“We make meaning from the world around us by taking a limited number of facts and inferring or assuming other details to be able to make sense of things. Reframing leaves the facts alone but may well challenge the assumptions.”   (Changingminds.org)

Framing communication simply means creating new context or “frame” for any given situation to shape or shift its meaning.  The concept is somewhat straightforward, but there is a skill to it, just like with any communication technique. But with a bit of practice, framing strategies will become your most powerful tool for influencing your customers’ experience and behaviors.

There are 3 types of framing: pre-framing, re-framing and de-framing. We’re going to start with pre-framing because if done correctly, it can be the most effective way to remove customers’ doubts and put them in the right frame of mind to take action.

What is it?

Because we are creatures of habit, and skeptical ones at that, companies have to find credible ways to spark trust and curiosity for their new brands and products. Pre-framing presents the opportunity to dispel potential doubts and objections by anticipating the customers’ perceptions and re-working them into the best version possible.

Here are some examples:

I know our competitor claims their software offers the most comprehensive package. But let’s break it down based on what you will be paying for and what you actually need: do you really need the x,y,z feature, or do you really just want something that’s easy to use, painless to install, and will cost you less?

Yes, our estimated date of completion is a few weeks longer, but which is more important to you- getting a high-quality, fully functioning product executed with thorough attention to detail, or getting an incomplete job that will end up slowing you down because you keep having to stop and fix the things that were overlooked?

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Sales Associate >> Professional Closer and Revenue Maximizer

The key to pre-framing is to know what your target audience’s predominant
needs and potential objections might be.

How it works

Just like any effective marketing strategy, the first thing you need to know is who your audience is. Once you’ve identified who you’re talking to, you need to frame your messaging accordingly, which means you need to pinpoint the underlying factors that drive them to take action, or not to take action. For example, is your ideal customer basing their decisions on their core values, the financial benefits or loss/gain potential (what they might lose or gain from purchasing/not purchasing)?

Because you don’t want this to happen…

You’re in a meeting with a prospective client and you find yourself suddenly having to defend what you charge when you weren’t even planning on discussing rates yet. You just gave your potential client the upper hand by assuming they wouldn’t ask the obvious and letting them drive the conversation.

Don’t panic, there’s still hope. We’re just going to have to re-frame things a bit.

Stay tuned for more communication techniques that will have you running the show, frame by frame.

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