19 Mar NLP and Sales – A Marriage Made in Heaven
NLP and Sales: a marriage made in heaven.
By Brett Cameron (Cameron Hypnotics)
The concept of sales is not simply selling a product or a service. Sales is a process of communicating with people in order to gain their agreement. It isn’t a mere exchange of money for the delivery of an item, a service or an idea. It is a communion of thoughts, actions, words, mannerisms, body language, images, fragrances, emotions and also taste. Sales is about understanding the individual in an individual situation and being flexible within that situation.
I have often heard someone say “he is a really good salesman”, or “she really sold me on that”. If we were to strip the concept of ‘sales’ out of the equation, the comment could equally read “that person is a very accomplished communicator”. And effective communication is at the essence of NLP.
So where does NLP come into it? What is the link between sales and NLP? Or more so what is the link between successful sales and the understanding of NLP and the daily practice of NLP?
I will highlight how by having the understanding of 3 basic NLP principles, the salesperson could become more proficient at their profession.
- Representational Systems (information processing)
- “The map is not the territory”
- The art of reframing.
For this exercise I am going to substitute the word ‘sales’ with ‘desired outcome’. Ultimately the seller has a desired outcome, and the buyer has a desired outcome. By applying the basic NLP principles, the seller is able to move the selling process to a position of ‘mutual desired outcome’ quickly, more effectively, and with lasting positive results.
1. How do we process information? On a daily basis the brain is bombarded with millions of pieces of information. And we all process that information differently. Some of us are:
- Visual processors: which basically means that we make sense of a situation by how it looks, by the colours, the brightness etc.
- Kinaesthetic processors: Those who process information kinaesthetically are swayed by their emotions or gut feel about something. ie “how do I feel about it?”
- Auditory processors: Some people like to hear how something sounds; “does it ring my bell?”, or “I don’t like what I am hearing”.
- Internal Dialogue processors: While some of us (me included) prefer to have a conversation with ourselves because we need information before we make a decision. It has to make sense to us. We have to weigh it all up.
2. The Map is Not the Territory: The successful ‘desired outcome facilitator’ … yes it does sound like a term created by a Canberra committee … so I’ll go back to the word ‘salesperson’ … The successful salesperson will have an innate understanding of the different ways in which we not only process information but, how we communicate differently.
They will be flexible in all approaches practising what Alfred Korzybski termed “the map is not the territory.” They will have an understanding that everyone’s map of the world is different. Furthermore Richard Bandler and John Grinder argued that people who respond effectively have an understanding of not only their own model of the world, but an appreciation that someone else’s model of the world is different.
The successful salesperson, through attentive practice, will quickly and respectfully, assess the person with whom they are communicating, determine their wants and create a flexible course of action. How is the customer or client dressed? What words have they used? How have they spoken? What does their body language say? And just as quickly the salesperson with sensitivity, will step into that person’s model of the world, communicating with them on a level of mutual understanding.
3: The Art of Reframing: Reframing is the ability to change the frame by which a picture or a problem has been perceived. It is helping someone see things differently. In a retail sales situation a customer desiring a jumper/pullover might hesitate when they see the price tag. The salesperson could ask the customer if they feel that the item is overpriced, or is it outside of your current budget? The more likely scenario is that the salesperson has NOT ‘sold’ the value of the item. He/she might suggest to the customer that since this item is 100% pure merino wool, they will get longer wear compared to a cheaper jumper, and they will be warmer. The salesperson is changing the customer’s perception of the jumper by focussing on the benefits; not the price.
The above are but a few of the principles of NLP that can be successfully utilised on a daily basis in all sales situations. By understanding the mechanics of human behaviour successfully and positively, you are practising the basics of NLP. Call Brett at Cameron Hypnotics to discuss how NLP can help improve your communication skills. 0403 335751