Can NLP Be Used in Selling? Master the Art of Selling

Can NLP Be Used in Selling

Can NLP Be Used in Selling

If we could use NLP in selling, would that have any value for you? Here is an answer, one page or less, to a common question in NLP.

In the 1930’s, (reprinted in 1992) Frank Bettger wrote a book titled, How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling and he kicked off modern thinking about selling. Notable authors since then have included J. Douglas Edwards (who was THE sales trainer of the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s, and who trained over 200,000 salespeople a year for over 20 years), and Tommy Hopkins (he’s still around). Edward’s book How to Develop Sales Closing Power is still in print as it is Hopkin’s How to Master the Art of Selling. The greatest advance in selling in the last 80-85 years is the addition of NLP to the thinking of selling, and thereby to the results. Depending how it is taught, NLP techniques can be extremely useful in increasing closing ratios and succeeding without “pushing the sale down the client’s throat”. Regardless of how fed-up you may be with pushy sales people, the truth is that NLP techniques used in integrity can definitely assist and accelerate the selling process and make it a win-win situation.

To keep it simple, the addition of the NLP techniques to selling happens in the 5 Step Sales Process. In brief here’s how it works:

The 5 Step Sales Process

  1. The first thing to do in any selling situation is to Establish Rapport.
  2. The second step is to Ask Questions directly related to the client’s main interest.
  3. Establish Value: And there are 3 parts to this:
  4. Find a Need or Opportunity,
  5. Establish the Value of a Solution, and
  6. Link the Need and the Solution.
  7. Close—Ask for the Sale.
  8. Handle the Objection by:

— Ignoring it and going to 3,


—Answering it and going to 3.

So, can NLP be used in effective selling? Yes! In fact, it already is, and has been for years. But in the interest of brevity we don’t need to say much more, since it is taught in all our trainings together with other skills (linguistic and otherwise) useful in selling, and outlined in a number of places on this website including Using NLP in Business CD set.

To conclude:

THE VALUE OF WHAT YOU’RE SELLING: I also believe that YOU need to be able to see that what you are selling is valuable. You know that it is so valuable, that you need to be willing to do whatever it takes to have your client see how valuable it really is. If you don’t truly believe in the benefit your client has from making that purchase the whole sales process will seem (and be) disingenuous. On one hand you will have the salesperson making his/her living by doing this job and on the other hand you will have a customer who in many occasions is reluctant to spend the money. When sales become more than just a financial transaction in the mind of the sales person, then you could have a happy exchange of goods and services in a win-win situation.

That knowing generates enthusiasm, your enthusiasm, seeing that what you’ve got is invaluable. It’s worth much more than you’re asking. Then you can ask your client to see that, too.

Tad James

About the Author: Tad James

Tad James, M.S., Ph.D. is a Certified Master Trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming, Master Trainer of Time Line Therapy®, Master Trainer of Hypnosis and Trainer of NLPCoaching. Tad is the creator of a revolutionary new paradigm for human change known as the Time Line Therapy® techniques. He is the author of 7 books and numerous audios and videos in the field of NLP, including the Best Seller “The Secret of Creating Your Future®”. Tad James was the first NLP trainer to do a Learn NLP Training in an accelerated format.


  1. Avatar

    As a certified trainer of NLP since 2007 – I find new ways of thinking whenever I review NLP information, even after this many years! I don’t know, it could be the way Tad and Adriana present the same information differently or I may just be at new levels noticing more. Either way I’ve found that reviewing, revisiting and recollecting my thoughts comes with each article, every week.

    What a ride, I love it! Thanks Tad & Adriana and all the TJC staff [AGAIN] – it’s certainly a passion to learn – I’m addicted to the articles – and what a wonderful addiction that I crave each week!

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    THIS IS POWERFUL… not just for the final stage of selling but also of repeat of business and satisfaction and It is very fulfilling on a personal level to be able to assist a customer with a product or service that is suited to what they want and this can lead to them recommending you and your ability to guide them to that final product or service.

    I’ve also noticed that by adopting and applying these techniques, I have found more value in what I choose in my life.

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    Stephan Schafeitel

    Indeed, Tad. Agree!

    Back when I was in the corporate world there was a time when I was selling a $350,000 piece of capital, which was a luxury item (“nice to have” but not a “need to have” product) to prospective customers. It was the absolute best and highest quality product in the field. Yet, since it was a luxury item and twice the price of the closest competitor’s product, the average sales cycle was a rather long one. Average sales cycle is the amount of time that passes between when you first meet your client & present your product/service to them and when they decide to purchase your product/service. So, back to my story…my average sales cycle was about 9 months for the $350,000 piece of capital. After incorporating The 5 Step Sales Process into my repertoire, I successfully shortened my average sales cycle for the same product to 2 1/2 months! My total revenue (and income) that year more than doubled.

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    Fini Todd

    After just completing my MP training I realised I had better get my butt into gear and start selling! hahaha The realisation included the fact that I can no longer avoid cold calling if I wanted to really get my business happening. I have no experience in sales and didn’t really know where to start so I have been listening to Tad’s 5 step sales process on audio and now this article has helped even more. I absolutely value what I am selling so by trusting in that I feel more confident to dive in.

    Thanks for the article, they all seem to pop up right when I need them 😉

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