This article looks generally at how some NLP Techniques relate to sales. Many people do not realise that applying for jobs is just sales technique. If you are interested in exploring Hypnotic Persuasion Techniques applied to job searching skills then have a look at the Hypnotic Interview Skills Programme.
NLP and Sales
Sales is a very competitive profession and anything that will give a sales professional and extra edge is worth examining. This article is about how NLP can make a dramatic difference to your sales conversions.
NLP can be described as the art and science of how we encode meaning on our experiences. It examines how two people having the same experience can feel completely different about it. For example, have you ever spoken to a friend about a time you’ve had together in the past and felt like they were talking about a completely different experience from you? The event might have been exactly the same but each of you have encoded a different meaning on it.
If you knew how people encode meaning on their experiences as a sales professional you might be able to ensure that your products are encoded with good meaning. NLP can help you do this. The following are various NLP techniques and how they relate to sales.
Rapport in NLP is a specific technique to increase the responsiveness of your prospect. You will see many books and articles about matching the mirroring but building rapport is much deeper than simply this.
In NLP there are many different processes and techniques that you can use that will allow people to become more responsive. These include pacing and leading, covert hypnosis and building anticipation loops. The use of these techniques are many and varied. Part of the benefit of a good Persuasion Skills Course is constructing processes that are unique for you and can be applied specifically to your context.
In a sales context having specific processes to build the responsiveness of your prospect including anticipation and excitement over either the product or the results the product can bring would be useful to any sales professional.
State Management and Controlling Emotions through NLP
There are many techniques in NLP that are concerned with controlling emotions. This means that you can have a choice over how you feel about events. Consider for a moment that you could turn any negative thought into positive motivation. Would that make a difference to your world?
Think for a moment about some of the jobs that you don’t like doing at work, perhaps the filing or talking to particular people. If you had a tool that would make you feel better about doing these tasks will your productivity increase?
Whilst having these tools and techniques would be immensely useful for anyone imagine how much more useful it suddenly becomes when you realise that you can apply the same techniques to others.
Many sales professionals face a lot of rejection. The best sales people understand that this is not a personal issue and just move onto the next job. Others unfortunately, can be affected by this issue particularly if it’s happening constantly. As suggested above NLP can give you tools that will allow you to deal with this.
Another common sales issue is the emotional state of desperation. This comes in two varieties. There is one version about getting desperate when you don’t seem to be making the sales. The other version is getting desperate when you are close to achieving target or bonus. In both cases often sales professionals will push the prospects away with increasingly desperate behaviour. Again NLP can help to manage your emotions.
Now let’s consider the idea that it is possible to control the emotions of other people. In a sales context this might mean getting people in an excited state and attaching that to buying your product or service. Another application might be in an ongoing relationship where you get your customer to attach good feelings to meeting you. This will mean that they will be looking forward to your regular meetings as opposed to considering them a formality or even a waste of time.
Understanding People with NLP
NLP is all about understanding the intent behind a person’s behaviour. It looks deeper underneath the surface and examines people’s identity, values, beliefs and strategies. This gives you insight into what drives their behaviour. The essence of this is by understanding what drives one person to become successful or excellent in a particular area you could use that to increase your result.
In a sales environment understanding your customers at a deep level is a real benefit. Consider for a moment you could look inside the head of your prospect and you knew what things would satisfy them on a very deep level. If you could attach the benefits of your product or service to meeting that need your customers would consider you one of the best friends, forever. Now is that an advantage worth having for any sales professional?
Much is talked about convert NLP hypnotic techniques and hypnotic language patterns. A large part of NLP is about influence and persuasion skills and how hypnotic language applies to it.
If you cut through all the hype and false expectations there are a few things that hypnotic language can do for you exceptionally well.
Language is just one filter that we use to encode meaning on our experience. The words that we use and the way that we use them set a direction in our minds. The same is true for anything that I might say and that you listen to will set a direction in your mind. By understanding this process you can move the minds of your prospect in a particular directions. What this means in practice is that you can get people excited about things, bypass arguments and objections and even change beliefs.
This is different from stage hypnosis and hypnotherapy. Using this sort of material you can certainly increase your results and have more people follow along with you. This does not mean that you can have everyone follow you because people still have choice. What it does mean is that you will get fewer objections, people that were predisposed to follow you will convert much more quickly and that people will make the choice easily.
You can use these techniques in a manipulative and unethical manner but the reality of this is that it is a short-term gain. People may not realise in the moment that they have been cheated but they will eventually realise and then you will lose credibility, reputation and friends. Using these techniques in a positive win-win way will enhance your status, reputation and results hugely. Using hypnotic NLP technique you can have more charisma, have people hanging on your every word as well as set a flow and a direction to people’s thought processes.
In a sales context having NLP hypnotic processes as part of your selection of tools will allow you to lead the thoughts of your prospect in a direction that is useful to you. For example, you might lead your prospect away from the expense of your product and towards the massive return of investment. You might completely do away with buyer’s remorse through a hypnotic technique such as future pacing or just attaching good feelings to your product. Future pacing is a simple technique where you can get your prospect to imagine themselves with all the benefits that your product or service brings.
NLP grew out of a desire to find out how people become successful, get great results and acquire expert skills. Richard Bandler and John Grinder, the founders of NLP, chose to examine how people make success and to see how they could replicate that for themselves and others. Out of this came an attitude and the methodology for NLP modelling. So, NLP is not just a collection of tools and techniques but is also a methodology for modelling the success of others.
In a sales context what this means is an NLP sales practitioner can take people that are good at sales and model exactly what they do. This is even more impressive when you consider you could model very small pieces of behaviour from each individual. Perhaps one salesperson is brilliant at opening a conversation, perhaps another is astounding at handling objections and a third superb at closing the sale. Using NLP modelling techniques you could model just those individual elements from each of the salespeople and then put this together as a super technique for everyone.
Accelerated Learning and NLP
As you can see from above NLP is about modelling the excellence of others , understanding people at a deep level and being able to use this information in one form or another. A natural conclusion from all of this is the fact that you will understand how to massively increase your learning. You will have a better understanding of how your mind works, how you process information and your own motivations. This means you have the inside track on how you learn best. Using NLP techniques people very quickly and simply double and often triple their reading speed within a couple of hours whilst also increasing their comprehension and retention. This is only one quick and simple example of how much you can increase your learning ability.
In a sales context learning is extremely useful. Often there are new products services and processes that need to be learnt. Each interaction with the prospect is a valuable experience. Watching and listening to how others sell if approached from the right direction is great learning experience. Any committed sales professional is also committed to ongoing learning. Using NLP techniques you can increase this learning significantly.
The issue isn’t how NLP can help sales professionals but it is much more how can any committed sales professional not study NLP. In the context of sales dramatic increases in conversions and the quality of sales can be achieved easily. For sales managers the benefits can expand exponentially because they are in a position where they can train their teams in the NLP techniques that they have learned.