NLP as a Sales Tool
There is little doubt that sales and selling are not restricted to the role of “Sales Executive” in a business. There are times, on a daily basis, where almost every member of an organisation finds themselves in a “selling” situation. For example:
- The receptionist gets asked a question by a prospective customer
- An engineer, whist servicing a piece of equipment for a customer is asked for advice
- An HR professional, in interviewing prospective employees, seeks to promote the benefits of working with his/her organisation
- A member of the Customer Support team, in processing and order for a new customer, calls for some additional information and discovers a further opportunity
- The CEO gives a presentation at a networking event and extols the benefits and values of his/her organisation and its services or products
I’m sure you get the picture. Sales and selling is an all-pervasive part of everyday business.
So, how can NLP help make the process smoother and easier? Let’s explore. My own career, spanning over 30 years, has been predominantly in the Sales arena, encompassing roles from a Trainee Sales Executive with Pitney Bowes way back in the 1970s through to general Manager of a multi-national corporate organisation. I draw on the experience constantly in working with clients, whether on a one-to-one coaching programme or a full consultancy project with a major corporate organisation. The mix of that sales background and NLP produces some spectacular results.
If one is to succeed in sales then it is vital to plan effectively. Most Sales Executives, at whatever level they operate, are familiar with “Targets”, “Quotas” or whatever word is used to describe that which must be achieved. However, by using the tools that NLP gives us, it is possible to set clearer, more meaningful goals – whether they be daily, weekly, monthly or annual goals. In fact,some of the most successful Sales professionals that I’ve met use all of them in order to ensure that every action they take is moving them effectively and surely towards success. They use NLP to set their goals and then to check them for their impact and potential.
OK, so you’ve got a great goal. So what? KIts not enough to have a goal; you need a plan in order to move it forward. NLP offers some outstanding tools for that by enabling;
- Clear goal setting
- Objective planning by exploring different perspectives
- Flexible thinking that empowers forethought and planning to overcome foreseeable obstacles
- Clear methods for checking, and enhancing, personal qualities and resources
- Tremendous tools for enhancing creative thinking that will bring new and refreshing ideas on how to achieve – and over achieve – against those goals
Influence and persuade
I recently heard a friend, in describing his role in sales say, “Well, I don’t think of myself as a Salesman. I prefer to think of myself as a “Decision Counsellor” as that’s what I do.” Eloquently put and, of course, accurate, since selling in the 21st Century business arena is not about the old school of hard knocks, beat em into submission tactics that we’ve all seen in the movies but more of influencing, persuasion, understanding psychology and working with people rather than on them. NLP helps some of the best Sales professionals by offering them:
- Powerful and advanced language skills for persuasion and influence
- Simple and highly effective questioning skills to help separate wants from needs and explore the underlying issues that can help make a decision a natural event rather than a battle ground
- An understanding of some of the underlying mental patterns and processes that people use in making decisions
- Skills for creating effective relationships and mutual respect
- Enhanced self-confidence and inner strength for dealing with the most demanding of customers and prospects
NLP is already being used by some of the most successful Sales professionals around the world.
Presenting products and proposals
Using NLP makes it possible to match product presentations much closer to the unconscious thought processes of the buyer so that objections are overcome before they begin to formulate. The understanding of patterns and startegies that NLP offers us can be used in structuring a proposal, whether written or verbal, in such a way that it creates a “Pattern of Persuasion” that is hard to resist.
Building personal networks
The communication and interpersonal skills explosion that comes with NLP empowers Sales professionals to build far more effective networks. These networks make the selling cycle far easier as they begin selling the key product – YOU – long before the sale of the box or widget begins. Building a powerful rapport with people, creating a network of contacts inside and outside of the company, meeting and communicating regularly. These are keys to success nowadays and NLP makes that possible; makes it far easier.
Of course, no mention of NLP would be complete without the understanding that it is also a tremendously powerful journey of self awareness and discovery that brings with it an attitude shift for many; one that makes their role in Sales a profoundly different one. Greater confidence, self-awareness, personal motivation, emotional freedom and self management bring their rewards in the workplace and in life itself.
Ecology and ethics
An important element of any quality NLP training, such as that offered by the Ralph Watson Partnership, is that of understanding ethics and ecology. This enables the ethical Sales professional to use his/her skills and awareness in such a way that they ensure mutual benefit rather than self-gain. This is a critical element for long-term sucess.
So, there we have some outstanding reasons why NLP is so widely used in the world of sales and the benefits that it is bringing to Sales professionals, their organisations and their customers.
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