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understanding pattern interrupt in sales

Understanding Pattern Interrupt In Sales

Have you ever been so amazed by a magic trick that it’s left your mouth gaping open? Magicians use pattern interrupt to bamboozle our minds into feeling like something is happening when in reality nothing at all has changed! Learn the art of pattern interruption in sales from our experts at team Digitally Global.

Salespeople can use pattern interrupt to transform a prospect’s interest into an opportunity. Despite the challenge of getting people interested in your product, sales professionals know that once someone is engaged with you, they’re more likely to listen and buy what you have on offer.

Understanding Pattern Interrupt

Pattern interrupt is a way of altering one’s mental, emotional, or behavioral state to break their habits. This can be done in such ways as an unexpected act that jolts them into another mindset. The term “pattern interrupt” is used in psychology, and it generally involves recognizing an unwanted pattern of behavior or thought process. Psychologists use the technique to break people out of their old patterns with new behaviors that are more beneficial for them. 

Salespeople need techniques that are more immediate, like pattern interruptions, so they can keep the attention of prospects.


Sales And Patterns Interrupt

The most challenging part of the sales process is prospecting. Salespeople know how frustrating it can be to get ignored or rejected without even hearing them out, but there’s a way around that! Pattern interrupt lets you stop someone from automatically saying “no” and create space for a different response. There are many ways to get the person you’re speaking with onboard, but the best technique is by using a pattern interrupt. A pattern interrupts works because it creates an interruption that causes the other person to stop and consider what you have just said for them not to be so busy trying to think about how they were going before or after your message.

The goal is to create a positive interaction that shakes up a person’s normal routine. But like all sales techniques, there are times and places where pattern interrupts are more effective than others.

Use Pattern Interrupt Effectively In Sales

A poorly timed pattern interrupt can make the person you’re talking with shut down. If you’ve ever been cut off mid-sentence, or when someone flips your words around and takes them out of context to prove their point. It’s frustrating because it feels like they are purposefully shutting down any chance for a meaningful conversation.

A pattern interrupt can be an opportunity to spark a meaningful interaction. When a person is thrown out of their usual thoughts or behaviors, they’re left without the next step—and are open to whatever comes their way. As a salesperson, you may fill that gap in several ways:

Warm Calling

It’s important to warm up prospects before the call so that they are receptive to what you say. A pattern interrupt can be more effective when their minds have already been primed with your name, and not just jumping into a spiel.



The average email open rate is 18%, which means that people don’t want to read emails. A catchy subject line, such as a pattern interrupt can get them interested and will help you before the main message even comes in because they’ll be more receptive after seeing it. 

To learn more about writing a personalized yet effective sales email

In-Person Conversations

When a discussion isn’t going the way you planned, take charge by using an interruption pattern. This is especially true if 60% of buyers want to talk with your sales representative during the consideration stage.

Pattern Interrupt Techniques

Every salesperson has a unique list of tried-and-true sales tactics. Maybe you’ve already used one or two tricks, and maybe they’re all new to you! But it’s worth testing out these ideas no matter what to see which ones work for your audience.

Speak First

This pattern interruption technique isn’t only important when speaking in public, but also when trying to start conversations with people we know well like family and friends around topics they are interested in talking more deeply on. 

The Thief

No one wants to feel like they’re wasting time on a sales call, and that’s why this pattern interrupt technique acknowledges the fact upfront. The key with this method is to sound sly but still polite and professional. You want your customer to wonder what you’re up to.

Answer The Question

The best way to determine if the conversation is worth your time, especially with someone you’ve never met before, is by answering their questions right from the start. A great thing about these techniques for pattern interrupts is that they show prospects how much thought and care went into preparing for this meeting- which will make them more willing to invest in a long-term relationship with you.


You should have already done your research before calling a prospect, which will help you pull off this pattern interrupt. The idea is to let the person know that they are important and you took time out of your day to understand their needs. It’s next-level personalization combined with problem-solving that makes this one stand out.

Shock And Awe

One of the most effective techniques in sales is a pattern interrupt. This technique can be used to throw your prospect beyond normalcy into a new reality, but it’s not for everyone! You want to find something that will make them listen without crossing any lines or scaring off consumers with an outrageous price tag- so you’ll have to use what works best for the industry and person being targeted.


A lot of people don’t think they need your product or service. After all, you’re not the only one in town offering it! But at least 50% are wrong – they should be interested given what a great offer you have on for them with an affordable price tag and such short-term commitment to boot. You might want to use this pattern to interrupt when someone asks why he/she should buy from you: “It’s possible that we just wouldn’t work out.”


Shared Experience

To win over prospects who have been in the industry for decades, try this pattern interrupt technique. This works especially well when you are a part of the same industry or pitching people with similar backgrounds to what you know best about.

Verbal Ambiguity

This pattern interrupt relies on confusion, so it’s the most delicate of all the techniques. You have to be confident when delivering it and know your audience well enough to pull off this technique without making them angry or upset with you for changing things up in a completely unexpected way. The aim is just to say something that temporarily throws the conversation off-topic, allowing you to take back some control over where they’re going next before continuing along whatever lines helped get people into talking about what got interrupted by surprise.

Another way to work this pattern is to interrupt – act like you’re the confused one. Let them think they are in charge and explain an aspect of their company to you, leading them in a different direction as opposed to your original offer or idea.

It can be difficult to know which pattern interrupt technique will work best for your industry and prospects. To have a better understanding of your business and your prospects, contact us today. The tone of voice you use is key in determining whether or not they feel like you’re condescending, pushy, etc. Be sure that before trying out different techniques on them with what ends up being too aggressive a tone, do some research first so that it doesn’t come off as if the goal was always just to get something from them regardless of how subtly or directly this is done! There are many great ways we can all learn about those around us by making an effort at conversation instead of interaction.

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