In a sales situation it is nice to know what someone’s personality is. With the necessary experience you can sense this early on, but it is nice to have some direction before shaking someone’s hand for the first time – this has its advantages for both people.
In general, the advice is that you adapt your language, verbally and non-verbally, to your conversation partner, but there is a great danger if you take the other person too much into account. You end up in a kind of vortex that unfortunately in this case you cannot get out of by not offering any resistance – a frame.
Framing on sale.
Some recognizable examples of ‘framing’ are as follows:
- Time frame: The customer determines how much time you have to tell your story.
- Analyst frame: The customer determines how detailed the information should be.
- Price frame: The customer is the price and you are replaceable as a seller.
- Alpha / Power frame: The customer is a ‘gorilla’ and dictates the conversation.
- Morality frame: The customer has very high standards and you have to prove that you can meet them.
Taking too much into account the frame that has been imposed on you ensures a high ‘likability’, but in general it is mainly a lot of compensation. And as a seller you pay too high a price for that.
My advice: try to understand the frame you end up in and ask yourself if you want to play this game. I will give you one thing on a piece of paper… you play second fiddle if you let it happen or just accept the frame. In general, you can score a pass by accepting the frames, but it comes at the expense of your profitability and personal happiness.
The best way to escape from a frame is to ‘deframe’ and this is far from easy.
Imagine you are stuck in an Alpha frame and you also choose an alpha role. BAM! That is really Badr against Verhoeven.
And as you know… there can only be 1 winner. This is a risky endeavor and you can only afford yourself if you are in top shape – giving it a try is definitely cool to experience. Especially if you succeed naturally and otherwise lick your wounds very quickly. You can also do it more subtly by maneuvering your conversation partner to a topic of conversation where you can grab situational authority. In other words, show that you are the expert in a specific area (see intrigue frame for the solution).
If you are dealing with an Analyst frame, you are forced to be detailed and you are stuck in a ratio. And if a salesperson cannot accept one thing, it’s an analyst frame where every emotion is squeezed out. So, how do you get out of here?
The Intrigue frame: Do you know the story of …
This frame is beyond discussion, but it is one that can tear up most frames with a smile. It is an emotional frame that provides a kind of reset so that you can take over the frame. You intrigue by, for example, telling a story or challenging them in a subtle way.
However, only one frame can win in a conversation.
As a seller you prefer to determine the frame. This can be subtle, for example by determining the agenda (a pre-frame). This is important because it allows you to set the rhythm for the meeting. Preferably you grab the power frame by showing your situational authority. This is a great platform to give your presentation as you get to sit on top of the rock for a little while.
It is imperative to be well prepared because framing occurs throughout the sales cycle. Whether it concerns prospects, qualification, presentation or demonstration, there is always a frame that awaits you if you do not check the frame yourself. The goal is to stick to a frame as much as possible. You can vary, but you have to time very well. My advice. Don’t compensate too much and stay in control. Don’t be invisible as a seller and show yourself (and be valid).
P.s – For the most customer-friendly and intriguing frame in the world: YOU