NLP for Sales and Marketing

Written by Gary Walker
For enquiries about NLP for Sales / Marketing,
contact Gary at

Neuro-linguistic programming is a method for modelling excellence. It is the study of how we do what we do, especially the behaviour that works well. By studying thinking patterns and behaviours that create excellent outcomes, NLP professionals can teach other people strategies for achieving their own best outcomes. These goals range from personal (such as improving self-confidence, quitting an addiction, resolving trauma and health problems, becoming happier...) through to corporate success (such as increasing sales, improving public speaking, developing better marketing strategies, creating better workplace dynamics). NLP supporters love NLP because it creates rapid change by providing tangible steps for a person or an organisation to put in place to create great outcomes.

How NLP may be useful in Sales and Marketing

It’s easy to see how the study of NLP is advantageous in multiple areas of life, from someone’s personal relationships to virtually any occupation. One field in which NLP is especially relevant is that of sales and marketing
‘Neuro’ – understanding how we process information and meaning. ‘Linguistic’ – improving communication.


NLP can help those involved in sales to become more skilled at communicating. By helping to be better communicators, you can better identify clients’ needs and meet those needs more easily. Through emphasis on both verbal and non-verbal communication, you can learn principles that turn you into a more powerful, confident and flexible communicator.

Sales Professionals Should Recognise The Benefits Of NLP

Being a good communicator (ie understanding others) and being aware of your own perceptions (ie understanding ourselves) are great life-skills. NLP can help salesforce and marketers increase their level of rapport with their customers through the improvement of connection and get more VALUE from sales and marketing interactions

  1. NLP Helps Salespeople to Understand Their Clients

  2. NLP Helps Salespeople to Understand Themselves

Whilst NLP is clearly relevant to one-on-one sales interactions, it also is applicable to other areas of marketing, such as advertising. While it is easier to discern how to sell to a particular person when speaking to him or her individually, advertisers are faced with the more difficult task of targeting a mass of people at once. Consequently, many advertisers have overlooked how NLP might benefit marketing campaigns.

Marketers Should Recognise The Benefits Of NLP

The main difference in using NLP in sales vs. marketing is that salespeople are generally engaged in one-to-one interactions. They can assess whether their buyer prefers visual, auditory, or kinesthetic language, and lean into that preference.
On the other hand, marketing materials have to cater to many people with many different preferences. Since it’s rare to see any one emotional language bias among a type of buyer or target audience (if you assume the population is roughly split into thirds) marketers should instead try to hit all three bases with their messaging.
Of course, when targeting different groups of people, it is still important to be strategic. The mere presence of images or words in a marketing campaign will not be enough to cause people to want to buy your product. The key is to recognize which images or words will elicit the reaction you’re trying to achieve, depending on the type of customer you’re targeting.
A persons ‘state’ (emotional position) needs to be ready for the call to action… this creates a powerful motivation to buy.


NLP Technique for Sales and Marketing

The Wall of Ideas

Assuming you've worked out your basic proposition and have an ideal customer list, you need to be clear about your customers' buying cycle, the problems your service solves, and the value it can bring.

You then have to make contact with the appropriate customer decision makers and influencers. You then want to drive/nudge the sale forward towards a successful close. This involves helping your customer through their buying process.


Understanding their value sets, writing effective proposals, and negotiation are also important and can all benefit from NLP techniques.

Successful sales and delivery and helping your customers identify the value they've received will lead to case studies, referrals and testimonials leading to additional business.

Using NLP for Closing Sales
  1. Assuming the sale discussion has followed a good decision support process and we know that investing our time in this opportunity is a good investment, we can ask questions like:

  2. "What’s the next step to move the sale forward?", "Where are we? or

  3. "Are you ready to commit, now? So I can sort all the administration out and you can move forward."

  4. NLP should not be used to ‘manipulate’ into making a decision. Sales closes are a bit like NLP techniques, the best practitioners weave them into the conversation so they’re only noticed in the context of doing what’s best for both parties. They’re useful, but how you use them if often more important than the words themselves. If you’re in the right state and have an appropriate belief set, almost whatever you do will work.


NLP Technique for Sales and Marketing

Over the last 20 years, growing research from Neuroscience, Social Psychology and Behavioral Economics has been providing new insights on how the brain makes buying decisions. That gave birth to a new field, Neuromarketing. With his extensive knowledge and experience in both Neuroscience and marketing, Dr. Wu helps businesses grow revenues rapidly by guiding their customers to make informed decisions.


Research About NLP in Sales and Marketing

Red Shopping Bag
Giving a Presentation

Dr Richard Bolstad reviews some of the research into the science of purchasing with a multiple of referential sources. He concludes with 3 areas to improve sales through NLP. These include a powerful state of mind, rapport, and language patterns.

Relational skills are absolutely necessary for trainers and managers to create a bond with their audience. This paper demonstrates how a NLP approach to the presentation process, provides a better understanding of the linguistic characteristics, techniques and strategies which enrich and make our speech more persuasive.


Books About NLP for Sales and Marketing

The Perfect Close

ames Muir’s book ‘The Perfect Close’, demonstrates how that by simply asking just one closing question raised the percentage of successful sales from 25% to 61%. So we can’t assume sales will close themselves. However James also suggest that beyond the first attempt there is often a negative correlation between closing frequency and sales success.


What separates effective communicators from truly successful persuaders? With the rigorous scientific research and accessibility, Robert Cialdini explains how to prepare people to be receptive to a message before they experience it. Optimal persuasion is achieved only through optimal pre-suasion. In other words, to change “minds” a pre-suader must also change “states of mind.


How the Writer of this Page Uses NLP in Sales and Marketing

Gary Walker

I remember standing in front of the burning coals in front on me and knowing that I had 20 steps on the fire-walk to prove the power of mind over body. That first step was the hardest and the rest became history as I realised how much the brain can do for us – both positive and negative.


With a background in Psychology and business, I did my NLP masters and a diploma in HypnoTherapy to confirm my love for all things Neuroscience based.

I am a coach, counsellor, trainer and speaker on using the power of the mind to effect great change in our lives. My main drive is to help people THINK better, FEEL better and BE better to enjoy life with purpose.

In a business sense I focus on strategic leadership, particularly focussing on sustainability and persuasive communications and presentations. Neuromarketing and Neuroselling are becoming more commonplace and understood as being a good framework for understanding buyer behaviour.


For enquiries about using NLP in Sales / Marketing, or to join our NLP for Sales / Marketing online professional development and peer supervision group (for Associate and Professional Members of NZANLP), contact Gary Walker: