Frying the Brains of Managers using NLP

Rintu BasuBusinessLeave a Comment

In the last two post we discussed via an experiment with Steve how to use a string of logic to get a result.

Using NLP to manage your boss

In this post we will look at how Steve took that same idea and used it to manage his boss.

The Situation

Steve is an exceptionally good salesman working in a customer care role in a call centre. His primary duty is to manage customer problems and queries but also to cross and up sell other products to his customers.

Steve’s boss is young and inexperienced in the role and comes from a customer service background. Steve out performs his team considerably in terms of sales but as a result his call lengths are far higher than the rest of his team. His manager is constantly on at him to improve his performance not realising that Steve’s call lengths are higher because he is making sales.

The Outcome

Steve gets commission for sales. Whilst he would get his manager off his back if his call lengths went down he would not get any commission from this. It is obvious that the company want more sales and is incentivising the staff to do this. I don’t know for certain but based on the conversations I have had with Steve his manager just doesn’t get sales and is only thinking about the customer service element and cost reductions.

Steve’s best result is to get his manager to understand that the call length is related to the fact he is making sales where the rest of his team aren’t, making sales is a better result for everyone¬† and to be let alone to continue doing this.

The Intervention

A couple of weeks ago the situation came to a head and Steve’s manager sat with him to “coach” him into reducing his call length. This was Steve’s opportunity to blow out his manager. Here is a truncated version of the conversation with all of the fluff taken out.

Steve, once they had settled down and done some small talk, “How important are call lengths?”

Manager, “Very, your quality score is based on a number of issues including call length…” long justification on the amount of money long call lengths lose the company.

Talked about other things and then came back with:

Steve, “So the issue isn’t the length of call but how much money the company loses by having a long call?”

Manager, “Sort of, there are other considerations like how many people there are in the queue, building rapport and the customer experience…”

Steve, “I think what you are telling me is that I should build rapport and a relationship with the customer but not at the expense of other people in the queue.”

Manager, “It’s not as simple as that you need to deal with their query as well.”

Steve, “So let me understand…what is the most important thing I should be focused on? Is it the call length or the customer?

Manager, “The customer obviously.”

Steve, “So I should build rapport, deal with their query and build a relationship and all those things are more important than the call length even though they cost the company money?”

Manager, “You are trying to put words into my mouth.”

Steve, “No, just trying to understand the situation.”

Steve changes the subject at this point so his manager doesn’t get annoyed and start using a fixed position. A few minutes later Steve broaches the subject again.

Steve, “What if I could, build the relationship, sort their query and make the company more money all in one go?”

Manager, “You are going to talk sales again aren’t you?”

Steve, “The issue isn’t about sales it’s about dealing with the customer query, building the relationship and making the company money all at the same time. Am I right in thinking that call lengths are secondary to all that?”

Apparently the manager walked away at this point telling Steve that he didn’t want to talk to him any more and has left Steve alone to do his thing ever since.

Deconstructing NLP Language Patterns

As you can obviously see Steve used a redefine as his NLP Language Pattern of choice to get his result. But notice that it comes at the end of a lengthy discourse and a whole lot of questioning of his manager first.

Steve’s manager started from a frame of how important call lengths are in isolation to the whole situation. By asking the questions Steve brought his manager back in touch with the important priorities of the call.

Steve then quite skilfully attaches sales to all the things his manager deems important in the call. Steve also attaches the idea of making money for the company. But here is the really clever bit, Steve uses the redefine pattern to take away the idea of sales and replacing it with all the things his manager thinks is important.

Elegant but Blunt NLP Language Patterns

Steve’s manager was thinking consciously and was fully aware of were Steve was leading him. The interesting thing is he had no choice but to follow Steve’s line of reasoning and at the end is forced to agree. Steve set up the conditions and looked at the problem strategically rather than just blindly firing off language patterns.

Steve gets to be this good because he let’s me experiment with his head over the occasional lunch. You can be even better than this simply by going through Advanced Persuasion Patterns, a download course that will take you to a new level of thinking about persuasion skills.

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