How to Teach Someone—Without Offending Them

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What is the relationship between a person needing help and the person delivering it (i.e., a psychoanalyst)? The person who needs psychoanalysis wants their doctor to know what they need to know so they can get better. But in many doctor/patient relationship, at some point, the patient decides they don’t like the expert having that ability.

They’ll spout things like “I don’t know why I come here” and “All you do is take my money and do nothing to help me.” A well-trained psychoanalyst says nothing. What happens next? The patient apologizes and pulls themselves back down from that state. You can’t count on that in sales. 

You have to help guide your customer back down from their heightened state and into a one-down position, i.e., where they don’t feel like the expert. How? According to Anthony Iannarino, you ask them a question they can’t answer.

Teaching someone something they don’t know creates value

Ten years ago, a large company called Anthony to find out why he didn’t respond to their RFP. He said, “Every one of your pay rates is so far behind the market that no one can fill your orders. We would never say yes because all we would do is disappoint you and you’d be unhappy with the result.”

So they asked what their pay rates needed to look like (they asked him to brief them on what they’d need to pay to get the people they needed). He told them it wasn’t something he could summarize quickly, so they set up a meeting to have a conversation. Guess who they ultimately bought from?

Anthony taught from a place of authority and expertise with the mindset of “I know something you don’t know, but if I share it with you, you’re no longer one-down and now you can be successful and get the results that you want.”

You need to educate the person to make the right decision to get better results. Sometimes you have to ask a question you know they don’t know the answer to, so they recognize that they’re missing something.

This is just one of the many elite sales strategies that Anthony covers in episode #299 of Negotiations Ninja. Don’t miss it!