A friend of mine is a magician, and a big part of his ability to perform tricks comes from using misdirection to fool his audience and create the illusion. A lot of flare with his right hand, allows him to use his left hand to hide and conceal things.
Misdirection is great in magic, but it is a foe for getting things done in the “real” world. A monster of a destroyer of initiative and truth. Above everyone else, there is a primary party guilty of leveraging misdirection to defeat truth.
It’s you. and me.
I know, I know, you thought I was going to say politicians, and truth be told, politicians are pretty good at getting us to focus on something theoretical in order to avoid being held accountable to actually do things that work.
But “we” are actually worse. Our human brain likes to protect our ego state from dealing with facts around what we should be doing, and not be doing, and even more so on what we did wrong in the past. So when “we” are customers, we often major in minor things, to avoid admitting we are in pain, or/and that we caused that pain.
This is why clients often lock on to minor things of the proposal or why they won’t fess up right away what the pain is. It’s hard to admit something is broken and needs fixing.
Your job as a salesperson is NOT to aid and abet your client’s tendency to live in denial. You need to ask the questions no one else is asking, and you ALSO need to make it safe for your client to tell you the truth. That’s a combination of a good questioning plan and LOTS of practice at how we deliver those questions (tonality, inflection, pace, etc).
Interrupt your prospect’s misdirection. You’re helping them drastically by doing so.