“Your prospects and clients have their BS detector on high alert these days.
The old adage, ‘people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care’ has been heightened
by the growing fear that you might not even be talking to a human being.
The service businesses thriving right now are the ones who are
unquestionably human – even if that comes at the cost of perfection.”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta
In today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape, artificial intelligence (AI) has become an integral part of our lives. From voice assistants to autonomous vehicles, the influence of AI can be felt in almost every industry. However, a certain amount of suspicion has crept in alongside this transformation and your customers are asking…
What do I REALLY want?
Often, their answer is: a human being to talk to.
Human communication is the foundation of human society. It’s the basis of relationships and that indefinable sense of connection and communion. Today’s AI is pretty amazing, but neuroscientists have tested some of the most sophisticated models against a 10-month old baby… And the baby wins.
Of course, the baby can’t articulate everything that it absorbs from the humans around it, but unlike an AI artefact, it can learn and react without being trained. This is a crucial reality to keep in mind when it comes to the role of human-to-human communication in your business… An AI assistant will be more consistent, less likely to make mistakes (when properly trained), and more economical than a human, but if you don’t have humans available (warts and all) your customer service and long-term relationships with clients will go downhill.
Once you see AI merely as a tool rather than as a substitute for human interaction you are in a great position to make wise decisions about your sales and customer processes. AI can deliver output (the quality of which is dependent on the inputs it is given), but human communication goes far beyond the exchange of information; it encompasses empathy, emotional intelligence, and the capacity to understand complex ideas and evaluate intricate situations while relating to others. These qualities are essential for creating a motivated, productive workplace with a healthy culture and are the reason why in-person meetings, phone calls, and video calls are more effective than texts and emails in certain situations.
As an NLP Master Trainer specialising in corporate training, I have witnessed firsthand the transformative effects of effective human communication in the workplace. By harnessing the power of personal communication, leaders can amplify their influence and inspire their teams in ways that are far more effective than the most persuasive email.
Here are the Three Facets of In-Person Communication:
AI technology is an exciting tool, but it’s just that. It is up to us to use this technology in a way that enhances human connection and supports our long-term goals. I’m noticing two distinct bands of response to AI:
I believe we need to deliberately embrace a balanced approach which uses AI and yet maintains a distance. This is particularly true when you are leading an organisation and shaping the response of your team to innovation and future-thinking. Ask the questions you would ask for any other investment or new program or hire that you were about to make.
As you venture into the world of AI, make sure that you prioritise the development of your team’s communication skills and emotional intelligence because those are the characteristics that will set your organisation apart from competitors who leaned too far into jungle of robots and lost connection with their customers and staff.
In an AI-focused world, it is easy to become mesmerised by the capabilities of technology and dive down the rabbit-hole of possibilities that it offers. It’s definitely worth exploring these things and implementing them in your business. At the same time, unless your goal is to build a commodity business, you should always ensure that you are strengthening the human element of your business and prioritising efforts that inspire, motivate, and bring out the best in your colleagues and clients.
As creative leaders and effective managers, our goal is never merely to maximise efficiency. It is always to create a harmonious and prosperous workplace where people can flourish, grow, contribute, and make the world a happier and healthier place.
“Did you know that the #1 reason people don’t ask for a sale is not because they don’t think the product or service, they are selling is valuable?
… It’s because they are afraid their prospect doesn’t like them enough to buy.”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta
One of my early sales mentors and models used to remind the team at every single meeting that emotion and personality were just as important in Business-to-Business sales as they are in Business-to-Consumer sales – in some ways they are even more important. Closing a sale is almost never simply about features, benefits, and logic.
I often tell the story of Bob, the Photocopier man in my sales trainings – for context here’s the short version…
Some years ago, I was preparing for a conference and the department decided they needed to print some additional materials. We had a problem with our existing copier, and I had authorisation to purchase a new one. I was trying to distinguish between two copiers that looked identical from a brand that we knew and liked, and they sent their sales representative to talk to me.
Time was short and a couple of my colleagues were out sick, so I just wanted to clarify the features and order the new photocopier as quickly as possible. I explained this to Bob when he arrived, but he wasn’t listening and jumped straight to the start of his presentation. 90-minutes later I ushered him out the door without the sale and called the competing company.
When we’re talking about this situation during training people sometimes think this is an example of “Just get to the point, answer the question, and take the sale when you’re talking to a business.” It’s not – in fact, it’s the opposite.
You see, when Bob walked into our office the only thing that stood between him and a $45,000 closed sale was his ability to read the customer and answer my burning questions. He failed to do that… And he lost the sale to his competitor. In fact, he cost his company hundreds of thousands of dollars because before long all our photocopiers came from the competitor.
So, here are the 5 secrets that will get people to like you and give you the sale…
If you’re selling anything you need to know the product or service you are selling inside out. By all means, have your scripts and presentations ready and study the FAQs, but the real secret to creating trust and likely is your ability to discover what they really need to know before they buy – and to determine the questions they are not asking.
We all have one or two senses that are more highly developed than others. Identifying (and using) the language that resonates most effectively with the person you are talking to is an incredibly effective way of building trust and liking with others. It has the added benefit of demonstrating that you are really listening (See Secret #1).
Discover your own primary communication style by taking this short quiz.
In the world of advertising, you’ll often hear people say that you need to ‘enter the conversation people are already having in their own heads.’ That’s a powerful truth for increasing engagement, but it’s also a wise strategy for creating and growing the emotional connection between two people. It’s hard not to like someone who demonstrates both by their questions and their responses to your answers that they have made the effort to understand your world and to feel your pain and that opens people up to listen when you offer a solution.
Generalisations may capture the imagination and intrigue, but without details to back up the lofty promises and glorious vision they can lead to suspicion. In one-to-one conversations (in person, on the phone, or via Zoom), use the information you have gathered from applying secrets #1-3 to zero in on the details that you know will interest the other person. Save the ‘laundry list’ for large group communications and sales letters where you are speaking to a wider group.
Humans are designed to pursue that which runs away and flee from that which pursues. The needy salesperson rarely makes a sale because prospects sense their desperation and instinctively step back. Your likability index measurably increases when you give others space to explore other options while knowing that you are still there. There’s a fine, fine line between persistence and space and so it’s essential to expand your communication and people-reading skills.
We believe that this is true because sales is also a fundamental HUMAN skill – one of the few skills that doesn’t just apply to one aspect of your life, but which translates across cultures, languages, environments, and specialties.
As we run trainings in corporate environments, as well as public trainings we constantly hear back that the communication and persuasion skills our clients learn are transforming their teams, homes, marriages, parenting, and friendships (even though we don’t actually conduct marriage or parenting training). I think that it is a sad reflection on our society that it puts ‘sales’ in the icky pile (you wouldn’t believe how many people recoil from the idea of sales training) because I think that has two critical consequences (quite apart from the actual $$ value of a sale):
If you would like to learn more about LifePuzzle’s sales and communication programs and their role in business development, take a look HERE.
“The greatest sales people in the world respect their buyers and leave them feeling confident that they have just made a fantastic decision that will help them achieve their goals more easily.”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta
AI is actually something of a red herring.
The truth is that we’ve all been using AI in the background for years without ever thinking much about it, but now it seems as though people are worried that it will take their jobs, their clients, and their business away. For some people that may be a real threat, but here’s the good news… It’s up to you whether AI is the promise of abundance or the threat of scarcity. That outcome is something you CAN control!
I’m working with sales professionals and leaders in many different fields who are using AI to accelerate and empower their sales results. For example, Jenny is using AI to locate ideal clients and research their background so that she can direct her conversations and focus on their highest goals. It has enabled her to get to a 91.3% close rate, more than doubling her sales value with less time spent and ensuring that she has a waiting list of highly qualified clients. Anna is using AI to motivate her team and help them track their performance more actively – as a result, individuals have discovered new strengths as well as ways to overcome weaknesses and plug the holes in their system. For both of them, AI has been the tool they never realised they were missing that enables them to fully use the human potential in themselves and their collaborators.
How is that possible?
It simply requires that you recognise what AI is good at and use it to help you track and perform those actions, while also letting your human side shine. AI is like your calendar or your PA on steroids – helping you plan and organise more effectively so that you have more time and energy to do the things you do best.
Scripts are powerful. They give us guidelines – rather like a rope in a cave – but when we depend on them too much, they turn human beings into tools and robots.
It doesn’t matter if you are delivering a formal sales presentation, having a phone conversation, or an in-person meeting… A script can be deadening or it can deliver results – depending on the other skills you bring to the conversation.
A recent example of this was shared during a session in which we played recordings of real conversations. It comes from a performance discussion:
Manager: How’s it going, Sally?
Sally: I’m having a terrible week, my cat had to be put down on Sunday.
Manager: Oh. (Brief pause) Well, how do you feel that’s going to affect your numbers this week?
Sally: (sounding disinterested) They’ll stay about the same.
Manager: Are you sure? I’d hate to see you lose your bonus.
I mean!!! Here you have two people face-to-face in the same room and all the manager can say is, “Oh!” before continuing on with the planned conversation. I’d have to say he deserves to feel threatened by AI because that was about as scripted and inhuman as you can get.
If Sally had been talking with a chat bot it might have at least been programmed to offer a response to her news about her cat.
As it happens, this manager has been passed over for promotion several times because he has not worked on his listening and conversational skills. He feels like he’s good at his job, organised, and cares about the company so he deserves a promotion. He doesn’t understand that leadership isn’t about competence as much as it is about influence which comes from being human and relatable.
I could have told you some equivalent examples from sales calls and presentations where the individual ignored the cues from his audience and pressed on with his prepared message. You can probably think of some yourself.
Effective sales people (and leaders) can tune into their audience, they know how to listen and pick out the key phrases or emotions others need to hear, and they can respond appropriately to other people and then return to their presentation or script gracefully, leaving the other person feeling they have been heard… And, therefore, open to listen in turn to what you are saying.
“The person with the most flexibility controls the situation.”
Traditional Sales Strategies can be a little like the manager I quoted above – so focused on the script and the message that they can’t manage to deal with any variations. Really effective sales people may use the same strategies and scripts as others, but they have the ability to pay close attention to the person in front of them, to listen closely, and to make adjustments to their language, mannerisms, and the way the present the facts.
In a thriving economy, scripts and systems are incredibly effective, but when things get tough, it is the connection and relationship that dictates the outcome. That means that you need the flexibility of authentic humanity and the more powerfully you can project that, the more effectively you will be able to sell you product, service, or idea to others.
The era of heavily scripted and automated sales is over. If that is your preferred (or only) method of selling it’s time to expand your range… Or you really will be an AI casualty.
If you think that your ‘Sales Team’ are the only ones who need to know how to sell your products and services then it’s time to reevaluate your approach. When I tell people that Sales is the #1 Life Skill, I often get pushback and a request to explain why I say that because it seems to me that when it comes to things people fear, if Public Speaking is the top contender and Death is second, then Sales is in third place. I get that… If you’re thinking of the pushy, sleazy sales tactics that are often associated with used cars and real estate…
BUT – the truth is that we are all selling
… Unless we stand back and take the approach which lets other people dig their own grave if they don’t immediately resonate with the advice we offer.
Natural consequences are great teachers – yet, as parents, friends, colleagues – and certainly as leaders – there are many lessons we’d all prefer to have our children or others learn from advice rather than experience.
That is why leaders in every context need to hone their sales skills and their ability to choose the right examples, present them appropriately with language and images suitable for the person listening to them… So that you can deliberately and purposefully lead others to examine their options critically, choose wisely, and follow through diligently.
As I’ve mentioned previously, sales skills aren’t just about selling products and making money – and they’re certainly not about manipulating others for your benefit at their expense. If the idea of ‘sales’ leaves a nasty taste in your mouth then you probably need to make a determined and decisive effort to reevaluate your position.
If you aren’t averse to ‘sales’ but recognise that your current skills aren’t sufficient for the future challenges you anticipate then you probably already know that I’m going to suggest that you improve your ability to:
Your question is probably:
“How can I take my existing knowledge to the next level?”
“Knowledge is not enough. You also need to practice, experiment, and get feedback.”
Which is why I’m excited that we can once again hold in-person events!
My Leadership Sales Summit is designed to guide you through this way of selling in an authentically human fashion so that both parties feel valued and end with a sense of satisfaction and a stronger relationship. This is not ‘merely theory’ it’s 2 days of solid practice and learning with the goal of enhancing your skills.
Click HERE to email the team and register for Early Admission and join us for this powerful and transformational experience.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
~ Maya Angelou
“Every effective sales person knows that a script will only take you so far. Every parent or boss knows that you can’t argue people into commitment. Every leader knows the power of conviction and authenticity.”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta
Mindset has become the new sales buzz word for a reason: we now have the tools to measure the impact a person’s emotional state has on those around them and we can see what happens to participants when you walk into a sales meeting believing that you won’t make the sale.
In 2008, Alex Pentland published a book Honest Signals: How They Shape Our World based on his studies in non-verbal communications at MIT. While there have been other books on similar topics, this is the first publication to rely on brain technology and other tools to objectively measure these signals. He and his team measured the effect of that mysterious quality known as ‘charisma’ – a synthesis of mindset and comportment and discovered that they were able to make direct correlations between the depth and quality of the non-verbal signals people unconsciously emit and their results in:
There are two incredibly exciting implications of this research that apply to anyone who thinks of themselves as a leader (for whom sales is the #1 skill) or a sales professional:
I’m not a big fan of buzzwords. They carry too many loaded (and often inaccurate) connotations although they can also provide a useful shorthand for complex ideas. However, the first two of these words (Emotional Quotient – Charisma) are usually used as a statement of a fixed attribute: you either have them or you don’t. This means that they are used to assess candidates for leadership or sales as a threshold, rather than as a skill that can be learned and expanded.
That’s like saying, “I’m bad at maths so I’ll never learn to count.” Or “I’m not built to run a marathon.” I bet that even Mozart struggled to play a tune the first time he sat down at the piano.
In my book, Confident Closing: Sales secrets that grew a business by 400% in six months and how they can work for you! I tell the story about the sales team I was assigned to transform and how a diverse group of ‘sales failures’ learned to create powerful personal connections and deliver sensational results. What I don’t mention in the book is that the exercise wasn’t actually a last-ditch effort to salvage a failing team… it was a calculated plan to lay off those team members as non-performers and to return the business to the 1980’s style pressure sales techniques preferred by the Head of Sales. I knew before I took the role that these talented people struggled to connect, but I believed that I could solve their problem – and I proved my point.
You can’t always predict when a conversation that should have been straightforward will become unexpectedly tense and difficult – and even when you know a conversation will be challenging you can’t accurately discern all the twists it may take in advance. That’s why you need to develop your ability to read the body language, energetic field, and tone changes of your companions as well as their words.
If you are following a script – or AI prompts, – you may avoid the awkward silence that comes when your offer is rejected or deflected and you don’t know what to say next, but you will also lose the opportunity to discover what is really happening in your prospect’s life. Not only will that leave people feeling neutral or negative towards you, but it also eliminates the ability to scope out opportunities and initiate future conversations. There is no denying that AI is powerful and that it has many valid applications – BUT the best way to future-proof your life and career is to focus on creativity, emotion, and the skills that make humans human.
The day may come when machines take over the earth and nothing human has any further value, but that is still a long way off. For the foreseeable future, there is no substitute for skilled human connection. The problem is that the fascination and safety of our electronic devices and communications has done a great deal of damage to our ability to read and respond to other people. While the sales and communication skills we teach at Life Puzzle are based on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), we are not merely teaching a system or a set of scripts. We equip our clients with the ability to amplify their human skills and to accurately observe and respond to prospects in ways that build trust, liking, and confidence based on authentic communication.
If you’d like to learn more about amplifying your human superpowers and becoming an expert in active listening skills, join our email list and get semi-weekly emails with communication skills as well as regular updates on upcoming courses and events so you can become a communication superhero.
*Remember to check out Part 1 of this series HERE: Unleash Your Communication Superhero and Boost Your Sales Naturally
“There is enough pain and difficulty in most people’s lives. When you offer them a pleasurable escape and then deliver what you promised you will have a customer for life… The second part of that statement is what builds your reputation and relationship.”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta
If so, then you need to hone your communication and relationship-building skills so that you can have more effective conversations and make lasting connections. STOP making excuses about your ability to communicate, be memorable, and make sales. Everyone can learn these powerful communication skills that will not only make you more influential but will also enrich every area of your life.
Sales and salespeople have a lousy reputation.
What negative images and impressions do you have around sales?
What adjectives do you mentally associate with sales?
Common examples include: used car sales people, real estate agents, MLM recruiters. Common adjectives include: sleazy, pushy, lying, deceptive…
As a sales trainer and the founder of Life Puzzle, a sales and personal development company, I often hear these negative stereotypes offered as reasons why people don’t want to participate in sales training. “I want to be authentic and genuine,” people will say – or… “I don’t want to force people into a decision.”
I agree wholeheartedly.
IF… you don’t believe that your product or service can:
THEN… Find something that does. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. Ever!
So… Now that I’ve delivered that warning, let’s talk about the key to effective sales and persuasion (which is the bigger context of sales) => Communication Skills
Good teachers start with an inventory of their students’ individual strengths and weaknesses even if they’re teaching a class. It doesn’t matter what skill you are talking about, this is a fundamental tool for helping your students make observable progress and it applies to communication skills as much as to anything else.
One of the things I look for in any trainers that I add to my team is an ongoing learning habit because that makes them better teachers. You see, habitual learners find creative ways to identify their own strengths and weaknesses and that enables them to identify them in others and give specific targeted feedback and analysis. This is especially important in communication because – for most people – their problem isn’t “communication” as a whole, it is specific parts of the communication process that they find challenging – for some it’s attention or focus; for others it might be body language or eye-contact skills; for others, it’s the words they choose.
Once you understand your own specific strengths and weaknesses in communication, you can take steps to enhance your strengths and overcome your weaknesses – and for most people that takes personal attention which is why people struggle to progress when they just buy a book or a course that doesn’t provide personalised feedback.
Just 7% of communication consists of the words used. The rest of your communication is non-verbal. That doesn’t make your choice of words UNimportant – but it doesn’t mean that you have more to work on than just your words if you want to enhance your communication skills.
I remember one student who couldn’t work out why people felt uncomfortable talking to him. Within minutes we identified the problem: he was making too much eye-contact and invariably people he talked to would break off the conversation as quickly as possible because it looked like he was trying to stare them out or hypnotise them. He had heard about making eye-contact and over-developed the habit. He didn’t break it at once, especially if he was interested and engaged in conversation, but as he became better at reading body language and active listening he was more attuned to his conversation partner and learned to read the signals.
Today, he uses eye contact appropriately to communicate focused attention, but he’s quick to perceive if others are feeling threatened and to adjust his technique appropriately.
In Part 2, we’ll look at the communication strategies required to tackle difficult conversations, handle conflict, manage collaboration, and build strong durable relationships with colleagues and customers, but it all starts with a growing understanding of your communication strengths and weaknesses and your ability to read other people’s responses.
If sales is the #1 life skill, then confident and congruent communication is the heart of any successful sale – especially if it’s complex and your prospects might be confused about their options and alternatives.
One of the most frequent comments we get at Life Puzzle when we speak or conduct trainings is from people who think they are sales-allergic. We’ll hear things like, “I have never attended a course that had so many applications to my life outside work.” Especially during multi-day trainings we’ll hear accounts of the wonderful conversation they had with their spouse and how they resolved a long-standing dilemma (as well as the surprise sale they closed)… But my favourite story was the woman who arrived for Day 2 of her workplace training absolutely beaming: after five years of marriage, she had used her newfound skills to totally disarm her mother-in-law and get her to cook a delicious dinner rather than complaining about her daughter-in-law’s food.
Join our email list and get semi-weekly emails with communication skills as well as regular updates on upcoming courses and events so you can become a communication superhero.
“Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.”
~ John Ruskin
I was talking to a regional sales manager a few weeks ago about our sales training program and he told me the following story…
Like most growing companies, we invest in our sales teams consistently because we know that when our sales representatives are encouraged and successful our whole company flourishes. Last year we hired a well-known sales training company to deliver a 12-month program for us. It was an expensive contract, but we anticipated at least a 3X gain. Three months into the contract we noticed that our sales numbers had slumped and morale was slipping. Things got worse from there! It turned out that this well-known sales training company was doing 5 things that nearly destroyed the sales team in a very short space of time.
A sales system doesn’t have to complex, but you do need a system and it must be effective. Your sales system has three main purposes:
You might think that this is a no-brainer and that every sales training program would teach an appropriate, workable system, but that’s (unfortunately) not true.
Again, this should be a no-brainer: every coach gives a steady stream of targeted feedback designed to improve performance and acknowledge positive efforts and results and effective sales trainers use the same methods. Sadly, this is uncommon and so people leave training sessions without any clear indication of whether they are implementing their new skills properly or not.
Sometimes, you’ll hear people say, “that doesn’t work” when what they really mean is, “I never learned that right and discovered years later that I’d completely misunderstood the concept or tool.”
The fundamentals of sales are exactly that… Fundamental skills that enhance your results. A great sales training program helps every participant to go deeper into those fundamentals and should give individuals a sense of momentum. After all, every day, every sales encounter (whether it’s successful or not) is a chance to learn and grow.
Michael Jordan practiced free throws every single day, long after he could score a shot while looking in a completely different direction. He used to say that he was still learning more about himself ands body every day. Successful sales training demands the same level of focused awareness as you tune into what is happening in your mental, physical, and emotional state rather than mechanically going through the motions.
Details matter in sales… Until they don’t. Some sales training programs will zoom in on situational details that may or may not be relevant rather than focusing on the principles that drive your thinking in different situations.
Contrary to popular belief there is no single presentation style or script that will work for every person. As a sales trainer, especially when delivering an in-house program, poor programs focus on irrelevant specifics which leave sales personnel insecure and poorly equipped to handle a change in the product, a new objection, or merely a client with a different personality.
You must go into every sales encounter with curiosity about your prospect and a genuine desire to determine whether your product is a good fit in terms of outcomes and budget. Yes, you need a positive attitude, but you also need to be ready to acknowledge that you might not have the best solution for them.
When you always assume the sale, discovering that your product/service does not fit their needs feels like a failure and that is discouraging. Effective sales training inculcates a positive curiosity and openness that generally leaves both sides feeling positive even if no sale occurs.
Identify sales trainers who focus on creative sales training techniques and train the principles of self-awareness, authentic communication, and open curiosity as well as proven systems that are easy to use and appropriately designed.
Expect an effective custom-designed training program to be designed around a 12-month series of modules so there is time to build skills and understanding. I’ve seen three-month accelerator programs deliver great results and then the company says we’ve got what we wanted so we won’t sign up for the next phase – this is a false economy. Every time that has happened results have stalled.
So all I can say is…
REMEMBER: sales are the lifeblood of your company. Don’t skimp on your training but keep your sales force sharp.
“The way neuroscience and neuro-linguistic programming helps your sales is by allowing you to better understand your prospects’ thinking and their motivation to buy your product. This means more satisfied purchasers for your product.”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta
Neuro-Linguistic Programming is the study of how the human brain receives and processes information. If you study the speeches and tools used by influential leaders from the earliest stages of recorded history, you’ll find the essence of NLP techniques and principles inside.
NLP is frequently studies to elevate communication skills, improve negotiation, and generally help people to understand others better. Since successful relationships are at the heart of human happiness, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a very powerful tool for everyone. It is an especially popular field of study for salespeople who want to understand their customers better and deal with the challenge of discovering whether what they are selling would serve them or not.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming can be broken down into three parts:
To understand the neuroscience of sales, we first have to look at the brain. The brain is an intricate network of neurons, or nerve cells. The neurons communicate with each other by firing electrical impulses through “synapses.” They also connect with other neurons in an area called the “cortex.” These connections are like pathways. They can be reinforced through habitual behaviour and altered by creating new behaviours or patterns.
The brain processes information through triggers, which is why Neuro-Linguistic Programming incorporates several techniques that enable you to auto-trigger new behaviours to replace existing ones. It also explains why you can have a visceral response to a person without any overt reason – it could be based on remembered associations and experience (positive or negative).
Language is a complex system. Even though it is responsible for only around 7% of the information we receive, understanding how language works and the ability to interpret what others are really saying, as well as to grasp how they are hearing our words not only improves your relationships at home and work but also helps salespeople understand what their prospects are thinking and when they have made up their mind to say, “No,” but are too polite to actually articulate that.
The reason I love neuroscience and neuro-linguistic programming in sales is because it is so fascinating to watch different areas of the brain light up in response to stimuli and to recognise that just as you can re-program your own thoughts and responses, you can also use that knowledge to better connect with your prospects by understanding their emotions, feelings, and motivations.
Once you’re aware of this, you don’t need sophisticated brain monitoring equipment to gauge how prospects are responding to your sales call, you just need to use your eyes, ears, and intuition. You’ll quickly recognise the difference between genuine objections, and the excuses of a person who has already made a decision, and you’ll understand the best way to respond to help them choose wisely.
Unlike what you may have seen on TV or in movies, there is nothing in NLP that removes your prospect’s freewill and self-determination. Your skill in using NLP will only help you understand your prospect’s true concerns.
Here are 5 NLP sales techniques that you can use to increase your sales.
Zig Ziglar famously said, “Timid salespeople have skinny kids.” This is often misunderstood. It’s interpreted to mean that effective salespeople need to be pushy and sell people ‘stuff’ they don’t need and can’t afford… But that is certainly not what Zig intended. As much as anything, Zig’s point was about developing your communications skills so that you help the other person recognise what they really want and see their objections either as genuine reasons why they don’t need what you are offering or as an excuse that is preventing them from getting the outcome they desire.
The real advantage that honing your NLP skills offers salespeople is the ability to gain insight from the language and non-verbal communications of prospects about their real attitude. That enables them to tailor their presentation to the preferences of the prospect and meet their needs.
The internet has completed the democratisation of knowledge.
What you know has much less power than your ability to use that knowledge effectively: that is, having the skills and discernment to use your knowledge for good. As a Master Trainer of NLP and one of Australia’s most effective sales trainers, I know that transformation and skill development is about practice and habit-building… And sometimes removing old habits that no longer serve you. This is especially important in a tight economy where your prospects are more cautious about their investments and expenditures. That’s why NOW is the time to develop and hone the communication skills, of your salespeople and all those in leadership positions.
If you know you need some help, why not explore our Ready Set Sell Program which teaches you to build the habits and skills you need over 30 days? We promise you won’t regret it!
“When it comes to making sales… The simple truth is that we do business with people we like. That’s why relationship building in sales is so important.”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta
When you’re trying to build your business and make sales, it can be difficult to come across as genuine and friendly. You don’t want to seem fake; you just want people to see the value in what you sell. That’s why I believe it’s important to work from the inside out and build relationships rather than rely on tricks and techniques. Your prospects have a BS antenna, just like you do. Luckily, there are plenty of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and communication tools to make building relationships in sales an integral part of your personality instead of a conscious facade. Read on for six simple ways you can work on building relationships to make more sales by being more self-assured and authentic.
Many people find it difficult to be confident salespeople or they don’t know how to convey confidence in themselves and their sales abilities to others. They can come across as over-assertive or pushy and that is never a good look.
The challenge is to communicate genuine confidence, not the fake kind. You can boost your confidence by thinking positively, doing a little exercise, and practicing to make yourself feel better.
The problem is that positive thinking takes will-power, and sometimes we’d rather just drift along. That’s where a specific NLP technique can get you back on track and keep you from getting down when things aren’t going your way, and it also helps you stay enthusiastic when things are going well. Even if you don’t understand NLP, here’s a habit that anyone can develop:
Every time negative thoughts start to pop into your head, add to both these lists by writing down another three things you are good at and three things you are not so good at.
Over time, you’ll collect a robust list in both of these areas. That way, instead of worrying about the things you cannot control, you’ll be focused on the things you can control. Here are a few more tips that can help boost your sales:
If you want to make meaningful connections with people, you have to speak from your core values. When you do this, people feel a stronger connection with you, are more likely to value your products and services, and want to get to know you.
A great way to boost the number of people who understand and appreciate your core values, is to start by telling your story in a more personal way. This doesn’t mean that you spend hours talking about yourself, though – that will just make people think that you are self-absorbed. Instead, find a simple way to connect your story to your core values using metaphors and analogies.
Your team members should also speak about their core values – and hopefully they share your esteem for the business you all work in. It’s ok to acknowledge that your product or service doesn’t suit everyone – in fact, that’s a great way to frame your questions and dig deeply for information about the person you are talking to. If you ask the right questions, just about everyone (except for undercover ASIO agents) likes talking about themselves.
One of the best ways to convey your core values and build relationships in sales is through non-business-life examples.
We all know that people have a life outside their work, and when you can communicate that you often find unexpected links and connections with your prospects. I’m a keen golfer and as long as I don’t talk about it too much with people who have no interest in golf, it’s a great way of developing a relationship with people who share my interest.
It’s the same for your team members. Encourage them to engage with prospects appropriately and build rapport via non-business interests in pets, hobbies, etc. You should always remember that everyone has a human side no matter what their role in the company.
One of the core principles of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is that “The person with the most flexibility controls the conversation.” In sales, it’s your responsibility to make adjustments to the conversation and offer so that you highlight the factor that whoever you’re speaking to is most concerned about.
It’s important that you don’t let these adjustments lead to you losing control of the sale and letting your prospect dictate the terms of the sales and delivery. If you aren’t getting the results you want, you and your team should gather information and discuss it carefully. Businesses need to adapt to market conditions, competitors, and prospects’ needs and you should be prepared for this kind of adjustment.
This is also true when you’re having a conversation. Just because you’d planned to spend more time discussing a particular benefit of your product, if you realise that your prospect has not interest, then move on and find the point of pain where they are really interested. If the point you wanted to make was critical to their buying decision, you can circle back to it later using a lateral chunk.
If you want to build lasting relationships in sales with prospects and clients so that you keep doors open for further deals, then you’ll need to make a concerted effort to boost the amount of time you spend helping others get what they want. Zig Ziglar used to say, “You can get anything you want in life if you spend enough time helping others get what they want.”
That is an important principle to keep in mind. Figure out what your prospect wants and find a way to position your product or service so that it helps them achieve that. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, but it will not only help others, but it also helps you feel good about yourself.
There’s probably a reason why NLP didn’t become a formal discipline until the 1950s. It’s most likely connected to the fact that up until the early twentieth century people lived a lot closer to each other and were far less mobile.
That meant that you already knew most of the things you had in common with the people you did business with, and you didn’t need to work so hard to build trust. The chances are that others already knew you from school, family, and church settings, and that you had had plenty of opportunities to develop your communication and conversation skills over time.
It’s different now, which is why people who want to excel try to enhance their understanding of how people think, act, and react… And why NLP tools and techniques are important to help us build relationships in sales.
At Life Puzzle, we are proud to offer the best NLP courses in Australia. Our courses are guaranteed to improve your or your team’s sales skills as we offer a mix of both theoretical and practical NLP sales training. Our NLP courses are designed to provide you with all the tools and techniques you need to be a successful salesperson.
We cover everything from understanding the psychology behind why people buy, to learning how to build rapport and connect with people in a practical way. Our NLP courses are suitable for both beginners and experienced salespeople as we offer a range of courses that cater to all levels. If you are looking for NLP training in Australia, then contact us today to find out more about our NLP courses.
“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”
Businesses getting their team trained in NLP sales techniques is a strategically proactive move designed to ensure that they have the deal flow and cash flow to expand as the economy tightens and new opportunities present. It’s a well-established fact that investment in sales training is one of the biggest drivers of resilience during economic turbulence, which is great news for sales training organisations.
The questions I have for you are:
Many organisations keep offering their sales teams (and these days everyone from receptionists to account executives to implementers are part of your sales team and should be trained) the same tactical sales training over and over again. The reality is that what most people need to heighten their sales skills is sales training that focuses on elevating mindset, communication, and interpersonal skills – the basic scripts and tactics are good starters but the highest performing salespeople are those whose prospects feel that, “My concerns were heard and responded to and I am convinced that this is an excellent decision.”
That makes sales training both easier and harder to design and deliver. It’s simple because your primary goal is to ensure that you focus on taking their mindset, communication, and interpersonal skills to the next level – the principle at the heart of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).
It’s hard because while you can make dramatic progress almost instantly and accelerate your sales, it takes time and practice to heighten those skills and make them habitual so you can get dramatic results in a 2-3 day (or even hour) training, but it takes consistent reinforcement for most people to make them stick.
Chandell is a Best-selling Author, Master Sales Trainer and a Master Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). Experience has taught her that Sales is the #1 Life Skill and that anyone can master it: without this critical skill, your relationships, opportunities, health, and finances all suffer. Take a look at my NLP sales training courses today.
It’s part of human nature to spend most of our time listening to the same people (usually those with whom we agree, sometimes those who make us angry).
BUT… It’s incredibly dangerous to do this in a rapidly changing world!
As the proverb says, “If all you have is a hammer, then every problem is a nail.” This is a particularly effective strategy for a carpenter, but it’s a disaster for a business owner or salesperson because it makes them ignore the reality around them and often means they miss the opportunity that is staring them in the face.
We all have our preferred mentors, experts we follow, and strategies we adhere to… And that’s essential. If we didn’t, then we’d go crazy jumping from one strategy to the next and never give anything a chance to work.
At the same time, it is also important for each of us to make sure we protect ourselves against the dangers inherent in our own echo chamber by exposing ourselves to other opinions and perspectives especially when it comes to sales.
I have certain people and communities that I’m part of who have an enormous influence on my decisions, and I believe listening to these different perspectives is a great way to boost sales. One of the reasons why NLP is such a key tool for sales professionals is its emphasis on training people to set aside their assumptions and hear what is really being said.
In addition, I also schedule time every day to explore and listen to these different perspectives of people in all areas of life and thought – people who challenge my point of view because they force me to clarify and learn from them.
I encourage you to do the same and make a habit of listening to people who hold different points of view.
No matter how valuable your existing community is, you should also really listen to people on the ‘other side’ (and have an open mind as you do so) because it will help you clarify your views and expose weaknesses in your existing sales processes. You may think that you have everything sorted out, but there are always ways that you can step up your effectiveness.
As a business owner or sales professional, you need to pursue a definite goal and follow a clear path if you want to accomplish anything, but you also need to recognise that there are other possibilities for achieving the same aim – and some of them may enhance what you are already doing.
I always challenge my students to choose one area in which they hold strong views and listen to the opposite point of view presented by a credible adherent on their own terms.
Let’s be topical here and talk about sales training:
Today’s society is more polarised than at any time in recent history. We run the risk of becoming the kind of global society that condemned Galileo because he didn’t bend his thinking. You can spearhead the shift by opening your own ears to other perspectives – or you could start a movement by offering your sales team powerful training that transforms their ability to really hear what people have to say.
The most effective sales technique is that which makes your salespeople better listeners and communicators and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) sales techniques are the way to go. There’s no question that merely being exposed to NLP sales techniques improves communication skills.
BUT… Very few NLP sales training courses reinforce those skills and reteach them until they become habitual patterns – and very few individuals have the discipline and commitment to keep studying and practising them on their own. This is one of the distinctive characteristics of Chandell Labbozzetta’s NLP Sales Mastery Academy and one of the reasons why international companies invite her back year after year to train everyone from executives to receptionists.
“Selling is about being face-to-face with a customer, truly hearing what they say (not merely ‘listening’) and responding appropriately. When you’re selling by phone or virtually, you need your skills to be more finely honed, not less – that’s how you can use NLP to boost your sales.”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta
As the world shifts back to face-to-face interactions, you’ve probably realised that some of your communication skills are just a little rusty. If so, you’re part of the honest majority who acknowledge the problem and have decided to do something about it – which is where neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) sales training comes in.
Maybe you’re making an effort to attend in-person networking events and conferences or go to the office a couple of days per week rather than work from home. Perhaps you’re going out to restaurants more or hanging out in a coffee shop… But when you look around you realise that there a lot of people who seem to be struggling to communicate and interact.
I get that.
Conversation is like music, a foreign language, dance, or any other practice-based skill. You use it – or you lose it. The first step is to acknowledge that you have a problem and not just pretend things are ok.
The next step is to recognise that this is an opportunity for you. Rather than merely regaining your previous level of expertise in conversation (as opposed to chit-chat), you could choose to become a deliberately skilled communicator. NLP sales training allows you to present your ideas (as well as your skills and products) persuasively in ways that resonate with your audience whether that is one person, a small group, or an auditorium filled with eager listeners.
At Life Puzzle we have a distinctive focus on actually practicing the techniques with precision, understanding the psychology that makes them effective, and exploring real life applications at an appropriate level. If you’d like to find out more, check out our NLP sales training page today.
Of course, you know what you are talking about. That’s just your entry card, though.
The key to influence is understanding how your audience sees the subject and its relevance to them. Whether you’re having a conversation or making a speech, you need to make the connections for them – and that’s a skill that Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) sales techniques can help you develop.
You see, all successful salespeople know their product and can explain its relevance and benefits to the user, but the ultra-successful ones know how to read their audience and deliver group presentations that appeal to people with a range of communication styles. Using Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques, these same master communicators and salespeople are also great conversationalists in both large and small groups because of their ability to listen to others and shape their responses to appeal to them.
NLP and sales go hand-in-hand, but some people think it is manipulative.
I have two responses to this:
I really hate the idea of ‘fake it till you make it’ or taking a position because you believe it will give you an advantage even if you don’t really believe it. If you’re in sales and you aren’t getting results, my #1 question is always:
“Tell me about the product you are selling. Do you believe it represents value for your customers?”
NLP teaches us that our words are only around 7% of our communication – that’s true even on the phone. If you are making sales calls and not getting results, you are either talking to the wrong people or you have a problem with congruency… No amount of sales training, NLP, or anything else will help you sell a product that doesn’t serve its purpose – but NLP sales training can help you develop and communicate congruency around the value you deliver and the price you charge.
James knew his product statistics inside and out. He could recite the features and highlight the benefits it would deliver to the buyer. He was personable and motivated, but he wasn’t really getting the sales results his manager wanted even when he was speaking to qualified customers.
He attended an NLP training session I presented on “Confident Closing” and was able to identify the underlying problem that was strangling his sales. Then, using the NLP skills he had learned in that short period, his sales results picked up significantly, and his manager was delighted.
James had also enrolled in my NLP Sales Mastery Academy which I designed to give people a chance to both learn and apply their NLP knowledge in a deep way. There are real advantages of immersing yourself in an intensive NLP training course (and I love delivering those and seeing the transformation), but so many people go home from their intensive and forget to use all the resources they gained!
As James learned the NLP communication (and self-mastery) tools and was challenged to apply them in new ways, he went from a successful salesperson to a master salesperson and superb communicator in just twelve months, and his career blossomed.
If you want to be like James and become an NLP Sales Master, contact us today.
Select your desired option below to share a direct link to this page.
Your friends or family will thank you later.