Neuro Linguistic Programming, or otherwise known as NLP for short is an overarching term that describes the ways we can build person to person rapport better using specific techniques.
The techniques you can use range from body language to speech and even the actions you take and are often quite subtle and discreet to use as well. With social selling, you are of course talking only over the internet in some way, so the majority of your rapport building will be done only by written language and perhaps some video messaging.
This does limit the choice of techniques you can use, but there are still several ways to take the basic Neuro Linguistic Programming techniques to get better results with your social selling.
The main premise of using NLP in social selling is going to be mirroring the prospect. Mirroring quite simply means you are going to pick up on the quirks and specific actions or phrases a person uses.
For example, I watch the #SDRChronicles by Morgan J Ingram and he always says “and with that being said” at the end of each video. This is a phrase he says very often and would be a phrase you should try to use naturally in your message if you are talking to him.
The reason why this is powerful is very simple.
People like people, who are like themselves.
I could explain but as Tony Robbins is the source I learned most of this from him. I’ll let him take the floor and explain why.
I find this so interesting because suddenly you begin to think of all the times you checked the time after the person next to you did. And all of the times you checked your phone when somebody nearby did, it happens every day multiple times to everybody.
Mirroring in social selling
In the video above Tony talks about how words are only 7% of the ways we communicate, but it will be much more than that if we are only talking about social selling communication.
The tricky part here is that you as the sales person need to reach out and make first contact, so you to a degree set the tone for the conversation. You can gather social data and see how the person likes to communicate and what social data could be useful in your messaging.
Things like their content or company news, personal life events and so on.
When you do get into a conversation you owe yourself a moment to read back the prospect’s response. If there are any of these phrases that they have used that stand out, see if you can use it in the response you give naturally.
Another example to share how different phrases or individualities can be picked up upon is how Kevin Thomas Tully and I communicate. I notice that Kevin likes to use the name of the person he is addressing frequently. There are reasons for that, like retaining interest in the conversation and to make certain points stick in the memory but regardless of the reason Kevin uses this, it is something I can do too in conversation with him.
By doing this, I establish something in common with him. As Tony says, people like people who are like themselves. “The key to connection is commonality” – another one from Mr Robbins.
“The key to connection is commonality” – another one from Mr Robbins.
It is important to remember at first contact you are very much a stranger to your prospect and formality should be there in your messaging. Don’t barge in the door with a “hey man” or something you would say to your friends. But as the conversation moves on and you pick up on some of the favours that the prospect leans towards in how they talk, you can begin to use them too. If they are very informal and call you “dude”, great. That means you can say something similar and take down the formal language a little.
Don’t barge in the door with a “hey man” or something you would say to your friends. But as the conversation moves on and you pick up on some of the favours that the prospect leans towards in how they talk, you can begin to use them too. If they are very informal and call you “dude”, great. That means you can say something similar and take down the formal language a little.
If they are very informal and call you “dude”, great. That means you can say something similar and take down the formal language a little.
If they are reasonably formal and email-like in their responses, maintain that standard in your own response. These are all subtle changes in your approach that do require personalisation, you cannot send an email to 1000 people using NLP.
You can, however, respond to people using mirroring techniques and understanding neuro-linguistic programming to help build your rapport quicker.
I have been told before after just 5 private messages that it was “great to be connected to a person like you” – and not because I’m doing anything special or saying anything crazy to a prospect. I have listened a lot to Tony Robbins and read about NLP so that I can understand some of the ways to use it for sales and life in general, and it does work. However, small the techniques might sound and what little difference they might sound as though they could make, I know them to work.
Sales is becoming more competitive.
With big, complex deals there is growing competition and really, people do business with those they know, like and trust.
Will Barron at the Salesman podcast says that phrase very regularly, and it is true.
If you can use these techniques to gain that slenderest of advantages over your competition, it can make all the difference and allow you to push a little more or ask deeper questions to make sure you get to the heart of the buyer’s problem or goals.
If you have any questions about how to use these techniques in social selling, reach out! Please even try to use them on me, I’ll accept LinkedIn invites and I’m always on Twitter. Say hello!