NLP and Communication

NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) is the science of understanding people, patterns and the thinking process.

Patterns are reflected in people’s language patterns. The way we talk, the words we use, the ways we process information are all in our communication and how we internally represent the world. There are over 16 specific thought patterns. Sixteen different pieces to the puzzle. When you are talking with someone, your job is to figure out the puzzle; to identify the different pieces and how they fit together. If you understand the patterns, you understand how people think: a very useful tool.

Some salespeople look at NLP and think it is “out there,” new age, or different. They really don’t understand that all NLP is language patterns – something they learn all the time (i.e., how to ask questions, present benefits or deal with objections).

NLP is a great tool for understanding, motivating, changing and influencing other individuals. From a sales perspective, NLP has some interesting applications. So, let me give you a few examples and then a few strategies.


Anchors are essentially triggers that when fired, automatically create emotion in individuals. Now, that may seem far-fetched, but listen to me a little longer and you will get it. Let us start with an example of how an anchor might get placed.

At some point in your life you have had a strong attachment to someone. You loved them deeply. Perhaps you had a song, that when played made you think of them and you feel their love. The opposite can be true; if you had a bad breakup while a particular song was playing. It makes you think of that pain when you hear it again.

Basically, what happened was a random anchor was created. You were feeling love (emotion) and a song was played (trigger). The emotion and the song got linked.

It is kind of like Pavlov’s experiment with dogs. He would ring a bell and then present a dog with food. After several repetitions, the dog salivated as soon as the bell rang, regardless if he was given food.

Anchors happen randomly all the time, which can cause all kinds of psychological and behavior issues. In fact, a lot of therapy is simply breaking existing linked patterns.

In selling, we actually want to link positive emotions to specific behavior and action. For example, we want to link fun, pleasure, comfort and action to the buying decision.

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