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Persuading from The Zone

Jun 4, 2008
The first time I heard of being in 'the zone' it was from an athlete who described a run they had taken where everything was perfect -- the speed, the temperature, their breath, their body with ease and elegance, moving down the path. The zone can be achieved in all things -- sports, writing, selling -- and is something we all would do well to strive for.

There are days when I'm speaking to my students on a coaching call and days when I'm giving in person presentations where I'm "on", where I know I'm affecting people deeply and meaningfully. Of course I strive for that each and every time and hit the mark most days. (I also know that we all are prone to an off day and instead of getting down on myself for the rare off day, I view them as lessons on what to improve instead of dwelling in the 'oh woe is me' mentality.)

A friend of mine does therapeutic massage for a living. She recently told me that after nine years of doing massage, she finally felt that she had given the best massage of her career. And that, in fact, she felt it was really the first phenomenal massage she'd ever given. "Don't get me wrong," she said, "I'm not being self-deprecating. I have given good, passable massages before. I've given lousy massages as well, where I knew they weren't connecting with the kind of body work I do. But i never really felt I was really good at it until recently. I felt like I was giving mediocre massages that people were appreciative of just because most of the time when we're touched in a healing way, it feels good whether it's amazing or not."

This shocked me and intrigued me. I had to know what had changed. How, after nine years, did something switch from mediocre to phenomenal. I asked, "What did you do differently?"

"It's the strangest thing," she said. "I didn't have my mp3 player in the office. And usually when there's no music, the client wants to talk, but I made a conscious decision to have it be completely silent. And then I imagined myself on the table, almost as if I slipped into their skin, and simply listened to what their body wanted. And when I was done, I felt I had been in a trance for an hour."

In my mind, she achieved the zone. And whats more, she achieved the persuasion zone. Because what does this sound like but rapport? She figuratively slipped into her client's skin. She could feel what they needed and knew how to meet them at that level.

This can be done in absolutely every one-on-one work situation or personal situation, it can be done in absolutely every group situation, and the first step is to become aware that this is what needs to happen.
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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