If you are in sales, or if you’d like to be able to covertly persuade somebody, this will give you some useful NLP based sales tips that you can go out and use today. They are fairly straightforward, easy to learn, and extremely powerful.
There based on a couple of ideas. The first is anchoring, or in this particular case, spatial anchoring. Anchoring was first discovered by Pavlov, who was doing some other experiments. He was measuring the saliva from dogs, as they got ready to eat. He would ring the bell, and the dogs would come, and they would eat. He noticed that just by ringing the bell, the dogs would salivate, whether or not the food was actually there or not.
He took an automatic physiological response, and transferred it from its natural trigger, the food, and moved it to a new trigger, the bell. Effectively setting an anchor in the rigging of the bell that would not cause the same automatic physiological response as the food.
This works just as well in humans. If you fall in love with your third grade teacher, and she happens to have red hair, some of that feeling you had for her will be transferred to red hair. So now, twenty years later, you’ll have an automatic unconscious emotional response to women with red hair, and not likely have any idea why.
This happens all the time naturally, and in NLP you learn to use it consciously to influence the emotional responses of others.
The first step is to elicit the response that you’d like. The more specific response, the more complicated and involved it will be. It’s a lot easier to elicit a response for general happiness than it is for that feeling you get just before you sign the deed for your new house.
What you can do is to elicit a response for happiness, anchor it spatially, and then take that and anchor it to the action or thought you’d like them to have, with happiness.
A spatial anchor is just a visual cue that they can see. In Pavlov’s case, he had created an auditory anchor. You can also create a kinesthetic, or touch, anchor, but that requires a deep level of rapport. If you are a salesperson, you probably won’t be able to get away with touching your clients on the shoulder or knee repeatedly.
A simple way to do this is to use your left hand for bad, and you right hand for good. Whenever the client is talking about something unpleasant, listen intently, and describe whatever it was back to them, as exactly as you can, and while they say something like “oh yea, that’s terrible,” or whatever, simple hold your left hand out to the side just like you normally would.
Similarly, get them talking about something good. Anything. It doesn’t have to be related in any way to what you will be persuading them to do later. Just do the same thing, only this time gesture with your right hand whenever you are feeding them back their words to elicit their “good” feeling.
After a few minutes of seemingly casual conversation, you should have a strong anchor for “bad” in your left hand, and a strong anchor for “good” in your right hand. Now it’s time to go to work.
Whenever you make a suggestion you’d like them to take, gesture with your right hand. Whenever you talk about something they might do that you don’t want, use your left hand. Shopping around, waiting to make a decision, anything regarding your competitor goes on the left. Buying your product, enjoying your product, telling all their friends about your product, your idea, whatever, goes in your right hand.
This one simple trick will put you light years ahead of everybody else when it comes to persuasion. It will be like having two secret buttons inside your clients mind, one for good feelings, and one for bad feelings. Of course, it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: This is very powerful, and could easily be misused to convince people to do something against their will.
Some, I repeat, some, politicians are very good at this. In the debate with Senator Dole, then President Clinton used this extremely effectively. Of course he was not in one to one conversation, so he had to kind of “guess” at things to say that would evoke good feelings and bad feelings. Whenever he said things he assumed would evoke good feelings? He covertly pointed at himself. Bad things? You guessed it. He covertly pointed at his opponent, who didn’t stand a chance.
Do you think that may be the reason he had such popular support, despite all his transgressions? He was, and is, a master of persuasion. This may even be one of the reasons why they sent him, instead of somebody else, who actually worked in the current administration, to North Korea to free those two journalists.
Now that you know this powerful technique, it’s kind of fun to watch politicians give speeches, and to see if their gestures match up with their words, or if they are just random hands flying around. You’ll find that most politicians don’t have a clue, despite having the best advisors and public image coaches in the world.
Their hands fly all over the place with no discernable match between good feelings, and bad feelings. Many times they use the same gestures for good stuff, and for bad stuff, effectively shooting themselves in the foot.
When you can match your gestures with your message, and be consistent and congruent, you can be easily be more persuasive than the world’s most powerful politicians.
I’m sure you can think of some uses for these new skills.