We’ve all had those transformational moments in our understanding where we could never go back to the old ways of understanding things. I remember the moment when you were a little kid. Do you remember that? And you discovered one day that your parents’ names were not mommy and daddy, that your parents actually had identities outside of being your mom and your dad.
Remember that when I teach these tools, they’re all coming from some fundamental principles that I’m going to repeat. We’re always going to repeat these things as often as possible, that my way of selling is completely counter-intuitive and it’s based on principles that I think are just not taught anywhere else.
Now, that has its advantages and disadvantages. Because it is so unique and different, it bears a possibility of bringing you amazing results. I like to say that it’s the very ways of thinking, feeling, acting and responding that have the possibility of bringing you results that are so far beyond the ones that you’re used to enjoying.
Now, I use many tools. This brings me to my second point. These tools compile one upon the other. So while I’m only going to teach you one tool today, there’s going to be many tools that are stacked alongside it. It is virtually impossible to isolate these tools. They all work in concert with each other. To not teach them that way is sort of like teaching how to play the piano without teaching you the chords, just teaching individual notes.
So today, I’m going to be talking about a tool, but I’m going to use that tool to illustrate some broader principles. The tool is called the false profession of ignorance. Now, this goes completely contrary to the common wisdom in sales, which is you need to appear as an expert. You need to appear—or at least actually be—an expert in your field, to be seen as a thought leader.
But there’s times in a sale where you want to get the prospect to start on a chain of thought where they’re convincing themselves to buy it. After all, the subtitle of my book, Subtle Words that Sell, is how to get your prospects to convince themselves to buy.
And by the way, if your prospects aren’t doing most of the work to convince themselves to buy, you’re doing too much work and you’re making far too little money.
So, how do we engage our prospects’ unconscious minds, that train of thinking so that they do that process on their own? A lot of ways to do it. There are smaller tools like commands and suggestions. And we will get into this, but I love the false profession of ignorance, because believe it or not, there are times during a sale where in order to dissipate resistance and get that prospect’s imagination flowing in the ways you need to do it, you actually need to appear like you don’t know.
“Well, why should I hire you as my listing agent? Why should I hire you as my realtor?”
Let me give you an example. Let’s say a prospect says, “Well, why should I hire you as my listing agent? Why should I hire you as my realtor?” Even though you’re not in real estate, these principles apply to any business. The typical things are, “Well, Mr. Smith, why don’t you tell me what you’re looking for in an agent?” That’s one way to do it. And that’s not bad, but Smith may say, “Well, why should I tell you that?” Or Smith may give you an answer where he doesn’t know his conscious reasons why he wants to do it.
Here’s a principle: don’t assume that your prospect knows what it is they’re really looking for. Can someone please put that in the chat window? Your job as a salesperson may be to help them clarify that. But first, they have to unconsciously convince themselves that they want to give you that information, or unconsciously convince themselves that it’s okay for you to elicit that information from them.
See, this is one thing that people don’t get in traditional sales. You have to earn the right to get the prospect to give you the required information. You have to frame it so they will give you the required information. People don’t get this. So don’t assume that your prospect knows what they’re actually looking for. They may not know. And that of course could be the reason why they’re asking the question.
So traditional responses might be, “Well, Mr. Smith, why don’t you tell me what you’re looking for in an agent? And then I could show you exactly how we fit that.” And that’s okay, but it’s traditional. I don’t like to go with tradition, I like to look at things from a batshit crazy different way of doing things.
So my way is to use the false profession of ignorance. And the false profession of ignorance uses the following phrases: I don’t know, I can’t tell, I can’t be the one to say.
So when your prospect says, “Why should I hire you?” Here’s the answer: “Well, Mr. Annoying, I can’t tell all the reasons why you might find yourself doing that. But as that’s taking place, may I ask, what is it you’re most looking for in someone who you really want on your team?”
The false profession of ignorance removes any need for resistance because you’re not showing up as a know-it-all, and you’re setting up a huge chain of suggestions.
Now, let’s look at that. “Well, Mr. Prospect, I can’t say.” There’s the false profession of ignorance, and it’s setting up a huge chain of suggestions. The false profession of ignorance removes any need for resistance because you’re not showing up as a know-it-all, and you’re setting up a huge chain of suggestions.
As I’ve always said with any tool, you want to know the purpose of the tool in order for you to use it effectively and powerfully.
So, “Well, Mr. Smith, I don’t know all the ways in which you might find yourself doing that.” Look at that implication, how you’re implying, “I don’t know all the ways in which you might find yourself doing that.” When we say “All the ways,” what is that implying? That implies there are going to be many ways. Do you hear it? We’re implying it. We’ll get into these tools later and in subsequent broadcasts we’re talking about trans phrases, but “find yourself” is a trans phrase. It causes an unconscious response where the person talks themselves into doing it.
“I don’t know all the ways in which you might find yourself doing that, but as that’s taking place, may I ask you? What is it you’re most looking for in this person you want on your team?” Or you could say, “May I ask that you share what it is you’re looking for in this person you want on your team?” See the self point? And you’re saying, “This person.” Well, which person? What person? So we’re combining so many tools, piling one on top of the other.
Really, what we’re doing is engaging Mr. Smith’s own unconscious process. And this can be running in the background as he tells you what it is he’s looking for. And you’ve anchored that to yourself.
So before he’s even verbally said it, he’s already on the unconscious level thinking it and associating it with you. So it’s helping on a lot of levels. It’s actually getting him to come up with a better answer before you even ask the questions.
So this is an incredibly powerful tool, especially when it’s used in concert with the other tools. But I want to always come back to the basics. The basics are you’re never trying to talk your prospect into the sale. You’re triggering their unconscious mechanisms to imagine, talk, trigger the chain of thinking where they create that sale in and of themselves, where they talk themselves into it, where they convince themselves.
Now, it’s not just talk. They could also of course be visually imagining things. I understand all that. I don’t want to get into sensory modalities here in this broadcast, but you see how much more powerful that is.
One of the traditional ways is to say, “Well, Mr. Smith, let me show you my marketing plan,” or to give specific reasons. “Well, Mr. Smith, the reason you should go with me and my firm, Steal Your Money Realty, is because we’ve sold 14 homes in your neighborhood at minimum commission. Now, why would you want to say that? Then you’re underselling yourself.
And that’s all good, but they may not be in a place to accept that data. First, you get their imagination firing and running in the background that they already want to hire you. Then you can show them the data.
One of the biggest mistakes a salesperson can make is showing off the data
One of the biggest mistakes a salesperson can make is showing off the data, giving reasons before you actually capture and lead the imagination, emotions, and start that chain of suggestions. So we’re getting some good comments.
Tyrone says he likes to anchor to self by pointing to the self. Naveed says, “I don’t know.” That’s right. Jeffrey, one way that will definitely work—Jeffrey says, “Not only that, you don’t come from a place of desperation.” That’s right. This is very powerful. So when you say, “I don’t know all the ways in which you might find yourself doing that,” instead of giving reasons and saying, “Well, here’s why you should do it,” instead of begging for the sale, you’re coming from a place for neutrality, which is very powerful in and of itself.
If you’ve enjoyed this article, please give me a thumbs up and ask some more questions. I’ll be going through the questions and comments offline. And this is my commitment to you, I hope you’ve really enjoyed it. And I’ll see you later. Bye now.