By Kerry Johnson
You should never judge a book by its cover unless said cover contains a cast-iron guarantee it will double your sales volume, as you have in Selling With NLP by Kerry Johnson.
Such bold assertions deserve a sceptical eye and such scepticism may deepen when you realise this book is basically a training manual in how to become a Jedi.
Selling With NLP claims to be a guide in how to use neuro-linguistic programming to boost sales. But by discussing how to create and use sales magic, Johnson delves into the realm of pure fantasy.
He goes on to emphasise the use of shifty eye movements, hand signals and trigger words that will encourage people to buy.
Exercises such as psychological sliding to change a potential customer’s viewpoint are part of the skills needed to sell.
His attempt to encourage sales includes pictures of eyes looking in different directions that could be straight from the teachings of Yoda.
The list of key words used to trigger a buying mentality include revolutionary gems such as ’good’ and ’money’.
To be fair, it does discuss the power of a slogan and shows the success of advertising in using particular phrases to sell products. These kinaesthetic slogans catch the attention of the viewer and push the product to the fore, which increases the chance of a purchase.
The author then highlights unattributed research showing that 15 key buzzwords can be used in sales to focus the attention of potential buyers.
Some of these such as ’guaranteed’ and ’proven’ appear to encourage a degree of dishonesty in sales and explains the declaration on the cover.
But there are some effective techniques highlighted, such as different methods on how to close a deal.
There is the recurrent ’yes close’ – a series of questions to which you know the answer is yes, culminating in asking whether they want to buy the product.
Then there is the ultimatum or last chance close that is used for clients who are struggling to commit but may do so if the threat of severing ties is dangled over them.
The author’s favourite is the ’I recommend’ close, where the salesperson poses as an expert whose desire is to solve the client’s problem.
Others include the assumptive close, where you assume the client will buy the product and the alternate close, which asks two questions where both answers mean the product will be bought.
Despite the emphasis on psychological trickery and fantasy, the chapter on closing a deal contains some good take-aways to help sales.
There are also snippets on behavioural mirroring that could be worth a try. This section describes how adversaries differ in body movement while those who admire someone will subconsciously copy movements.
The author asks you to try copying someone’s movements and claims that within a few minutes, that person will actually be copying you.
All these sales techniques are useful and will help build rapport with clients and boost the chance of sales, but surely it is the product that counts the most?
No matter how many Jedi mind tricks one learns, they will never double their sales unless the product is worth buying.