How to frame a conversation

Are speaking and communicating the same thing? We learn to speak from a young age, but that doesn’t always involve effective communication. Speaking, like breathing, is something we do automatically with no thought required. Knowing how to frame a conversation and really communicate clearly to your customer without causing confusion, however, is a learned skill. It is the ability to express yourself and be well received, while successfully directing a conversation to the desired end. 

At SWISH Sales Coaching, we help you implement this with our four-stage method called the “ANOT Bridge” that will have you framing a conversation with confidence. This frame sits between your introduction and your discovery, and is key to setting the scene, laying a strong foundation for interacting with customers, and allowing you to tailor your presentation.

When we frame a conversation we listen and gently direct a customer towards our ideas and purpose for the conversation in order to minimise confusion for the customer and ensure that there is clear communication. If you want to learn more about how to frame a conversation or why it is an important skill for sales and business people to learn, read on. 

Framing Communication: What Does It Mean? 

Framing communication or conversation means setting the stage for the type of conversation you wish to have. Framing is a technique used by high-performing negotiators that effectively controls the flow of communication. In sales, it is crucial to generating the desired outcome and closing the sale. Customers won’t buy if they’re confused, like if your pitch isn’t clear or if they’re not exactly sure what they’re getting into. Framing the conversation allows you to be direct and clear in order to make your sale.

Framing can make your conversations more persuasive and help you feel confident when dealing with customers. It means working smarter, not harder and achieving greater success. After all, people don’t buy in a state of confusion. 

How To Control A Conversation 

Learning how to frame a conversation is simpler than you imagine. There are a few key points to keep in mind, such as: 

  • Begin with an idea about where the conversation should end up going; keep it simple and uncomplicated. Clarity will make it easier to implement.
  • Have confidence in your frame and position. When you are confident, people are drawn into what you are saying and you will be less likely to lose control of the conversation and be drawn into their framing.
  • Assert the dominance of your frame by raising objections and negating them before the other party has the opportunity to do so. Preempting objections avoids repeated rebuttals later in the conversation which can be very off-putting for a potential customer.
  • Build and direct the conversation in a collaborative way by asking questions and inviting participation. This makes the other person feel important and valued, making them more likely to buy into your frame.

At SWISH Sales Coaching, we help you implement this with our four-stage method called the that will have you framing a conversation with confidence. 

A – Acknowledge/Appreciate – make sure to acknowledge the time and effort your customer has put into having this conversation with you. A simple thank you for meeting with me or thanks for taking the time out of your day. This shows both integrity and character.

N – Naturally – this is a segue point that you can use to build value and credibility in yourself, your company and your product. You can leverage your own years of experience, or if you’re just starting out, the years that your business has been in the industry.

O – Obviously – Now, you move into the questions you need to ask in order to position yourself as the answer. Whenever you enter any sort of consultation with a customer, they know that these questions are coming, but if you let them know they’re coming it changes the way customers receive them. It’s also important to include the phrase ‘or not’ – for example, “obviously, to understand if I can assist you or not, I need to ask a few questions”. This phrase gets your customer out of a set point of view and makes them more receptive to what you have to offer.

Framing conversations

T – Typically – here, your objective is not to outright make a sale, but to find out if a sale should be made. A good phrase to use could be “typically, at the end of these questions, I’ll know one way or the other whether we can help you. If I can’t, we’ll shake hands and I may even be able to refer you on to someone who can.” This again disrupts how the customer expects the conversation to go, and ensures they feel unique and individual throughout the conversation. On the other side of that, if you believe you can help them, introduce the idea of explaining the products or services you offer. Then, make sure you ask them to make an educated decision that day.

Following this four step method will ensure the conversation goes the way you want it to each time. The idea is to make it as easy as possible for the customer to say yes – the above method should only take a minute or so, and is incredibly easy to fold into your everyday language. Framing conversation is a powerful selling techniques, and should always be used in an ethical and positive way, not to cause anyone damage or deceive them. After all, the success of your framing has so much to do with its intent, approaching someone with a potentially negative frame is likely to elicit a negative response. 

In the digital age, we know that if someone is seeking to buy an item – their options are broader than ever before. The goal of honest, positive framing is to simply show someone why they should buy from you over someone else. You’re also sharing the benefits of your experience and expertise and that is a positive thing! 

Why Does Framing Matter?

If you have ever felt overwhelmed dealing with customers or that making a sale is all down to luck, you’re not alone. The phrase ‘it’s a numbers game’ or the old sales technique to just keep talking are not only ineffective and untrue but damaging to the relationship between salesperson and customer. The truth is, that great salespeople and negotiators do not rely on luck, they use framing and other tools to create the desired outcome.  

Knowing how to use frames within a conversation builds rapport, ensures inclusion and creates more productive outcomes. The best part? Framing is not manipulative, coercive or confronting, it is simply a way to keep an important conversation moving and staying on the right track. So how do you approach this and is it something you can learn? Thankfully, the answer is yes, you can! 

controlling conversations

Who Can Benefit From Learning How To Control Conversations? 

Knowing how to frame a conversation is not only beneficial to sales staff hoping to make bigger commissions and hit sales targets. It is also integral to the success of: 

Entrepreneurs and business owners – Understanding how to sell your product or idea to a new audience or investor is critical to the longevity of your enterprise. Understanding how to frame a conversation is the strongest tool you can employ to achieve this. 

Business development managers – Want to convincingly sell your business to other businesses? Learning how to frame a conversation can help your potential clients understand why they cannot live without your services. 

Sales managers – Need an effective strategy to help your team achieve greatness? Convince your team of their capability and give them the keys to success. Mentor with confidence and provide practical support to your team by learning how to frame a conversation.

Why Work With Us?

If ethical sales training and coaching is important to you, then SWISH Sales Coaching is the perfect fit. We’ve moved past the outdated methods that used to be the norm in the industry replacing them with our SWISH Sales Academy.

Our academy offers sales training and tips that can immediately be put into practice, giving you confidence and the tools for success with zero compromises on your integrity or ethics. Our vision is to change the negative perception of sales globally and to create world-class, authentic, relationship-driven sales and communications professionals.

Through our training, you can learn a wide range of sales techniques, like how to frame a conversation, which help break down sales defences when meeting with a potential client. Designed for sales professionals and sales teams who want to improve their sales performance, our approach offers practical tips. Tips that can be taken away, rehearsed and implemented with ease straight away.  

Contact our friendly and professional team at SWISH Sales Coaching on +617 5531 6485 today to get started. To learn more about how you can benefit from learning the art of framing conversations and take your sales efforts to the next level, read about our proven sales training, sales coaching, and sales courses.  No matter if you are located in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast or anywhere in the world, we are able to assist in providing the most innovative ethical sales training.

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