Successful sales strategies and skills, by nlp•australia

by 21 Aug 2007

My sales team was divided into three broad categories before starting two days of neurolinguistic programming (NLP) sales training with nlp•australia that Human Resources had organised to road test.

The first group consisted of those who new nothing about NLP and had no expectations as to what they would learn during the two days. The second group was made up of sales staff who did know a little about NLP and had big expectations that it would render them Jedi-like in their powers of persuasion. The third group was made up of veteran sales staff who, through years of experience, had become closed to learning and were reluctant participants.

As such, the group as a whole represented a very useful cross-section of what any organisation’s sales force could be comprised of.

While the three groups might have been very different in their expectations ahead of the training, they were unified when they emerged at the end of the second day; insomuch that they were all raving fans of the course and were all extremely energised and fired up to implement some of the extraordinary sales tools they were suddenly armed with.

nlp•australia was founded by Terry McClendon, a pioneer of NLP in Australia. He is unique in his position as the only Australian-based NLP trainer to have studied with co-developers Richard Bandler and John Grinder for more than a decade, along with Milton Erickson and Virginia Satir. McClendon has trained thousands of individuals throughout the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South-East Asia, the Middle East and the UK. With a master’s degree in psychology, he is a member of the Australian Psychological Society, fellow with the International Association of NLP (IANLP), an NLP master trainer and founder of the Australian Institute of NLP.

Saying the course is an NLP sales course, is to a certain extent something of a misnomer. As anyone who has done anything more than the most rudimentary of NLP course themselves will testify, NLP affects your whole life.

At its most basic level, it makes you aware of the fact that your conscious mind can only filter seven bits of information at any one time, which is a drop in the ocean compared to what your unconscious mind is monitoring. As a consequence, while we may well believe we are experiencing the same thing as the person next to us, that person’s perception of “reality” is uniquely their own. Because what you see, hear, smell, taste or touch is almost certainly not the same as what your neighbour is consciously taking note of, NLP opens a door for anyone who is brought to this realisation.

In taking someone through this process, NLP allows people to become aware of their own sensory preferences and biases, often with startling effects. The process is usually fascinating for the casual observer to watch as participants have light-bulb moments often rapidly followed by a sense of being overwhelmed. Eventually those who deal with being overwhelmed have come to the realisation that what they have embarked on is a journey without an end.

Also an important lesson, is that the unconscious mind has captured much of the information needed to decode both themselves and others. All they need to do is learn how to access those parts of their unconscious mind.

So students of NLP start by being conscious of their own thought processes, sensory preferences, comfort zones and so forth. The big leap, and while this is crucial for all who study NLP – particularly so for those who which to employ it in a sales environment – is when students begin to employ their powers of observations outwardly.

It nearly goes without saying, that if a salesperson can establish an understanding of what preferences those people they are dealing with have, then their likelihood of establishing a good rapport, and so a better relationship with that person, is all the more likely. Clearly, being able to establish constructive outcomes is only ever going to be beneficial to a salesperson’s results.

nlp•australia offers students a swathe of NLP tools and techniques to both gather information about themselves and their reactions, but crucially for being able to do the same for others.

As was observed at the start of this article, the sales staff enrolled in the course were diverse in experience and enthusiasm. There’s absolutely no doubting that they were unified in their excitement in having had their eyes (or ears) opened to the possibilities of the unconscious mind.

Reviewed by David Hovenden

For more information call nlp•australia on (07) 4058 1988, email or visit