I found an incredible lesson in this story…
I was listening a bit back to an interview with a hypnotist who was talking about his business.
Now, this guy was a very well-trained hypnotist. He knew a million and one ways to help his clients get the results he wanted.
In fact, he was a lot like me — and maybe you, too — in that he liked to talk about his craft.
For you and me, it may be marketing. For him, it’s hypnosis. Same thing, for the purpose of the story.
Basically, he loved to talk about styles of hypnotism, how to actually do hypnosis on someone, and all the things you need to be a really successful hypnotist.
And in fact, part of the work he does with clients is show them how to go into hypnotic trance on their own — to help themselves with all kinds of things including being confident, being able to relax, or achieving their goals.
He’d started doing it on a hunch.
He had a lot of experience with hypnosis. Including self-hypnosis. And he thought he could help his clients by teaching them some basic hypnosis technique.
But at first, he got nothing but resistance.
They’d come in for his help to stop smoking, or lose weight, or gain confidence, or one of the many other things people go to professional hypnotists for…
And he’d get all that info from them, tell them “great,” and start talking about how much they’d benefit from the hypnosis skills he was going to teach them.
Now, he had every intention of getting them the result they wanted — just like he always did with other clients who’d come in for the same problem before he started teaching self-hypnosis.
But there was a problem.
Here he was, trying to make the experience even more valuable for them, by telling them what he knew they needed and would be best for them…
But they stopped buying into what he was saying, they became less compliant, because he wasn’t speaking to them about the original reason they came in, what they originally wanted…
At first, he was confused.
When he looked inside, he knew what would get them the best result. And frankly, that’s why they came to him in the first place, because they wanted him to give them the best result.
So why wouldn’t they listen? Why wouldn’t they go along with what he recommended?
But then he stepped back from what he knew. He stepped outside of his highly-trained mind. He got out of his own head to see the situation from a place where his “academic hypnotist” ego was no longer in control. He went to a place where he was actually bigger than his “self” and could take both his own and his client’s perspective.
That’s when he had a flash of inspiration — a sudden a-ha moment…
When someone came into his practice, they knew he was a hypnotist.
But they really didn’t care that he was a hypnotist.
They cared about getting their problem solved.
What they wanted most was a solution to their problem.
Maybe the hypnotist was their first stop. In a lot of cases, he wasn’t. They’d tried three or five or ten or more other solutions first.
They didn’t care what the solution was.
They just wanted the result.
If he spent all his time, early on, telling them about his solution, he was talking about the wrong thing.
Now, in the long run (after he’d started solving their problem), they might find themselves fascinated with his particular solution.
Some would want to learn self-hypnosis — at least, some of the strategies to improve their lives.
Some might even want go much deeper and learn a lot more about hypnosis.
But that wasn’t why they came to him in the first place. That’s not what they cared about in those first few minutes with him, just after they’d shared their reason for coming.
Ultimately, he knew it was in their best interest to give them what they NEED. But in order for them to get to the point where they even cared about that, he first had to give them what they WANTED.
In fact, even if he was totally excited about his process and all the little hypnosis tricks he could teach them, the only way he could really serve them was to set aside all of his own wants to focus on theirs.
So, he tried this.
A new client would come in. They’d share their reason for coming — what it was they were hoping to achieve, the problem they were hoping he could help them solve.
And he’d really listen, really focus on them, and what they were saying they really wanted.
He’d listen, and affirm that he understood that’s the reason they were there.
He’d repeat his understanding of their problem back to them, to really establish that, yes, he understood their problem.
Then, he’d talk to them about the solution. He’d work with them to really understand the solution they were looking for. To make sure he was crystal-clear on what needed to be true to really know, in the end, that he’d helped them solve that problem.
And then he’d get to work. He’d actually do the work necessary to help them solve the problem.
After they were well on the way to the solution, he’d start to reveal to the client how he was doing what he was doing, and helping them really understand the process he’d just walked them through. Then he’d start to introduce ways they could practice the same process in their life, to really make this solution stick, and to begin to tackle other challenges or achieve other goals they set for themselves.
In the end, he’d wrap up this “extra” teaching with a nice little explanation that he’d taught them self-hypnosis skills, and effectively taught them how to do to themselves what he’d done.
It was what he knew they needed in the long run — what he knew would be best for them…
But it was only after he gave them what they WANTED that they cared enough to really appreciate that he could also give them what they NEEDED.
A lot of marketers, business owners, and copywriters are like that hypnotist.
We start to understand the product or service really well, and all the things it gives the prospect that they NEED.
And as we get excited about what we’re selling, we start to tell them how what we’re offering will give them exactly what they NEED.
But that’s not what they WANT.
What they WANT is more money, better relationships, better health, whatever. They know what they want. And frankly, they couldn’t care any less whether it’s your product or something else that gets them to what they WANT. They just want to have their problem solved, or to get that desired outcome.
It can be hard to get out of your own way, long enough to make it really clear to the prospect that you can give them exactly what they want.
In fact, for many smart marketers I’ve known, this has been the final big barrier to becoming incredibly persuasive.
Whether we want to admit it or not, it’s an “ego” thing. We can’t see outside of our self, our experience, our knowledge, our expertise clearly enough to really take the prospect’s perspective.
But when you can do that — when you can feel what they WANT and clearly and urgently as they feel it themselves — then you can speak to that, and you can become incredibly, profoundly, even hypnotically persuasive…
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
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