Home > Uncategorized > Mental Walls

Mental Walls

February 27, 2015

Recently I was reading about an experiment carried out by the Massachusetts Department of Corrections.

The experiment involved stray dogs and cats… and prison inmates. Apparently in the United States there are over 2 million stray dogs and cats.

Very few people want to take in a stray animal. Stray dogs and cats, on the whole, are rather feral, unclean and undernourished… and undisciplined.

So the Massachusetts Department of Corrections thought it would be a good idea to let prison inmates take a stray dog into their cells and give them the responsibility of looking after it — the idea being that the stray dogs would become accustomed to human contact, and receive better food and become all-round more domesticated pets, suitable for adoption.

When the animals were more adjusted to human contact, better domestication and cleaned up, they would be in a more appealing condition for other people to adopt them and keep them as their pets in a “forever” home.

The experiment worked.

The stray dogs and cats got cleaned up by the prison inmates, the got fed better, became more domesticated, and people started adopting them as their pets with more frequency.

But there was another unexpected result of the experiment…

The prison inmates themselves became more caring, compassionate and responsible. Some even found it difficult and very emotional to part with their new found friends. They not only became more compassionate to the animals they were looking after, but they also became more compassionate to the other inmates as well.

You see, in prison many inmates keep a “mental wall” up around them. They don’t let anyone get too close to them. In general, they’re very “closed down” because they think everybody is out to “game” them or  — as they say in prison-speak — “con” them.

Anyway, I thought it was interesting how looking after a stray animal helped to bring down those “mental walls” and helped them become more caring as human beings.

You, as a marketing and sales professional (if you want to be successful at influencing others) must get past that “mental wall” that your prospect put up.

You may not be in a position where it would be possible to get past someone’s “mental wall” but there are many universally applied techniques that you can apply to do that…

One of those ways is to just be yourself. Be open. Be honest. “Connect” with your prospect on a personal level. Break the ice and get to know them as a person, find out their needs and help them acheive those results.

If you just try to “sell them” without getting to “know them” — all they’re going to do is reinforce those walls and block out your message.


Categories: Uncategorized
%d bloggers like this: