Skip to main content

Hey there! Free trials are available for Standard and Essentials plans. Start for free today.

How Pattern Interrupts Elevate Sales Engagement

The pattern interrupt technique can help disrupt routine sales conversations, allowing you to connect and engage with prospects. Read on to learn more.

Customer engagement plays a crucial role in sales by building meaningful connections and trust between salespeople, businesses, and potential customers. By actively engaging with prospects, you can demonstrate a more genuine interest and understanding of their needs, wants, and pain points.

Unfortunately, increasing engagement in sales can be tricky. Customers don't like being "sold to." Instead, they prefer more authentic and personalized conversations focused on understanding their needs rather than being pressured to make a purchase.

To overcome current customer patterns, businesses must shift their approach to a relationship-building mindset, resulting in more positive interactions.

One of the best ways to engage customers throughout the sales process is to use pattern interrupts. But what is a pattern interrupt, and how can you start using them to change how you build customer relationships? Keep reading to learn more about this sales tactic and how it can increase engagement and sales.

Pattern interrupts explained

Pattern interrupts refer to anything that interrupts a pattern. In sales and marketing, it's a neuro linguistic programming (NLP) tactic used to disrupt a customer's usual thought process or behavior.

For instance, if your company makes cold calls, your customers are probably not as engaged because they've answered various sales calls throughout their lives. Their typical behavior pattern is to get off the phone as fast as possible to avoid hearing your sales pitch.

Pattern interrupts engage the customer before the pitch, helping you disrupt their normal thought process about cold calls and other marketing and sales strategies to change how they think and feel. By introducing a disruption, you can create a new opportunity for engagement.

The main goal of a pattern interrupt is to capture someone's attention by surprising or intriguing them, allowing you to deliver your message while the prospect is paying attention.

Common pattern interrupt examples in our day-to-day lives involve any type of surprise. For instance, if you normally sleep from 10 pm to 6 am, a pattern interrupt may occur if you hear a dog barking outside at 4 am. In marketing and sales, a pattern interrupt works the same way.

For example, say part of your sales strategy involves cold calling. When someone receives the same boring pitch they've heard a thousand times, they’ll enter their usual pattern of not listening or hanging up the phone. Salespeople can use this NLP technique to disrupt the person's pattern and re-engage the prospect.

When you cold call a prospect, you might ask whether they like animals rather than beginning with a sales pitch. By posing a question or interrupting the way someone normally thinks about cold calls, the salesperson essentially "wakes them up" to make them more engaged in the conversation.

Why are pattern interrupts important in sales?

The pattern interrupt technique should be used at the right time. They don't make sense for every aspect of a sales strategy. Instead, they may be best suited for companies that have done sales prospecting to identify certain customers before contacting them, ensuring they're the best fit for a particular solution.

There are several instances where using pattern interrupts makes sense, including:

  • Sales phone calls. With a pattern interrupt technique, you can warm up your cold prospect, making them more engaged in the conversation. This strategy can also be used for any type of call, regardless of where a prospect is in the sales funnel.
  • Email communication & marketing. Pattern interruption also works in cold emails and email marketing. As such, you can get prospects to sift through all the junk in their inboxes to open your email with a compelling subject line.
  • In-person. Pattern interrupts can help in-person salespeople build a rapport and relationship with customers, making them more likely to buy a product or service.

In sales, pattern interrupt psychology can be used to start conversations in a more engaging way. In addition, it can help redirect customers when a conversation isn't going how you want it to.

The benefits of using pattern interruption in sales include the following:

  • Attention-grabbing. Pattern interrupts grab a prospect's attention because they weren't expecting them, breaking up the routine they're most familiar with when dealing with salespeople.
  • Builds engagement. When you interrupt the pattern, you can create engagement that's much different from the predictable sales pitches customers are used to.
  • Improves memorability. A pattern interrupt can make your business more memorable and unique because it's different from what customers are used to.

Pattern interrupt techniques to use in sales

Using pattern interrupt techniques in sales can increase overall customer engagement and satisfaction, enabling your business to grow its revenue. The better your relationships with customers, the easier it is to sell to them.

Here are a few pattern interrupt techniques you can implement into your sales strategy:

Acknowledge time thievery

By acknowledging time thievery, you point out the fact that someone is spending their valuable time listening to you.

You can use phrases like, "I know you're busy, but I'll make sure it's worth your time," to address potential customer resistance immediately, making them continue talking to you for longer.

In addition, this shows a certain level of respect for your prospect and their time.

Answer common questions right away

Answering common questions immediately can help you build a rapport while demonstrating that you understand their concerns and want to provide them with relevant information quickly.

For instance, a salesperson might tell a cold prospect, "You recently reached out to us about details regarding [topic]. I'd love to share some information with you today."

Ask the first question

Asking the first question allows you to start the conversion, and its unexpectedness encourages engagement by making prospects feel like they need to answer. For instance, you can ask them the following:

"How is your day going?"

"Beautiful weather we're having, right?"

Be unexpected and redirect

Surprising the prospect with a statement they didn't expect forces them to break their regular thinking and behavioral patterns. Once you have their attention, you can redirect the conversation toward your product or service. For instance, if you sell pet products, you can ask:

"If you could communicate with your cat for a day, what would be the first thing you'd ask them."

In this case, the salesperson interrupts the pattern and redirects the conversation to something unrelated to the product. However, this can lead to a deeper, more personal exploration of their needs as a cat owner.

Connect through shared experiences

You can build better customer relationships by sharing personal experiences with them. For instance, if someone mentions they have a dog, you might tell them about your own pets to make them feel more at ease talking to you.

Finding these connection points builds familiarity and makes the prospect more open to listening to your pitch. An example of this technique is:

"I also have a dog, but he likes to get into trouble. What's your dog’s name?"

This technique can be used for any industry, and the shared experience doesn't necessarily have to relate back to the pitch. Instead, it's all about developing a deeper connection with your customers.

Overshare important details

Oversharing important details will demonstrate that you understand their needs or pain points. By oversharing, you give customers essential information right from the start to provide valuable insights that pique their interest and make them curious to learn more about your offerings.

For instance, a customer may offer an objection, in which case the salesperson can respond with more information about the product. An example might be:

"I understand your concerns, but let me share some important details our clients find valuable. Our software was beta-tested by industry leaders in your field, allowing us to build important features like [x], which has helped our existing clients save [dollar amount.]"

Provide objections

Salespeople rarely share objections with their prospects. Instead, they wait for them to say something before providing more information. However, addressing concerns and delivering objections at the start of the conversation shows prospects that you've anticipated their needs and have solutions available.

Therefore, instead of waiting for your prospect to turn you down, you might say.

"Before you hang up the phone, let me tell you the reasons why this solution is the better option."

Shock and awe prospects

The shock and awe technique works by incorporating elements of surprise into the conversation. This type of pattern interruption can be anything from statistics to success stories or demonstrating success in a way they weren't expecting.

Shocking and awing prospects allows you to make the pitch more memorable by capturing their attention differently from other salespeople.

An example of this might be a salesperson using bold statements like:

"Our clients experienced a 50% increase in revenue."

Implement pattern interrupts for effective sales

Pattern interruption can be a powerful tool in your sales arsenal for capturing prospects, overcoming objections, and increasing engagement. Breaking the pattern and routine of a traditional sales pitch can make your pitches stand out.

Use pattern interrupts in your marketing with Mailchimp. Our suite of marketing tools allows you to create sales emails and marketing strategies that employ pattern interrupts to engage customers. Sign up today.

Share This Article