Is NLP Utter Hogwash?

by 183 comments
I wrote an article after an email exchange with Drayton Bird (with his permission, of course).

He insists there's nothing to NLP persuasion in copywriting. I, and a few others disagree.

There's a bit of a discussion going on. Drayton is joined by Chris Marlow, the copywriter's coach and NLP guru Clive Cable.

Here's the post in its entirety:
“NLP is utter hogwash” – Drayton Bird

“There’s nothing new in NLP. But what gives it the power is the way things were combined together into a system.” – Wyatt Woodsmall
In an email discussion with Drayton Bird, he told me, clearly, what he thinks of NLP.

He also added a link to a page on Wikipedia that labels NLP as a “discredited approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy” (link below).

Personally, I prefer to do a bit more research than one page on the internet. Even if it links to a million scientific references. In fact, especially if it’s to scientific references.

And, as Wyatt Woodsmall said, “There’s nothing new in NLP. But what gives it the power is the way things were combined together into a system.”

How can anyone discredit something that has always existed?

I could go through control after control in advertising and highlight NLP patterns. They’re there. You just have to know what to look for.

It’s no different to using persuasive words and sentences in copywriting.

(A control is an advert that makes more money than any other for a particular product. When a new ad. makes more money than the control, that new ad. becomes the control.)

So here’s my reply to Drayton:
“NLP is hogwash if you listen to some people. You know the ones who try to make a quick buck by fooling people.

In truth- particularly for the NLP persuasion techniques – it’s just another name for the stuff we write in copy.

They just go a bit further with patterns. A bit like sleight of hand in street magic.

The more I look into it, the more I realise how we can use it in copywriting.

As far as the ‘discredited approach’ goes, I think that refers more to Bandler and Grinder.

Those who know them also know they are not the most ethical of people.

I first ventured into NLP in the late 1980s, but got out because of Bandler. I didn’t like what he did.

In fact, the guy they learned from, Milton Erickson, called them Bandit and Swindler.

It’s a shame when one or two people can discredit an entire industry.”
Unfortunately, that made no difference to Drayton.

What can you do, huh?

Here’s my take on NLP…

It’s not about the tool. It’s about whose hand the tool is in.

As with all tools, it’s the user that makes the difference.

None of that will make any difference to Drayton, however. It can take more than an email to persuade someone to change his views.

What I will say is this: it’s not about whether or not he believes NLP is a valid practice. It’s about whether or not it makes a difference to what we believe and how we use it.

Still, I’d like to know what others say on the subject. Especially if you think you can prove there is truth to NLP.

Is NLP Utter Hogwash? | Persuade With NLP
#copy writing #hogwash #nlp #utter
  • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
    I still don't know what NLP is. You ask ten different people you get ten different answers.

    Seems everything is borrowed from some other discipline. Are there any NLP inventions or discoveries?

    What you call NLP patterns, for instance. How do they differ from the patterns of classical rhetoric: isocolon, anadiplosis, et al?
    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
      Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

      I still don't know what NLP is. You ask ten different people you get ten different answers.

      Seems everything is borrowed from some other discipline. Are there any NLP inventions or discoveries?

      What you call NLP patterns, for instance. How do they differ from the patterns of classical rhetoric: isocolon, anadiplosis, et al?
      The way I learn things is not by asking others. I learn by studying.

      Like copywriting, if you ask for opinions, you will get opinions.

      And not all those opinions will be informed.
    • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
      Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

      I still don't know what NLP is. You ask ten different people you get ten different answers.
      Dude, I hear you. It's branding. Everyone has to put their own personal twist on it to position themselves as an anomaly.

      I wrote a post about this last week, it all boils down to human need psychology. Once you get that, you don't need NLP because you understand the principles behind it.

      Here's the post:

      http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...ersuasion.html
    • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
      Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

      I still don't know what NLP is. You ask ten different people you get ten different answers.
      Speaking of, I'm still not sure what "hogwash" even is?

      Is it an verb or a noun?

      Is it what's left over after the hog is washed?

      Is it the debris washed off of the Hog?

      The futile act of washing a hog?

      Might make for an equally meaningful discussion lol
  • Profile picture of the author The Marketeer
    There seems to be a contradiction in the following quote

    There’s nothing new in NLP. But what gives it the power is the way things were combined together into a system.” – Wyatt Woodsmall
    Can anyone spot it?

    I agree with what you say here:

    Here’s my take on NLP…

    It’s not about the tool. It’s about whose hand the tool is in.

    As with all tools, it’s the user that makes the difference.
    However with NLP and hypnosis, there are some elements which I'm not entirely comfortable with as they overlap with some practices used in the dark side. Not sure if you've noticed that yet.
    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
      Originally Posted by The Marketeer View Post

      There seems to be a contradiction in the following quote

      Can anyone spot it?

      I agree with what you say here:

      However with NLP and hypnosis, there are some elements which I'm not entirely comfortable with as they overlap with some practices used in the dark side. Not sure if you've noticed that yet.
      I agree.

      But you can discriminate and keep away from them.

      It's why I refuse to even listen to some of the dark side stuff.
    • Profile picture of the author CopyMonster
      Originally Posted by The Marketeer View Post

      There seems to be a contradiction in the following quote

      There’s nothing new in NLP. But what gives it the power is the way things were combined together into a system.” – Wyatt Woodsmall

      Can anyone spot it?
      Maybe what he's saying is NLP is a bit like an omelet.

      What?

      Yup. You've got eggs, ham, cheese and chives or whatever. The ingredients are nothing new.

      IF you take the eggs and cook them first, take them out of the pan, then cook the ham then add the cheese and the chives, what have you got? Fried eggs, ham and melted cheese with chives.

      BUT if you throw the ham in the pan first, toss it around for 60 seconds, then pour on eggs that have been lightly whisked, add your cheese and chives before the egg cooks, you get a nice ham and cheese omelet.

      Same stuff, different outcome.

      Some people don't care for NLP. I get it. NLP is not as straightforward as some promoters make it out to be.

      Me? I don't care if my persuasion and influence methodologies/frameworks are called NLP, copywriting, sales, or Jack's Magic Bean Method. What I care about are bottom line results.

      I have gotten some fairly useful distinctions out of the material. Enough to spend quite a bit of time looking at its different parts under the hood.

      Yeah... what started out as being curiosity about "magic" language patterns that could "make people buy", got deeper into how people made decisions, understanding how language reflected their "map of the world", how people organized specific information in their heads and how to use that to help them got more of what they really wanted.

      For me, NLP is a little like an airplane. Not everyone understands how an airplane works. That doesn't mean it doesn't work. Some people are scared to death of riding in one - it just plain freaks them out. Others aren't. Some are happy to ride along as a passenger whether it's first class or the cattle class. That's enough excitement, value for them. And then there are those that want to... and do master flying an airplane... even to the extent you can do loops and tricks that amaze and defy belief. Me? I like to be engineer and pilot. Top gun baby!!!

      Why settle for other people's destinations and timetables when you can set your own?

      It's simple really.

      But like I said, NLP is not as straightforward as some claim on the packet. It's not "1-2-3... magic word pattern, hey presto... give me your wallet!" It's a little cerebral at times. Maybe that's why it appeals to me. I have a tendency to the analytical. I like numbers. I like looking for patterns and formulas. Most of all, I like understanding why things work the way they do and using that to maximum effect. (I like it when you can make 1+1 = 11 not 2... which you can if you know what you are doing... )

      Fact is not everyone agrees and I'm quite certain it will never happen. Then again... is there really much on the planet that there is universal agreement with?

      I could go on. But why? I really don't care if another copywriter uses NLP or not. I'm not selling anything here and it's not even to my advantage if they figure it out.

      At the end of the day, the best thing you can do is what works for you since it's you that you have to answer to.


      PS. I read Drayton's comments to the blog and it seems his issue is with the label of whether NLP is a science or not, not as to its efficacy.
  • Profile picture of the author charidemos
    What makes me skeptical about NLP is that it's creator, Richard Bandler, is so overweight. I mean if the stuff he teaches work, why not apply them on his physical health? Then I thought he could be sick but he mentioned in an interview that he does not think he is fat. Draw your own conclusion from that.
    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
      Originally Posted by charidemos View Post

      What makes me skeptical about NLP is that it's creator, Richard Bandler, is so overweight. I mean if the stuff he teaches work, why not apply them on his physical health? Then I thought he could be sick but he mentioned in an interview that he does not think he is fat. Draw your own conclusion from that.


      Check out what I said about him and Grinder in the top post.
    • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
      Originally Posted by charidemos View Post

      What makes me skeptical about NLP is that it's creator, Richard Bandler, is so overweight. I mean if the stuff he teaches work, why not apply them on his physical health? Then I thought he could be sick but he mentioned in an interview that he does not think he is fat. Draw your own conclusion from that.
      That is kind of funny and kind of sad, but of course doesn't disprove it's usefulness, any more than a mechanic's crappy car proves she can't fix one when she takes the time to.

      I did walk out on an NLP event once, when I realized the teachers weren't very enthused, and took a smoke break. One of the uses of NLP is to stop habits such as that. My belief that NLP works wasn't shaken, but I didn't wish to learn if from those who don't use it in their own lives.

      Tony Robbins proved many times that it works, and is the best example to my knowledge, of someone who produced incredible results with it in his life and the lives of many others.
    • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
      Originally Posted by charidemos View Post

      What makes me skeptical about NLP is that it's creator, Richard Bandler, is so overweight. I mean if the stuff he teaches work, why not apply them on his physical health? Then I thought he could be sick but he mentioned in an interview that he does not think he is fat. Draw your own conclusion from that.
      lol, well friggin' put. The proof is in the pudding...perhaps literally in this case lol
  • Profile picture of the author The Marketeer
    From reading the comments on your article it seems that classic copywriting fans feel that NLP can never replace the classic principles of copywriting.

    Now I wonder what cognitive bias that falls under?

    Of course NLP can never replace classic copywriting principles because it's just another framework from which to look at persuasion and communication but...

    It can add value to classic copywriting principles.

    This is what some copywriters are saying (in the comments to the article) and what one of the top dogs in copywriting seems to be doing.

    There seems to be this feeling that it's either this or that.

    Why can we not have the best of both worlds?

    A sort of a hybrid if you like.

    Can we not have our cake and eat it too?
    • Profile picture of the author Studio13
      Originally Posted by The Marketeer View Post


      Of course NLP can never replace classic copywriting principles because it's just another framework from which to look at persuasion and communication but...

      I think this statement summarizes my opinion on the matter fully. Well said.
    • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
      In the NLP literature there is a vocabulary
      which I find useful in understanding some
      interesting connections between language
      and behavior.

      I find Satyr categories useful for understanding
      some things about people.

      In terms of whether the "modeling" systems
      and rapid therapeutic systems work, I won't
      speculate.

      Whether any of the concepts in NLP can be
      proven or not is not relevant to me. I've still
      learned some useful things from reading
      NLP material.

      I wouldn't call it utter hogwash at all... but
      I'm not running around spending thousands
      of dollars on seminars or coaching so, financially
      speaking, I haven't invested enough to have
      any complaints about the value I got.
  • Profile picture of the author Shazadi
    The majority of the copywriters I've seen that trumpet their use of NLP are proven con artists and hacks. I understand that some well meaning types may explore it and discover a few useful tips (Such as yourself?), but as others have said, I really don't see it preaching anything new that can't be learned through studying sales techniques and human psychology. Beyond that, it projects an inflated sense of importance that says you can "hypnotize" a reader and/or "force" them to buy something, which one simply cannot do. It's that type of pseudoscience that gives it a bad name, and it's even worse that there are no NLP studies which can verify its efficacy.

    It reminds me of copywriting's own little PUA community. Maybe there were once a few nuggets of truth within the teachings, but since its inception they've primarily been used by scuzzy, manipulative types that have simply re-branded classic teachings for their own gain.
    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
      Originally Posted by LauraKryza View Post

      The majority of the copywriters I've seen that trumpet their use of NLP are proven con artists and hacks. I understand that some well meaning types may explore it and discover a few useful tips (Such as yourself?), but as others have said, I really don't see it preaching anything new that can't be learned through studying sales techniques and human psychology. Beyond that, it projects an inflated sense of importance that says you can "hypnotize" a reader and/or "force" them to buy something, which one simply cannot do. It's that type of pseudoscience that gives it a bad name, and it's even worse that there are no NLP studies which can verify its efficacy.

      It reminds me of copywriting's own little PUA community. Maybe there were once a few nuggets of truth within the teachings, but since its inception they've primarily been used by scuzzy, manipulative types that have simply re-branded classic teachings for their own gain.
      Got any examples of these proven con artists and hacks?

      The thing to remember is there's nothing magic about NLP.

      I find so many of the patterns in NLP already being used by the top copywriters.

      They may not call it NLP. And, in fact, the term NLP came along much later.
  • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
    Just use the persuasive copywriting techniques that work for you.

    I use some NLP or hypnotic writing techniques in my copy.

    But the label doesn't matter.
    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      I could go through control after control in advertising and highlight NLP patterns. They’re there. You just have to know what to look for.
      Which proves nothing.

      1. Show me a NLP technique that copywriters haven't already been using for years (albeit under a different name).

      2. If there is one, show me via split test that it increased response in sales copy.

      That would be proof.

      Alex
  • Profile picture of the author johndetlefs
    Cialdini's works are far more useful than NLP for my money.

    There isn't or doesn't seem to be a lot of science around NLP, just a lot of scientific names.

    In my industry (corporate training) you'd be amazed at how many trainers swear by pointing down when something is bad, and pointing up when something is good to "anchor" the point.

    Really though, the best trainers that i've ever met and hired are the ones that can tell a great story and keep a crowd entertained while they learn.

    If you substitute learn for "buy" that sounds a fair bit like the best copywriters, no?

    Milton Erickson had some really interesting ideas around hypnosis for psychotherapy, and from what I've read, Grinder and co used a lot of what they thought Erickson was doing as a basis for their methodology.
  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Great headline from Mister Pusateri -

    This year's apple crop is up 20%. Thanks NLP!


  • Profile picture of the author colmodwyer
    From my experience...

    1) All the "NLP strategies" I've heard of are old repackaged/rebranded sales/copy tricks (full disclosure I've never actually read an NLP book/course)

    2) Folk who purport to be NLP copywriters are douches

    Colm
    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
      Originally Posted by colmodwyer View Post

      From my experience...

      1) All the "NLP strategies" I've heard of are old repackaged/rebranded sales/copy tricks (full disclosure I've never actually read an NLP book/course)

      2) Folk who purport to be NLP copywriters are douches

      Colm
      You make a valid point. Especially in the brackets, because that's exactly how I felt for a long time.

      Even though I was exposed to NLP about 20 odd years ago, I dismissed it because of people like Richard Bandler.

      It's only recently that I went back into after reading some threads on linkedin started by Chris Marlow.

      Then a guy call Clive Cable came on board, as well as a few others, and the discussion that ensued convinced both me and Chris of the value of NLP.

      So much so that I and Clive have started a direct marketing agency together. He's the NLP specialist and I'm the copywriter.

      Together we're doing and getting a lot more done and doing it better.

      I never dismiss anything without investigating it properly.

      If I can find one thing that improves my copywriting, I'll use it.
  • Profile picture of the author The Marketeer
    Maybe some of you have mis-understood what Rezbi was trying to say in his OP.

    Here's what I understood from his words:

    "NLP isn't utter hogwash.

    Yes, there are some elements which he wouldn't touch due to the reputation of certain characters.

    However he sees it as a tool and there's some good in it worth using to enhance his copywriting.

    At no point has he stated that NLP is going to replace the classic principles of copywriting."

    -----

    In copywriting you have different formulas/ different perspectives.

    Each expert has their own formula that works for them.

    In addition to that they borrow ideas from disciplines sometimes not directly related to copywriting.

    NLP is a another framework within which to understand persuasion.

    So I guess what he's saying is, why dismiss something completely when there is some benefit in it that can be used to enhance copywriting.

    Please also note that he's not the first to say it.

    There are other established copywriters that have also found NLP to have some benefit in it.

    P.S. Different horses for different courses.
    • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
      Is NLP utter hogwash?

      Rick Duris provides a good few extra insights on the subject of NLP here...

      http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...esletters.html

      If NLP is 'hogwash', why are one or two of the best copywriters using NLP?


      Mark Andrews
    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
      Originally Posted by The Marketeer View Post

      Maybe some of you have mis-understood what Rezbi was trying to say in his OP.

      Here's what I understood from his words:

      "NLP isn't utter hogwash.

      Yes, there are some elements which he wouldn't touch due to the reputation of certain characters.

      However he sees it as a tool and there's some good in it worth using to enhance his copywriting.

      At no point has he stated that NLP is going to replace the classic principles of copywriting."

      -----

      In copywriting you have different formulas/ different perspectives.

      Each expert has their own formula that works for them.

      In addition to that they borrow ideas from disciplines sometimes not directly related to copywriting.

      NLP is a another framework within which to understand persuasion.

      So I guess what he's saying is, why dismiss something completely when there is some benefit in it that can be used to enhance copywriting.

      Please also note that he's not the first to say it.

      There are other established copywriters that have also found NLP to have some benefit in it.

      P.S. Different horses for different courses.
      Someone who gets my take on this whole thing.
  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    John Carlton says NLP is way down the list of importance for must have elements...John mentions it here...John Carlton Internet Marketing Interview (Number 2) -**Internet Business Blog By James Schramko

    Gary Bencivenga doesn't mention it in his persuasion equation.

    Best,
    Ewen
    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
      Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

      John Carlton says NLP is way down the list of importance for must have elements...John mentions it here...John Carlton Internet Marketing Interview (Number 2) -**Internet Business Blog By James Schramko

      Gary Bencivenga doesn't mention it in his persuasion equation.

      Best,
      Ewen
      From that same interview:

      Q: What’s more important, injecting character, storytelling, or learning the ways of the NLP ninja?

      John says storytelling and personality are way up the list of important things and go together because it’s hard to have a good personality without telling stories. Although NLP can be powerful, he thinks that personality and storytelling are your first choice weapons and NLP is way down the list.
      Kinda like what I've been saying.

      I never said NLP is the be-all and end-all.

      First and foremost I'm a copywriter who has studied pretty much all the greats and with some of them personally.

      My take, if you bothered to actually read what I've said, is that NLP is a tool that can be used in copywriting.

      Something like what John is saying.
    • Profile picture of the author The Marketeer
      Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

      John Carlton says NLP is way down the list of importance for must have elements...John mentions it here...John Carlton Internet Marketing Interview (Number 2) -**Internet Business Blog By James Schramko

      Gary Bencivenga doesn't mention it in his persuasion equation.

      Best,
      Ewen
      Thanks for the link.

      Do you think it's possible that some pro's keep some of their best techniques to themselves?

      There are also some that publicly deny knowledge that they actually use.
  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    The more books you read, the more
    insight you get.
  • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
    I did some homework.

    Consulted a number of the best selling NLP books on Amazon (thanks, Look Inside feature,) as well as what I assume (it's hard to tell) are the most authoritative NLP websites.

    I was looking for one thing: A succinct definition.

    First off, I was surprised at how few authors even bothered with a definition, even in what are purported to be beginner texts.

    Most of the definitions I found were airy-fairy, defining the subject in terms of the benefits the authors claim can be derived from it.

    Here are a representative few:

    From NLP - The New Technology of Achievement - edited by Steve Andreas:

    Sorry, Steve Andreas. A single thing can not be a study, an ability and a technology.

    Let's try again...

    From the NLP University website (they do certification or something):

    My bullshit detector is causing the neighbor's dog to bark.

    Can no one give a single sentence definition of NLP?

    From Introducing NLP by Joseph O'Conner:

    My apologies, Mr. O'Conner. I couldn't hear you over the neighbor's dog.

    Yes, THANK YOU. Now we are getting somewhere.

    Maybe if we go all the way back to NLP's beginnings we can gain even more clarity.

    Let's ask Dr. Grinder. He was there.


    Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! NLP is a modeling methodology. (Someone said that earlier. I hope he gets his coffee.) Thank you, professor.

    It seems at some point NLPistas began to consider what was uncovered by use of their modeling methodology to be a part of that modeling methodology.

    Say an NLPista used the modeling methodolgy and "discovered" that some writers who were geniuses at holding attention used nested loops in their work. He then considered his "discovery" to be part of NLP.

    This is like Anton van Leeuwenhoek viewing red blood cells under his microscope and pronouncing to the world that red blood cells are part of microscope.

    This might be a whole new logical fallacy. Conflating the object? Equating the thing observed with the tool used to make the observation.

    It's like saying the rain outside my window is eyeball.

    Like digging up buried treasure and declaring treasure a part of shovel.

    Why not drop the silliness and instead of talking about NLP patterns, just talk about patterns? Nested loops and the lot have been used since ancient times.

    Surely smart people can find better ways to differentiate their offerings than prefixing this silly monogram.
    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
      Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

      Sorry, Steve Andreas. A single thing can not be a study, an ability and a technology.
      Really?

      I studied IT. I have ability in IT. And IT is a technology.

      And I'm pretty sure that's not restricted to IT.

      Try rethinking that sentence.

      My bullshit detector is causing the neighbor's dog to bark.

      Can no one give a single sentence definition of NLP?
      No one could come up with a one sentence definition for copywriting until John E. Kennedy turned up.

      Yet, I'm pretty certain copywriting was around a long time before he was.
    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

      It seems at some point NLPistas began to consider what was uncovered by use of their modeling methodology to be a part of that modeling methodology.

      Say an NLPista used the modeling methodolgy and "discovered" that some writers who were geniuses at holding attention used nested loops in their work. He then considered his "discovery" to be part of NLP.

      This is like Anton van Leeuwenhoek viewing red blood cells under his microscope and pronouncing to the world that red blood cells are part of microscope.

      This might be a whole new logical fallacy. Conflating the object? Equating the thing observed with the tool used to make the observation.
      Several of us have asked for proof. And have received none.

      And I'm sure your excellent logical description will be met with an equal silence from the other side.

      Alex
  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
    Funny. I've talked to quite a few A-listers who've told me straight out they think NLP is a load of crap.

    Not to mention that scientifically, it's been pretty heavily discredited.

    Of course, if someone is selling courses on NLP, then I can see why they would want to ignore the facts.

    -Daniel
    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post


      Of course, if someone is selling courses on NLP, then I can see why they would want to ignore the facts.

      -Daniel
      Yep, that's pretty much the bottom line. Copywriters who use the term NLP to position themselves and sell products have a vested interest in perpetuating the myth.

      Alex
  • Profile picture of the author johndetlefs
    I think we've gotten some of this argument mixed up.

    NLP (I went NLP crazy a couple of years ago, devouring anything I could find on it) is to my understanding just a modelling technique.

    That is, NLP is the art of finding a system or model that works and replicating it.

    Or even better, finding out what it is about the system that is making it successful and replicating that.

    So when people talk about language structures, and framing and anchoring and all the rest, that's not really NLP per se, but one of the systems that have been broken down using NLP.

    So it's a bit chicken and egg I think here.

    Guaranteed that some of that which is considered to be "NLP" was lifted from famous sales and copywriters, because they were systems that clearly worked.

    Copywriters who are then studying NLP take those language patterns and apply them to their sales pages and say that they've integrated NLP... which is true, but also isn't.

    I think the point i'm trying to make is that NLP itself is nothing more than a modelling system, and everything else that is called NLP are systems have have been broken down into core components.

    Every time a system is broken down and replicated, it seems to go down under the banner of NLP, but really it should be called "a system that was broken down and replicated by NLP".

    In one class that I was in a couple of the guys knew Grinder, and were talking about how he learned to rock-climb to a high level (heresay - i'm not saying that he became a competent rockclimber in a couple of weeks) just by hanging out with one of the world's top rock climbers and studying his technique and then modelling it.

    Should I say that rock-climbing is now NLP, or that Grinder came up with a system of rock climbing that was modeled after a world champion rock climber by using NLP modelling techniques?

    I hope I've said that right, I know what I mean!

    Edit: Apologies to Pusateri, looks like you pretty much said exactly the same thing up above!
  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    I broke my NLP cherry in the seduction world and can attest to the fact that it works. It worked better than anything else I learned in the community. The real problem with NLP is its name. Just the name "Neuro Linguistic programming" implies that things are being programmed at a neuron level. Which is stupid. This obviously can't be proven.

    In fact, if you break the entire name down, it seems to lose credibility just on that basis. Yet on an emotional level, the name comes off highly credible. And that is a perfect example of what NLP is to me.

    It uses 3 highly credible words, to create a perception that really isn't true. However, in the real world, a world dominated by schemas and emotions, perceptions become truth. Untill you get a bunch of scientists to sit down in a room and think about shit. Who'll wind up dismissing the entire foundation of NLP just based on its name. Which imo, is really stupid.

    NLP to me, is organizing information in a specific way to elicit certain favored responses. Like, should I build rapport with a girl after I **** her, or before? Should I anchor patterns of dominance and social status, after a woman wins my approval or before? When we use to use patterns in the seduction community, everything seemed to affect a womans response. There were subtle ways of saying everything, w/out really saying anything. But it would still have the effect as if you said it.

    Does this sound like hocus pocus?
    I hope it does.

    Maybe it takes 10 years of reading and applying, watching and practicing before you can spot someone using it on you. Maybe you think its fake. I don't really GAF TBPO.

    NLP is the sole reason I got my first 3some in life. I was a virgin for a long time untill I started actively applying its principles. Its also the reason I do so well in my sales career 10 years later. And I believe its 100% why I also got on CBS. I will continue to use NLP till the day I die. People will continue to dismiss it, without ever really understanding it for what it is. When I think about NLP today, I think of the phrase "subliminal conditioning". They may both refer to different things, but NLP to me is precisely that.

    Now please, waste more time arguing semantics. That will get you a lot farther in life than actually trying something useful with your time.

    -Red
    • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
      Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post


      Now please, waste more time arguing semantics. That will get you a lot farther in life than actually trying something useful with your time.

      -Red
      Gee, Red. We're copywriters. Semantics is part of the gig. Semantics is also a large part of the modeling methodology called NLP.

      I thought we were having a fun debate. Why you wanna cut it off?
  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    When someone who knows NLP uses the persuasive phrases it is the same as you use the persuasive phrases in your copy writing. It will work if you know how to use it, same as if you know how to write sales copy. If you don't know how to use it,m as you friend obviously does not, it will work as well as if I would write my own sales copy instead of hiring a professional copy writer.
    • Profile picture of the author johndetlefs
      Originally Posted by timpears View Post

      When someone who knows NLP uses the persuasive phrases it is the same as you use the persuasive phrases in your copy writing. It will work if you know how to use it, same as if you know how to write sales copy. If you don't know how to use it,m as you friend obviously does not, it will work as well as if I would write my own sales copy instead of hiring a professional copy writer.
      Come again? :confused:

      Hang on, I'll re-read it...

      Nope.
  • Profile picture of the author DigitalCopyWriter
    I've first came into contact with NLP when I was 14 ... through Chris Howard. This stuff changed my life. It taught me about goal setting, language and effective communication and state control.

    However ... since this is a copywriting forum, it's about NLP copywriting. I've studied NLP copywriting for a bit and while it's interesting to pace and lead, I don't do NLP copywriting per se.

    In other words, it taught me some interesting tools but in some form or another, these tools existed in traditional salesmanship in print too.

    As long as you learn NLP copywriting as a set of tools and not as a completely new framework to sell, different from traditional salesmanship, it can only help your conversion process.

    Razvan
  • Profile picture of the author verial
    NLP is a Complete Pseudoscience.

    Take it from a psychologist.

    The fact that this thread is so long bothers me, actually.

    But I guess threads on astrology are the same way...
    • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
      Originally Posted by verial View Post

      NLP is a Complete Pseudoscience.

      Take it from a psychologist.

      The fact that this thread is so long bothers me, actually.

      But I guess threads on astrology are the same way...
      Well, if a psychologist said it's nonsense, I guess that settles it; psychologists are never wrong about what works and what doesn't. Every theory learned in school is proven beyond a doubt, and totally contradicts NLP. :rolleyes:
    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
      Originally Posted by verial View Post

      NLP is a Complete Pseudoscience.

      Take it from a psychologist.

      The fact that this thread is so long bothers me, actually.

      But I guess threads on astrology are the same way...
      At the risk of ending this thread - it's long enough - the penny drops.

      I used this subject with the specific intention of getting a lot of comments.

      I knew this would get emotional responses from people on both sides of the equation.

      All I care about is that it worked.

      I'm a copywriter who is willing to use various methods to make my copy better. NLP is just one of those tools.

      I couldn't care less how anyone feels about anything. If it works, I use it.

      The only thing that would prevent me using something is if it's unethical.

      And NLP, just like other types of persuasion, can be used for good and bad.
  • Profile picture of the author John Dalenberg
    Personally, I can't stand the entire NLP thing...it bothers me to no end. The other day I was actually reading an old book (can't remember which one) and the author spoke of a copywriter/marketer who dealt in products geared to the (lower & up) middle class.

    Whenever he finished his copy, he'd take it down to a local bar where some factory workers would grab drinks after their shift and buy them a round in exchange for them listening to his letter.

    Eventually he got so good, some of the guys would start asking him how they could buy his product before the presentation was even done. No NLP there.
    • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
      Some of you here don't half know how to post up some weird responses to this thread.

      Look, NLP no one is saying you can't do without it.

      If you don't want to study or use elements of NLP in your sales copy fair enough. That's up to you.

      But attacking the opinions of those very highly experienced copywriters who do use NLP to a greater or lesser extent, who are you to criticize them for doing so?

      What works for you, works for you.

      Nobody is seeking to take away from you anything from your own arsenal that which you utilize to help make your copy sizzle.

      So why not give those copywriters who do use NLP to a greater or lesser extent a break and enjoy the privilege of simply getting on with their business instead of challenging their expertise or doing your best to undermine their credibility in the game?

      Harlan Kilstein has been in the copywriting business for decades, I'm sure he knows his business inside out.

      He's not a fool. He's a very highly talented copywriter with a supreme amount of knowledge under his belt.

      I don't honestly think he would choose to use a certain form of psychological persuasion if it had been proven beyond any shadow of doubt not to work. Give the gentleman some credit why don't you?

      Rick Duris similarly. He's an NLP expert in his own right. Knows the subject inside out. One of a handful of top copywriters in the world. Right at the very top of his game.

      Do you honestly think someone with Rick's intelligence would be using something, a persuasion technique if it was just an unproven pseudo science?

      Give me a break for Pete's sake. Give the man some credit. He's been in the business like Harlan for a very long time and knows this business inside out.

      If you don't want to use it yourself, simple answer, don't use it. Stick to what you know works for you best. If you do want to use it to good effect, excellent. What business is it of anyone else to take away from any one person the tools of their trade? To each their own.

      Smoking hot,


      Mark Andrews

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