The Power of the Pre-Frame

The other day I went into a bookshop that I had passed by several times. I had never really stopped to look inside. It was a small bookshop, and I suspect it is family owned. Not like a large chain like the other ones. I passed by it enough that it was just in the right spot in the back of mind if I ever needed a bookshop in a pinch whenever I decided to be in that area, if you catch my drift. There have been a few new bestsellers I’ve been meaning to read, and I hadn’t go around to buying them yet. So the other day I was in that neighborhood, and I decided I’d pop in there for the first time and pick up a book I’d been thinking about getting for a while.

Much to my surprise, it was a second hand shop. Perhaps if I’d taken the time before to look in the window and check things out, I would have realized this. But there I was, standing in the middle of stacks and stacks of old, used, out of print, and other interesting books, all for under a dollar.

I used to have a friend who loved to travel, but even more than traveling, he loved to plan to travel. He would pick a destination, either a country or a city, and just completely absorb himself in planning his trip, and finding out everything one could possible find out about a destination. He would research all the hotels, all the restaurants, all the museums and sights. He would buy several travel books and participate in several online forums to discuss anything and everything he could possible think of before going on his trip.

And he invariably had a great time. He would always spend at least a week afterwards posting all of his experiences online and share his opinions about the restaurants, right down the detail of the entrée’s for each particular night.

An old roommate of mine took a sales seminar, and he said that of the several speakers, one gave a lesson on how to overcome objections. Like when people want to buy a car, and they are not sure about the color or something like that, or they are worried they won’t like the car after a week or something. He said that the best way to overcome an objection is to address it before it comes up. Of course this takes a bit of experience in knowing what objections are likely to come up, but once you can answer the objection skillfully in a conversation before you actually close, or ask for the sale, the customer almost never brings it up. It’s like when you prepare for a difficulty ahead of time in your mind, the difficulty never presents itself.

So when I realized I was in a used bookshop, I decided to look around anyways. I found a couple of older books by the author whose bestseller I was looking for that I hadn’t read yet. I decided to read these. And when I was paying for them, the guy at register asked me if I had read his latest. When I said I hadn’t he offered to sell me his copy, as he had just finished it. He was planning on selling it to the shop he worked for, and I bought it instead. One dollar.