Have you heard the saying “can’t see the forest for the trees”? It’s actually a great model of the kind of communication pattern we’re discussing here. Someone who “can’t see the forest for the trees” is someone who gets too bogged down in the details and can’t see the big picture.
- The trees are the specifics, details, and logical explanations. It’s easy to get too caught up in them.
- The forest is the abstract, the big picture, and focuses on goals and problem-solving.
Chunking Up, Chunking Down
If you’re getting an objection, that can be a sign that you’re too chunked down, and are getting lost in the forest. To get away from the critical faculty barrier, shift gears and address the broad problems and goals of the client.
This is a great example of “thinking outside the box”. Imagine you’re constrained in a box of objections by the client you’re conversing with. Instead of trying to work within those constraints, you can get out of the box by “chunking up” and switching gears in the conversation.
One way to “chunk up” to the big picture is to ask yourself and the client the following questions when an objection arises:
For what purpose? What is your intention? What is your goal?
These questions can encourage you to address the big picture and really focus on what’s most important to the client, something he or she has an emotional connection with.
One great way to address the big picture is to tell a story. Stories help to bypass a person’s critical faculty and open them up to what you’re saying.
Once you’ve overcome the objection and you’re both on the same page regarding the client’s overall goals, you can get back to hashing out the details in a way that allows you to address these broad goals.
To “chunk down” once you’ve established credibility with the client, consider the following questions:
What are other examples of this? What or whom specifically?
At this point, you’ve overcome the client’s objection and have also been able to hash out the details.