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Issue 23 - December 2011

THE SILK REPORT


Warrior Marketing, Selling & Fee-Generation Strategies For Freelancers, Independent Consultants, Coaches & Info-Marketers...

NEURAL SUPREMACY: How To Gain Immediate Control And Compliance In Any Business Interaction
From: Michael Silk.

Dear Reader,

Picture the scene:


A conference room full of top business executives from a major investment management company. There are three other things you should know about those business executives: 1). They spend every day of the week making corporate presentations to other hardnosed business people. They all earn healthy six and seven figure salaries (along with other executive benefits) that puts them in the top 5% of income earners.

2). And 3).

Because of reasons 1) and 2) above, all those top business executives Have Egos The Size Of Jupiter.

And the last thing those revved up execs want to do is sit still in a conference room to hear about how they can make better presentations to their prospects. Especially when the conference speaker is completely unknown to them and, is

Published by: Michael Silk, Michael Silk Consulting,


2 The Compasses, Leigh, Nr, Tonbridge, Kent. TN11 8HT. ENGLAND. T. (UK)+44 (0)1892 871446 W. www.MichaelSilkConsulting.com E. MichaelSilk01@Gmail.com

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a woman! For the female presenter it was going to be like David walking into the lions den. She. Didnt. Stand. A. Chance. So what did that female presenter do? This: She walks to the front of the room and starts out her presentation by saying: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to our `Winning Presentations programme. Let me ask you a question. How many squares do you see on this screen? On the presentation screen (for all the executives to see) was this image:

Sixteen! shouted one executive. Seventeen shouted another. Keep looking the female presenter said with the hint of a challenge. Oh, twenty-one! came another voice. Very good, said the female presenter, picking up a red marker pen to circle them. But there are more. Who amongst you can see the others? The challenge was laid down. And then the answers started flying at her. The big one!, The four in the corners, The one in the middle. And the sea of I-dare-you-to-show-me-more eyes riveted in on her from the assemble of business executives.

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So the female presenter showed them more. There are also four sets of middle fours and four sets of three by threes which makes a total of thirty squares, she said while writing a big red 30 on the screen. And quickly (to protect bruised egos), You came close. Most people only see up to 21 squares. What happened next? The female presenter went on to say, Now, youre probably thinking `But what does this have to do with us making better presentations? Well, when you looked at the image the first time you saw sixteen squares, and some a few more. No one amongst you saw all thirty. Similarly, what you know about making effective presentations is akin to your sixteen squares. Our goal together today is to get you to see the possibilities of what you may be missing. By the end of our time together youre going to see all the ways a presentation can increase your selling power and bring you more business. The point? The visual image on the screen (and the challenging nature of the presentation opening) acted as a powerful pattern interrupt and from there on forward that female presenter Had A Room Full Of Impatient Business Executives In The Palm Of Her Hand! Picture another scene: In 1978, Danny DeVito (whom up until that time had had a stuttering acting career with a few bit-part roles and guest appearances) auditioned for a role on an ABC sitcom pilot called Taxi. Danny DeVito did not stand a good chance of landing the role. The producer and casting agents were looking for a brazen New Yorker who radiated attitude with a capital A. A five-foot tall, overweight and balding actor wasnt exactly the look the producer had in mind for the role DeVito was auditioning for. DeVito knew that only too well. So when Danny DeVito walked into the auditioning room he immediately seized control of the meeting by yelling at the casting panel: One thing before we start, I want to know (holding up the script) Who Wrote This Shit?! (And for theatrical effect he forcefully threw the script across the room). The result?

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Danny DeVito owned the room right from the start and, as you probably know, got the role as Louie De Palma in the sitcom Taxi (which turned out to be a huge hit, running from 1978 to 1983 winning Danny DeVito an Emmy award). Picture yet another scene: In the 1980s British Rail (in the U.K.) formed a select committee to hire an advertising agency to handle their national ad campaign. One of the advertising agencies (among many) who were vying for the account were Allen, Brady and Marsh. How did the agency Allen, Brady and Marsh play their card in the selection process? It went down like this: On the appointed day (and at the appointed time of the meeting) the representatives of British Rails advertising agency select committee walked into the offices of Allen, Brady and Marsh expecting to be wowed by a professional presentation. What they experienced was something entirely different. They entered a dirty waiting room, were virtually ignored by a gum smacking receptionist, and, to top it off, were stood up by the management of Allen, Brady and Marsh. Forty five minutes after the scheduled meeting time the thoroughly disgruntled representatives of British Rails select committee got up to leave. Outraged at their treatment and heading strai ght for the exit door in strides an advertising executive who stops them in their tracks with the words: See how upset you are? Ladies and gentlemen, you have just experienced your own product! The executives of Allen, Brady and Marsh then salvaged the meeting by going onto explain their advertising strategy for winning back the public's confidence in British Rails service. Did it work? Well, I guess so because Allen, Brady and Marsh beat out all the fierce competition and won the account. OK, what you have just read are three examples (from three unique situations) where a very powerful psychological principal has been used for gaining very fast control of an interaction and (by extension) very fast compliance. And that psychosocial principal is something I call

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A Pattern Interrupt As in interrupting the default pattern of a persons (or group of peoples) mind set. Think of it like this: If a persons default thinking pattern were a rail track, then the pattern interrupt is the track switch point that re-routes a persons thinking around their critical mind. Now granted, a pattern interrupt may not always seal the deal for you. However, if a persons (or group of peoples) default thinking pattern is wired to look for reasons to dismiss your presentation or communication -- then you must deploy some form of pattern interrupt to immediately trigger a neural tripwire in the brain of your prospect that shuttles your information past their critical deflectors and directly into the court of curiosity central. In other words, in your interaction you want the person you are communicating with thinking: This Is Different. Wheres This Going? A pattern interrupt doesnt have to be delivered with the force of a sledgehammer. Nor does it have to be abrasive. Often a pattern interrupt can be delivered with a great deal of finesse and cause even hostile adversaries to warm to you. Just like it did with that female presenter as described in the very first example. Another good example of a pattern interrupt (albeit a fictional example) that won over a hostile crowd was demonstrated in the movie Legal Eagles. In the movie the actor Robert Redford is in court defending a young woman (played by Daryl Hannah) accused of murdering her lover. The prosecution has a murder weapon, a motive and an eye witness who puts the defendant at the scene. And the prosecution has done such a great job that its obvious the jury and the press Have Already Made Up Their Minds That The Defendant Is Guilty. Its an open-and-shut case. Or it was until the Robert Redford character delivers a powerful pattern interrupt. Like this: After listening to the prosecutions evidence, even Im convinced my client murdered Victor Taft. After all, if I walked into the room and found Victor Taft dead on the floor and Chelsea Deardens finger prints all over the weapon that killed him, there isnt much in the world that wouldnt convince me she was guilty. Look, lets just save ourselves a lot of time here Who thinks Chelsea Deardon is guilty? Redfords character continues:

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Come on. Ive got my hand raised. I believe that my client murdered Victor Taft in cold blood. Who agrees with me? Come on! Lets save the state of New York a lot of time and money and move directly to sentencing. The courtroom is thrown in pandemonium. Reporters are racing for the phones. The judge is calling for order. And the defendant is in a state of shock. Then Redford moves to the jury box, where one middle-aged, respectable-looking woman juror asks softly: Isnt she entitled to a fair trial? Redford shouts back: Oh, lets give her a fair trial and then convict her. Redford continues: So we all think shes guilty. Now what do we do? Its a dilemma, isnt it? Its an especially difficult problem because weve developed a legal concept in this country to protect ourselves, to protect our rights. Its called a presumption of innocence. That pattern interrupt was the leverage Redford needed to pry open minds that were (a few minutes before) set-in-stone and from there led to the defendant being found not-guilty. So how can you use pattern interrupts in your business? Well, hopefully the examples show cased thus far have already given you some ideas to chew on. But lets not stop there. Lets look at some other ideas / examples of pattern interrupts that can be used in dialogue, in presentations, in print and / or a combination of multiple communication channels. How about we start with this one: Lets say you had a client who is in the real estate business. Typically a real estate agent (or their staff) will field calls from people calling in to get more information about a property theyve seen. And the call, more often than not, goes like this: Caller: Oh hello, can you tell me how much theyre asking for the property on Hampton Street? Sure, let me see, the asking price on that one is $345,000. Thanks. Click.

Agent: Caller:

As you can see from that typical example, the agent was treated as an information retrieval service and the caller had all of the control throughout the phone call.

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So how could a real estate agent use a pattern interrupt to immediately seize control of the call and then open up the conversation into an extended (honest) dialogue about the true needs of the caller? How about like this: Caller: Oh hello, can you tell me how much theyre asking for the property on Hampton Street? Sure, Im going to have to ask you to hold for a few seconds while I retrieve that information for you. Is that okay? Okay, sure. By the way, whats your name and number there just in case. Er, its 545-362-8710 and my name is Wanda Rinn. Great. Let me get the information. Ill put you on hold for a moment okay? Okay.

Agent:

Caller: Agent: Caller: Agent:

Caller:

(Agent makes caller wait around 20-30 seconds). Agent: Wanda, Im sorry it seems its going to take a little longer for the data to come up on my computer. In the meantime how did you come across that house did you see it advertised or were you driving by when you noticed it?

(The agent could then develop a value-based conversation from there pointing out potential problems the caller may have if they continue looking for property in the manner in which they are operating. Thus allowing the agent to educate the caller into how they would be able to protect them from making some costly mistakes in their buying of property, etc.). Anyway, that example demonstrates how the pattern interrupt of putting a caller on hold (in a respectful manner) and then following up with some strategic eliciting questions can put you (or one of your clients) into a position of control and authority. I dont mean control and authority in the context of bullying or belittling a prospect, either. I mean control and authority in the context of making someone feel comfortable enough to comply with some simple non-intrusive requests and open up to looking at their situation in a new way. What if a caller refuses to give their name and number? Personally, Id purposefully cut them off. Then, if they were serious enquirers theyd have to call back and theyd look a bit silly if they still refused to give their name and number. And thats when you would seize control of the interaction. Another telephone call example:

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Lets say youre a for hire copywriter. And lets say someone calls you up and says: Caller: Hello, Ive been given your name and I wondered if you could tell me how much you charge to write a sales letter?

You could spout off your fee. Or you could introduce a pattern interrupt to put you in control of the ensuing conversation. Maybe like this: Copywriter: Im sorry, I normally only work on referrals. Who did you say referred you again? Oh, I got your name from Tom Katt. I understand you did some work for him. Thats right. Whats your relationship to Tom Katt is he advising you or are you looking into a number of copywriters based on your own criteria?

Caller:

Copywriter:

And so on. Allowing you to steer the conversation to whether or not the caller meets your criteria for an acceptable client and, if so, moving their mindset from the fee to the value they will receive from your work if you allow them to become a client. Another example: Marketing expert Robert Stover tells the story of how his client a mortgage lender used a pattern interrupt he devised to significantly increase sales. The mortgage lender had a great software programme that would analyse the total cost of different loans side-by-side over the lifetime of the policy. And the analysis would often show that a mortgage loan that had a high interest rate actually had a lower total out-of-pocket cost. So the analysis programme really allowed consumers to make wise decisions about their mortgage finances. The problem: Consumers are so habituated into looking only at the interest rates they would call up the mortgage lender and invariably say something like: Caller: Mortgage Lender: Hello Mr. Mortgage Lender, what are your interest rates? Well weve got this great software programme that allows you to select No, no, just tell me what your interest rates are please.

Caller:

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And the mortgage lender could never get past the rates issue to explain the benefits of their software. So, how did they solve it? With the pattern interrupt (Robert Stover devised for them). It went like this: Caller: Mortgage Lender: Hello Mr. Mortgage Lender, what are your interest rates? Im sorry did you mean the lowest interest rate or the lowest total cost loan? Er what do you mean? Arent they the same? Oh, Im sorry, has no one youve talked to shared this with you? Oh my word, this is a thirty-thousand to a hundred-thousand dollar issue. Here let me show you something that can save you a lot of money called the total cost analysis.

Caller: Mortgage Lender:

That simple, yet eloquently crafted, pattern interrupt and the ensuing criteria education shifted a callers focus and opened up a lot more sales for that particular mortgage lender. Something else important to be aware of: the sign of a good pattern interrupt in business is if it a) challenges a prospects default mode of thinking and, b) the prospect (having been challenged in their thinking) Feels That You Have Their Best Interests At Heart. Lets move on. You can use pattern interrupts successfully in direct mail promotions. A good example of a direct mail pattern interrupt is a grabber -- such as a dollar bill (or some other currency) attached to the top of the first page of a letter. Some other good grabbers to use as pattern interrupts are A Pair Of 3-D Glasses. I received exactly that in a direct mail letter. The letter explained as to how if I went to the particular website listed in the letter I would be able to use the 3-D glasses to be able to see the secret code to allow me access to the full information online. Do you know what? I knew I wasnt going to be much interested in what the direct mail letter was leading me to online (some business opportunity) but

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I Couldnt Resist Going To The Website, Putting The 3-D Glasses On, And Reading The Secret Access Code. Another grabber pattern interrupt idea: Weve just mentioned sending a dollar bill grabber attached to the first page of a direct mail letter. But how about the half dollar bill? Again, I received just such a letter. I open the envelope, unfold the letter and there sitting proud and happy at the top of the first page of the letter was Half A Dollar Bill. The other half had been torn away. That was different. And, like all good pattern interrupts made me think, Whats this about? And so, naturally, I had to read the letter. Whereupon I was informed that the sender of the letter had the other half of my dollar bill and if we would only join forces we could both make a lot of money together. Neat pattern interrupt. By the way, by using a half dollar bill (or half of another paper currency) you can, of course, reduce the mailing cost of using a monetary grabber. I guess technically its illegal to destroy currency, but I wont tell anyone if you dont! The delivery of your direct mail promotion can act as an effective pattern interrupt. For example, you could send a direct mail letter in a plain Jane envelope. Or You could send your mailing by priority mail. And when the recipient opens up their priority mail theyd find a one page letter along with another sealed envelope enclosed. The one page letter would tease the recipient about the contents of the accompanying sealed envelope and ideally discourage the reader from opening it if they did not match up to certain (qualifying) characteristics. That type of pattern interrupt would go a long way to controlling the mind frame of the recipient of your mailing Before They Even Read Your Main Letter. Another pattern interrupt idea for a mailing:

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Send your letter crumpled up. And then start out the letter (ideally in hand written ink) by saying something like: Dear William, If this letter is crumpled up when it reaches you it means I had second thoughts about sending the letter. And Ill probably regret sending it too. Heres what its about: Blah blah blah Headlines can also act as pattern interrupts. In fact, some of the very best promotional headlines are based on the concept of a pattern interrupt. An example: A furniture store wanted to advertise the fact that it sold quality furniture at discounted prices. And it was running a newspaper ad to let the neighbourhood folk know about the wonderful deals they had. How did they do it? Probably many ways in many different ads. But one of the best ads they ran (in my opinion) started out with this pattern interrupt heading: If It Snows On Halloween Well Give You Our Furniture For FREE The furniture store was located in a town where snowfall on Halloween was not at all uncommon. So, as you can imagine, there were a lot of people in that town eagerly watching over the weather forecast and hoping for snowfall on Halloween. I believe the ad went onto say that even if it didnt snow on Halloween, readers of the ad would still be able to buy furniture on the day at heavily discounted prices. The point is: The furniture store used an ingenious pattern interrupt (as encapsulated in the ads headline) that created mass interest and anticipation around the day of Halloween when, at the very worst, people would be able to buy furniture at heavily discounted prices. But what if it did snow? How did the furniture store protect themselves financially against that? Simple: They paid an insurance company a premium so if it snowed then the insurance company paid the cost of giving away the furniture. Lots of good ideas to pick out of that example. Now lets look at an area of marketing where a pattern interrupt is perhaps more important than anywhere else. Im talking about

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Dreaded Telemarketing Heres how most telemarketing calls go down: Ring. Ring. Resident: Hello, whos calling please?

Telemarketer (in fast excitable voice): Hi, this is Des Perate calling from XYZ Corporation, Im wanted to inform you of a special offer were running at the moment and wondered if I could interest you in Resident: No thanks. Click

No surprise there. After all, people are conditioned to hang up on telemarketers. So if ever a pattern interrupt was needed it is needed to break people out of their conditioned response of hanging up on a telemarketing call. What kind of pattern interrupt? Well, maybe something like this: Ring. Ring. Resident: Telemarketer Hello, whos calling please? (in slow, toned down voice): Oh I was actually hoping you werent going to answer the phone. What do you mean? Whos this? Well my name is Des and what I mean is now youve answered the phone Im supposed to tell you all about how to protect yourself from (potential problem resident has if they dont buy what telemarketer is selling) but Im guessing this might not be the best time for you so do you want me to hang up or call back at a better time? Er. well why dont you tell me quickly what its all about

Resident: Telemarketer:

Resident:

And then (with that kind of pattern interrupt) the telemarketer has gained permission to progress with the conversation. Look, Im not saying it would always play out exactly like that -- (and Ive just made that pattern interrupt up quickly off the top of my head) what Im saying is on a percentage basis it would probably work enough times to increase the probability of a successful telemarketing call. One more: What if your life unravels and you lose all your money and all your possessions? Well, you might have to go begging on the streets. And, if you live in Britain, you might well be on the street corner selling the Big Issue for 1 a copy. How will you sell it? Well, hopefully youll

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figure out a good pattern interrupt to engage with the people passing you by. One Big Issue seller I heard about does just that. Instead of mumbling Big Issue like 99% of all the other (mostly ignored) Big Issue sellers when you are within earshot of this guy, he says, Hey, I bet you 1 you wont buy a copy! Admit it - your mind has to do a double-take on that one doesnt it? And, come on, youd probably be a lot more likely to buy a copy as well wouldnt you? Thats the power of a simple, challenging and entertaining pattern interrupt. Anyway, to conclude -- remember: 1). When you are communicating with a sceptical and / or hostile person (or audience) a very effective way to disarm them and open their mind up to new ideas is with a pattern interrupt. When using a pattern interrupt the person (or audience) you are using it on should be able to detect that you have their best interests at heart. The most effective salespeople are not those that are the best relationship builders but are those that challenge the prospect to look at things in a new way.

2).

3).

So heres my challenge to you: Take a new look at your marketing and selling processes and see where you can test pattern interrupts. Then see what new results you get. You may well discover that the implementation of a simple pattern interrupt Significantly Increases The Response & Sales You Get From Prospects. That is my wish for you. Warmly.

Michael Silk PS. If you have another example(s) of an effective pattern interrupt (either that youve read or heard about or from your own testing), Id love to hear about it. Just drop me an email at Michael@MichaelSilkConsulting.com if youre okay sharing the story with me.

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