One of our clients have recently reported great success in applying NLP techniques in sales environment. They previously closed about 30% of incoming phone inquiries, and after 3 days of NLP sales training with us, they now close almost 90 % of inquiries. This article outlines the basic NLP strategies that I shared with them. Although a written word can not replace live NLP training and practice, you may get a much better idea of what you can do to increase your sales, especially those carried over the phone.
1. MATCH TONALITY OF YOUR PROSPECTIVE CLIENT
Notice if your client talks using high, medium or low tonality. Take care to match their tonality, especially at the beginning of your conversation. For example, if your client talks in low pitch of voice, and your natural voice has got a high pitch to it, step out of your comfortable zone and lower your tonality. This is very powerful way to build rapport with your prospective client very quickly.
2. TALK THEIR LANGUAGE
Listen to your client closely to determine how are they using their senses to process information. Depending on the key words and predicates they use, you will be able to determine which representational system is their favourite and how do they need to be talked to in order to 'get what you are saying'.
* VISUAL PEOPLE
Visual people think in images. They imagine what they want and learn by seeing. So you need to show them your product, send them brochure or e-mail them with graphs and pictures. They will use words such as see, view, bright, show, picture, clear, look, perceive, illustrate, focus, reflect, watch, preview. If you talk to them in visual terms, they will smile, comprehend, understand. They will be comfortable with you.
* AUDITORY PEOPLE
Auditory people respond to sounds better than people who use other modes of thinking. They love talking on the phone. Your tonality will be important to them. They will use words such as "talk, hear, say, tell, sound, mention, accent, question, inquire "and" ask". Talk to them in auditory terms - they will 'hear' you.
* KINESTHETIC PEOPLE
Kinesthetic People 'feel' the world. They will respond best to touch, emotions and gut instinct. They make frequent pauses in their conversations and often use words such as "feel, touch, grasp, affect, pressure, grab, cold". Use these and similar words when you talk to them. Do not rush in conversation as they need slightly longer to process information than visual or auditory people.
3. ASK QUESTIONS - PLENTY OF THEM!
Effective questions and listening is the bottom line of trust. You will not be able to establish rapport with your client if you cannot listen. Every conversation is relationship, and you are there do discover your needs and values of your client - not other way round! Unfortunately, many sales people overlook importance of effective listening. They talk to the point when they oversell, often past the point when the client is willing to buy. By talking they often buy their product back!
Have a list of relevant open ended questions handy. Ask - and listen! Do not limit yourself to listening to what they say, listen to their emotions also. For example, if they use words 'happy' but sound flat, use this information and probe further. By asking questions and paying attention you will remain in control of conversation as you can use what you now know to describe your product accordingly. Link your product to needs of your client.
4. UNCOVER PRICE AT THE END OF CONVERSATION
Once I was asked by lady selling professional services for advice of how to improve her sales. She was happy with amount of inquiries she received, the only problem was, she converted hardly any of them. When I asked her to describe how the phone conversation usually went, she admitted that people usually called to ask about price, to which she promptly gave answer.
There is no surprise that she was struggling to sell. People who are interested in your product or service will often start with that question: "How much will it cost?" If you answer there and then, you have nowhere else to go. Unless they already made their mind up before their picked up the phone, you just lost your opportunity to get to know your client, to build relationship, to uncover their needs and to build value of your product or service.
So what to do when price is the only question on your customer's mind? It is actually very simple. When you are presented with question about the price at the beginning of conversation, ask your client: "Sure, and to answer that, may I ask you what got you interested in our product / service?" You can also tell them that it is free if it is not right for them and start asking questions.
Tell them about price towards the end of your conversation, once you know you built value of your product or service enough. If you did that well, price is never a question. Your customer only needs to know what they are paying for. Shortly after this point, it is a good idea to ask for objections, answer them if there are any, and ask for order.
5. SELL WITH INTEGRITY
This is probably the most important tip for increased sales - sell with integrity! If you have win win outcome in your mind and genuinely care about your client, you will find it very easy to build relationship with your client and sell them your product or service.
Once I was asked by a professional sales man whether we run an advanced course for building rapport. When I explained that rapport building skills are covered on each of our training courses, he said that he wants something more advanced than that. I told him: "No, we do not run any specialised courses for building rapport, however I can give you one advice right here and now that will surely advance your building rapport skills, would you like that?" And I told him to care about his customers. I told him to want the best for them. I told him to have a win win outcome in his mind. In other words, I told him to sell with integrity.
He had a 'light bulb' moment and I had a good feeling. I knew that from then on he will start building relationships instead of selling. Because to me, that what sales are about - meaningful relationships. With that in mind, sales excellence becomes so much more realistic.
Lenka Majstrikova is an expert author, Trainer and Master Practitioner of NLP, Time Line Therapy(tm) & Hypnosis, personal change facilitator and an absolute believer in the magnificence of every human being. She is a Founder and Managing Director of Ultimate Mind (http://www.ultimatemind.co.uk/), dynamic training company delivering accredited training courses in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) for personal and professional development.
Join Lenka on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ultimatemind to find more of inspirational articles and tips for living happy, healthy and prosperous life.
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