How To Revolutionize Your Telco Training With NLP

Black and white image of man and woman looking at tablet in retail store

Telcos: I’m going to let you in on a secret that can revolutionize your retail training approach and drive your success to levels you previously thought were impossible.


It’s Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).

NLP is a pseudoscientific approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy. It was created in the 1970’s by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in California, USA. Although it’s been around for a while, NLP has been mainly confined to the realms of life coaches, personal accountability coaches and other success-based personal coaching schemes.

Until now.

My experience with NLP goes back a decade. I became a Certified NLP Practitioner in 2008, and in 2020, I’m working towards my Master Practitioner Certification. I won’t sugar coat it - the NLP courses are long, costly, and require a lot of personal commitment to complete. This often results in long residential events to fully learn, practice and master the principles and techniques.

As a retail consultant, I’ve thought a lot about how the principles could be applied to train young retail staff and help them perform better in their roles. Let’s dive right in and explore the five principles of NLP and how they can be intertwined with your telco training material.

What is It?

NLP consists of effective techniques that provide you with choices that you didn’t know you had. Even better, it triggers a curious attitude, and the desire to learn and explore new possibilities. But for NLP to be successfully applied, there are five basic principles you need to respect.

1. Know Your Outcome

Like you would set business goals, you want to set NLP goals.

You need to know what outcome you are striving for. The most important part of stating an outcome is ensuring it’s well thought out and that it’s useful. Here are the requirements for NLP outcomes:

  • Is Stated in the Positive:  Focus on what you want to do, not what you don’t want to do.
  • Is Sensory-Specific:  Establish how you will determine your outcome has been achieved using the five senses.
  • Is Contextualised:  Ensure that your outcome can be achieved in the right conditions. For example, where/when/with whom do you want this outcome?
  • Is Self-Achievable:  You have access to appropriate resources to achieve the outcome.
  • Is Ecological:  Ensure your outcome is balanced and ecological. This can be determined by asking these questions: Is it good for me? Is it good for others? Is it good for the greater good?
  • Is Worthwhile:  Make sure your outcome has a useful and positive impact on your life or the lives of others.

What does this mean in a telco retail environment? It’s very clear. You need to ensure a leaner knows what success looks like. Specifically, tell them what’s good and what’s not.

A great example is initial greetings with potential customers. Many young salespeople are easily overwhelmed by greetings, which results in clumsy exchanges. By using the principles of “Know Your Outcome”, telcos can give the salesperson a positive, contextualised process for greetings that can help them, and the customer have a positive engagement.

“Hi, my name is Will and I’m a retail advisor, it’s my job to help you find what exactly you need from us. How can I help you today?”

Say that naturally – and mean it. Now you’re off to a great start with every customer.

2. Take Action

While this might seem obvious, many people don’t take action. Some make excuses or give excellent reasons to explain why sitting around and doing nothing is the right thing to do. NLP is all about taking action, for yourself or others. Things seldom happen when nothing is done to expedite an outcome. So, feel free to take action now.

In a telco environment, it’s all about instilling young learners with the right attitude. Show them that by repeatedly doing things the right way, they can over-achieve - and be in control of their own career trajectory in the process.

3. Sensory Acuity

When we have a conversation with someone, we are also talking to ourselves in our heads. When the other person stops talking, we take that as an invitation to share our opinion. The problem is that rarely has this way of conversing elicited effective change in anyone.

Sensory acuity is about noticing the shifts and changes in others, and it’s only possible when we’re giving someone our undivided attention. Listening with our ears, looking with our eyes and focusing our brain will ensure we notice everything that is happening in the engagement. Ultimately, this will make you a great listener and someone your customers want to talk to.

Now, teaching these processes to someone is easier than you may think. Help your salespeople transform their listening skills by showing them:

  • How communication occurs.
  • How mistakes are made.
  • How to watch for micro-changes in a pitch.
  • How to hear tone.
  • How to spot behaviour.

When salespeople have all the facts, they can provide the right solution!

4. Behavioural Flexibility

If what you’re currently doing isn’t working, why wouldn’t you try something new?

Too many of us stubbornly repeat the same thing – even though it’s proven not to work. When we exhibit flexible behaviour, we gain better control of our situation and our communication improves.

As we know, all customers are unique. By understanding customers’ needs and behaviours, salespeople can adjust their own approach accordingly. Clear communication builds rapport and establishes trust, and ultimately creates an excellent sales processes and experience.

5. Physiology of Excellence

Some days, working in retail can be tiring and feel never-ending. Being on your feet for 8+ hours during a winter shift, where daylight is short, can be exhausting! And being stuck inside on a beautiful summer day can be just as frustrating!

The trick to overcoming these obstacles is adopting the right mindset. Resourcefulness is contagious and can spread to those around you, creating a positive impact beyond yourself. When you’re feeling down, try adopting a new mindset.

Letting your retail staff understand their emotions and reactions to their physical surroundings helps them practice techniques that will motivate them to provide positive customer experiences. Show them that with the right mindset, they will create their own personal success and victory for their team.

NLP offers some incredible insights that can revolutionize the performance of your sales staff. Interested in how NLP could work in your telco retail environment? Connect with me on LinkedIn and we can talk!

If you want to learn more about telco retail sales training, download our whitepaper “How To Create Outstanding Telco Salespeople” and read about what customers expect from their retail experience, why the telco store experience falls short, the characteristics of an outstanding telco salesperson and how to develop a successful retail training strategy.

About Maplewave’s NLP Solution:

Showtime is the only NLP based sales training for telcos. Built for the 2020’s, Showtime teaches telco staff how to master consultative selling, be the hero in a confusing digital age and become a trusted advisor.

Offering insight and concrete solutions for telcos looking to take their business to the next level.

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