Has This Ever Happened to You?

Have you ever had a conversation scheduled with someone and yet you were distracted by something right up until the time of the meeting? Maybe something was happening on your phone or in your office. Maybe there was a television screen in the background that kept capturing your attention.

That distraction is a detriment to having a productive conversation, to having the kind of information exchange that is needed to help somebody who is considering your service or product make a good decision.

Don’t Wear a Busy Badges 

Why is divided attention such a problem? Because if we’re distracted, we can’t focus and be the guide our buyer needs through their journey. And if they’re distracted, they’re not going to hear and understand the value they would receive through working with us.

And it’s not only about distraction in the sense everyone thinks about. It’s also about people being busy. Often, people will embrace their busyness and wear it like a badge. They’ll talk about how they’re too busy to do certain things…but like it or not, it frequently is just distraction.

Continuous Partial Attention

Linda Stone coined a term about 10 years ago called “continuous partial attention.”

I’ll say it again. “Continuous partial attention.”

This is a state of being that most of us live in, where we have our attention being diverted to multiple things at the same time. So even though we’re talking with somebody or we’re working on something, our eyes are averted, looking at other things. Or we’re listening to other things. Our ears are picking up a text coming in or something popping up on our computer. Maybe our mind is running through our to-do list or replaying a conversation we just had – or planning for one we have coming up. And all this continuous partial attention gets in the way of focusing on the things that matter!

What Can We Do about It?

What we can do about it is to make sure that we’re not distracted when we begin the information exchange, that when we’re learning valuable information about our potential buyer and how to connect the value of our solution to that buyer specifically that we’re fully focused on them.

Stop yourself.

When you feel yourself grabbing for your phone before you’re about to engage in a conversation, sit and clear your mind for 30 or 60 seconds. Start thinking about THEM and ignoring everything else going on.

If you’re meeting in person, sit in your vehicle or stand outside their door. Take a couple of deep breaths and get yourself focused. Then you’ll be able to be so relevant with the questions that you’re asking and the information you’re sharing, that they won’t have a chance to be distracted.