This article is about four common errors sales people make when using Hypnotic Persuasion Skills. Recently I have been taking to a variety of sales professionals and this is an area of persuasion where you can see problems often manifest and there are some easy ways of resolving them.
1. Only Building Rapport
In general there is no problem with building rapport except that some sales professionals do nothing else. They then have a nice conversation with the prospect and they might bring the product up for conversation if you are lucky. Also consider what type of rapport you want with your prospect. Do you want to be seen as an authority or leader and is this a different type of rapport to friends and peers? A true sales professional will use rapport to lead the conversation through their sales process.
2. Shotgun Language Patterns
I see many sales staff just randomly firing out language patterns throughout their conversation. Without intent, direction and focus you are in danger of turning your conversation into a word salad. Would you buy from someone that appears to be rambling incoherent word salad at you? Hypnotic language patterns are really useful in sales when you have a specific process so they come out as a coherent part of your conversation.
3. Manic Metaphors
On an NLP Practitioner Course you will learn how to construct hypnotic metaphors. On a good course they will also show you how, when and where to use them. Unfortunately good courses are in the exception. As a result some people are using inappropriate three loop trance metaphors. If you have not been trained this probably doesn’t make any sense so let me give you a personal example of the problem.
A few years ago I was lucky to observe one of the funniest missed placed sales pitches from an NLP Practitioner ever. This woman had ten minutes in front of a board of directors to make a pitch for her training services. She opened with a story about Rommel and Montgomery in the second world war, transitioned into a story about St George slaying dragons and moved into a third story that was some variation of the woodcutter story. You know the one I mean about taking the time to sharpen your blade. This took her well over half her allotted time.
The Operations Director, who I think was the most frustrated just cut across her and asked a bunch of questions like price, duration and type of course. She was a little shocked and said something about finishing her stories and they just asked her for the answers and then asked her to leave. Over the years I have seen many NLP Practitioners launch into the strangest stories when all I want them to do is get to the point.
4. Questions without a Process
Asking good questions is never enough in a sales environment. A true sales professional will use questions in a specific way to lead a prospect through a sequence of thoughts. When questioned well a prospect will often sell the product to themselves. But the right questions need to be asked in the right order. Many NLP Practitioners understand what they call meta model questions but don’t understand questioning technique or even the difference between the two.
The Key to using Hypnotic Persuasion Skills in Sales is having a Good Process
All of these problems can be resolved easily by developing a flexible sales process. You can build everything into the process to the point where so long as you follow the process you get the result.
For example your process for meeting and selling to a new prospect might be something like:
- Introductions, create authority and credibility, take covert control of the conversation and build rapport as a leader.
- Use customer testimonials / stories that blow out the major objections to the product and seal commitment from the prospect to ensure key objection are dealt with before they can come up.
- Establish prospect’s specific needs, values and beliefs.
- Attach their needs and values to you product.
- Ask for the business and hypnotically future pace them into receiving great benefit from the use of the product.
Obviously this is just a simple example and there are lots of different steps you could use instead or as well as. Each of these steps might have a lot more detail. As you can see once you start to become familiar with the process the component parts become more automatic and your sales skills improve.
All of the problems above when fitted into a good sales process become key strengths and can make the difference between a sale career and a great sales career.
Persuasion Skills on Steroids Deconstructed
If you want to see hypnotic persuasion used on a live audience and deconstructed so you know what is going on then click through and find out more right here.