close more sales, open your mind with NLP...
by Kim Sheeter
awful and Debra Taylor was losing sleep. She just wasn't closing
manufacturers rep remembers stumbling across an infomercial late
one night. Tony Robbins promised unlimited power with the purchase
of a set of tapes.
on sale was based on something called Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
With several motivation seminars already under her belt, Debra doubted
one more would help, but she did make note of the title of two bestsellers
by Robbins, Unlimited Power and Awaken the Giant Within.
She didn't think
about Robbins or his powers again until she met a friend for lunch
a few weeks later. "I knew Lori's company was having layoffs
so I wanted to cheer her up. Usually, she gets pretty worried, but
she seemed very calm and focused. When I asked her about it, she
told me she had attended a workshop on NLP. She claimed she had
better control of her moods. It sure seemed to be true. Somehow
she even made me feel more relaxed. I was ready to learn more about
Debra to Daniel Olson, an Orlando trainer who offers an introductory
NLP workshop. Ironically, Olson studied under the same teacher as
Tony Robbins, NLP's co-creator, John Grinder.
Olson and signed up for a class. She laughs, "I still wasn't
exactly sure what NLP was all about, but I figured compared to Tony
Robbins, this guy was a real bargain."
she knew. According to the company that produces his infomercial,
Robbins has grossed more than $150 million in tape sales. As a motivational
speaker, he can command $75,000 an appearance.) So what makes NLP
Programming is definitely a mouthful. And a brain-full.
refers to the brain. "Linguistic" refers to how we use
language. "Programming" is a term borrowed from behavioral
science and the world of computers. The abbreviation "NLP"
is still easier than a definition.
you to be aware of how verbal and nonverbal language effects your
brain, your nervous system and your subconscious," says Olson.
"It gives you an elegant way to make dramatic changes quickly."
So what do you
actually "do" when you practice NLP? First, you find out
how you operate your brain, which is easier than it seems because
there are only three basic choices. You are primarily visual, auditory,
We reveal our
preferences by our choice of language, how quickly we speak, the
voice range/tone, the location of the breathing (high in the chest
vs. low in the chest) and the movement of our eyes. With practice,
it's easy to pick out a kinesthetic, spot a visual, or sound out
an auditory thinker.
This is a theory
Debra could put to the test right away. "I found out I am definitely
kinesthetic--- I have to go into sensations and feelings to know
what I think. Both my boyfriend and my boss are highly visual --
they think in pictures. A lot of my customers are auditory -they
want me to answer a lot of questions and provide written information."
"Just recognizing these basic differences has helped me. It's
simple, but it's really powerful. I started building my sales back
up as soon as I learned to really notice how my customers wanted
to be sold. When you can read a person, you know exactly what the
person needs from you to make a decision.
Debra is now
continuing her training in order to be certified. "I've made
good contacts in my classes. I like practicing the techniques with
other sales people, lawyers, financial advisors and teachers. We
all want to be mind-readers like Daniel!"
NLP gives her an edge, yet is still respectful of other people.
"When you are in rapport with someone -- breathing with them,
thinking the way they do -- you aren't using them, you're making
them feel understood at a very basic level. Changes happen in you,
and that's what people respond to."
"You could say NLP is an unfair advantage in the positive sense,
because you can set people up to succeed. If you don't approach
communication with sincere respect, you can't build trust and rapport
and you won't get what you want."
Olson has been
helping people get what they want freedom from smoking, phobia cures,
even an improved golf swing--- since 1982. He has worked as a corporate
consultant, sales trainer, and with private clients. "I give
people the tools to make changes, coupled with inner changes in
attitude to make their changes stick."
Iowan doesn't seem to have much in common with the flamboyant Robbins,
who challenges his students to walk on hot coals. Olson prefers
to use sly humor and wordplay to make his points. "Naturally,
I want every workshop to be useful, but I also want people to have
fun. You learn when you're relaxed, even though we're encouraged
to believe otherwise."
His work has
been featured in The Orlando Sentinel, Success magazine, and on
radio and television.
Olson has seen
NLP steadily gain mainstream acceptance. "People who are a
little confused by the theories at first are quickly won over by
The U.S. Government
reportedly uses NLP as part of accelerated learning programs, and
the techniques are finding their way into corporate training programs.
the time is right for NLP. "Our communication skills are finally
catching up to our communications technology. People are realizing
that it's time to pay attention to the real messages we send each
sales training and success coaching using NLP. Email Daniel at email@example.com
Kim Sheeter has been a staff writer for Fortune 500 companies. She
thinks she's auditory, but if anyone disagrees, she's willing to
hear them out.
of SalesINsider (1995)