How To Change People's Criteria And A Contest

In the last newsletters nlp1.html  and nlp2.html we demonstrated why certain NLP techniques don't work in print and the one thing you MUST do to get these patterns to explode your conversion rates. In nlp3.html we introduced the concept of criteria which we will expand upon. And in nlp4.html we began to explain how to elicit criteria.  In nlp5.html we introduced the concept of misdirection.

You know how people say...this could be the most important letter you'll ever read.  Well this one could be it.  And there's nothing for sale so you can lower your shields and pay attention.

The most powerful way to connect with someone is by utilizing their criteria.  The most ineffective way to communicate with someone is to either violate their criteria or -

even worse but far more common

- force your criteria on the prospect.

I knew a hypnotist who had gone through serious health challenges and whenever anyone entered his office, he spent the entire first session programming them into believing they had to have their health as their highest level criteria.

It doesn't always work that way.  Heck, my yoga teacher values her health but she spends entire days out in the sun without sunscreen because she thinks the tan is more important.  Her top criteria - appearances.

If her top criteria was health, she'd be wearing a high SPF sunscreen and limiting her exposure.

So to get someone to switch their criteria for yours -

it's a huge risk.

But what if you have to?

Some guy comes to me to quit smoking and I ask him, "What's important to you about quitting smoking."  He might answer, "So my wife and family won't nag me."

Okay great.  That can be really annoying.  "Now what's important to you about your wife and family not nagging you?"

He might say, "Well then I'll have peace of mind."

So peace of mind is his highest value criteria.  But...

we are about to enter the black hole of criteria change...

What does "peace of mind" mean?

Well to some it may mean laying out by the pool with nothing to do but relax while to others it may mean meditating.

And we don't have a clue to what our smoker means by "peace of mind."

So we've got to find that out.  We need to know how he defines "peace of mind."  Got that?

And then...

That's only the beginning...

because, we need to know what his evidence is for "peace of mind."  The question would be, "How do you know if you have peace of mind?"

Here's where the fun begins...

When we want to change a person's criteria, it's not like "taste great" vs "less filling".  We've got to change one of two things: his definition or his evidence.

If "peace of mind" to our smoker is absence of nagging we can change that.

How would you do that?

Contest time!

From now until Friday night at 11:59 PM eastern time, the person who submits the best dialogue for changing our smokers definition or criteria wins $100 (via paypal only).

Everyone is eligible, (including some of the top copywriters in the world who are studying these emails.)

So give it your best shot.  Reply via email.

By the way, his criteria selected tell me he is not going to quit smoking.  No changing his meta-programs here, just his criteria as explained above.

Good luck.

Selected Reader Responses

Marcy wrote: Okay, you wanted feedback so I'm throwing in my two cents. It's starting to get into some meaty things that I might just be able to sink my teeth into. And I'm a vegetarian! Could you tell I was a kinesthetic?? ;-)

Jack wrote: This is easily the most immediately actionable and useful copywriting tip you've ever sent since I've been on your list. Well done, my friend.

Colin wrote: I love these emails. It's fun to dissect the associative metaphors and marketing techniques. And the articles are enlightening. You remind me of Steve Heller.

Feedback welcomed.  Just click reply on the email I sent you!

And if you are not on this list, head over to and sign up now.


Harlan Kilstein