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Using NLP in Sales for Higher Close Rates in Small Business

Close the deal, handshake.

So, diving into the world of NLP in sales—it’s not just about closing deals; it’s about upping your game, connecting on a deeper level, and steering clear of that cringy, used-car-salesman vibe. You know, the one that makes you feel like you need a scrub-down after every pitch.

Picture this: you’re in a situation where you’ve got to introduce yourself, nail that first impression, figure out what the client really needs, throw in some info about your product or service, and juggle a bunch of other details. And guess what? You’ve got to do it all in one shot! No pressure, right?

Introduction: Using NLP in Sales

Now, as someone in the coaching and NLP training game, I usually only get one shot at it. Using NLP in sales has meant different things to me over the years. For me, it’s all about selling only to the folks where my service and I click with the client and what they’re after. It’s like finding the perfect fit.

Keep it Simple

Research tells us that staying 70-80% in our comfort zone and just 20-30% in discomfort is the sweet spot for effectiveness and learning new things!

NLP Techniques to Stick to the Basics

When using NLP in sales, the most straightforward techniques are often the most powerful. Regardless of the sales or communication skills you already have, you can seamlessly incorporate NLP into the mix.

Even though I’m an NLP expert, I’m not about getting all “fancy” with my skillset during the sales process. It’s not just about integrity; active listening, observing behavior, sharing information, emphasizing connection, and making people feel good are enough to secure a high close rate.

Using NLP in Sales for Higher Close Rates

NLP can truly be a game-changer when applied strategically. For example, I refrain from introducing my service or product until I’ve gathered ample information about my client. As a coach and NLP trainer, I am a significant part of the product or service, so going in blind when presenting myself, my product, or my service is not my style.

Non-verbal Communication & Emotional State Elicitation

In sales, it’s common for people to focus on their own end of the communication spectrum – and sure, that’s crucial. But here’s the catch: when you lose sight of what’s going on with your potential client, you are ultimately ineffective in communication.

– Facial expressions
– Body language
– Tonality & quality of voice
– Breathing rate, regularity, location.

The key is to figure out what they’re feeling. Are there shifts in their emotional state? Do you have a grasp of their needs?

Now, the real art lies in using these observations to communicate effectively. How can you tailor your communication to put them in a positive emotional state? It’s not just about what you say, but how you say it and how well you sync up with what they’re expressing non-verbally. Mastering this dance can significantly impact the success of your sales interactions.

You Become the Anchor to Their Positive Emotional State

Anchoring is about linking (positive) emotions to certain triggers, but delving into the nitty-gritty of setting an anchor could be an article in itself. To keep it straightforward for using NLP in sales, your main goal is to ensure that the client associates you with positive emotions and thoughts of peace, determination, clarity, a “can-do” attitude, confidence, curiosity, etc. You become the anchor that ties these positive vibes to your product or service, creating a connection that goes beyond words.

Ask youself the question, what emotional state do I need the client to be in in order for them to be willing to buy?

Matching, Mirroring, and Building Rapport

When it comes to building positive relationships, trust reigns supreme. One of the simplest yet powerful ways to leverage NLP in sales is through basic imitation. It’s about more than just copying; it’s about matching their body posture, syncing up with their breathing rate, reciprocating their smile, and even echoing their words and tonality. You catch my drift.

This technique fosters a feeling of belonging to the same tribe, a sense of mutual understanding. It’s not just about selling a product or service; it’s about creating a connection beyond the transaction.

Pacing & Leading

At the outset, it’s all about meeting them where they are—using their communication style, verbal and non-verbal cues, and ideas. This dance is what we call pacing. Once that solid rapport is in place, it’s time to gently guide them into a space where you can present your product, service, point of view, or idea. This shift from pacing to leading is where the magic happens in the sales conversation. It’s like a smooth transition from a shared rhythm to a dance where you take the lead.

Building Yes-Sets

Utilizing yes-sets is closely related to this. Essentially, when communicating with a client, you aim to sidestep initial no’s. This means framing your questions and ideas in a way that you already know will elicit an affirmative response. By meeting someone in the space of “yes,” you set the stage for increased receptivity and agreement. It’s like creating a positive momentum that paves the way for a smoother and more cooperative conversation.

In my experience, you need at least 5 sets of “yes” to be able to start nudging someone towards a sale.

Sharpening Your Detective Skills Using NLP in Sales

To truly grasp who your client is and uncover their needs, goals, and desires, you’ve got to channel your inner detective. What’s happening beneath the surface?

Enter the Meta Model, your toolkit for insightful questions. Examples of effective Meta Model questions include:

Who specifically?
What specifically?
How specifically?

These questions dig beneath the surface, helping you unravel the layers and gain a clearer understanding of your client’s world. It’s detective work that goes beyond the obvious, allowing you to tailor your approach to their specific needs and preferences.

Talking into Their Map – 2nd Perceptual Position

Having employed your stellar detective skills, the next move is to seamlessly step into their shoes. See what this person sees. Hear what this person hears. Feel what this person feels. Dive into their perspective. Pinpoint their pain points. Identify their needs.

Within this mental map, you then lay out who you are, what you do, and what you have to offer for sale. By aligning your narrative with their unique viewpoint and addressing their specific concerns, you’re not just selling a product or service—you’re offering a solution tailored to their world. It’s about creating a bridge between your offerings and their distinct needs and experiences.

How to Use NLP in Sales to Deal with Objections

Effectively managing objections is a pivotal component of using NLP in the sales process. I’ve observed that many coaches or individuals who aren’t professional salespeople can encounter mental blocks when objections arise, often accompanied by a surge of negative emotions.

Prepare for the Objections

 One effective way to leverage NLP in sales isn’t limited to the moment you meet the client; it extends to the preparation phase. Take a moment to mentally step into the shoes of your potential client—anticipate and understand their objections in advance.

If this proves challenging, consider interviewing individuals who resemble your potential clients. Learn firsthand about their objections, concerns, and hesitations. Compile a comprehensive list of objections and craft responses to address or negotiate each one.

This proactive approach not only equips you with tailored solutions but also demonstrates a keen understanding of your client’s perspective. It’s like having a roadmap for navigating potential obstacles during the sales process.

Listen for the Objections

Active listening is pivotal in objection handling, and NLP underscores the significance of genuinely hearing objections without offering immediate reactions. This approach allows you to collect valuable insights and respond thoughtfully and appropriately.

Understand the Objections – NLP Meta-Model

The NLP Meta-Model proves invaluable for businesses seeking a comprehensive understanding of objections by delving into underlying issues.


Here, a few magic questions
come into play:
Who specifically?
How specifically?
What specifically?


However, it’s crucial to exercise caution and not dwell excessively on these questions, particularly if they start triggering negative emotional states in either yourself or your client. Balancing exploration with sensitivity is key.


Handling objections strategically, I usually kick off with tackling the biggest one first. It’s like a domino effect—sort out the major objection, and the rest tends to fall into place.

I prefer to deal with immediate concerns right on the spot. Some of my potential NLP training students, for example, worry about their level of English as a non-native English speaker. I jump in to reassure them based on our conversation so far. I might throw in a reference to how much time we’ve already spent talking or suggest a chat with a past student who once had the same worries or hails from their neck of the woods.

And here’s the golden rule: don’t over estimate your own ability to talk people into things by ad-libbing. People can sniff insincerity a mile away, so I treat clients like born human lie detectors who love truthfulness and authenticity.

Keep it short and sweet. Long explanations? They’re like a breeding ground for doubt. So, let’s keep it concise and crystal clear, maintaining that trust you’ve built.

Confirm You Satisfied the Objection

Make sure you have all their objections covered—no assumptions allowed.

A quick reminder: silence doesn’t equal consent. It’s a common pitfall, especially for extroverts who might think an introvert’s silence means agreement. It is always best to double-check and not leave anything to chance.

Know When to Close the Deal

It boggles my mind when I’m on the client side, and folks are all about using NLP in sales but totally miss the fact that I’ve already given them a big, fat yes, and I’ve got my credit card ready. They just keep on talking, or if it’s a website, they keep piling on more text. It’s a trust-killer, or at best, it makes me impatient.

Here’s a golden rule: if someone’s shouting “yes” with both words and body language, don’t overcomplicate it. Sign them up! Stop the chatter, get out of your own head, and seal the deal. Simple as that.

Pay Attention to Non-Verbal Behavior

Non-verbal cues, like body language and facial expressions, are my go-to indicators for gauging customers’ feelings. 

Assertiveness and confidence.

I’m on the lookout for resourcefulness or congruence—those little signals that tell me they’re on board. Maybe it’s a subtle nod or any sign that screams, “I’m in!” It’s like their non-verbal language spills the beans on their sentiments.

Emotional State Shifts

Catch a shift to positive emotions, and you might just have a “yes” on your hands. On the flip side, a dip into negativity could be a red flag.

Keeping an eye on these emotional rollercoasters during the sales process is like having a secret weapon. Positive vibes often mean they’re ready to dive into commitment. However, if the mood takes a downturn, it’s a sign there might be some lingering concerns that need addressing. It’s all about tuning in to those emotional frequencies for a smoother sales ride.

Pay Attention to Verbal-Behavior

Verbal cues, like the tone and the words they choose, are like breadcrumbs that lead me straight to the customer’s mindset. It’s amazing how much they reveal through the way they talk.

Caution: Using NLP in Sales

NLP can be a game-changer in boosting sales effectiveness, treading carefully, and upholding ethical practices. Maintaining customer trust should always be a top priority. Avoid being a douchebag!

Do Not Break Rapport

Preserving rapport is essential in ethical sales practices. Avoid any actions that break trust.

The Second Perceptual Position

Preserving rapport is absolutely essential in using NLP in sales. The golden rule: steer clear of any actions that could break trust and rapport. It’s the backbone of a solid and lasting client relationship.

Sleazy Persuasion

Navigating the line between effective persuasion and sleaziness has always been a thing for me, especially in owning businesses like an NLP training company and coaching business. The key, I’ve found, is to steer clear of sleazy tactics and instead focus on being skilled, kind, and aligned with your values. People aren’t drawn to sleazy; they appreciate authenticity and kindness. It’s all about keeping it real.

Conclusion: Using NLP Sales for Higher Close Rates in Small Business

Rather than focus on the process, focus on the result. Not just your result, but theirs! 

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