The Persuasive Power of Focus

By Kenrick E. Cleveland

We live in a world of distractions and this, I feel, is an understatement. We have so much coming at us from all arenas… Even as I sit here typing this, I’m getting alerts that I have new e-mail, I’m getting instant messages from my assistant, I’ve got my kids vying for attention, the dog wants to play, nature calls, I’m thirsty, the phone rings.  Phew.  It’s exhausting just to write a paragraph with all of the other things intruding on concentration and focus.

There’s an old saying, ‘If you chase two rabbits, both will escape.’  By scattering our energy, we are not giving adequate attention to the important task at hand.

Alexander Graham Bell once said, ‘Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.’

There are so many things we can and may be thinking about when we are interacting with a prospect or client. Our internal dialogs may have us worried about our breath or maybe we’ve got something stuck in our teeth. We might be worried about what the mechanic is going to tell us when we call them back or if the kids got to school on time. Issues large and small will battle for our attention and really what we need to be doing is focusing on our prospects and moreover, focusing intently on our prospects criteria and values.

I think of this focus as a flashlight. For example, if we aim our flashlight at a wall out in front of us, we might think we’re seeing quite a bit.  But say there’s something on a shelf that you really want to see… what do you do? Well, if you have a flashlight like mine, you have the ability to make the beam wider or narrower. When it gets narrower, it penetrates further. And when it’s wider, it shows me more space, but less distance.  By beginning to focus laser-like on one aspect, we can see more clearly what we want to see (in this case, what we want to know is what our clients want).

I like to imagine that the client is a white board, I’ve wiped clean, wiped myself clean, and now they’re writing themselves onto that board of which I’m becoming a part of.  If we can focus on identity as persuaders, this would be a key area for which we can develop parts, a key area that we can frame and reframe. It’s a very powerful area.

The whole point of persuasion is to learn to shine that light in various ways to best understand and provide what it is that our clients and prospects want. So take a deep breath the next time you are interacting with a prospect, and really focus that beam on them shutting out all other distractions.

Kenrick Cleveland teaches techniques to sell to affluent clients using []persuasion strategies. He runs unique public and private seminars and offers home study courses, audio/visual learning tools, and coaching programs in []persuasion techniques. Find more free articles at – Be sure to sign up for his free report entitled “Yes! Persuasion.”

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