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In the early 1970's at UC Santa Cruz, Dr. John Grinder teamed up with Richard Bandler - a graduate student - to discover the answer to an important question.
Why are some people more effective than others in communication? Or more specifically, since their major interest at the time was therapy - why did some therapists get great results in a short period of time and others flounder (sometimes for years).
Bandler & Grinder decided to study the work of a number of therapists focusing mainly on the work of therapists Virginia Satir, Fritz Perls, and Carl Rogers. In a rapid time, they developed a way of coding the therapists communications and noted some significant patterns.
The produced a model of language called the Meta Model in which they noted how effective therapists recovered material that was generalized, deleted, or distorted by the patient. They began teaching this model to others.
In addition, they noted that the therapists distinguished between sensory systems. To people who used visual language, they spoke in visual terms. To people who spoke in auditory language, they used auditory terms. And finally, to people who spoke mainly in terms of their feelings, they used kinesthetic terms.
And this is where one of the most important issues about NLP and copy arises...
In a therapeutic setting, matching the patient's sensory systems was noted to greatly increase rapport. By the same token, mis-matching a patient's sensory system was a major impediment to rapport.
By noting a patient's verb choices (which sensory system did they fit into), eye movement patterns, breathing rate, and posture, the NLP practitioner could rapidly and covertly detect a person's preferential system and present information to them in that system.
In an early example of applications of NLP, realtors were advised to present homes to prospects according to their representational systems.
Here's how it appear to a visual:
Picture yourself looking at your house and seeing the gorgeous landscaping and the colors of the sunset in the background. Imagine your friends seeing your new home for the first time and admiring the view. And as you focus on the beautiful possibilities of this home, you can paint of picture of your family's happiness.
Or to an auditory:
As you hear the sounds of the birds in background, you can hear the voices of your friends telling you that you made the right choice with this home. As you listen inside your head, you can hear your children's voices in the backyard and they shout with excitement about their new home. You'll tell yourself in confidence this was really your home with the peace and quiet in the middle of the night.
Or to a kinesthetic:
As you allow your hands to run across the solid baseboard molding, you can feel how solid is the construction of this house. As you get in touch with your family's feelings about this house, you'll begin to get a handle on how your decision was correct. The hugs and kisses from the kids as they run up and climb on their new swings will touch your heart and you'll really grasp that this was the house for you.
So the first lesson of NLP was: present information in the preferred sensory system of the client. And in person, it works.
But it doesn't work in print at all!
When you are writing, you have no idea of the sensory system of the reader. And we know that when it comes to sales letters - whether direct mail or online - people don't read the letter in entirety. People skim.
And what happens in their skimming if during their skim process they read the paragraph that isn't aimed at them. Translation - what happens if an auditory reads a paragraph aimed at a kinesthetic? A huge turn off.
And you lose the readers.
Now I know a lot of experts are telling you to aim your writing at a mixture of visuals, auditorys, and kinesthetics.
I'm telling you that doesn't work.
In fact, you may be driving away your readers.
So despite what the "experts" say, this is one pattern that doesn't work in print... at all. I've tested it over the years and I've got the statistics to back me up.
In my next NLP Copywriting letter, I'll share with you a pattern you should be using instead.
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