NLP Selling Tricks and Tips
- Chris Harrison
- 3rd July 2011
I've already covered many NLP selling techniques in the article NLP Sales Techniques, so if you haven't read that article then I suggest you start there before reading this further article on NLP selling. In this article I want to cover a few more NLP selling tricks that can hugely improve your results when selling with NLP.
Scarcity in NLP Selling
It's obvious that someone is more likely to buy something if it's the last one, or if there are a number of other people trying to buy the same thing. Convincing the customer that they have a limited time to buy the product or that there is another person waiting to snap it up can be effective but only if done subtly. Using NLP language techniques can achieve this:
Now I have to tell you that today I only have two of these, and I wouldn't want you to imagine how you might feel tomorrow if you look back on today and realize that you hesitated, and that hesitation stopped you from getting a really good deal.
This manipulation of time is also discussed in the section on Decision Strategies in the article NLP Sales Techniques.
Value in NLP Selling
It is really important not to confuse price with value. I remember Richard Bandler during one of his NLP sales seminars talking about charging $10,000 for a phobia he fixed in less than 10 minutes. The most important cash amount is the value to the customer (if that can be calculated), not the cost price. Using phobias as an example, fixing a businessman's flying phobia may be worth many thousands of dollars simply because it allows him to travel to meetings and do deals all over the world and saves many hours traveling. If you ask the customer to calculate this then the price issue should melt away.
Unfortunately, most people put more weight on the views of fickle celebrities and media 'Experts' than on true experts. If the customers favorite soap star uses the same hedge clippers as you're selling then you have a sale. Of course, you can't get every product endorsed in this way, but there are more subtle forms of authority. For instance: nine out of ten people preferred our product.
The Redirection NLP Selling Technique
Now one thing that comes up time and time again in sales is that the customer feels as if the whole sales process is a game and that means that somebody is going to win and somebody is going to lose. Wouldn't it be good to make the customer feel that if they brought your product then they have won?
I'm sure there is a better description for this technique out there, but basically the aim is to change the scope of the sales 'game' so that rather than being you verses the customer the game changes to the customer verses someone else. There are a few possible examples. Obviously the scenario chosen depends upon the customer before you:
- Teen verses Parent - Your parents want you to work in the family store, but you could join the army and see the world
- Husband verses Wife - are you going to let your wife choose what car you drive?
- Sibling verses Sibling - You're the oldest. Do you want people to think you're lagging behind your younger brothers?
- Boss verses Employee - You're driving that old heap while your employees are driving new mercedes?
There are some great examples of this NLP selling technique in film and television. Any fan of the Simpsons can surely remember the episode where Homer ends up buying a new car because the salesman kept miming Marge cracking a whip, even though Homer knew what was going on and even told the salesman that it wouldn't work. My personal favorite is from a Richard Bandler NLP sales seminar tapeset (that lets you know how old this product is) - it was either Persuasion Engineering or Patterns of Persuasion. The story is of an Army recruiter recruiting delinquent teens in a shopping mall on the promise of world travel rather than small town boredom and parents who can say 'I told you so'. If these sets are still available then they are well worth a listen.
Objections take 2
Reading back through my previous article I had a bit of a eureka moment. The usual NLP way to deal with Sales Objections is to bring them up first and defuse them. Another approach would be to link the objection to a negative or weak state that the customer doesn't want to portray. For instance:
Sorry if I'm a little tense. I've just had a customer - well I shouldn't really say, but I guess he was just a time waster. I don't think he ever had the intention to buy from me. He had a lot of silly questions, not that you shouldn't have questions, but he just seemed to want to trip me up. He had this really whiny voice and kept saying 'its too expensive' and 'I don't like the color'. Perhaps his wife runs his wallet, or his house is decorated so brashly that this brushed aluminum wouldn't make enough of a statement - I don't know, but anyway sorry I shouldn't go on. What would you like to know?
So what we're doing here is building up a character whom the customer certainly would not like to be associated with, then we're linking the possible objections to that person. This also allows the customer to make this game about the other customer and create a winnable game whereby they buy your product.
So when it comes to using NLP for selling, once you've got the basics of state, objection handling, and decision strategies down pat, then hopefully these ideas can help to improve your selling. Becoming a good sales person takes a lot of practice especially when it comes to calibrating your customers and working out exactly what you can 'get away with'. If you want further information on NLP selling/sales then I recommend Richard Bandler's book Persuasion Engineering as by far the best book on the subject, and also probably the best book on applied NLP there is. So keep practicing and learning and see how often you can surprise yourself with your own NLP selling!