Neurolinguistic Programming Explanation Why Sales People Fail

Sales are usually equated with financial transactions involving products or services. Any time you interact with others, you are effectively selling your ideas. Your purpose is to get the idea across and be accepted.

If you have succeeded in getting your idea across, you have succeeded. They bought it.

All resistance is fear based

There are also reasons why some people are able to sell a lot and some just don’t.

There are also reasons why people who have a potential to sell, do not meet their potential.

I have been working with organizations specializing in sales. I have trained countless sales people whose “productivity” increased many-fold afterword. I have also trained managers who manage sales people and whose objectives is to inspire and motivate their sales team to produce.

They too became much more effective in their job. The end recipients – the clients or customers became faithful advocates and fans of the company.

Both groups; managers and sales people required a different set of skills, and both experienced unique challenges. For the purpose of this discussion, I will talk about the sales people only.
This brings us to the fundamental question – “what are the reasons some sales people do not sell, and why some sabotage their success?”
I identified few key reasons for failure in sales, and strategies to alleviate this challenge. Here are the key points in the sales process, and the reasons for failing:

1. 1. When cold calling, or when coming face to face with the customer for the first time.
Many sales people are scared of rejection. They are either scared of feeling rejected by others or scared of not completing the sale. There are many reasons for this fear. One reasons is, they do not know what to say or how to say it. Their internal dialogue is “I will make a fool of myself”, “I will blow it”, “I will lose the sale because of how I sound”, and “I don’t know what to say”, etc.

In the process, they imagine being rejected and project that image onto the future. Rejection becomes their reality and they mastered the art of projecting the awful thing that is going to happen. They effectively created a movie in their mind – with a bad ending. The syntax of failure is fully present, the images vivid and the feeling of despair well accessed. This program is easily disassembled.

In order to have created such a syntax, the sales person imagines themselves as smaller and less significant than the buyer. The buyer has all the power and they are the mercy of the buyer’s decision. The permeating feeling is “I am not enough”, “I am unworthy” or “I am incompetent”.

What to change to improve your sales

To alleviate this problem, a lot of things need to be changed: the internal representation of the self, the internal dialogue, the accompanying imagery and the resultant feeling.

There are powerful methods to rewire that system at every level. I have seen sales people increase their sales by more than 30 percent on the average as a result of these changes. I encountered the case where the salesperson quadrupled their sales in one month and became unstoppable.

Bill worked for an insurance company. Criticized as a child he equated himself with his results. “If I fail, I am dead”. Fear of failure was so strong that he became literally frozen at times when he had to present various options to his clients.

I explained to him what was going on, and told him that when he was busy in his mind stopping himself from communicating with a client, he was as effective as if he were watching television. He might as well turn the television on and start watching the news. By the way the same strategy applies when people are afraid to date, speak in public or do countless other things requiring them to become “visible”.

Redirecting his attention to the customer would be a more effective strategy than replaying internal movies of the mind. Besides “It takes adequate planning to feel bad”. I worked with Bill and helped him completely change this program.

We worked on his internal representation of the self, and changed it from a small and insignificant person he adopted as “I am” (which represents a powerful internal truth) when he was 5 years old, to a powerful and worthwhile person he really is, changed his internal syntax (and the accompanying sound and direction of the internal voice) and imagery, set some powerful goals supported by a strong WHY, and role played interactions with various clients, using powerful language patterns, Neurolinguistic programming offers offers.

Neurolinguistic Programming Secrets – All the Reasons Why Sales People Fail

Bill became a top producer in his company.

1. 1. Fear of Success.
Fear of success is an interesting idea. How can anyone be afraid of succeeding? The answer is “Easily”.
I encountered the following avenues sales people follow on route to sabotaging success:

A. “I may not be able to stay on top”. Falling from a high pedestal may hurt. “I better avoid getting there”. Here they lack confidence about being able to maintain a high level of success, and fear failing – badly.

B. “I may succeed but will find myself alone on top of the mountain”. Here, they are afraid of falling out of the comfortable social context they are currently in. “I will be so much better than my friends or family. They may not want to be around me”. Sometimes they may be afraid of surpassing their father or a brother in their financial status. Therefore “I will hold myself back at a comfortable level”.

C. “I may succeed but what’s next?” If I don’t have the next level to reach for, I may as well die. There is nothing left for me. I will therefore keep myself down with something to strive for”.

D. “I may succeed but at what price?” The pain of getting there may seem too much. “I may have to work long hours and miss out on my family time or other things I love doing”.

E. “I may succeed but what if I make a wrong decision and choose wrong success?” “I may miss out on other options”.

F. “I am not sure where am I going”. Here a sales person does not have clearly defined goals and no “why” to achieve these goals. Unspecified goals cannot be successfully achieved. Goals that are unsupported by a strong “why”, are not real goals. The truth is, the reason for wanting to achieve the goal is the real goal.

Each of these strategies requires a different intervention to change. In some cases, a change in strategy may be needed. For example, someone who perceives the “road to get there” as painful needs to be shown small, manageable steps can be used to accomplish the most complex task, the road needs not be painful or difficult.

In the case of fear of falling from the high pedestal, they must get through an internal process of designing a strategy to stay on top, and change their identity level statement into “I am capable and able because I am worth it and I have the skills to do it”.


In the case of unspecified goals, there is a formula to achieve any goal. This is where it gets exciting.

All goals are positioned on a timeline. We all have a representation of where the future, the past and now is. Sometimes a goal is positioned not in alignment with the future, and the person misses it. These representations are unconscious, and shifts need to happen at that level. Suddenly they hit the target all the time.

This shift has profound and lasting impact. It affects all areas of a person’s life. Suddenly a person becomes more effective, focused, confident and powerful.

In the case of fear of being alone, the internal concept of their position in a community needs shifting. This requires rewiring the “I am”. Again, this is at other than conscious level and needs rewiring at that level. I have shifted this paradigm a hundred times leading to massive increases in sales and also in other areas in a person’s life. This one shift changes the dynamics of human relationships. It is a pervasive and profound shift.

1. 2. Not closing the deal – fear of failure
People do not close the sale because again, they are afraid of rejection, afraid of taking advantage of the customer” and feeling guilty, or not feeling worthy of success.

Each of these internal programs can easily be changed, leading to hugely improved results.
1. 3. Not having set the goals in a way that guarantees their achievement
Goals are achievable but only when they are set properly. There is an actual system for setting goals, guaranteeing their achievement. The brain does differentiate between what you want, what you expect and what you already have. You must set your goal in a way that your brain recognizes it as already having been achieved.
You must also overcome internal blockages to setting big goals. This can be translated into “allow yourself to dream”.

1. 4. Fear of the pain of “getting there”
Here you have created a projection of pain en-route to getting there. Maybe you have been conditioned to believe “achievement equals pain”. This program can easily be eradicated.

1. 5. Fear of setting the wrong goal (and missing out on other options)

1. 6. Fear of what comes next
You may be scared that once you reach the “end of the road” there may be nothing left for you to look forward to. In a sense, completion means death.

Each of these limitations is supported by limiting beliefs which need to be quickly disassembled so that you can easily get to your desired results.

The power of  neurolinguistic programming lies in its ability to get to the root of problems, and quickly replace limiting beliefs with empowering ones. The change is quick and permanent.

Whether you want to improve your relationships, become a better speaker, a more inspiring parent, or a powerful facilitator, you want to improve your sales skills.

You must remember, before they buy your idea, product or service, they need to buy you. Why not bring the most attractive you into any situation and watch your life improve?

If you want to get some tips on how to improve your communication skills, sales performance, or get rid of limiting beliefs that have been stopping you from success, book a FREE 30 – minute confidential session.

This may be the most important call you have ever made.