Sales success is all about communication, building rapport and understanding how buyers react to certain activators and why. We’ve all met that Sales Superstar who seems to have a natural instinct for this. But if you weren’t born with naturally high levels of EQ?
Don’t worry, these NLP tactics will help you to get in tune with prospects and close more deals faster.
What is Neuro-Linguistic Programming?
Originally coined by Richard Bandler & John Grinder back in the 70’s, NLP is a framework for explaining and influencing how people think and has been a methodology top sales professionals used for years.
Does It Actually Work?
In short, YES. In a recent NLP sales training by Worldwide Institute of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, sales for a Singapore based commercial real estate company increased by nearly 40% after their sales team implemented new NLP strategies.
How Does NLP Apply to Sales?
As a professional salesperson, you know that sales is about more than just words. Using NLP in sales isn’t about manipulation. Rather, it’s a way of refining yourself to better relate and communicate with prospects.
Being really listened to can be rare. Actively listening to your customers will build rapport, but more than that, it can help you identify subtle nuances in the way prospects communicate. Modal verbs for example, indicate something is; possible, likely, obligated, or permitted. These include terms such as: could, may, might, must, will, shall, should, would. The terms a prospect uses often reflect how they’re truly feeling. By paying close attention to their word choice you can adapt your sales approach. If your prospect uses words like “could” or “might”, you may want to adjust your approach to casually handle potential objections. By actively listening and ‘Mirroring’ to match your words to those of your customers, you will instantly have better communication with them.
It’s vital to choose your words carefully, and NLP methodology can help. ‘Power words’ or ‘magic words’ to elicit certain emotions have been used by advertisers to persuade consumers for years. For example, to trigger urgency you might use words like; easy, simple or limted time. You’ll be surprised at just how powerful they can be.
A much more useful NLP tool however, is ‘Pacing & Leading’. This technique works by conditioning a buyer to say yes to the deal by getting them to agree to minor points along the way. You might say, “it would be nice to solve those problems, wouldn’t it?” or “that sounds good, right?”. Reinforced with nodding, subconsciously triggers the buyer to mirror the agreement. This creates conditions which make it easier to continue to say yes when you finally go in for the close.
People create visual images to accompany their inner speech. By painting vivid word pictures when selling to prospects, you make it easier for them to imagine the benefits they could experience. This phenomenon is why stories are so mesmerizing. This is called the ‘swish pattern’ and is a way to inspire buyers to recognise pre-conceived notions they hold. By pointing out case studies of similar past clients who had the same hang-ups, but who are now reaping the benefits, is a great way to install a new self-image about your products or services. It reduces objections by shifting their focus and puts them in a positive frame of mind.
So there you have it. 3 great tactics you can easily incorporate into your next sales pitch that will help lift your game and close more deals.