Psychological Frame of Reference
A psychological frame is someone’s frame of mind when they enter a situation, whether a sales presentation, classroom, training session, or first encounter.
Three factors figure into determining someone’s perception:
- Physiological state;
- Past experience;
- Physical and emotional needs.
Our past experience is a powerful influence on our perception. Bad experiences prime us to anticipate and interpret a similar experience in a negative light.
In the absence of a frame of reference from personal experience with a topic, person, or idea, an individual is open to being influenced by whoever provides the most compelling frame.
The Framing Battle
Everyone has an agenda, whether implicit or explicit. Businesses have products to sell.
The battle for attention, influence, and even financial resources is really a matter of whose frame is perceived as the most credible, compelling, and valuable. Because framing is a collection of concepts, metaphors, and theoretical references that together help us understand reality, story becomes a powerful device to control the narrative. But there are many other framing devices, too, including props, quotes, jokes, statistics, and even music.
I say this repeatedly because it’s so important. If we don’t frame things for our audience, our audience must build their own construct for understanding what’s being said. The frame you present draws the audience in—grabs their attention—and can help them understand better the meaning of what you, the communicator/influencer, are attempting to convey.
Frame the Data
Don’t just push out the data; help the audience understand the data and the message and why it has value for them.
Your price is data. So is your interest rate or your value proposition. Let’s say you’re in banking and finance and a potential client asks the question, “What’s the interest rate?” If you answer the question simply by stating the rate, the conversation is over. The potential client adds their own frame of reference—by comparing your rate with others they have collected. Who knows where your rate falls among other bank and finance companies.
Are you asking me for a “quoted rate” or a “locked rate?” There is a big difference. A quoted rate is what the rate is today, and I can offer you basically the same rate as everyone else. There aren’t many differentiators in this industry when it comes to rate.
Rates change daily and sometimes hourly, so by the time we get to locking in your rate, it will be different from what it is today. I want to be sure I can fulfill the promise I make to you. That’s what’s most important to me.
As I mentioned, a “locked” rate is the one that will be on your mortgage and determines your payment. For us to get to that rate, we need to answer a few questions, check your credit, and ensure we choose a loan program that fits your financial goals.
May I ask you a few questions?
Don’t forget that everything in the script must be 100 percent true. Proper framing should help customers better understand what they are buying by simplifying the complexities involved. Always tell the truth. Though the best possible truth.