We've all heard of athletes who say they were really in 'the zone'. The zone is that perfect point where whatever we're doing is accomplished with ease and elegance whether it be playing an instrument, driving down the perfect road at the perfect speed on the perfect motorcycle, or selling to one prospect after another.
There are days when I'm speaking to my students on a coaching call and days when I'm giving in person presentations where I'm "on", where I know I'm affecting people deeply and meaningfully. Of course I strive for that each and every time and hit the mark most days. (I also know that we all are prone to an off day and instead of getting down on myself for the rare off day, I view them as lessons on what to improve instead of dwelling in the 'oh woe is me' mentality.)
A friend of mine does therapeutic massage for a living. She recently told me that after nine years of doing massage, she finally felt that she had given the best massage of her career. And that, in fact, she felt it was really the first phenomenal massage she'd ever given. "Don't get me wrong," she said, "I'm not being self-deprecating. I have given good, passable massages before. I've given lousy massages as well, where I knew they weren't connecting with the kind of body work I do. But i never really felt I was really good at it until recently. I felt like I was giving mediocre massages that people were appreciative of just because most of the time when we're touched in a healing way, it feels good whether it's amazing or not."
This blew me away. I had to know what shifted. After nine years of doing the same thing, what finally changed mediocrity into phenomenal? I asked her, "So what did you do differently?"
"It's the strangest thing," she said. "I didn't have my mp3 player in the office. And usually when there's no music, the client wants to talk, but I made a conscious decision to have it be completely silent. And then I imagined myself on the table, almost as if I slipped into their skin, and simply listened to what their body wanted. And when I was done, I felt I had been in a trance for an hour."
She was in the Zone. I would even suggest beyond that, that this is the Persuasion Zone. Slipping into someone else's skin. Matching. It's powerful and it's what true persuasion is based on, that empathy with another human being on the level where they are. The first step is getting to them at their level and then moving them to the level where we want them to be. In her case, the level was that of healing and pleasure.
The zone is easily replicated once you know how to get there. Just as she was comfortable giving mediocre massages, she is now even more comfortable replicating the phenomenal massage and reaching that level with each of her clients.
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Kenrick Cleveland teaches techniques to earn the business of affluent clients using persuasion. He runs public and private seminars and offers home study courses and coaching programs in persuasion techniques.
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