Boy in the Bubble: How to Entice Even the Most Preoccupied Person

Breaking news: You have to break through more than just clutter.

What do I mean by that? Let me explain.

Attention is the new economy. That means the barrier is preoccupation.

Yet, it’s hot stuff to rattle off how many ads CEO’s see a day, the average person sees a day, the left bank bookseller sees a day.

This is commonly known as clutter.

But it doesn’t explain anything about what’s inside a person’s head. That is the real obstacle.

But if you learn how to split through someone’s preoccupation, it doesn’t matter if the he’s barraged with 1 million messages.

You will strike him dead. But it’s not that easy.

Combating Tangible and Intangible Preoccupations

Think of preoccupation as a boy in a bubble. Inside that bubble?

His iPhone. His laptop. His email inbox. His magazines. His television. His notepads, pencils, drafting compass.

Those are the tangibles.

Intangibles include dreams, lusts, fears, worries. All things that keep his vision very short-sighted. In a nutshell, he sees, rarely, no farther than the inner edge of his bubble.

Unless he’s interrupted. Or enticed.

You, my friend, have to entice him. Interrupting him will only piss him off. Piss him off and he hunkers more.

Enticing him involves waiting for him to ask a question.

Why would he do that? He has a problem.

Enter the sales process.

That Irresistible Scent

The first thing you need to have is a clear understanding of is how your prospect arrives at a buying decision.

Here’s a very simplified flow of a buying decision:

  • Recognition of need or problem
  • Search for information
  • Evaluation of alternatives
  • Decide what to purchase
  • Purchase
  • Evaluate the purchase again

With that in mind, let’s now consider how you sell to your prospect.

Keep in mind: Sales is not a push-method. It’s a pull method, where you entice your prospect to follow you by an attractive scent you are offering.

This scent has to appeal to him. It has to satisfy a craving he has. That craving he got before he decided to crawl out of the bubble.

And the overall decision has to be a win-win scenario: both you AND your prospect feel good about the outcome. He must feel it is delicious and think it divine and you must think it fulfilling and feel like you didn’t feed him your arm and leg.

So let’s look at the sales process with a clear goal in mind: matching the what you have to offer to what they want or need.

Defining That Complex Relationship with Clients

A complex relationship, like the one you want to develop with your prospects, goes through stages, like this [with each bullet followed by a little narrative]:

  • Suspects–the entire universe of potential buyers for your product or service.

The boy in the bubble runs across your blog posts because he’s decided he wants a new home. You have an article called “11 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a New Bubble Home.”

  • Prospects–those suspects who have expressed an active interest in your service.

He’s decided to follow you at this point. The 11 Mistakes article was good. So was the article called “How to Sell Your Bubble for the Most Money in Less Time and Hassle.” But he really liked the story you told about another boy in a bubble who you helped successfully and safely buy a new bubble.

  • Leads–those prospects who are actively engaged in the buying process your service.

At this point, he likes you. He joined your email list. You have his permission. Eventually he wants you to help him find that dream bubble. In a matter of days, he’s calling you on the phone.

  • Buyers–those leads negotiating with you and who have made a commitment to buy in principle, but have not yet bitten the bullet.

Your relationship gets a little rocky at this point. He doesn’t feel like you understand what he means by “leg room.” Nor does he feel like you are listening when you show him a bubble with fist holes in the door. You listen, re-engage, probe deeper with questions, find out what he really is thinking. You are negotiating.

  • Customers–those who have paid for your product or service.

You did it. The dream bubble. You found him the dream bubble. He’s happy, you’re happy. So you buy him a wreath to hang on his bubble. He gives you a sketch of his foot. And then you follow up with him regularly through out the year. Why?

Post mortem, you still want him to love you.

Your advertising–not just your blog, because your blog simply can’t do it alone, neither can your email–must compel potential customers through these five phases.

To do so, they must not communicate not just information–but benefits. Benefits cinch the deal. It’s that attractive scent that snaps him out of his preoccupation to look at you.

Benefits are cream.

3 Questions to Find Out What They Desperately Want or Need

Benefits will provide the momentum to move potential customers along. This needs to happen, by the way, at every stage, both in an individual blog post or email through text ad or postcard through negotiations and post mortem discussions.

Now consider these three questions to determine your objectives every time you communicate with a prospective customer, whether via your website, phone or blog:

1. What actions do prospective customers need to take that will lead to a buying decision?

2. Who do I have to persuade to take action? The wife? The father in law?

3. How do I persuade them to take action?

The running theme here is “taking action.” Keep that in mind.

Truly powerful communication always addresses the recipient’s needs: What’s In It for Me?

If not, then you will never break through their mental preoccupations and get their attention. [They are thinking about dinner now, last week’s Lost episode, not about you or what you have to offer.]

Always anticipate and ask the question, “Why should he buy from me?”

But be sure that you are addressing people at their level of interest and in the language that best suit their dominant personality styles. You want to give them information that convinces them to write a check, not write you off.


There is a huge difference between information and persuading. Persuasion is designed to move readers to action, to get results–whether it’s subscribing to your blog or pulling the trigger on a $800,000 home.

To persuade effectively you must take their point of view. You must answer questions correctly and fully. You must ask questions. And you must answer objections. Before they say them, if you can.

Breakthrough their preoccupation, maintain momentum, and actively lead your prospect through the decision process and you will survive.

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