Psychological techniques – The Distraction

Used by illusionists and NPL technicians around the world the distraction is a classic closing technique. It comes from a school of thought in psychology that people enter into a distraction trance many times throughout the day without even realising it. This is a trance where the sales and marketing professional, if observant enough, can reach their subconscious mind of the prospect more easily at all different times of the day.

• Whilst on a train

• Whilst in a boring meeting or sales pitch

• Whilst in a training seminar

• Whilst watching TV and then the adverts come on

• In a night club whilst staring at the flashing lights

• Whilst trying to buy a product and getting distracted by the kids

• Whilst reading this book/app thingy

In fact there are any number of times a day when a person can go into a mini trance and although we are not talking about learning the act of putting people into a trance but rather we are talking about, by noticing, taking advantage of that time when they are distracted to make a connection on a subconscious level and close there and then, knowing this aids us in knowing when to close.

So for a distraction close, you either need to wait for a distraction or create one (subtly) and then, when you are sure their mind is elsewhere, you plant the seeds of influence. When a person is distracted by something only part of their mind is on you, the other part is full of mind chatter that they are possibly not even aware of and by asking for the sale there and then you actually relieve their mind of some of the stress that it is under.

The secret is in waiting until their decision-making part or rational part of their brain is distracted and they are at overload point. They will be less likely to object and by offering them a way out of overload on their emotions and brain by agreeing to the sale you are allowing them to deal with one of the pressures they are facing.

This may sound highly manipulative but I give this information for two reasons

1. It works

2. When you get distracted around a salesperson watch what you are signing or agreeing to.

A great technique for distracting your subject and reaching their subconscious mind is the handshake technique. By holding onto a subject’s hand longer than normal and intently looking them in the eye and talking quite rapidly whilst removing your hand slowly and randomly touching a couple of fingers you are distracting them from your conversation whilst they try to make sense of it and still look as though they are concentrating but really their brain is trying to rationalise what has just happened. Because their brain can not focus on the physical/mental distraction and what you are saying you can reach their subconscious without them realising this. The more unscrupulous of you may use this to get people to do what you want them to do, whilst I do not condone this behaviour it can be great fun in a bar or social situation. Obviously by putting this out there for all to read I am also arming the potential reciprocates of that unwanted distraction technique.

Obviously distracting people whilst closing has with it certain moral questions and implications but knowing the technique does not mean you need to use it but a good sales or marketing professional should know every technique so that they can protect themselves from it or us elements of it in their own sales banter.

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