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Choose Your Frames

Mar 14, 2008
"Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances - to choose one's own way." - Victor Frankl

"Thinking outside the box". . . you hear this all the time from business coaches, to management, to sales training, to sports training, to self help and educational areas. It's overused so much it's almost become meaningless. How many times have you heard this cliche that suggests you have to step outside "their" box in order to succeed and achieve? Are these boxes, boxes that have been set up by society? By our teachers and parents? By our bosses and management? And if so, why are they hindering everything so much? I believe that 'the box' is just another way to say that we must enlarge the frame through which we view a problem or situation in order to find solutions.

In theory I agree with the use of flexibility in all situations. Being creative and flexible in any given situation allows us to not be easily restricted by other's limitations. In business, we find rigid constraint in many areas for a variety of reasons (cost, fear, etc.). And yet, we see a rise in old fashioned sales training which attempts to cut down something as complex as sales into easily digestible pieces that seem anything but 'outside the box' and in fact are the very epitome of the box.

Every situation is particular, each client or prospect has a very specific key or trigger which our creative sleuthing requires us to uncover. Remaining static is not an option in this quest. We have to have agile, almost yogic minds, able to bend the way our prospect bends, and twist the way our clients twist.

We're not all cookie cutters. Unfortunately old-fashioned sales training has attempted to turn people into just that. It's the same thing over and over. Instead, and through the process of learning persuasion, we don't have boxes to begin with. We have frames, which like a pair of glasses can be changed according to what we're wearing or whether it's sunny out. The frames we use are far more powerful in determining our prospect or client's needs and desires as we work with them.

When we choose how we view the world instead of allowing outside forces to choose for us, we have a magnificent capacity to influence and sell like never before.

Our capacity to frame improves with practice (similar to all things from learning a language, to learning an instrument, to learning yoga or starting an exercise regime). We absolutely do improve the more we try something. There's no getting around that. The key is to do it. And do it again.

Writing out exercises and repeating language patterns within our given fields, coming up with lists of objections that we commonly get and then reframing the objections before they even come up in conversations with our prospects and clients, studying the thirty six Chinese stratagems as a way to further our internal understanding of what it means to be persuasive. . . these are easy steps to really installing in yourself the ability to persuade powerfully.
About the Author
Kenrick Cleveland teaches strategies to earn the business of affluent prospects using persuasion. He runs public and private seminars and offers home study courses and coaching programs in persuasion strategies.
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