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Using Psychology and NLP To Increase Sales

Sometimes when you’re looking to boost online conversions you need to think outside of the box. There are lots of methods to conversion optimisation and it’s always important to split test. But sometimes it’s good to look outside of the usual arena for ideas. For example we’ve been looking into NLP and devising ways on how we can use some of the techniques involved in NLP to help increase conversions on landing pages.

What is NLP?

NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming, which is a form of hypnotic language created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970s. The science community consider it a pseudoscience as there is no real scientific evidence supporting claims by NLP experts. But nevertheless there are some techniques that make a lot of sense when it comes to marketing and it’s worth testing out. The worst that can happen is you spend some extra time studying your content, which definitely isn’t a bad thing. So with that in mind, which type of NLP strategies can you use on your landing page?


Presupposition is an NLP tactic where you presuppose something to be true. And by presupposing, you plant a seed in your potential customers mind. For example, say you are selling pocket squares. You could have a standard piece of text describing your pocket square, or you could use presupposition to speak directly to the reader.
“When you order your unique pocket square from us you’ll be able to see why all our other customers rate it as the best pocket square they’ve ever purchased.”
This statement uses two very important presuppositions. First, it presupposes that you are actually going to buy the pocket square, hence “When you order your unique pocket square”. Secondly it presupposes that other people have purchased the pocket square and rate it as a great product: “you’ll be able to see why all our other customers rate it as the best pocket square…”.
So the whole, sentence although harmless on the surface actually speaks directly to the subconscious with its presuppositions. This is a way of priming the customer and instilling them with a sense of comfort and trust.

Use Metaphors

According to NLP, the subconscious mind deals with images rather than words, and speaks the language of emotions rather than logic. When it comes to ‘buying’, most people agree that it’s usually the sub-conscious that makes the decision rather than the logical mind. This is where impulse buying comes from. If your emotions are stirred by a product then there’s a good chance your logical brain will come up with a good reason why you should buy it. This is where metaphors come in, as NLP says that metaphors speak directly to your sub-conscious mind in the form of images.
For example, if you are trying to get across the particular benefits of a product in words alone then you’re communicating with the logical reasoning mind of your potential customer. Whereas if you can find a suitable metaphor, your message goes right through to their sub-conscious brain.
Say you are selling pastries. You could highlight the benefits of fresh ingredients, baked at the right temperatures to ensure they taste delicious.
Or you could say your pastries are so fresh they melt in your mouth like butter.
The image of melting in your mouth like butter evokes a number of senses and speaks directly to your sub-conscious in a way that facts alone can’t reach.

Build Rapport

Building rapport is an essential part of face to face sales. But if you know your audience you can also do this with online sales. The key here is to know your audience and to understand their essential needs. If your landing page can reflect the way your customer ‘feels’, then this will create rapport and make the whole buying process easier. Stories can be great for building rapport with customers, and if you can align your story so that it fits with their life, then you’re already half way to making a sale.
For example:
Say you are selling a weight loss product. You can assume that most people that are struggling to lose weight have tried a number of different ways that haven’t worked. This is why they have come to you right? So you can tell a story of someone (you) who has tried all the other products on the market but hasn’t found anything that worked. You can then go on to describe the pain you’ve felt in trying to lose weight, and how it’s affected your life in a negative way, such as self-esteem etc. This all builds rapport, so that by the time your customers read the part where your product helped you lose weight and turned your life around, they’ll be in a much better position to make the purchase.

Using the Senses, or Representational Systems

NLP says that people experience the world through different senses. Some may be visual and experience the world in a visual way. You’ll know this by their choice of words, such as “the way I see it…” or “it looks to me like…” Others experience the world through feelings and are more inclined to say “It feels like..” Again, others are more auditory and will relate to sounds and say things like “It sounds to me like..”
So to ensure you’re catering for all types of customer, make sure your sales pitch includes references to all 5 senses, sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.
All of this can have a positive impact on your conversion rate and you have nothing to lose by applying some of these techniques. We’re spending a lot of time at the moment studying psychology when it comes to online sales, and we’ll be running some case studies over the coming weeks, so make sure to keep an eye on the Bamboo Nine blog.
This article is by no means finished, but unfortunately for today I’ve run out of time. So keep your eyes peeled for the next update where I explain what other factors of NLP can be used to boost your online conversions.