Leading and sales may be used in one and the same sentence if we are able to distinguish process from communication in sales. The processes and strategies in sales are part of the general curriculum in sales trainings. Communication in sales involves a lot more than knowing and implementing smart strategies during the process of sales. Communications in sales implies leading the conversation to a win/win outcome. Sales people in that sense are leaders in communication.
Every leader leads in their characteristic way, there is no process behind their style, processes for leaders are like cookbooks for Michelin restaurants. The same applies to sales people that lead in conversation, like leaders in any form, they are not consciously aware of how they lead while at it. The good news is that leading a conversation is a skill that anybody can learn through NLP techniques. The basic principles of NLP in sales are pacing and leading the client. And the beauty of those principles is that every person works with them in their unique way. Rather than a right or wrong way, there is a style in which these principles are brought about. You might utter the question; but are these NLP principles not like other processes? A very good question, to which the answers is; the NLP principles consist of presuppositions which apply to every human being, the NLP techniques get you to understand how to work with those presuppositions. The presuppositions are:
- The map is not the territory. Every human being makes up their own map of the world and this map influences their interpretation of words.
- In every behaviour lies a positive intention. People make the best choices they have available at the time, sometimes choices are not yet conscious.
- Everybody has got within what they need to thrive. Some people are not aware of their qualities or they are but don’t yet know how to use them.
- There is no failure, there is only feedback. People can learn from mistakes and learn from their surroundings every day.
- Body and mind are relative. A happy mind results in positive actions and vice versa.
So NLP in sales training is all about leading a conversation to a win/win outcome. Especially the employee that works through a telephone line or through online conference at the customer service desk, benefits enormously from understanding how to work the NLP principles. They miss out on body language and eye contact with the client, although tone of voice may say something, still they have little to take in consideration to find out what works best.
The easiest way to work with NLP techniques and presuppositions might be to pay attention to the senses people use in conversation. The three senses (feel, see and hear) inform you of the language they speak and understand at that given moment. Every experience is built with the senses that we unconsciously refer to when we think of anything.
For example; a client wants to make a point, making a point is usually an expression about the feelings of the person or they ask you for some perspective, a perspective is more to do with their vision, or they want to tell you exactly what they want to hear, telling you what they want to hear, is an auditory way of addressing a topic. These are three different kinds of sensory expressions you can work with in order to lead the client. Match their sensory language so they notice your presence and feel understood, you follow them in order to lead them. In case no sensory language is expressed, then the you may choose one that fits the topic best. For example; if sales is about online tools for creating marketing concepts, the visual perception might be a starting point to work from. Should sales involve hotel stays, one might start the conversation with the feeling of luxury and comfort. You influence on an unconscious level they way they think of your product. Examples of sensory words:
- Visual: vision, perspective, point of view, in their eyes, colourful, transparent, dark, light,
- Auditory: say, hear, voice, sound, loud, shouting, whispering, melody, music, etc.
- Feeling: impression, pressure, gut feeling, make a point, press hard, push forward, grab,
Pay attention to sensory words for 10 minutes a day until the technique becomes a habit. That is what the programming of the brain through language is all about. Make it a habit to really hear, feel and see what is going on and you are well on your way to become a great communicator. The NLP Practitioner program suits any person who wants to lead in conversation.