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NLP Sales Techniques: Top 12 Tips & Embarrassing Mistakes

NLP Sales Techniques: Top 12 Tips & Embarrassing Mistakes

NLP is a useful method for sales. Are you looking for the best NLP sales techniques? In this article we are giving away the best tips. Once you have discovered how to convince and sell even better with NLP, you will never again be caught using simple techniques that everyone already knows.

There are a number of sales techniques in use that are hugely outdated. The simple versions of the illusion of choice , the traditional yes-set or yes-ladder and the literal mirroring are shattered and can therefore no longer work. Street vendors are one of the reasons for this, because we have often enough experienced their use of these tools.

Fortunately, this obsolescence only applies to the simple versions of these sales techniques. You can still use the more advanced variations of all these techniques to differentiate yourself from the salespeople and coaches with a simple “Do you want the $ 9 or $ 6 subscription?” or “Are you having a good day? (Yes.) Are you shopping today? (Yes.)” In the following sections you will find practical tips to take these sales techniques to the next level in your sales. We really wish you that, so we give away the 3 outdated sales techniques and 11 tips for the alternatives here.

Contents of this page:

Mistake 1 – The yes ladder? Be subtle and do it differently


Alternative 1 to the yes ladder: Give the other mini-tasks for compliance

You give the other person some innocent tasks for which there is no reason not to follow them. Examples are:

  • “Come and stand here, then you can see it better.”
  • “Could you put your feet together, straighten your back …”
  • “Just look over here.”
  • “Why don’t you come closer, you turn like that, you like that, can you see it all?”
  • Etc.

In this way, the client enters a state of compliance . This becomes an unconscious pattern of ‘yes, yes, yes’, so that the question ‘Then you probably pay too much for energy’ will simply also be answered with a yes. No one will easily recognize that you are doing this technique, which is different with the obvious literal verbal yes-ladder …

Alternative 2 for the yes ladder: Nod slightly

One of the most important tools a salesperson uses is the influence weapon ‘commitment and consistency’. Salespeople are therefore often the first to reach for the yes ladder, or yes cycle. Record salesman and sales coach Stijn Koehler says:

 “When you want to convince someone of something, have someone do something or close a deal, it is important that this person agrees with you. You can also achieve this by having the person give an interim commitment to your beliefs. The easiest way is to have a person simply say yes a number of times. When someone says yes to something small, he will be consistent and keep saying yes because he doesn’t want to contradict himself. Because someone has agreed to a small conviction or request, he no longer wants to back down from the main belief or request. People prefer to act in accordance with what they have said or done before. ”

We are talking about one of the most powerful belief laws out there, but the simple version of it is now very well known. You can distinguish yourself from the majority by means of NLP. One of the subtle ‘NLP ways’ to still achieve this effect without falling through is the following:

Provide an internal yes ladder by nodding your head gently during the conversation . The mirror neurons cause the client to nod and end up in an internal yes-ladder. First, show that you are charming and charismatic so that you have a good connection, or ‘ rapport’ in NLP terms. This ensures that the mirror neurons are strongly activated.

Alternative 3 for the yes ladder: The ‘Piggyback Ride’

“It is {fact}, {fact}, {fact} and …”

Start with credible things that are absolutely true, thus observable and without discussion. You can list several things, such as thoughts, emotions, beliefs and the client’s sensory experiences. Internally (and not explicitly!) The client will always make a ‘yes’ to every fact that you mention. So you build up a yes-cycle of a number of credible things, which can be checked because they can be observed in our current experience, for example, and you then add your suggestion. You allow your suggestion to piggyback on the yes cycle. In the example below we are going to install the suggestion in the client that he wants to buy several jeans.

For example:

“It’s almost evening and we hear the rain splashing on the ground outside and you’ve taken your girlfriend out and {one more truth} and {one more truth} and you’re in the mood to get some jeans.”

The suggestion that the client wants to buy a number of jeans is added to the list of verifiable facts that preceded it.

Other examples:

  • It’s not evening yet, you’re still awake thinking about all these NLP exercises and looking forward to how much you will enjoy the next class.
  • When you go to the kitchen, close the door immediately behind you.

Bring it smooth, eloquent and confident. In the example above, we used the word ‘and’ to smoothly connect the credible facts that evoke an internal ‘yes’. Of course there are several conjunctions that make this sales technique smoother. In NLP terms these words are called ‘causal modeling’:

  • While, after
  • Because
  • The more … the more …
  • Causes, causes, produces

For example:

“Chris, as you sit there, you start you off to ask how this could be important to you, and you might wonder how this work can make a difference and how it can help you with what you do, and while if you think about that, you could also think about areas in your life that you haven’t thought about yet, and these skills can help you very well. “

Alternative 4 to the yes ladder: Keep it vague

It gets even more interesting when there is no discussion at all about the ‘fact part’. If you use words in your story that the client can give their own interpretation to, you also create an internal yes cycle. Let’s take the example from the previous section again:

“Chris, sitting there, you start to wonder how this would be important to you, and you might wonder how this can make a difference in your work and how it can help you with what you do , and while when you think about that, you could also think about areas in your life that you haven’t thought about yet, and these skills can help you very well. “

In the example above, Chris is not at all described exactly and in detail what to do. By ‘in your work’ can be meant anything without knowing what kind of job Chris has. ‘Making a difference’ could also mean anything, which Chris can also give his own interpretation to. He feels that his experience is completely in accordance with what you say. The same goes for ‘can you help’ (what then, how?), ‘With what you do’ (what exactly, when?) Etc.

What other ways to be ‘tactically vague’? The Milton Model is an ultimate tool for this.

Error 2 – Double bind (either-or-questions)? Be smarter


“Playing heads or tails? With head I win, with coin you lose. ” This is an illusion of choice. “Would you like one or two?” Would you like to pay by card or cash? Perhaps not an incorrect comment: again very cliché and retrievable.

Milton H. Erickson, a hugely effective hypnotherapist in the last century, has discovered other clever ways to use double bonds. Richard Bandler researched Milton H. Erickson and once beautifully showed in a therapy case how everyone can use Erickson’s smarts: a client could not say no because her father had died because she said no at the time. She was worried someone would die if she said no again. Richard Bandler put her in a double bind by giving her an assignment that in all cases would result in her saying no, “I want you to say no to someone across the room.” “No, I don’t want to do that.” “You just said no. Did I die? ”

Below you will find an overview of clever ways to use a double bond without it becoming an obvious ‘either-or’ question.

Alternative 1 for the outdated double bind: Three choices

Sometimes it is better to give three choices. That will be much less noticeable because everyone is used to hearing the two choices technique. Moreover, three choices are more difficult to resist because it requires more effort for the client to think about them.

“I don’t know if you are going to give your full attention, think about other useful experiences or just relax and listen.” These are three positive options and it may even seem like you were going to say something negative.

Alternative 2 for the outdated double bind: Endless choices

Remove those two choices and just make it a simple open question. With this you show leadership without falling through the basket with an outdated double bind.

  • When is it best for us to meet?
  • You wonder which side of your body is the first to relax.

Alternative 3 for the outdated double bind: Combine it with presuppositions

With presuppositions (a way of framing) you imply that a certain event is going to take place (that the customer is going to buy!). You do this by drawing attention to an irrelevant detail.

“We have to make sure we don’t choose the wrong package for you.”
In the example above, it is assumed that a package will be purchased. Now the focus is: let’s make sure it is not the wrong one.

With the word ‘notice’ you presuppose something interesting, namely that what needs to be noticed was there before and that you only need to become aware of it now. The message of this word is that the feeling to be noticed is a given. It’s just there. You cannot argue with that (internally).

Will you start noticing that you already speak differently now, or will you notice it later?

Alternative 4 – ‘Good cop, bad cop’

One of the options is something negative, and the other option saves the client from it.

  • It is no good if I tell your subconscious: learn this or learn that. Let him learn the way he wants to! In exactly the order in which it wants to.

Mistake 3 – Literally mirroring people? Completely shattered and very painful


Perhaps one of the best-known sales techniques … is mirroring and copying. But copying the client literally and directly can cause the client to notice and be distracted by it. The only cases where this over-copying can work:

  • In children
  • With provocative coaching
  • If someone is not aware of your presence because of the distance between you or different types of distractions in space.

Alternatives to outdated literal mirroring

  • Use lag-time: start mirroring a few seconds later.
  • Do not change positions until it is your turn to speak. Now the attention has been focused on speaking, so that it is inconspicuous that you are mirroring.
  • Take over the client’s voice and breathing.
  • Just mirror the client’s energy, and nothing on the superficial level. That is how you achieve the most. If the client has a cheerful mood, adopt that mood. If the client doesn’t feel like it so much, don’t feel like it too much. The great thing is that the moody client will soon start following you.

The best sales techniques – A strong inner self is still decisive

It has been proven that people who use these ‘NLP subtleties’ can be more convincing in their sales activities. So from now on, keep using these three powerful principles, but do it in the more advanced ways outlined above. This requires extra practice, but then you make much smarter use of these belief principles without people recognizing what you are doing. You get that exercise in an NLP training.

More methods for deep connection with people, making them easy to become customers:

  • Create rapport to eliminate resistance and open others to your suggestions.
  • Calibrate for a yes and no signal ( cold reading ) so that you know when the other is ready to buy.
  • Discover the underlying intention why the other wants to buy something.
  • Discover a person’s beliefs , values and strategies to understand why someone would or would not buy something.
  • Use future pacing  and the pretend frame to make the other person imagine what it is like to already have and use the product in his / her life.

In the end, keep in mind that a good frame of mind still works ten times better than just using techniques. Be confident, charismatic and ‘human’. But that will be covered in another article. What is your opinion? Let me know in the comments.

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!