Prologue: Reframing Concerns with Slight of Mouth
Evolutionary Sales
Jason McClain

Episode 12 - Prologue: Reframing Concerns with Slight of Mouth

In this episode of Evolutionary Sales, Jason reminds you that if you are coming from service and from a grounding of contribution-it is your duty to assist your clients or prospective clients in overcoming their limitations. In this episode you will learn how to reframe their concerns, should they arise, with power and elegance. Jason lays out the first 8 of 14 powerful language patterns and gives you tangible examples with the most common concern-money. Your ability to master this mindset and set of linguistic skills will be the difference that makes the difference for you in the 21st Century Marketplace as well as in the sales process-as this step is where the sale is actually made-and where the relationship can be opened effortlessly. More details on this episode go to



Episode 12: Prologue: Reframing Concerns with Slight of Mouth

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Jason: Welcome to Evolutionary Sales. I am your host, Jason McClain, and Your Guide in the 21st Century Marketplace. Thanks for continuing to join me in this series of podcasts, and allowing me to contribute to your success and ultimately to your fulfillment in the service you provide to your clients and prospects.

There is one single organizing principle, that if you just took this one single organizing principle on, it will make the biggest difference in your life, and in your business. And that single organizing principle is that you are responsible for all of the results that you are producing in your life, nobody else.

Another way to think about it is, learn your rules thoroughly, thoroughly; understand the purpose of them. So that you can then break them with some creativity, if you do want to break them.

You know, there is two basic concerns, time and money, typically. When you preframe it, you take somebody's ability to object to it, out of the way. You can brag about it - you know, it cost too much. So if you heard that a lot, or you say people don't have time, you simply add it into your preframes. You say - you know, some people just say it cost too much; but in my experience, the client's rapport, measured against the value, the price is really insignificant.

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Last week on the show, what we talked about was how to build a vision and possibility, and how really, clients and prospects, they don't buy services or products, but they buy results or solutions, or possibilities, and it is your ability to continually tie in your product or service to what they want to make possible in their business and their life, as it relates to their specific and specified outcomes, that will continually have them be tied to the vision that you can provide through working with them in partnership.

This week on the show, we are going to talk about what are the ways, some of the hooks, really powerful linguistic skills, about reframing, how to isolate concerns. Some people call them objections. I prefer to relate to them as concerns, and how to reframe those in a way that is tremendously powerful. But first there is a few mindsets I want to go over, because we are getting pretty advanced in terms of the process here. And so at this stage there is going to be some opportunities for you to adjust your course, and let's talk a little bit about that.

Early on this series, I not only talked about the importance of self-esteem, but I also wrote an article about it on the blog, and I have got an additional article coming up, that drills down a few more of those concepts and fleshes out more of that for you; but ultimately, at this point, you are going to have a lot of opportunity, to either take responsibility and adjust, or learn or acquire a new skill, or blame it on the prospect or client. Well, you know, they were x, y, and z, Or, you know, I have always heard that person is a black. Or, you know, they just couldn't understand what I was offering. You know, they just were not ready to buy. Or, maybe they weren't telling me the truth. Maybe they weren't, maybe they weren't financially qualified, and they said they were. Or, you know, well, you know, there is an additional decision maker, that I was unaware of, that they surprised me with - all of these things.

Now, all of those ways of languaging of whatever occurred there, are ways of blaming, are ways of avoiding responsibility. And if there is one single thing, one single principle, and I say this in a lot of different contexts with my clients, but I am going to say this to you. There is one single organizing principle, that if you just took this one single organizing principle on, it will make the biggest difference in your life, and in your business. And that single organizing principle is that you are responsible for all of the results that you are producing in your life, nobody else. Nobody else did anything. Two interesting ways to think about it is: one, every time you point a finger out at someone, there is three more pointed back at you. [laughs] I love that one.

The other one, which is really funny, because there is, you know, a double meaning; is that there is no 'u' in responsibility. And what this means to you is that you need to have the orientation, the mindset, that there is something you could have done differently. Now, it is not something you did wrong, it is not like you failed, it is not like you were unsuccessful. It's that there is something for you to learn or gain, or some piece that you missed.

I know, while I was perfecting this system, and you know, it will always be an evolution because there is always something to add. But I also think that once, you know, you get to a 100% with financially qualified clients, I can call that a perfected system. It is still opened, it is not a closed system. I intend on evolving the system over the years. I am already working on version 3. But ultimately, if I had, at any point, blamed one of my prospects for not signing, rather than taking responsibility, noticing what I missed - Oh, you know, she may not have enough rapport. Or, you know, maybe I didn't ask enough questions in advance.

One of the questions I ask is that, is there anyone else that needs to be involved in this decision. And that's a really elegant way of asking if they are empowered to make the financial choice. And it does in a way that allows them to save face. But these are questions you need to ask, And anytime something happens, you go - hmm, what can I add to avoid that in the future?

One of the things I do if there is some misunderstanding with the client, as I look to my client coach agreement, and I look at it and I examine whether or not, whatever happened is covered in the agreement, and I add a clause if it is not. If it is, I go - Oh hey, you know, remember this is per the agreement. Or, gee, I am sorry, I should have -- and this the really responsible way to do it -- you know, I should have communicated more clearly about how important this clause in our agreement is. Let's go over this, so that we can avoid this in the future.

The bottom line is, you are going to get a lot of opportunities every single day to blame people, every single day to avoid taking responsibility, for ways in which you can improve, or provide a solution for yourself, so that you can provide a better service for your clients. Because, remember, I haven't said this for a few episodes, but the difference that will make a difference, for you and for your clients and prospects in the 21st century, for your prosperity, and ultimately for your spiritual and emotional fulfillment, is for you to come from a place of service and contribution.

Service and contribution. Gone are the days in western society when you can swindle people out of money, or manipulate people out of money. Or at the very least, you won't sleep all night, at the worst you will go to jail. Leave those things. Leave people treating their prospects as objects, to developing economies. Learn the limitations of that. They are at their own stage of development, and that's just fine. But for you, you need to constantly be coming from a grounding as an evolutionary salesperson, in providing service, providing contribution, providing solutions, and making things possible in peoples' lives that weren't possible before without your product or service.

So those are a few mindsets for you to take on, try on. And as with anything else, try it out for a while. If it doesn't work for you, throw it away. I am not attached to this being the only way to do things. What I would caution you against is, don't throw it away because the movement made you sore. And you know, if you recall, I talk about building muscle a lot. Let's say, you go to the gym, and you bench press for the first time, and you get really sore, and you go - Oh, that's not for me. Well, maybe it is for you. Why don't you work through the soreness first, so you actually get comfortable with the movement. And then you can say - you know, that one is not really developing me in a way that I would like. Then you can do it.

Another way to think about it is, learn the rules thoroughly, thoroughly; understand the purpose of them. So that you can then break them with some creativity, if you do want to break them. [laughs]

OK. So, let's get into the thick of the next piece. And this is a long series of reframes. And what I want you to do, is I want to make sure that you practice these with a partner. So before I kind of say, you know your partner is really great, I highly encourage you to get a partner. It is not necessary, but with these, you actually have to run through these with a partner. And, it could be your neighbor, your brother, can be your dog. Do it with a mirror, you need to partner with yourself. But I recommend partnering with somebody else who will challenge you in ways that you wouldn't be able to challenge yourself, because they have a different world view, and different responses, reactions.

These are called slight of mouth. First I want to just be really honest, and say that for years, I was aware of these distinctions, slight of mouth distinctions. But the examples I read were so horrible, that I was convinced they would break rapport, unless I was coming from a place of authority and dominance, which just isn't the way I do things. And so, I have developed, and I have borrowed some of these from a gentleman by the name of Christopher Howard. A wonderful and a key trainer, trained by Tad James, kind of a great mix of Tony Roberts and Tad James.

Chris does some great stuff, and I have gotten many of these from him. I have modified many of them myself, but I want to acknowledge Chris Howard opened my mind to the fact that these slight of mouth patterns could be useful, and they could be used with some elegance, with respect for the other person's process. And ultimately, the way I think about these now is, it is my duty, if I am coming from service and contribution, it is my duty to leverage people beyond their limitations.

So, with that, you know there is two basic concerns, time and money, typically. You know there is couple of other types of concerns, one is that they don't believe you. In other words, you haven't developed enough credibility. That's a matter of rapport, and if you follow the process I have laid out so far, with your information gathering, with you know, permissive selling, you need some value and meaning, you need some conviction, that really shouldn't be a problem. If it is, then you need to back up and realize that you didn't develop enough rapport at some point, or you didn't ask enough questions.

If you have got enough rapport, you can say - well, you know, I am curious, and you know, do you feel comfortable with me as a service provider. Because I want to make sure that you feel comfortable with me, otherwise we shouldn't even work together. Kind of authenticity in this day and age. Again, provided you have rapport. If you don't have enough rapport, you are going to make people feel uncomfortable, they are going to attract even more - why did you have that kind of situation going on, that kind of deep rapport.

And if you don't, you can say - you know, I am going to say something, and it might seem kind of weird, but I just want to make sure that we have the kind of grounding that I want to provide my clients and prospects, the kind of relationship I want to provide. In other words, you just preframe it first. And if you, you know, the best way to handle concerns, is to speak to them upfront, and preframe them. In other words, say - you know, some people think of it this way, but really the truth is black. Or - gosh, you know, some people might think this is a little weird, and that's OK for you.

But, ultimately what I want is this kind of relationship. So, blank, and you delivered the communication. When you preframe it, you take somebody's ability to object to it out of the way. You can brag about it - you know, we cost too much. So if you heard it a lot, or you say people don't have time, you simply add it into your preframe. You know, some people think this costs too much, but in my experience, the client's rapport measured against the value, the price is really insignificant. If you say that upfront, then you take away their ability. At worst, they will feel silly for objecting. But, ultimately, you don't give them a frame to step into, a way of perceiving the world. You give it to them, before they think of it. John Grinder, one of my heroes in communication, said, an ounce of preframing is worth a pound of reframing.

So preframe whenever you can, preframe whenever you can. Anticipate objections. Start to gather data about typical concerns, and simply begin to build them into your presentation in a way that addresses it upfront, but also reduces it or minimizes it.

But let's say you haven't built enough rapport. Let's say you forgot to preframe it; you are still learning to preframe. Let's say, maybe your client didn't tell you the truth. Or the response to what you said, you did not provide them enough context for them to be fully honest with you, and you will do that in the future of course. An excellent reframing. While an ounce of preframing is worth a pound of reframing, the ability to reframe might save your bacon some body. So I am going to give you 16 specific reframing, slight of mouth patterns.

You use them when you have the - can't afford it - which is a common one for people in the personal development world. So this is what I have the most familiarity with, and I will name the pattern, so that you can begin to customize it for your business; conceptualize it, for your business. So have a seat, get ready to take some notes, I am going to pause for 30 seconds, so you can pause this, make sure you get something to write with, and we are going to move forward here in just seconds.

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OK, welcome back. Welcome back with your pen and paper. And slight of mouth, slight of mouth. It is really like slight of hand. And remember, it is your duty to offer somebody an expanded sense of the world. That's what we are doing here, we are offering a vision of possibilities. You have to leverage them beyond their limitations. Sixteen slight of mouth patterns, I will name the pattern, and I will give you an example of it. These are most effective with a cause and effect sentence structure, or complex equivalency. So what that means is - well, I can't do this because blank. Cause, effect. Or - well, you know, this means this. That would be complex equivalency. You know, X means Y. Complex equivalency. So let's get into these.

First one is called, apply to self. This is what we are, I can't afford to do this. And you say, that's exactly why you need to go. Or, that's exactly why you need to do it. Or, you can't afford not to do it. These are all examples of applied to self.

The next one is called, change frame size. They say - you know, I can't afford it, or it costs too much. You say - where are you going to be several years from now, if you don't make a choice to change your current situation. Change frame size. In other words, you are expanding the scope of what they are looking at. They are not just looking at the contract or the price. You are actually saying - well, in five years, if you haven't done this, how are things going to be. I mean, it expands the scope of what they are looking at. So when he says, I can't afford it, I can't afford to do this, it cost too much, something like that...

The next one is called metaframe. A lot of people think that, I want to have... A lot of people have a belief in a limited world. The truth is, there is plenty of money out there, you just have to find it. What metaframe there means is, essentially you are going to the underlying belief. Oh, you know I can't afford this. You could say something like - you know, a lot of people think that they allocate the resources to survival, and really what I am looking for is to help you thrive. That's kind of a combination of metaframe and then changing frame size. Because you are going from survival to thrival, which is changing frame size. But metaframe, you are going - you know, a lot of people believe in survival rather than thrival. In other words, they are just trying to get by, where you are actually trying to assist them in thriving.

The next one is called reality strategy. You know, I can't go or I can't do it, because it cost too much. How would you know if it was more than worth it to you? How would you know if it was more than worth it to you? And then what will happen is, they will give you, with enough rapport -- I can't stress rapport enough -- they will give you their criteria for fulfillment. You might have to go away and retool your offering, but that's one of my favorites.

The next one is called model of the world. They say - well, you know, I can't, we can't do this because it costs too much. Or we can't look forward. You say, it's the people who decide to make the choice to invest in themselves, who lead the kind of life they deserve. Model of the world essentially means how you move through the world, or how you are viewing it, or how you approach the world. Or one of my favorite authors, Ayn Rand -- if you haven't read "Atlas Shrugged", please do. Talks about a heroic view of human beings, amazing. And she has something called, a sense of life, is a way she described how people move through the world. The model of the world is very similar.

Next is, hierarchy of values. They say, you know, we can't do this because it costs too much. You say - Isn't it more important to enrich your life, than save a few dollars now. Isn't it more important? We talked about values, and so there is also a hierarchy of values. So someone says, you know - gee, oh, I can't really do this, this is too... You say -- isn't it more important that you do X, than, you know, you save a few dollars now. That's consequence. [laughs]

And this is one of my least favorites, but some people are definitely leveraged more by pain, and if you just look at some of the most effective commercials or marketing campaigns, they are usually based on fear. And I have made it a, you know, a habit to avoid that, because I just have a philosophical resistance to leveraging on people's pain. And sometimes it is effective, so you can take that on, if you like. I will provide this one to you.

Consequence. They say, you know, we can't afford it. You say, well, what will it cost you if you don't change the way you are doing this now. What's it going to cost you? Or, what's it going to cost you if you don't invest in it right now. And you want to make sure with this one, you got a lot of rapport, and you are really certain, like 98% certain, that your service, or product is going to provide the solution, and that you are really going to be well-equipped to partner with them, because that one is pretty heavy-handed. The more rapport, the more effective that will be, and becomes even more important that you are giving a 110%

OK. The last one for this episode. Changing outcome frame. You know, we can't, we can't do this because we can't afford it. You say - that kind of thinking works if you want to save money. But if you really want to live up to your full potential, in your department, or with your relationship, or whatever your context is, you need to take a stand at some point, decide you are worth it, that you are worth investing in, or your team is worth investing in, or what have you - changing outcome frame.

That's the first eight of them. We will go over the second half of the other eight of these linguistic patterns in the next episode. To review really quickly, so that you can have this in the background of your mind, embedded in your analogy, doing your personal work, setting your intention toward positive outcome. You are building more rapport. You are developing incredible skills of information gathering. Doing GAP analysis, conducting GAP analysis, doing an inquiry around values in every context. And you are continually gathering information to deliver your offering, each step of the way. You are embedding. You need some meaning and values, as well as you need some conviction, in the clients experience in your relationship with them.

You are building vision and possibility because you have realized that they are buying a vision or possibility, or they are buying a result or solution. They are not buying a product or service. You are beginning to reframe concerns.

And we have delivered the first eight of those. We will deliver the second half of that, the whole system of slight of mouth, in the next episode.

Before I sign off, I have got a listener question, Colin from Scotland. He knows me, he says, I have been listening to your podcast, Evolutionary Sales, and I am learning a lot. Glad to hear that, Colin. Thank you. And to get to the meat of his questions, he says, "You advocate telling your prospect, this is a sales call, do you have time for a sales call. If the person says they don't have time, and that 'no time would be good for a sales call', how do you propose I respond?"

Well, first of all, I have actually never had that response. I am thinking, over thousands of phone calls, I never heard somebody say, 'no time would be good for a sales call'. It could be that you are not talking to the right person, that they are not actually the decision maker, is the first thing I would say. They are not the person you should be speaking with. And, so this people... You know, what I suggest is, you say, do you have time for a sales call, and they say no, you say, when would you have time? Now, they will usually get out of your counter. I have had people who do this, I have had people schedule one, and then tell me that's not good either, and schedule another one, and tell me that's not good either. And do what I consider, I really think they are probably stringing me along, or who knows, at that point.

But after three, I just decide that there is no good time for a sales call for them, or that they are really not being straight with me. But if they say, no time would be good for a sales call, I would say - Oh, great, well, who would have time for a sales call? Here's what I am offering, do you know who I should speak to in the company, or do you know anyone who might be interested in blank, and you have your elevator pitch there. Which should be one or two sentence description. It should grab interest right away, be intriguing, not necessarily fully descriptive, but intriguing to grab interest.

You could say something like, oh, do you know somebody who is interested in expanding their blank, and then something to do with results. Do you know someone who is interested in increasing their sales. If you are calling a sales manager, and you are trying to sell a sales product. One of my favorites when they say, no time is good for a sales call. Oh great, do you know another manager who is interested in increasing their department results. You have to say it really diplomatically, with your tone, because they can take offense to that, it's your suggestion that they don't.

And I have had a couple of people get upset, on the phone, to be sure, when I do things like that. But I have had a lot more people respond effectively to it. And again, even if they get upset, then I go - oh wow, they get upset, what can I learn here? What can I do differently? You may never talk to them again, you may never see them again. But the learning on every phone call is critical.

So I would simply outframe it. Oh wait, I am not sure we have talked about outframe or not, I don't actually recall. But outframe is kind of like, well, who else. You kind of expand the scope, kind of like in expanding the frame size. It's like outframing. You know somebody who would be interested in a sales call about increasing their results or about something like that. The bottom line is also, forget about scripts. Learn the patterns, or the metastructure, of what you are actually up to, in your communication, so that you can begin to experiment and play with it.

Remember, you know, after you make a few thousand phone calls, you kind of stop caring how people respond, what is negative. Just start to laugh at it, and you think, wow, that is interesting. You start to focus on the learning. Once you get the first couple of thousand out of your system, you really kind of, you know, flush out your sinuses so to speak. And you begin to have a lot more fun. You don't care, just a numbers game at that point, you are tracking your numbers, having fun, you are noticing what you can learn. That's when you really emerging and becoming a sales professional, rather than a sales person.

So, again, I am Jason McClain, your host and Your Guide in the 21st Century Marketplace. Thanks for joining me in this episode of Evolutionary Sales. Join me next week to talk about the other half of slight of mouth. You can reach me at [email protected], that's with two l's. And for transcripts of this show, or other shows on the Personal Life Media Network, please visit, again two l's in Have a great week, and remember the best way to predict your future is to create it.

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