Your primary task is to diffuse defensiveness

This week I’ve been working in The Bahamas with my friends at Homesteaders Life Company. We’re having a blast! (This is a picture of my mobile office to the left. Sigh...)

Too bad I gotta go back to the four inches of ice in St. Louis. Grrrr…

Anyway, these folks, who sell pre-need funeral and burial arrangements, have QUITE the challenge when approaching new customers. So, one of the key topics in our workshop yesterday was on disarming immediate concerns.

Because defensiveness always exists.

In the minds of every single customers you engage with, there’s always something.

Some concern.
Some insecurity.
Some annoyance.
Some stereotype.

Something she can’t get out of her mind.

And until she does, she not going to be fully comfortable talking with you.

It’s like a wall that, until you get over it, prevents meaningful conversation from advancing.

WHICH MEANS: Your primary task is to diffuse defensiveness.

Now, that doesn’t mean it’s your most IMPORTANT task.

Just your first one.

Because when comfort exists, the rules change.

See, comfort is the baseline from which engaging, open and approachable communication stems.

Think about it. When someone feels comfortable, they’re a LOT more willing to:

o Talk
o Open up
o Ask questions
o Voice concerns
o Share problems
o Express emotions
o Volunteer information
o Say how they (really) feel
o Listen to what you have to say
o Give you their phone number

Just kidding about that last one ☺

Anyway, that’s the big challenge: diffusing defensiveness.

So, I’m curious…

How do you diffuse defensiveness – of prospects, customers, employees – in YOUR profession?

Share your three best practices here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

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