Cognitive reframing and sales: Taking your client/prospect out of the comfort zone

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Cognitive Reframing: From Rain Today

The Rain Group‘s Mike Schultz in Cognitive Reframing: How to Ge Buyers Off Autopilot, suggests that effective sales requires the ability to disrupt the potential purchaser’s perceptions enough to see a need for change — ┬ábut not so strongly that the purchaser is paralyzed with fear/indecision.

It is an interesting and potentially vital concept: How do you draw out the anxiety yet keep it controlled enough to avoid burning bridges.

He writes:

Insight sellers get buyers to question their beliefs and into the learning zone by following this model:

  • Disrupt: They disrupt current buyer thinking by introducing new ideas, advocating for alternative paths, or asking questions to challenge the status quo. This is the first step in pushing buyers out of the comfort zone.
  • Reframe: They reframe the discussion around new thinking, literally shaping the conversation by changing the lens through which buyers view the issue at hand. This puts the buyer in the learning zone.
  • Direct: They direct the buyer to new and better possibilities. This differentiates you from the competition. No more capabilities battle. You, as the seller, have added value and are not categorically distinctive.

You do all of this by both asking questions (i.e., inquiry) and making statements (i.e., advocacy).

If you want to get buyers off auto-pilot, you need to push them out of their comfort zone and into the learning zone. To do so, remember this simple model: disrupt, reframe, redirect. The sellers who do this unleash value and set themselves apart from their competition.

These are good ideas and worthy of consideration. I think these results are clearly easiest to achieve when (a) you really know your potential clients and (b) you have true confidence and knowledge of your product/service and its advantage to them. In other words, you can’t use a shotgun approach and it isn’t a matter of blindly preparing your pitch and hoping some of it will stick.

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