NLP Training: Sales

NLP can improve almost every one’s sales performance. There are many ways that you can use NLP to improve sales. We have produced the following checklist to remind you of some of the elements. We suggest that careful practice is needed to build them into your own buying/sales cycles and achieve the best results. 

Basic sales cycle

  • Get attention
  • Establish Rapport and gather information
  • Package presentation
  • Inoculate against objections and test for close
  • Close & future pace and build in prospecting

Sales and nlp skills

  • State
  • Rapport
  • Value statements
  • Fact finding questions
  • Identifying criteria
  • Intonation
  • Anchoring
  • Presenting back and story telling
  • Tag questions
  • Handling objections
  • Closing
  • Build in prospecting

NB Less is often more …….it can be as easy as …….induce good state ……..introduce product or service……..close………....SHUT UP.


You lead with your state

What’s the best state to be in? For you and the situation – Curious, powerful, interested, confused, confident, empowering etc. They all have their place – you chose. Practice!!


Remember pace and lead. You can match, mirror to a greater or lesser extent – but keep it natural. We have found matching voice speed – and to a lesser extent pitch and tone, the most useful. Where appropriate use your customers exact words. 

Value statements

When you have to get a message across quickly i.e. in a cold call or meeting the CEO in a lift – play with the following sentence structure. Keep the structure but change the content. 

I can increase your (adjective) market share by 5%. (Adverb) 

E.g. I can increase your profitable market share by 5%. Quickly. 

E.g. I can reduce your key sales cycle by 25%. Easily. 

E.g. I can reduce your average product lead-time by 5 days. Safely. 

Remember when developing slightly longer value propositions include both ‘toward’ and ‘away’ from motivation; 

E.g. Increasing your service package will both increase your efficiency and reduce the frustration of long down time. 

The best value statements are developed with successful customers!   

Fact finding questions 

If in doubt ask! What do you really need to know to progress the sale? It can be really useful to refine your questions simply by asking ‘What am I really trying to find out?’ If your question fudges it, refine it. 

Being able to ask ‘difficult questions’ is a key sales skill. 

Continually update your own list of key questions


Identifying your customers criteria 

Ask “ What’s important to you about buying X?”

“What does that give you?”

“Anything else?”  

Listen to your customer’s exact words including their ‘needs’ ‘wants’ and ‘likes’ for each criteria. Note towards and away from motivation. Note strong sensory words. 

Continually update your own master list of possible customer criteria.


Remember you can anchor using touch, voice tone and/or looking at a point (among other things). 

E.g. you could look at the floor at the left when you mentioned anything bad, including any competition (care though!). 



  • Questions tone up
  • Statements tone flat
  • Commands tone down

Presenting and storytelling 

The object is to relate your product and service to your customers stated criteria. Use story telling to appeal to identified emotional issues. 

E.g. I’m wondering if you’re nervous about going ahead. It’s interesting that when I was discussing this with x, he felt really concerned. Infact he almost pulled out at the last minute – If you speak to him now he’s really happy about his decision.

Keep your eyes and ears open for (true) stories. 


Tag questions


  • Inoculate against objections
  • Test for close
  • Build yes sets
  • Build response potential


"wouldn't it""aren't you""wasn't it""won't you""aren't you""wasn't it" 

Useful when used sparingly

Handling Objections 


Build up a list of your likely objections. The best place to answer them is pro-actively as part of your presentation. You can inoculate against specific objections. Puts the odds in your favour! 

“Would you believe it I had a potential customer try to negotiate our prices down, he had absolutely know understanding of the real benefits over the investment, amazing how he thought he could waste my time – isn’t it?   


Yes, just carry on; your customer will bring it up again if important!   


Ask a question for clarification offering 2 alternatives. 

E.g. where do you want to be in 5-years?

In my professional or personal life? 

E.g. it’s too expensive? Are you questioning its value or how much you can afford to pay at the moment?   


Agree with your customer. Then ask a question. 

E.g. You’re right. Ask a question.

E.g. Maybe you’re right. Ask a question.

E.g. Perhaps you’re right. Ask a question. 


Final Objection 

E.g. if we could find a location you’d be happy with you’d go ahead – wouldn’t you? 



You have to know where you are! 

Test close 

“I’m wondering whether you’re ready to go ahead yet?” Just wait for and acknowledge the response. 

Other ideas 

“What do we need to do to move this forward”

“Are you going for the 10 week or the 6 week option?”

Mastercard or Visa?” 

“Have you already thought about it or would you like to decide now”?  

Remember you either move the sale forward or move on!


Building in prospecting 

Whatever happens as a minimum ask something like

“I’ve really enjoyed this – tell me who else do you know that I ought to talk to?

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