NLP lessons: rapport
12 golden NLP-3 rules
In the course of this lesson, you will be presented with the twelve golden rules that NLP-3 has extracted from years of experience in the field of communication and sales. By learning and implementig these rules you will dramatically improve your communication skills.
how to achieve successful rapport
It’s always wise not to impose rules that are too strict, but experience teaches that the following twelve “considerations” are so effective that they can be used as RULES for selling—selling commercial goods as much as ideas and proposals.
If your forget them, you do so at your own risk and expenses. Learn them and introduce them in your nlp sales presentations and we can assure you success that will reward you both financially and morally.
NLP-3 RULE #1 – the power of concentration
You need to concentrate on what your interlocutor is saying at all times. You know what you know, but you don’t know exactly what your interlocutor knows.
Too many times, salesmen present goods and explain programs that they think should meet customers’ needs instead of presenting what customers are expressing being their real needs.
NLP-3 RULE #2 – help clients to be themselves
Give your interlocutor power. People want to be self-determining. They want to exert control. If the person you face feels subordinate, resentment can build up. However, if he respects your judgment and he is really looking for information, he will show you appreciation and respect.
This only happens if and when you grant respect to your interlocutor. Give your interlocutor the ability and power to take the right decision. If your interlocutor doesn’t have power he will not take any decision, because he will not be able to evaluateany kind of decision. To give someone power, let him speak. You need to encourage your interlocutor to speak, to espress himself. This is often achieved by using questions that guide him to conclusions that you know he needs in order to be convinced of the ideas and concepts that will make trigger him to say yes.
For example, you can tell him stories about famous people that took the same decision, or other similar methods.
Express agreement with your interlocutor. This is how we give him power. This will then be his power: to be able to accept your proposals.
Even if what your interlocutor says isn’t correct, as long as he is choosing on the basis of his beliefs, and he is reaching his conclusions through his reasoning, let him carry on.
Too often occasions have been spoiled because we tried to be too technically specific.
It is better to misinterpret, giving power to the interlocutor, and then to conclude.
If the interlocutor sees something in the discussion that we don’t, or an application that you don’t fully appreciate, don’t destroy his mental images, pace them!
Leave him with the power to direct the conversation from his frame of reference.
At all costs, seek empathy more than agreement. You don’t need to agree completely. For example, if a customer tells you that the price is too high, and you completely agree with him and say: “yes it’s true, you shouldn’t buy it!” you would never get anywhere.
Sympathize with him, tell him that you understand his worries about the investment they he is going to make and that other people have felt the same. Nevertheless, these ‘others’ bought the product and they discovered that they had made an excellent investment, as they got back more in benefits than what they invested. This way they realized they had taken the best decision.
The correct use of “empathic transactions” allows us to solve such problems. In reality, each empathic transaction is a match and lead exercise and consists of the following points:
NLP-3 RULE #3 – positive anticipation
Positive Anticipation is an extremely important concept for presentations.
When categorizing people, the only conclusion you need to draw in advance is obtaining consensus. You should use positive projection. Take as an assumption that your customer needs, wants and desires what you are proposing him. Using this mental attitude, you can act in such a way as to let the customer PASS THE POINT OF CONSENSUS. You will be able to help the customer to take a decision. You will see people respond positively and you will be able to speak in user terms. This means having an active part in assisting your customer’s decision process, mentally helping him to make a choice.
It’s like going into the future. You can do it. You can project yourself into the future for minutes, hours, days even years and imagine how your customer will be able to enjoy the results of your consultancy.
By doing so, you will engineer a future that doesn’t yet exist. You will imagine a future for your customer that will become reality thanks to your ability to guide him towards taking a decision that will transport him from the imaginary to the real.
It is your responsibility to assume that people express agreement. Should a “no” exist, make sure people say it and accept full responsibility for it. Don’t say “no” on the person’s behalf. Always think and say, “yes” in everything that you do—when you speak; through your body language; by your attitude and the behavior that you model; through your mirroring and your tempo and in your approach and your expected conclusions. Have a positive attitude and your interlocutor will feel it and therefore be influenced by it.
NLP-3 RULE #4 – listen actively
NEVER interrupt your interlocutor. If you do, you risk making him feel unimportant. Remember, you are his assistant. You are there to help him understand and decide. When you interrupt what he is saying, you relegate him and his comments to a subordinate position to what you think he should say.
Too often people forget what it feels like to be rudely interrupted and abruptly stopped from expressing what they want to say. Nobody likes it. It isn’t nice at all. Lots of people think that what they have to say is so important that it doesn’t matter what the other is saying about it. Theoretically this might be true; but remember: what we are dealing with isn’t theoretical, it’s pragmatic, it’s an art form—you need to express yourself and let your interlocutors express themselves too. In this process, you will have the opportunity to carry out other techniques that you know to establish “rapport”: eye contact to show you are listening; matching and calibrating tempo and rhythm.
All these techniques combine together to help you go at the same pace as your interlocutor. Don’t destroy this opportunity!
NLP-3 RULE #5 – understanding without intruding
Listen to your interlocutor’s ideas and not just his words. Your ‘background’ is different from that of others. You have a different education and a different way of speaking. Your ethnic origins may be different, your life experience and the things that have given shape to your way of perceiving things are different from those of others. Even your reactions to other peoples’ words and actions are different. Others react and act in different ways to what you say and do. For this reason, you don’t only have to pay attention to the exact meaning of the words you hear, you also need to listen carefully and find the meaning behind the words that are being employed.
Very often those who we face don’t know the hidden meaning behind technical words. They do not even know the correct technical words to use in order to describe a feature they want or an advantage they expect. If the customer is trying to explain something that is not familiar to him because he doesnn’t own it yet, you have to listen to his ideas in order to determine what it is that he really wants. You have to ask suitable questions to make him tell you what is required. You have to then repeat to him what you think it might mean and ask him if you have understood correctly.
You have to take responsibility for understanding what he actually has in minds and to tune in to it so as to reach a connection that might become empathic.
You have to understand that you, as a communication student, are able to express yourself better than others can. Others do not master the same skills.
In the communication process, there are four basic elements:
You are responsible for the correct working of all four.
NLP-3 RULE #6 — respect personal space
People always have a certain space that they don’t want to see invaded. You have to first earn their trust if you want to approach this personal space.
First, earn trust by talking about neutral topics and only later entering into the subject.
Your non-verbal communication is just as important as your verbal communication. A good non-verbal way of understanding your interlocutor is maintaining casual contact with his eyes. It is important to understand the meaning of the word “casual”. You shouldn’t be excessively oppressive. Look at him, make an observation then look away. Then, look at him again with a smile; model him and if necessary mirror everything that is suitable. Keep pace with him and look at him while he is talking. This will show him that you’re listening and you’re interested in what he has to say. Most of the time, people love talking in order to let you know what they expect from an interview. Eye contact allows them to know you’re listening and will help to establish “rapport”.
NLP-3 RULE #7 – analyze psychological type instead of appearance
Never judge people by appearance. Owing to different “backgrounds”, people tend to dress and behave in a way that seems the most acceptable to them. This has absolutely nothing to do with their ability to buy or with their capacity to respond to communication. Judging people by appearance can cause you problems. Similarly, you should always use words to express and not to impress.
If you are too technical your interlocutor won’t follow you. Instead of overloading the client, operate in a lighter way.
Don’t frighten him, make sure that everything you say, starting from the beginning of your conversation is “user friendly.”
NLP-3 RULE #8 – be flexible
Like when dancing, we need to follow the music, don’t have a rigid style that you try to apply to everyone you come into contact with. The people you talk to will feel more at ease if you adjust yourself to each one of them. By adapting yourself you’ll create rapport.
NLP-3 RULE #9 – maintain control
This concept of maintaining control is essential in various fields for establishing nlp rapport correctly.
When selling, keep control by gently steering your conversation to where you want it to go; to a logical conclusion where the customer “mentally accepts” all the suggestions previously sent and finally enjoys the product when they own it.
If you lose control your customer will lose trust.
In meetings, define the objectives you want to achieve in advance and help the discussion to develop in an orderly manner. This doesn’t mean dominating, but means helping your client to assimilate information.
NLP-3 RULE #10 – mutually tune-in
Make your interlocutor respect and trust you. This is the purpose of establishing “nlp rapport”. Listen to everything he says with real interest.
This rule seems a repetition of the previous one, but it differs from it because it also means understanding that your body language has to reflect your sincere interest in what the other is saying. Lean forward; ask questions. Remember, that each time the person speaks he is becoming mentally interested.
NLP-3 RULE #11 – mark time in the conversation
When speaking, maintain a conversation. At a certain point, many people who started a conversation keep going on and on, and on, as if the conversation was never to end. It is more effective if you sometimes stop and get feedback from your interlocutor. Every now and then, stop and ask questions that reinforce what you are saying and get positive feedback that allows you to move on. Always remember that you are interacting in a dynamic process.
NLP-3 RULE #12 – eliminate your client’s doubts and fears
You probably already know, either from experience or intuition, that every potential buyer is worried when he has to speak to a salesperson. The average consumer is afraid of buying.
For example, let’s take the case of a man who knows he has to buy a better car. He knows that his old car is falling to pieces and would cost too much to repair. In addition—and this is probably more important—it isn’t reliable as it breaks down at unsuitable times. He knows that he has to sell it as soon as possible, so he starts looking around. This is when he starts to get scared: he knows he’s got to get some money and exchange it for a car that he really needs. He knows that if his old car gets a low value he will need to work for a while to buy a new one. This isn’t a pleasant thought for a man who has used this old banger for such a long time. He was motivated in keeping it and the emotions that motivated him, together with the logics employed, are still working to keep him from buying. In addition, he may have heard rumors of heaps of “junk” that people bought when they changed their cars.
It’s more likely that he will have heard these type of stories rather than wonderful stories of what it’s like to own a nice new car. Furthermore, if he is told of happy stories from the salesperson, he will suspects that he is being told a “bunch of lies” in order for him to part with his money. His critic is working against the satisfaction of his basic needs, as well as against his wish to have a good means of transport.
The sales techniques we are demonstrating are only effective when there good rapport has been established.
The man with the car thinks he has to keep his wrecked old car until the wheels fall off. He needs to be reprogrammed with information that can change his belief system in order that he can decide that he needs to change his car now, before the wheels fall off. Then, the next time he needs to buy a car he won’t wait until it is so old that it doesn’t have any more value.
The techniques that we are teaching here can be used to change belief systems, although everything always starts with establishing a relationship first. A customer will place trust in a friend, a person with whom he feels there is “rapport”. Then, and only then, you can attract him to such a degree as to make him take action.