4-Step Process To Master NLP in Sales | Selling Made Simple
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Any salesperson worth their salt knows using the right words in a pitch means the difference between a monumental win and a colossal failure. But only the best sellers understand that there’s far more at play here than just words. There are plenty of other ways to subtly nudge buyers towards a yes decision. And using neuro-linguistic programming is one framework for tapping into those techniques. But what is neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)? Does it work? And how can you use NLP in sales? This guide takes you through these questions and more. We’ll also look at a proven 4-step framework you can use to sell more with NLP. What Is Neuro-Linguistic Programming?  First off, let’s define neuro-linguistic programming. Coined by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in The Structure of Magic I and II, NLP is a framework for explaining and influencing how people think and behave. Initially, NLP was based on the idea that we operate according to an internal and unconscious “map.” Unfortunately, that map doesn’t always reflect the reality of the world. And by using a system of language, strategies, and subtle behaviors, we can influence and change that map—both in ourselves and others. One of the most influential aspects of NLP is that so much of our lives are built on unconscious thought and communication. According to Bandler, “The greatest personal limitation is to be found not in the things you want to do and can’t, but in the things you’ve never considered doing.” Bandler and Grinder also believed that NLP could identify the patterns of thoughts and behaviors of successful individuals. After they were identified, others could then learn how to replicate that same success. NLP has been applied to everything from improved work productivity and career progression to phobias, depression, anxiety, and PTSD. NLP has a place in the world of B2B sales too to help influence and build rapport with buyers. Does It Actually Work? Research on the use of neuro-linguistic programming for treating health conditions is scarce. One review of five randomized controlled trials found that only one trial indicated any support. The other four showed the opposite. Another report from the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health found zero clinical evidence supporting NLP. That being said, there’s a growing body of research supporting the use of NLP too. It seems that, as of now, there isn’t enough data out there to say conclusively if NLP works as a tool for B2B sales professionals. But, as the authors of the first review put it, their conclusion “reflects the limited quantity and quality of NLP research, rather than robust evidence of no effect.” However, many professional salespeople swear by its application in sales. How Does NLP Apply to Sales? The science may still be out on NLP’s effects on health conditions. But most NLP studies focus exclusively on treating conditions like anxiety and depression. Not for influencing the successful close of a sale. And as you might expect, research on that topic, in particular, is even scarcer. But instead of thinking of NLP in sales as several specific practices, it’s better to view it as a set of principles. As a professional salesperson, you know that clinching the deal is about more than just words. Other factors affecting the sale include your:br...
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