When I talk about hypnotic selling do I mean I want you to bring a pocket watch into the sales call and swing it backwards and forwards in front of the prospect and tell them that their eyes are getting heavier? No, of course not.
What I am talking about is using your language differently to the average salesperson.
Many of the language patterns and techniques that I refer to here come from the creative genius Milton H Erickson and are one of the ways to use NLP in Sales.
Would it surprise you to know that language in itself can be hypnotic?
You see the more abstract the language you use the more hypnotic will be your communication. The more detailed and specific your language the more likely you are to pull people out of their trance. I talk about hypnotic language in my book on sales language.
There are certain times during a sales call when you want your prospect to be in trance
but there are other times during the call when you want them to be out of trance. When you are discovering what your clients really want that's when you want them to be out of trance. At that time you will be using words like, "what specifically ..." or "what is an example of that?" Or "what would happen if you did?"
The times when you want your prospect to be in trance is at the beginning and at the end of a sales call.
You want them to be in trance at the beginning of a sales call to help you build a relationship with them, an understanding. You want them to be in trance at the end of a sales call to link them into the emotional reasons they want to purchase your product or service.
You may think you've never been in a trance. But trance may be much more common than you realise. Stephen Wolinsky in his book "Trances People Live" certainly thinks so.
Let me give you some common examples of trance.
If you have children have you ever seen them engrossed in a television program and tried to get their attention to do something you want them to do? Typically, your approaches are ignored. I've even heard some parents refer to this as selective deafness. In reality this is an example of a hypnotic phenomenon known as negative hallucination. The children literally do not hear their parents because they are hypnotically fixated to the TV screen.
Have you ever been in church when the Minister was giving his sermon and notice people falling asleep? Perhaps you've seen the same scenario when the school principal was talking at an assembly? The next time that happens pay particular attention to the language that the speaker is using because they are using hypnotic language. You should also take notice of the tone and tempo of their voice which supports the trance they are putting people in. It's just a pity they didn't realize they were doing it.
Well you see, when your prospect meets you they bring both their conscious and unconscious minds with them into the meeting.
And if you want to be sure of making a sale you have to convince both their conscious and unconscious mind that buying is the right thing to do.
You may have heard the expression that "people buy with their emotions and justify with their logic"?
Well, emotions are in the domain of the unconscious. Logic is the currency of the conscious mind. So people who make that comment are saying we need to sell to our prospect's unconscious mind. And the way to do that is with hypnotic selling.
You see it's about meeting your prospect at the trance they are in and taking them to the trance you want them to be in.
When you meet them they may be in the trance of skepticism or frustration. You meet them there with understanding and sympathy. Then you use your communication skills to take them into the trance of appreciating your offer and perhaps even the trance of buying.
Because the first step is to join them in their trance one of the most important things you can do in any sales interaction is to build rapport with your prospect. Building rapport is part of getting into their trance. Now I mention rapport in a number of places on this website and you should feel free to look up those references.
Once you are with them you need them to start to follow you.
In order to do this you need to be watching and listening to them very closely. This is one of the major differences between "normal selling" and hypnotic selling. In order for you to know whether your language is trancing them you need to be aware of their moment to moment responses to your communication.
An "old school" sales techniques is the "yes…set".
In today's modern world this practice is much less effective because professional buyers know what you are doing. However, it is an early example of a hypnotic selling technique because the idea is to get people to follow along or into the trance of saying yes.
Let me give you an example of another similar hypnotic language pattern that you can use during a sales call.
This pattern is based on something called a "complex equivalent".
Just imagine going into a sales meeting and saying the following.
"Thank you for taking the time to see me today. I mean, you allocated me the time, I've made it here on time, I've got my information here with me, the phone is off the hook and that means we are going to have a fruitful meeting where we discuss some thing of interest to you".
Now this is similar to a "yes set" but you don't have to wait for the prospect to respond with a yes and it's a little more topical than the traditional "yes set". What it does do is set you up to have a better meeting by suggesting to the prospect's unconscious mind that the meeting is going to be fruitful and that you have something of interest to them. It does this by linking to some facts and saying that means something else.
After you have built rapport part of having them following you is using hypnotic language.
As mentioned earlier on this page certain words are themselves hypnotic. Words that are hypnotic are abstract words, words that talk about concepts and values. And what better words to use to trance your prospect than their own values.
If you follow the method mentioned in the following pages you'll be well on the way to knowing your prospect's values and starting the process of them following your suggestions...
Needs and Wants
Needs and Wants 2
Also take a look at Criteria in Selling for information about criteria (another word for values).
As I mentioned earlier once you have established a trance state with your prospect by using hypnotic selling its then time to pull them out of trance to find out their exact wants by asking specific questions.
Once you have confirmed there is an overlap between their wants and what you are offering its time to re-establish the trance
(and close the sale) which you can do easily by using the values/criteria words you have elicited from them before.
You can also use the concept of anchoring to non-verbally bring them back into the trance state for closing.
This is just one aspect of non-verbal communication you can use to your advantage.
As you close you could use embedded commands in your hypnotic selling to suggest to them the actions they should be taking.
Embedded commands involves the subtle highlighting of language within a normal sentence which marks out those words to the unconscious mind.
The best way to mark out these words is to speak them lower and louder.
Let me give you an example.
A car salesperson could say something like the following:
This car is so exciting that many people … take it for a test drive …. When they do, they … have a lot of fun. Often they come back and tell me they want to … buy this car.
If you were to say this to a prospect, their unconscious mind would hear:
"Take it for a test drive. Have a lot of fun. Buy this car."
A special example of embedded commands involves the use of negation
"Good aren't they? You don't have to get excited about all of this right now, do you?"
Embedded commands like this can be found naturally in many people's everyday speech.
For example, when parents tell their children,
"Make sure you don't drop that glass."
What usually happens?
The child imagines that very experience which they want to avoid, and drops the glass moments later.
The final hypnotic selling strategy I'll mention is storytelling.
At the end of a sales call it is often good to incorporate a story that leads the prospect towards purchasing your product.
Typically this story may be about another prospect that purchased the product and had outstanding results.
And remember it's not just what you say but how you say it that's important.
People play out their life stories seeking certain things and if you present your story and offer in a way that aligns with their interests you'll get a better response from them. I call these interests their Life Purpose
If you use hypnotic selling in your sales meetings and close by:
using the anchoring set up earlier in the call,
using your prospects criteria words and
dropping in a number of presupposition and embedded commands while you
tell a relevant story
you'll be amazed at how many more sales you close.