NLP Techniques/Winning Vocabulary: Building Rapport With Words

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#TuesdayTips

Understanding how people think isn’t just a good sales technique, it also is a great relationship-building skill that helps in all areas of your life!

I’ve already talked about how Internal Representation Systems (IRS) work and how identifying them can help you communicate better on many levels.  This post is focused on identifying the vocabulary clues that reveal the preferred Internal Representation System of the person you are talking to.

One of the objections I often hear about developing rapport is that it is tricky to focus on your prospect’s argument while simultaneously trying to subtly match and mirror aspects of their behaviour, another is that it is impossible to do this when you are talking on the phone since you can’t see the person you are talking to. The exciting thing about using a person’s vocabulary to establish rapport is that it is relatively easy to pick up their preferred Internal Representation System and you can use it in every social situation (except possibly at a noisy party).

What Are the Major Internal Representation Systems?

Visual:

The Visual person focuses on visual predicates that reflect their visual perception of the world around them.  You’ll hear visual words like:

  • See;
  • Look;
  • Show;
  • Reveal;
  • Illuminate;
  • Foggy;
  • Imagine;
  • Picture;
  • View;
  • Dawn;

Auditory:

The Auditory person focuses on the sounds of words, ideas, and proposals. They use words like:

  • Hear;
  • Listen;
  • Tune in (or out);
  • Ring a bell;
  • Silence;
  • Resonate;
  • Question;
  • Make music;
  • Deaf;
  • Sound;

Kinaesthetic:

The Kinaesthetic person is concerned about sensations and movement.  Their vocabulary includes words like:

  • Hard;
  • Catch on;
  • Tap into;
  • Feel;
  • Solid;
  • Grasp;Touch;
  • Throw out;
  • Unfeeling;
  • Make contact;

Auditory-Digital:

The Auditory-Digital person engages in a lot of self-talk and internal processing and the vocabulary they use reflects that internal dialogue, with words like:

  • Know;
  • Process;
  • Consider;
  • Decide;
  • Understand;
  • Experience;
  • Learn;
  • Motivate;
  • Change;
  • Perceive;

 

Obviously this is not an exhaustive list, and you will rarely hear predicates drawn from just one representational system in a conversation that is more than a few minutes long, but if you keep your ears open for the general trends you will know which key words to focus on in your response to a prospect or client and you will find that your close rate improves dramatically.

After all, good sales people are constantly improving their skills, and one of the most vital skills in any sales situation is developing rapport with the other person – otherwise you end up with a high return rate once your prospects have a chance to get away from your overpowering personality.

Before we close, I’d like to remind you that your preferred Internal Representation System is not fixed. It can shift over time and even from day to day, so this is a guide, not a box to place yourself or others into.  During Confident Closing workshops we use a short diagnostic test to help participants identify their preferred Internal Representation System, but we stress the importance of expanding your vocabulary, and becoming more flexible in this area of communication.

Meta Description:  The words you use make up less than 10% of your total communication, yet they are powerful tool in building rapport and understanding the things that matter to your people within minutes of starting a conversation with them.

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