the industry, this is what made me… I was never number one, in terms of revenue, and here’s why… I was more interested in deals that stayed closed, relationships that stayed open and were satisfactory, than I was in revenue dollars. Now for the first few months of me working in that industry, my employers didn’t appreciate that. But they came to enjoy it because I had a lot of colleagues whose deals were falling off after a few months. And I, in two years in that business, I only had two that decided they weren’t fit for each other after, you know, several months. I had colleagues working right next to me, in cubicles right next to me, who had two deals a week falling off. So what I’ll say is first of all this system will work for your business. I’ve used it in your business. Second of all what I would say is you should challenge yourself to shift your mindset to not “will this work or not?” but “how can it work?” “How can it work?” and that’s a mindset for life. In any context of your life, not “Is this going to work for me or not?” but “How could it work?” “Is there a solution or not?” no, “How could it work?” And so what I would challenge you to do is to look at where you can actually be more effective. The other thing I’ll say is of course there are tips and tricks that are industry-specific, and I happen to have two clients currently who… they’ve signed up for me for personal evolution; it’s not a professional coaching arrangement; it’s a personal coaching arrangement, and at the same time, with a few tips and tricks I’ve given them, they have skyrocketed their results. You know, they went from not being sure if they could work in the business or not to suddenly closing deals once a week.
So there are certainly tips and tricks, and one of things I would say is that, you know, pretty much it’s your job to get around HR departments. In the recruiting field I always considered them an obstacle, and they were to be dealt with only to close the deal, finalize things, make sure everyone gets their benefits package, to kind of wrap things up, and I did that in lots of creative ways which I won’t share on the air. But what I will say is there is a way; there is a way for you to be unique, and one of the things you need to do is you need to start getting, you know… I’d be willing to bet, given this question, that you’re calling people up and you’re asking them if they work with someone or not. Or if they’re like… you do the standard kind of lead-in. And what I would recommend is that you shift that, and you make sure that you’re asking them, “You know, I’m just doing a little research… what would have me stand above any other headhunter for you? What would have that happen?” And suddenly you’ve asked them a question that sets you above, just by the asking of the question. It’s little things like that, Jim, and whoever else is listening, and there’s several, several thousand of you now, I think twelve thousand. So there’s quite a few things that you can do to distinguish yourself from the marketplace, and that is one of the differences that will make the difference for you in the 21st-century marketplace. So, Jim, thanks for your question.
Thanks for listening. I appreciate you listening. I’m your host, Jason McClain and your guide in the 21st-century marketplace. If you have questions about this podcast, please email me at [email protected]. There’s two “L’s” in “PersonalLifeMedia.com”. You can visit my personal website at www.EvolutionaryAwareness.com. Please join me next week when we’ll talk about actually opening the relationship and future pacing, some of the final components of the system. And then we’ll drill down, if there’s enough listener email.
For transcripts of this podcast or any other podcast on the Personal Life Media Network, please visit www.PersonalLifeMedia.com; again there’s two “L’s” in “PersonalLifeMedia.com”. Again I’m your host, Jason McClain, and your guide in the 21st-century marketplace. And thank you for allowing me to contribute to you, and thank you for listening.
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