I can remember when I was very young that when my Mum was doing the weekly shopping and I was either being towed alongside or sat in the trolley, we would fall prey to the shops clever psychology of putting sweets next to the counter. Usually, I would grab a packet of the sweets with the most colourful wrapping. When my Mum took them off me and put them back on the shelf, I wanted them more. I wanted that exact packet even more!
When I take clients into hypnosis in my therapeutic practice, I sometimes use a method called the Elman method because it was created and pioneered by Dave Elman, one of the major influences on modern hypnotherapy. His method of inducing hypnosis had someone relax really deeply, then have to open their eyes. Then, close them and relax even deeper and then open them and close them to relax even deeper and so on.
It works very simply because the person being hypnotised gets a taste of the deep relaxation, then has to open their eyes and refocus and become aware of what’s around them. Then when they get to relax and close their eyes again, they really embrace it and go for more of what they just had a taste of, until they are instructed to open their eyes again! Then, when they close their eyes again, they fully embrace the relaxation and plummet into a deep hypnosis state.
What I want to point out here with both of my examples is this idea of taking something away. An unconscious, hypnotic take-away if you will.
One of the reasons that many salespeople are not more successful is that they push too hard. I do not know anyone that enjoys being forced into something, do you? So, how about if you wanted to sell something, you actually took the sale away to get the sales prospect to sell it to themselves? Interesting idea, eh?
When I talk about the sale, this could be anything; a message, an idea, a date or an actual product or service.
Taking the sale away is best used to advise the prospect that they cannot make a purchase that they have little interest in making anyway. There is pretty much nothing to lose and very much to gain by using this simple idea. Taking the sale away works especially well when someone is being highly resistant to you, your message or your product.
I can remember once, in my hypnotherapy practice, I encountered someone that we diplomatically say has a “polarity response.”
Basically, this person disagreed with most things anyone said and stated the opposite in reply. They said to me within 5 minutes of meeting me “I cannot be hypnotised.” My initial thoughts were “well, what the heck are you seeing a hypnotherapist for? And a very expensive one at that!” I kept that thought under wraps though.
Instead, I said something along the lines of the following:
“Hmmm… maybe you are right, maybe you actually are one of the few people that actually can’t be hypnotised. Maybe you are never going to know the comfort and enjoyment of hypnosis. Maybe you will always deny yourself the benefits of deeply relaxing hypnotic trance. I don’t know, it’s up to you. Maybe you are unsure of what hypnosis is like and maybe you are apprehensive because of all the myths that you hear about it…. as you allow yourself to relax more NOW though… you can drift into the right kind of state for you to experience it in the way that you choose…”
This guy was highly resistant and wanted to push against me. When I began to suggest that he cannot go into hypnosis, the only way to resist and do the opposite of what I suggested, was to go into hypnosis. You see, I took away the sale, so to speak.
What I also did, was to add some of the benefits of hypnosis. To make this technique even more effective, you can state some or lots of the benefits of the message, product or service. This further illustrates that this is something they will not enjoy or benefit from as a result of not buying into it.
A car salesperson might use this technique and say the following:
“I really can’t recommend this car to you because I suspect it is more powerful than you need. It has a very powerful engine, faster acceleration yet consumes relatively little fuel, it is more than you need. Plus, it is designed to withstand much more use than you are going to give it. This really is a car for someone who drives a lot and needs a lot of power.”
Lots of people go weak at the knees at this kind of suggestion and want it there and then.
Since this salesperson is not being pushy, there is nothing to resist. The salesperson is not pushing against the prospect, so the prospect does not need to push back. Some people will respond by then preventing the salesperson from taking the sale away and invest in the product, service or idea. They sell themselves on it.
The worst case scenario here is that the prospect actually agrees with you and says “you are right, that car is too powerful for me and my requirements.” The salesperson still wins. The sales person can now progress to asking about what would actually suit them and match those needs to another car. What’s more, the prospect now appreciates the sales persons honesty and is far more likely to trust them and buy something else from them.
This is not to be used all the time in every situation of course. Think carefully about how you use it in your communication.
I believe that it is extremely important to be truthful when delivering a message or wanting to sell and product or service, so I recommend that you never say something will meet a prospects needs – unless you genuinely believe it is so.
See how you can use this in your life, your communication, your work; use the unconscious take away and see how people respond, I think you’ll find yourself becoming more and more influential as a result.