April 22, 2023

The Art Of Framing

When the product is great, even a bad salesperson can’t hold it back . . .

A while ago, my wife and I looked at a nursery for our young son. We had heard good things and were excited to see it.

But our guide was not a natural salesperson. She walked us through the rooms making deprecatory remarks while shrugging her shoulders apologetically. The garden contained all kinds of random, fun-looking items. She explained that staff like to reclaim and re-purpose random discarded objects. “They bring in all kinds of junk,” she said, rolling her eyes.

As we approached the exit, she casually mentioned how their rooms and activities were designed to cater to the different schemas children use to understand the world. She told us of their global penpal project that helps the toddlers learn about different cultures and briefly referenced their weekly baby signing classes.

She was saying lots of things we liked the sound of, but as an afterthought. We left, somewhat unconvinced.

Now imagine if our guide had framed things differently, highlighting how they prioritise structuring a child’s learning around their schemas? Or how they have the best garden and a wider range of activities than other local nurseries. How they encourage children to use their imagination and develop their creativity by re-purposing items. How they promote equality and diversity from an early age.

We would have committed on the spot.

It’s not that she didn’t tell us these things. She did, but with an underwhelming manner. After speaking to some friends who raved about the nursery, we still chose to send our son there. But it was despite our tour, not because of it.

In our lives, we frame things all the time; work presentations, sales pitches, job applications, social media posts, conversations with loved ones. When doing so, make sure you create the impression you want to leave in someone’s mind. Make your case thoughtfully.

Everything is a pitch. Don’t undersell yourself.