Everybody Has ADD

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If you are getting enough attention in life, raise your hand.

Just as I thought, I don’t see any hands raised.  Therefore it is safe to assume that we are all experiencing a deficit in attention.

Now any sales or marketing person will tell you that were there is a gap or a deficit, there is an opportunity.

If you really want to stand out in your field (whatever that is), practice giving people quality attention.

It is amazing how often people have their attention on themselves when they are trying to sell.  This makes sales so much harder.

In workshops I do an exercise where people pair up.  A tries to sell to B while keeping all his/her attention on him/herself (How am I doing?  What do I want to get out of this?  Do I look good? etc).  Then A tries to sell to B while putting his or her attention on B.

The difference between these two is huge.  Body language changes and becomes more relaxed.  People naturally lean in closer to each other.  Rapport and connection are created.  The room literally feels more relaxed and comfortable.

And, the words coming out of the sellers’ mouths change!  Their presentations becomes smoother, simpler and they magically start using words and phrases that resonate with B.  Somehow the As seem to become more intuitive.

Who knows more about your prospect/client, you or your prospect/client?  Duh!  Your prospect/client!  So when you put your attention on him or her you get to enter his or her world and learn about what really matters over there.

When I work with clients, I often get to be entertained by what comes out of my mouth.  I say stuff that I wouldn’t normally say because I’m getting that information from them not from myself.

Here’s my favorite example:  A client’s business had really dropped off.  She is a professional speaker and trainer.  She had over $20,000 worth of business cancel in the last month.  We discovered that she had a rule in her head that it was not okay for her to be doing better than her clients.  Since her clients were struggling (the economy) then she had to as well.

Then a scene from “Pirates of the Caribbean” popped into my head.  The pirates are about to leave Captain Jack Sparrow behind.  The girl said, “What about the Pirate’s Code, leave no man behind?”  One of the pirates replied, “Arrgh, they are more like guidelines rather than rules.”

So, in my best pirate accent I said to my client, “Arrgh, they are more like guidelines rather than rules.”

She got all excited.  It turns out that “Pirates of the Caribbean” is her favorite movie and she had just watched it again a couple of days before.

“Guidelines rather than rules” opened the door for her to relate differently to her business and to replace her limiting rule with something that worked better for her.  She started to book business again.

This info came from her and I was able to receive it because I had my attention on her not on myself.

Your attention is one of the most valuable gifts you can give another person.  And, it is something that the other person will be hungry for.  It also creates a great experience for you in the giving of it making this a total win win.

Your best tool for giving attention is your curiosity.  Be curious about who that other person is.  What makes them tick?  What is important to them?  What do they really want?  Who are they?  How have they gotten to where they are now?  Where are they headed?  What matters to them?  Be curious!

Acknowledgement is another great tool for giving attention.  It is way more powerful than compliments.

In an acknowledgement, you recognize something that the other person did ~ something they can take ownership for.

Compliment:  Diane, you look beautiful.
Acknowledgement:  Diane, you matched your jewelry to your outfit.

In the compliment there’s nothing Diane can own (yeah well you know when I was still in the womb I did a little genetic engineering on myself and re-sequenced a few genes so that I would be totally beautiful so thanks for noticing).  Also covertly the compliment is about me – it is about what I think.  Diane, I think that you look beautiful.

In the acknowledgement, I am recognizing something that Diane did.  She put some thought and effort into her appearance.  She can own that.  So now it gets to be about her and she gets to self generate the “feeling good about herself” which is always more powerful.

Compliment:  I’m so proud of you, you had a dry diaper last night!  (this is all about me and my being proud)

Acknowledgement:  You had a dry diaper last night!  Then the kid gets to go, “Yes I did!” and really own that result.  It is about the kid.

You can find out much more about acknowledgement in my book, The Motivation Myth.

Practice curiosity and acknowledgement and see what you notice.


Jonathan Manske

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/anseledwardsphotography/8133872228/”>Ansel Edwards Photography</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>

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