Leonard was a sales manager. He had a team of ten salespeople who were performing well. He wanted to migrate them to the next level. Having been in sales all his life he had heard of many sales programs but NLP seemed to be like the master system that would take them to high performance in a short space of time.
He was in the midst of researching NLP further checking for a fit that matched his team when he received an email from HR announcing an organisation-wide culture alignment initiative. Not knowing if it was serendipity or just plain luck that he had created, he observed this was happening to him more and more these days.
This initiative meant that the training cost would be absorbed under HR budget. Brilliant! He had funds in his budget to do more after the modular courses that HR was scheduling. Life’s good he thought. This was a great gift to his people and actually, everyone in the organisation.
Since its inception in the late 70’s, NLP had risen to the attention of salespeople in particular. It was always on Leonard’s to-do list. He heard that direct applications of NLP processes had a major impact on sales results and therefore long term performance. Many of his friends outside of work who were also in sales often talked about how NLP for Sales was a perfect match.
In fact high performing salespeople were using NLP selling techniques intuitively. They didn’t know what they were doing but they knew they were doing something way beyond the average salesman. The former knew when to stay or leave a client. They picked up signals of congruence and applied them confidently.
Leonard felt that the NLP initiative would play out in two ways;
He wanted to make them all top performers. HR had gone one step ahead to ask Sylvia, the NLP Trainer to create an NLP for Selling course for his team. Sales were the only exception as they were the engine of the organisation and propelling them to high performance was a smart move to generate superior levels of revenue, fast.
In fact Sylvia was going to start with Leonard’s team first, quite typical in a culture alignment initiative. It was proof to clients that NLP did work in accelerated ways and as sales spiked, others in the organisation would see it as a credible methodology to learn. All ploys to deepen employee engagement and make the initiative a success.
Wanting to have a discussion with Sylvia & Trevor of HR, Leonard asked for a meeting to identify what they were up for in the coming months. These were some selling techniques that impacted sales directly:
The most fundamental skill to have in life and definitely when engaging in a sales relationship. Once in deep rapport, clients feel comfortable and are more amenable to suggestions.
The most powerful tool in communication, language highlights part of the brain that is being used while in conversation. If a client is very visual and accessing pictures in their mind they will speak in pictorial language. Paying attention to language used by a client could win the deal!
Improving observation skills to pick up non-verbal cues. What is the client doing as he speaks. Saying yes he will buy your product and shaking his head highlights incongruence and a lack of interest. Time to walk away.
Paying attention to the size of a language chunk that is being used while communicating. If a client is speaking in big picture language an important response would be to reply in the same content chunk size.
In giving a client some time to think and process what has just been delivered, softeners like “I am wondering if…” become extremely valuable. It is these small gems of resources that make a big difference in outcomes.
Eliciting the purpose of what is important to the client is fundamental to feeding the client’s buying strategy back to the them.
Leonard loved the discussion already even though this was just the tip of the iceberg. As a team manager he would be able to work and reinforce his team well once they had all attended the modular NLP courses.
What he liked particularly was that power resided in the unconscious mind and once used repetitively, would install itself over time. These selling techniques when integrated into daily life would not require any conscious intervention. In fact it would be second nature.
Sylvia highlighted that the difference between an organisation that had embarked on culture alignment programs and those that hadn’t were hugely obvious. Once the level of employees’ awareness heightened there was no turning back. The organisation stood to gain from deeper employee engagement which then led to high levels of motivation and exponential growth in bottom line results.
Laughingly Sylvia quipped “you are leaving money on the table when it could be in your profit and loss account. See the money spent as an investment rather than an expense, for when business comes gushing through your door multiple fold, the trend will just continue. You’ll know you’ve made it!”
Sylvia Fernandes is the Founder & CEO of VIA Frontiers. She is a Master Trainer of NLP who is specialised in corporate applications.
She started her business in Sydney in 2002 and has been operating in the Asia Pacific Region ever since. She is currently based in Singapore.
She is also the author of Bye Bye Black Cat -- Turn Your Luck Around and Realise Opportunities. Visit VIA Frontiers for more information.
Sylvia is a qualified Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Trainer. She started her business in Sydney and is now based in Singapore.