Secret sales techniques, NLP and getting someone to buy you dinner

I ran two training sessions last week that focussed on building rapport with clients, and the teams I worked with had fun discussing body language and verbal clues over a platter of my home baked honey cakes.  Then on Thursday, I was called a cake slut!!  Been called worse, but not for some time.  I can publicly state that there’s nothing wrong with dumping the lemon meringue tarts for banana honeycomb with choc chip.  Anyway, I’m glad the word cake was included – whatever would my new followers think!!  Although I should mention at this point that in my next life I plan to come back as a Mosuo woman! If you’ve never heard of them, I suggest you Google – and quick.  I learned about them from a scene in The Good Wife – ironic, really, when you see what they get up to.

Anyway, the training involved neuro-linguistic programming – NLP, which has long been a favourite technique of sales people.  In fact I first heard of it from Leigh Ashton when she spoke so impressively at a Women Entrepreneurs’ workshop that I attended many moons ago at a London university.  Learning preferences influence the way we think and the words we choose – yet, like most of our emotional reflexes, we’re oblivious to these behind the scenes actions of our brains.  And likewise, we don’t pay attention to the ways in which we mirror the person sitting opposite us (behind the candle and the bottle of rosé), or across the boardroom table.  Many a deal has been shaken on as a direct result of legs being crossed in the right direction and mutual pen fidgeting. 

Successful sales people are intrinsically conditioned to pick up on body language signals to determine how well a meeting is going, and can swiftly adapt their pitch to bring a disinterested potential client back onto the ‘I want it’ track. I also know a few men who are good at that on a Friday night.  (And I don’t mean my friend who this Friday mixed beer, lager, Guinness, red wine and a mojito!!)  NLP experts use spoken clues to do the same thing.  If you haven’t encountered this secret method before, here’s a peek: Visual people will tell you “That looks good…” Auditory clients will say “Sounds great” and kinesthetic folk will think “It feels right.”  (Two things for Deedub to Google this week.)  I’ll tell you more about this in a few weeks – it’s one of my most requested training sessions in effective communication skills. Once my new website is up and running I’m planning to give out some free stuff, maybe some tips on recognising these subtle language signals – very useful for closing business deals or getting someone to buy you dinner…

So if you ever can’t find me, it’s probably because someone’s buying me dinner.  Or cake.  Or I’m out to lunch…  If there’s food, I’ll be there.  “Build my world of dreams around you, I’m so glad that I’ve found you.”  Or if you’ve already found me, why aren’t you following me?  Here I am: @WeekendWitch

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