For a number of weeks we’ve been discussing the irrationality of how and why people think, say “yes” or “no.” Logic rarely enters into people’s decision making processes. Cultural influence, genetic programming, beliefs and values all rate higher in the decision making process than rational thinking.
Your customers and clients buy what they want and not necessarily what they need. That is a fact. If you sell your product only to your client’s apparent needs, then you are losing sales and thousands of dollars per year in income.
Your customer buys all products and services based on the result of awareness, priming, framing, their core desires, values, beliefs, mental imprints, cultural and environmental influences/pressures, opportunity, means and the final interaction of numerous metaprograms. You read about many of these metaprograms in Psychology of Persuasion. I discovered several others over the years and wanted to share a few of those with you today. I’ll define them for you in just a moment.
Persuasive messages that only include what people need are not as likely to be acted upon as those that focus on building wants and moving the person toward those wants.
Once the person decides they want something they merely need to justify the purchase of the product or service…or idea. Clearly, people are a rationalizing species and not rational How we can help them justify the purchase is where understanding and utilizing their metaprograms comes into play.
Meta programs are unconscious filters and directions of experience and behavior. (We often alter this definition slightly for the convenience of utilizing similar software like programs that are running in your customer’s head but are as yet uncategorized.) A metaprogram is a personality trait that a person is unaware of in most communications, at the conscious level. Each personality trait is so powerful that if you could alter it even modestly it would change the future of your customer (or even yourself!).
Carl Jung discovered metaprograms in the 20th century and called them temperaments. He believed that people were different from each other in fundamental ways. He used terms like “function types” or “personality types” to describe these differences. While noting the differences Jung also agreed that within each person is the same multitude of instincts that drive them that we all have.
In the 1950’s Isabel and Kathryn Myers (daughter and mother) synthesized Jung’s typing themes into the famous Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. (Their book, The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Manual, along with Keirsey and Bates’, Please Understand Me are required reading if you are going to be working with customers. The MBTI helps you analyze where your customer “fits” into each of the temperaments discovered much earlier by Hippocrates, Adickes, Kretshmer, Spranger and Adler.) This is important because this information tells you HOW people process input from their environment.
It is believed by many that the “original four” metaprograms (or temperaments) measured by the MBTI are inborn, genetic and are only relatively changeable throughout a person’s life. There do appear to be some context and environmentally influenced differences within some people. (Some people are very extroverted in work and introverted at home for example.)
The New Metaprograms
There is a definite quality of overlapping programs within each of us. If you watch the NBC news and flip to the CBS news, some of the stories are the same and some are unique to each channel. Metaprograms are similar to this experience. In this article, you will learn some of the “new metaprograms” that are critical to pulling the right strings in the persuasion process. You may feel that there are relationships between two metaprograms and that is a sign that you are becoming consciously aware of the programs that are running your mind, and a good sign of understanding this method of understanding and utilizing personality traits.
Metaprograms are among the deepest filters of perception. These internal sorting patterns unconsciously help us decide what we pay attention to. Metaprograms are, generally speaking, “content free but context dependent.”
Like a computer software program, the sum of your client’s metaprograms do not actually store information but determine what drives him. His state (of mind) is affected by his metaprograms and they play a significant role in creating his internal representations (his pictures of how he views the world at the conscious and unconscious level).
In order to use a computer program effectively you must understand how use it. In order to communicate with and sell your products and services to your customers in an efficient manner you must understand what metaprograms they use. Because metaprograms are deletion and distortion filters that adjust our generalizations (beliefs), we can predict the states of mind of our customers if we know their metaprograms. If you can predict your client’s internal states, you can easily influence your customer’s decisions and actions.
There are about 50 metaprograms that have been identified as sorting patterns, types, traits and functions for individuals. You will now learn the “new” metaprograms that most affect the sales process. Remember that all metaprograms exist on a continual and are not either/or representations of personality! As previously noted some people are very extroverted and other people may be just a little extroverted. The behavioral distinctions between someone who is extroverted and someone who is very extroverted can be described as analogical to a good conversationalist compared to someone who never stops talking to listen.
We have already discussed the four core metaprograms that Jung, Myers, Briggs, Keirsey, and Bates have so brilliantly educated us about. The first of the new metaprograms we want to examine is that of the pain /pleasure sorting pattern. This metaprogram is probably the most important metaprogram in making or losing sales.
A. Experience Pleasure......................................Avoid Pain
bright future sick of the way things are feel great stop getting hurt move toward away from make new friends stop being lonely obtain get rid of
Decades of scientific research clearly show that people are more motivated by pain than by pleasure, generally be a factor of two.
What this means is that you not only will paint a picture of a vivid wonderful future for your customer but you must also find their current wounds (pain) and heal them. In fact, this one Mind Access Point drives over a hundred other Mind Access Points the foundational string is that people will do almost anything to avoid significant pain.
People are motivated to move toward pleasure and away from pain. Of the two drivers, most people are programmed to move away from pain more than moving toward pleasure.
When your customer was a child he was regularly threatened with pain (a spanking, a slap in the face, loss of privileges) when he behaved in a bad way. This developed very thick and powerful Mind Access Points which many other Mind Access strings are attached to. A smaller number of your customer’s parents regularly motivated them as children by offering rewards for good behavior. Most parents use threats of punishment in order to gain compliance. Your customer continues to want to do anything he can to avoid pain. If that means complying with you, that is what he will do.
The Amway Corporation has built one of the largest privately held corporations in the world by pulling the Mind Access Points of those with an entrepreneurial spirit and focusing on the pleasure end of the pain pleasure metaprogram. They help their distributors build dreams and create vivid and lush futures. They move their distributors toward pleasure, as a rule of thumb.
In contrast, hundreds of the world’s largest corporations have built their fortunes by pulling the Mind Access Points of the populace on the pain side of the pain/pleasure metaprogram. History and scientific research has shown that people are very averse to pain. As mentioned above, most people will do far more to avoid pain than experience pleasure. The experience of pain is the driving force of billions of dollars in the advertising industry. How many of these slogans and commercial themes sound familiar to you?
"Aren't you hungry for Burger King, now?" "Do you suffer from headache pain?" "Do you feel achy?" "Can't sleep at night?"
When you are talking with your client, your job, in part, is to show how your product or service will create great pleasure if they buy from you and also act as a way to avoid pain. If they fail to hire you, you show them how their wound will grow and create pain for them in the future. If they hire you, you will help them heal their wound.
Anthony Robbins, the world’s most powerful motivational speaker, got to that apex by being able to clearly create vivid pictures of what would happen to people if they didn’t allow him to help them. You can utilize the power of the pain/pleasure metaprogram just like Robbins has done.
If you have elicited your client’s metaprograms then you can focus on the context specific information you have elicited instead of relying on the general rules we have discussed here. In marketing we must rely on the norms. In the direct sales situation we have a marked advantage of knowing exactly what motivates each specific client.
One effective language pattern that helps the client experience the pain of not working with you, is for you to say a variation of the wound opening, “If you don’t act on this now, then won’t things simply get worse?”
The more the customer fears and moves away from pain, the more likely she is to act now. It is our job to paint a picture of the consequences of failing to hire you. Experiencing pain must be more than an idea, it must be real to the customer.
If we fail to sell our customer the services that they need, then they still associate too much pain to change and you have not done your job. No amount of “closing techniques” will get a person to change their point of view or buy a product if they are still unconvinced. You must help the person see the obvious and clear benefits, emotional and logical to accepting your products and services.
Your job is often to paint the status quo as miserable. Most people have a fear of change. It is pre-programmed within them. Therefore, when painting the status quo, it must hurt to experience it. You must bring out the pain of not changing and make it vivid. Someone who associates no drawbacks or very little pain in the status quo will not accept your proposal. They will say, “no.”
The more someone moves away from pain and experiences fear, the more likely they are to act on a decision, now.
The Amway Corporation has utilized a wonderful tool for helping potential distributors feel the pain of failing to become Amway entrepreneurs. For just a moment, remember when you were first presented with the opportunity to become involved as a distributor. One of the dark pictures the speaker painted for your future was this: If you don’t become a distributor, how else are you going to become, financially independent? Do you really want to work at that the same job and forever? Are you really going to be happy with $35,000 per year, every year for the rest of your life?
Does Amway or any company or salesperson, have a right to pull at these Mind Access strings? You bet they do, because they are making the world go around. Multilevel marketing may or may not be an outstanding entrepreneurial opportunity for any individual, but just for a moment, realize how Amway has become so vast: Amway utilizes the pain/pleasure metaprogram better than any private organization in the world.
This Exercise Is Worth $100,000, Do It Now.
Use the space below to write down 20 painful futures that your customers could experience if they don’t own your product or use your service. Then write down 20 bright futures that your customers will experience if they do use your product or service. The next time you meet with a client you will have a vast array of futures to offer your customer. It is the quality of the images that you help your customer see that will make you thousands of dollars per year in additional sales.
B. Cost.......................................................... Convenience
At some point in the sales interview, you will need to determine whether your client is more concerned and with speed and convenience or cost.
Many people will take a quick trip to the local convenience store to pick up a few items even though they cost far more than the grocery store charges, for the simple reason that the convenience store is right on the corner and it only takes a minute to get there. It is convenient. The convenience of the store’s proximity is considered by most to be more important than the increased cost of the goods at the store.
If you are selling financial products then you’ll need to find out whether your client really has the time to closely follow the daily stock reports and make day-to-day decisions about his investments. Would he be happier if you took care of this for him? Is it worth the small cost involved for you to handle his finances in exchange for the incredible burden it lightens within him?
If you sell real estate, does your buyer really want to commute an extra 30 minutes per day to save ten thousand dollars on the price of a house? You need to find out whether the person is more motivated by cost or convenience before the buying process begins.
Change/Status Quo Program
H. Change............................................................Status Quo Different Consistent Evolve Stable Alter Steady Switch Same
Does your client like things to stay the way they are? Does he like to see his business or himself evolve? Grow? Does he like to change? Does he need to keep things status quo?
If you know the buyer’s Change/Status Metaprogram you have a grand opportunity to create security in the status quo or excitement in change.
People who like change rarely keep jobs for a long period of time. They tend to get bored easily and they are constantly trying new things. People who like the status quo will tend to stay in the same jobs and do the same things day after day, month after month, year after year.
Accept Readily/Skeptical-Closed Program
I. Accepting.................Cautious........Skeptical..........Closed understand careful beware never unconditional consider can’t always sometimes makes no sense friendly nervous afraid not
You will discover that your customers fall on a continuum from open acceptance to critical skepticism of new ideas, products and services. The program has some similarities to that of Change/Status Quo. However, they are not the same. People who are accepting are willing to listen. Those who are closed are usually closed because of some event(s) that have transpired in his life. Interestingly, people who are closed to opinions often got that way because they were once vulnerable and got hurt or taken advantage of. These are the people that put up “No Soliciting” signs. As every salesperson knows, they are among the easiest people to gain compliance with.
Where Can You Find More Information Like This?
Science of Influence: The Master’s Home Study Course CD Set Volumes 1-12
by Kevin Hogan
Here are just some of the incredible things you will learn when you receive the first 12 cds in the series:
- Discover which of the desire to gain or the fear of loss is TRULY the far greater motivator and how to harness that power in your persuasive messages.
- Learn what may be the single most important element of influence you have ever been introduced to. I have NEVER released this information on audio, video or in manual form
- Discover how skeptical and non-skeptical people perceive and respond to persuasive messages in a VERY different fashion. (Hint: If you don’t know this information you will automatically lose almost 1/4 of all of your encounters.)
- Ethical techniques to hypnotically enter another person’s mind and reshuffle their deck!
- The one way that reciprocity can blow up and completely backfire.
- How to prepare your unconscious mind to always present the right body language at the right time.
- There is one KEY factor in making your clients decisions permanent: Here it is!
- How to specifically use Hypnotic Confusion in influential messages.
- The One Question that someone MUST say “Yes” to every time!
- The most effective non-coercive way to gain compliance on record.
- How do you create metaphors…based upon the person/audience you are speaking to?
- So much more!