If you’re in the world of sales, it is quite likely you have gone through traditional sales training and learned that there is ‘a way’ or maybe ‘one way’ to sell. Maybe it was the Carnegie method. Maybe you learned ‘features and benefits’. Maybe you learned some other easily definable, package-able way to sell to affluent clients or prospects which sort of hammers away at their defenses and attempts to corner them into buying your product or services. These techniques are responsible for boxing in many excellent sales professionals. I admit to having been hindered once by these techniques as a young man, but I had an awakening, so to speak, and my numbers soared and I never looked back to those old-fashioned techniques again. Something that defines me and an awful lot of what I do in the world is ‘living outside the box’. In persuasion, there’s no easy way out and no quick fix. This shouldn’t deter you. Anything worth learning is worth spending some time on. Persuasion is ever expanding and limitless, as limitless as human nature and all the myriad ways we interact. This is not a subject that can be mastered, but a constantly growing body of knowledge that is constantly transforming as human nature expands. Fear not, persuaders. Even if something is vast, even if it’s not entirely ‘knowable’, learning in and of itself is a fantastic process. Think of a specific area of knowledge–say, a new language or a new musical instrument. You do not need to know everything there is to know about the piano or the French language to enjoy the benefits of being able to play or speak with a native speaker passably the first time. I become thrilled by how much my life will be enhanced once this new practice or learning is languaged into my life. Moving ourselves out of the ‘sales box’ and enlarging our view of the world creates a new paradigm for us enabling us to interact with our affluent prospects and clients and powerfully persuading them. This is an invitation to be innovative and creative and free from limitations. If you think of the ‘box’ as a frame, then what the box contains, can be expanded and enlarged at will. If we limit our frames, keep ourselves in the box, then we’re generally diminishing our options with persuasion and life in general. One comment in support of boxes: When beginning anything, it’s hard to get the basics if you don’t know the boundaries. Once the basics are learned, however, that’s when it’s time to expand and outgrow the imposed limitations. The greatest musicians had to learn theory (unless they had preternatural or divine talents which simply allowed them to compose or create without consciously knowing theory). After the foundation is laid out, then the real magic happens and unhindered improvisation or composition can occur. The basics of persuasion is an open box which eventually will not contain you and you’ll find yourself expanding beyond the limits.