Do you agree, selling is psychological!? As buyer ourselves, a lot of times we are influenced by our emotions and mental states. So I would raise up my hands and legs to agree that selling is more psychological than anything else. On my journey of Toastmasters, I have encountered numerous trainers with different knowledge. One attractive and interesting technique I have heard and eager to learn is Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). According to the writer of “Increase sales with NLP”, Jacky Lim, NLP is a powerful human change technology that encompasses the three most influential components involved in producing human experience: neurology, language, and programming. Wao! Interesting right? If you have heard of Tony Robbins? He is an outstanding and extraordinary NLP practitioner. NLP is the study of human excellence and the language of our brain to understand how human beings make sense of their experience and interact with others.
Well, every human being has our own mind so you can see how applicable and practical NLP is in our lives. I strongly believe great manipulators in our daily lives are definitely NLP-pros! haha. However, let’s not explore how NLP can make us a great manipulator! Instead, let’s focus on how can we use NLP effectively in our sales career.
As sales, we inevitably need to present our products or services to our customers. Possibility to succeed in closing a deal is highly dependent on our mindset, methods, words, interactions, and etc. Recently I am studying Jacky’s book “Increase sales with NLP”. I have come across some powerful hypnotic language patterns (part of NLP) in the presentation which I am going to share here.
1. Double Bind
This technique is also commonly known as “alternate close”, which means two alternatives are presented in an attempt to get a commitment to one of them from the buyers. In Dr. Robert B. Cialdini’s book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, double bind technique is beautifully defined as “rejection-then-retreat”. Read more about “rejection-then-retreat” here. The simplest example will be, “do you want orange juice or apple juice?” when you approach a fruit juice stall. In B2B sales, it could be offering solution A and solution B to the client, however, solution A is offered just to make solution B look more attractive (drive the client to commit solution B). During my parttime as tele-appointer, I find the improved version of double bind technique which is “presume and suggest” effective. For instance, instead of “when will you be free for our free demo”, I change to “Do you have 15 minutes tomorrow or Friday?” I presume he/she wants to meet and suggest a date to him/her to choose.
2. Conversational Postulate
What we are trying to postulate here is “Yes(es)” from our customers. To use this technique we need to ask a yes or no questions. When we are able to get 5 – 7 “Yes” from a person, we have conditioned his/her mind to give us another “Yes” response. According to Jacky, by doing this, we are building a repetitive pattern of “Yes” answers that get our prospect into a habitual response. Thus, the chances of saying “Yes” to make the buying decision are higher. It sounds simple, but it is extremely skillful. We need to first understand the customer and the needs so that we can construct our questions smartly to get all “Yes”. Beside being habitual, we are probably building the credibility and trust by getting a lot of “Yes” from them. They will believe in us because we sound like understand their situations and needs very well.
I would say this technique is by far the most powerful technique to convince and persuade a person – Metaphors. Illustrate and explain your point by using a story as metaphor, so that people can easily relate and understand us. The logic behind why a metaphor makes our message go across easier is because it helps to bypass any potential conscious blocks or resistance to information and story speaks to the limbic brain. For example, your product requires a quarterly servicing to ensure it can work properly. The customer might challenge why the high-end product still requires frequent servicing. In this case, you can use car servicing as a metaphor. As car servicing is a common practice which the customer is familiar, he would dissociate himself from the situation (Doubting and challenging mode on the servicing requirement) and understand your explanation easier. Through metaphor, we can make a complex explanation easy to understand and persuade others effectively.
There are other 18 hypnotic patterns inside the book (read it yourselves ;p). My wish is, I am able to apply these techniques naturally and subconsciously when doing my sales presentations/talkings. Practice makes progress. Consciously apply these techniques in daily business, soon we can master these and boost our sales! Yayyyy!!!
Share with me your success stories of applying similar techniques too! 😀