Neurolinguistic Programming

Throughout history a perplexing question of mankind has been “why are some people more successful than others?” While the complex explanation involves the interplay between genes, physical environment, socioeconomic and cultural indicators, the simple explanation involves programming.

In the early 1970s, a team of scientists at the University of California at Santa Cruz set out to answer the question of why people with similar backgrounds of education, training, and experience were not similarly successful. They wanted to explore what they called “the secrets of effective people” and wanted to “model human excellence”. What they discovered between people is that, while backgrounds were similar, the brain wiring – or programming — was distinctly different. What developed out of this research was the field of neurolinguistic programming. The word “neurolinguistic” is actually a combination of three words:

  • neuro: referring to the brain
  • linguistic: referring to content (verbal and non-verbal)
  • programming: manipulation of content

Neurolinguistic programming rests on the premise that thought patterns (programming) are largely responsible for an individual’s success or failure; that preconceived thoughts and mental conditioning effect our social interactions and accomplishments. The theory is that if you remodel your negative thoughts, you can change your personal situation.

How does NLP work?

At the most fundamental level, NLP skills help you make the other person feel comfortable and trust you. This process can be as simple as matching your verbal speed to mirror your customer. It can also be as complex as recognizing attitude biases or language preferences. By learning to talk the way your customer thinks or talks, you truly begin to “speak my language.” When people are comfortable with one another and no longer competing or posturing for power, the process of rapport happens automatically, even over the phone. In the typical selling or survey interaction, rapport is hard to achieve. By knowing how to make the other person feel comfortable with you, you are gaining the subconscious influence edge.

Identifying the skills of NLP was a marvelous accomplishment, but it was not enough. To make NLP truly useful, it had to become useful in every day life, that is where subconscious influence come in. When persuading others you can discover the power of NLP.

NLP has been successful as a guide for self-help motivator (Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, and others). But sales professionals needed more than self- motivation. They needed NLP to be a real tool to help them sell.

Where can NLP be useful to me?

NLP skills are valuable for influencing anyone anywhere. Whether through mail, on the phone, face-to-face, or in a group presentation, NLP skills get results. You can get a person to listen to you. You can leave voice mail messages that get a response. You can get more information from a secretary or gatekeeper, and you can help people remember and feel good about your company even though you are making only a survey call for information. Any time or place you want to be persuasive, there are several NLP skills that are available to you.

NLP will give you a subconscious influencing edge in:

  • Direct face- to-face selling
  • Client interviews to get information
  • Selection interviews for hiring
  • Cold-call interviews with prospects
  • Letters, memos, or conversations to influence
  • Direct mail or brochures to create interest
  • Phone solicitation or telemarketing
  • Formal presentations to sell an idea
  • Understanding and using motivation ‘hot’ buttons
  • Easy, effortless rapport and relationship building

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