Is NLP Utter Hogwash?

by Rezbi 184 replies
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
#copywriting #hogwash #nlp #utter
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  • 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?
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    • 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.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post


        Still, I’d like to know what others say on the subject.
        Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post


        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.
        Pardon me asking the obvious question then...

        What are you asking for opinions on this topic for?


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

          Pardon me asking the obvious question then...

          What are you asking for opinions on this topic for?


          Mark Andrews
          Those are not opinions. They're questions about what NLP is and what patterns are.

          Read it again.

          And I wasn't having a go at him. Just advising some ways to learn.
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      • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
        Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

        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.
        I didn' ask for an opinion. I asked someone who writes for a site called persuadewithnlp two questions:

        Are there any NLP inventions or discoveries?

        and

        How do NLP patterns differ from the patterns of classical rhetoric?

        Guess he can't answer them. Is there anyone here who can?
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        • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
          Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

          I didn' ask for an opinion. I asked someone who writes for a site called persuadewithnlp two questions:

          Are there any NLP inventions or discoveries?

          and

          How do NLP patterns differ from the patterns of classical rhetoric?

          Guess he can't answer them. Is there anyone here who can?
          In that case, if you go to the site, there's a guy, Clive Cable, who can answer that question for you. Just ask in the comments.

          And I didn't mean you asked for an opinion here. I meant if you asked ten people, like you said, you'd get ten opinions.

          Because if you get ten different answers then they are opinions. NLP is a structured science. So you shouldn't get ten different answers if they know what they're talking about.

          You ask ten different people you get ten different answers.
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        • Profile picture of the author Ron Herman
          Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

          I didn' ask for an opinion. I asked someone who writes for a site called persuadewithnlp two questions:

          Are there any NLP inventions or discoveries?

          and

          How do NLP patterns differ from the patterns of classical rhetoric?

          Guess he can't answer them. Is there anyone here who can?
          Hypnotic words, woven into story, embedded inside other stories or sub-plots is NLP. Call it salesmanship, rhetoric, or artful banter, the end result is the same. The words are used to evoke desired emotions in the listener or reader.

          In old school sales we would say things like "when you get this in your home" rather than "if you buy this today" and called that a presumptive close. In NLP it is called presupposition. It is the same thing with a different name.

          I agree that many marketers of NLP training are the equivalent of snake oil peddlers; and I would of course add that the real issue is whether NLP patterns really do work. While weak attempts by unpolished practitioners of the hypnotic language patterns of NLP tend to come off as clumsy and ham-handed, true masters of the art shine. Whether employed verbally or in print, a good many of the patterns do have the effect for which they are deployed.

          You yourself use NLP, though you may not be aware of it (we all do at one time or another, often unbeknownst to ourselves). The "natural" salesmen you have met in your life were using NLP patterns though they may have never heard the term NLP before. This is what NLP practitioner-trainers call unconscious competence. NLP patterns were created by "modelling" such naturally hypnotic orators.

          And again, yes there are charlatans in the industry aplenty. The allure of quick bucks from the pockets of unwitting neophytes is hard for hucksters to resist. Do yourself a favor and don't be too hasty in throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I wouldn't ask you to simply believe NLP works until you see the results and hear the explanation of the patterns as they're being used effectively.
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    • 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
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    • 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
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      • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
        Originally Posted by sethczerepak View Post

        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
        If the hog is washed but there's no one around to hear it, does it still make those weird hog sounds?
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  • 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.
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    • 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.
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      • Profile picture of the author The Marketeer
        Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

        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.
        Yeah.

        I think I'll have to consciously apply some of those cognitive biases to the dark side of NLP.
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        • Profile picture of the author OutOfThisWord
          From my research in writing numerous projects in the 'wellness' niche, NLP seems to have some value in therapeutic settings.

          In copywriting, it seems like it's mostly used to separate newbees from their money...

          ...although a well constructed sales argument can bring a reader to a state they desie, by connecting their wish with the product/offer.
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          • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
            Originally Posted by OutOfThisWord View Post

            In copywriting, it seems like it's mostly used to separate newbees from their money...
            Any well constructed sales copy can do the same. It doesn't NLP by name.

            Persuasion is persuasion regardless of what you call.

            You can use it ethically or unethically. It's up to you.

            And from what I've seen, NLP is not best suited to therapy.
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    • 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.
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  • 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.
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    • 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.
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    • 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.
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      • Profile picture of the author Shadowflux
        Honestly, if anyone wants to learn about NLP then just go to the source. Pick up a copy of NLP by Grinder and Bandler (if you can find one) and read it yourself. I got my copy for $1 but book hunting is a bit of a hobby for me.

        Ignore anything by any other author until you've read the source material.
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    • 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
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      • Profile picture of the author mrmouse
        Originally Posted by sethczerepak View Post

        lol, well friggin' put. The proof is in the pudding...perhaps literally in this case lol
        Yeah I totally see where you're coming from Seth. I used to feel the same way. But have you ever seen the guy that started crossfit?

        He looks more like a cross between Frank Kern's old surfer dude image, Homer Simpson and the guy at outside of Cirkle K I gave my spare change to this morning than the hordes of uber buff crossfitters you see all over the place these days.

        It's not like the best coaches in sports were the best players either. And the best players make shitty coaches most of the time. IE Gretzky. And as an owner, Jordan. Although Mario Lemiuex got lucky getting Crosby and Malkin in back to back drafts.They were the worst team in the league before that though.

        NLP/Hypnosis along with Morty Lefkoe's Natural Belief's program completely changed my personality over the course of one summer. And helped my sister in law overcome the fear of flying.

        I don't see it as a magic pill that will "automatically program your brain to make you into a superhero, give you abs, and make your ding-dong 15 inches through mental growth powers".

        In fact, I think there is an abundance of charlatans in NLP and hypnosis. Same as any of the woo-woo magic energy niches.

        I see (good) NLP as a way to clear up blocks in your (or other people's) lives that hold them back, and get out of the way of thinking they've been stuck in to see things in a new way.

        As NLP pertains to copy, You can't use a series of words to magically make someone buy. That's just stupid talk.

        Harlan is the expert, not me. But if nothing more, I think there are some excellent tools for framing the way you phrase something. Which can make or break a sale IMO.

        I believe my years of playing NLP tapes also made me more conscious of the mindset of other people. And how the mind works. Which I feel allows me to be more persuasive.

        That's my take on NLP at least.
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    • Profile picture of the author Richard Phillip
      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.
      NLP does not have one creator.

      And because he's overweight... hmm.
      That's a strange sort of Ad Hominem fallacy. I guess I should judge Steve Jobs' credibility because he dropped out of college.

      Bandler and company got results with NLP. Tony Robbins got results. If something works for people, the proof is in the pudding.

      Bandler as person? Definitely a controversial character, but that doesn't discredit the results.

      R.
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    • Profile picture of the author hawaiihypnotist
      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.
      Have you thought that maybe he's fine with his weight? Lots of people make this absurd claim about overweight Hypnotists and NLPers.

      Antonio
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      I'm a Kauai Hypnotherapist and I also have a Hypnosis Reviews blog. Needless to say I love Hypnosis ;)

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      • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
        Originally Posted by hawaiihypnotist View Post

        Have you thought that maybe he's fine with his weight? Lots of people make this absurd claim about overweight Hypnotists and NLPers.

        Antonio
        Wow, you dug up a fossil...better hope it doesn't bite you now.
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  • 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?
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    • 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.
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    • 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.
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  • 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.
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    • 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.
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      • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
        Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post


        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.
        If NLP is just a hodge-podge of things invented elsewhere, why bother with the NLP umbrella?

        If you want to understand the psychology of persuasion, why not study the psychology of persuasion?

        If you want to study the patterns in persuasive writing, why not study classical rhetoric?

        What does NLP bring to the table that I can't get elsewhere and with less baggage?

        I've gone past wondering if NLP is hogwash to wondering if it actually exists.
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        • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
          Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

          If NLP is just a hodge-podge of things invented elsewhere, why bother with the NLP umbrella?

          If you want to understand the psychology of persuasion, why not study the psychology of persuasion?

          If you want to study the patterns in persuasive writing, why not study classical rhetoric?

          What does NLP bring to the table that I can't get elsewhere and with less baggage?

          I've gone past wondering if NLP is hogwash to wondering if it actually exists.
          Maybe getting into semantics here, but weren't all the terms being used now non-existent at one time or another?

          It's how it's all put together that makes the difference.

          Personally, I think NLP will gain a bigger audience within the next few years among copywriters.
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        • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
          Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

          If NLP is just a hodge-podge of things invented elsewhere, why bother with the NLP umbrella?
          I'd bet you already know this one, Puserati...

          But it's to help it sell. It makes it sound new and exciting, which is something everyone wants.

          NLP copywriters do the same thing, for the most part. "I know secret ninja NLP techniques that FORCE a prospect to open their wallet and spend money..." yada yada.

          Got nothing really against that... part of selling is making things sound exciting and different, even when they're not.

          But most of the NLP techniques I've heard about are just re-branded copy techniques we've been using for ages.

          I remember a couple of years ago someone said to me, "Wow... you know a lot about NLP in copy!" from reading some of my stuff.

          I had no idea. I hadn't even heard of using NLP in copy. I'd heard of NLP, but knew very little about it, other than that it was a self development thing linked with positive affirmation etc.

          So... for my money, they're just the same shit we've been using for years in a new skin.

          -Daniel
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          • Profile picture of the author CopyMonster
            I think what people are forgetting is at it's heart, NLP is about modeling.

            No, not the Gisele kind. I mean the process of looking at stuff that works, unraveling the process of it all and putting it all together in a way that others can use to get the same result.

            It was initially promoted in therapy for helping people overcome stuff like phobias and psychological challenges.

            Then some guy called Tony Robbins took it mainstream and positioned it as a personal development/success tool.

            The persuasion/influence side of things is mostly derivative of Milton Erickson's work as one of the best hypnotists that ever lived. That is mixed with learnings from Alfred Korzybski and Virginia Satir and more.

            So if you're asking is NLP new?

            Well, not really. It's just a "technology" or framework that's been assembled to copy and replicate models of excellence and models of desired behaviour.

            So what you're getting with persuasion when it comes to NLP is certain, specific models and distinctions of persuasive language that have been effective in various contexts.

            That's why you get copywriters using what others describe as NLP without knowing they are. Halbert didn't know a thing about NLP. Yet, I see numerous examples of NLP "patterns" in his copy.

            Parts of Eugene Schwartz' Breakthrough Advertising has parallels in NLP.

            When people suggest reading and studying and even writing out good sales letters, what are they really saying? You should "model" these exemplars ie. a similar process that the NLP framework is aimed at.

            Do you keep and study swipe files? What are you doing? If you're doing it right, you're modeling language and structures that influence.

            In my mind, NLP is a tool. You can use it or not. Just like you can eat with your hands or with a fork. It's your choice. NLP is not perfect, it won't make you a cup of coffee - although it can help you want to make a cup of coffee (for me ).

            If you find yourself resistant to the idea of NLP, it's simple... go forth and find what works for you. Really.

            Time to go. I'm waiting for a cup of coffee...
            Signature
            Scary good...
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            • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
              Originally Posted by CopyMonster View Post

              I think what people are forgetting is at it's heart, NLP is about modeling.

              No, not the Gisele kind. I mean the process of looking at stuff that works, unraveling the process of it all and putting it all together in a way that others can use to get the same result.
              Now NLP claims reverse engineering as it's territory?

              NLP is imperialist!

              What isn't NLP at this point?

              I feed my cat when she stands at her bowl. Ah...feline NLP.

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

              Little old lady got mutilated late last night. NLP practitioners again.
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              • Profile picture of the author johndetlefs
                Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

                I feed my cat when she stands at her bowl. Ah...feline NLP.
                Got me.

                An actual laugh out loud.

                Good work sir.
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                • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
                  Originally Posted by johndetlefs View Post

                  Got me.

                  An actual laugh out loud.

                  Good work sir.
                  Of course you did. I was using NLP.
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              • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
                Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

                Now NLP claims reverse engineering as it's territory?

                NLP is imperialist!

                What isn't NLP at this point?

                I feed my cat when she stands at her bowl. Ah...feline NLP.

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

                Little old lady got mutilated late last night. NLP practitioners again.
                I like you.

                -Daniel
                Signature

                Always looking for badass direct-response copywriters. PM me if we don't know each other and you're looking for work.

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              • Profile picture of the author CopyMonster
                Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

                Now NLP claims reverse engineering as it's territory?
                Sure, if that's how you like to see it. And maybe, just maybe, instead of practicing your stand-up routine, you could do some actual reading so you know what you're commenting about. But be warned, if you actually choose do that now, you might actually learn something of value... Of course, that's not as funny. It's not quick. It requires effort and thinking. And you have to be open to stepping outside of your comfort zone. And, gulp, it may even mean actual personal growth. Oh no!!!

                What isn't NLP at this point?
                Ahhhh.... finally... you get it Mr. P!!! NLP IS EVERYTHING... and EVERYTHING IS NLP! Accept this and you will be one with everything...

                ...and before you become all upset and bajiggity about those words rolling around in your head over and over... and... over again... like some cheap, too-bright neon sign... flashing on... off.. on... off... to be 100% clear, I AM kidding.

                Seriously, don't feel you need to keep thinking about those 3 words locked deep, deep, really deep down inside your skull, picturing them incessantly, every day, non-stop, like some epic 3-D movie that never stops playing in the front of your mind... when you wake up in the morning, when you work during the day, when you sleep at night. As you breathe in. As you breathe out. After all, it's just a joke. Really. No need to keep thinking about them rolling around your brain day after day... after day... and as you read these words, the stranger they seem, the more you realize it just makes sense, more and more, even more.

                And of course, I'm just kidding. Aren't I?
                Signature
                Scary good...
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  • 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.
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    • 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
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      • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
        Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

        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
        Isn't that what I've been saying?

        All you've done is confirm that.
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        • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
          Many NLP language patterns are dialectic in nature -
          to function two parties must be having a conversation.

          In copywriting it takes a pretty big ego to imagine
          you (the writer) can perfectly anticipate every
          objection and address it in the language style
          the prospect requires. In belly-to-belly sales
          the prospect is an observable creature and many
          so-called NLP techniques have clearer applications
          when the sale is happening face-to-face.

          One technique which is pretty cool is nested
          loops. A lot of fiction writers use them as well
          to create page-turners.

          Of course NLP people did not invent nested
          loops, they just advocate the use of nested
          loop storytelling as a way to relax a person
          enough to be receptive to a message which
          otherwise might be rejected out of hand.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
          Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

          Isn't that what I've been saying?

          All you've done is confirm that.
          If you say so. Clarity is not your strong suit.

          Alex
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          • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
            Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

            If you say so. Clarity is not your strong suit.

            Alex
            Really?

            Have you even bothered to read all of my posts?

            I usually gather the evidence before making judgement.

            You should try it.
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  • 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.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    Great headline from Mister Pusateri -

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


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  • 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
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    • 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.
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  • 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.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
      Banned
      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
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      • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
        Originally Posted by Mark Andrews View Post

        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
        That is a fantastic thread.

        If Rick Duris is okay with it, I'm going to compile all his posts from it and create a pdf of it for my own use.
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        • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
          Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

          That is a fantastic thread.

          If Rick Duris is okay with it, I'm going to compile all his posts from it and create a pdf of it for my own use.
          Feel free, Rezbi. Good luck with your endeavor.

          - Rick Duris
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          • Profile picture of the author Harlan
            I love watching these crash and burn threads.

            This is where a person can proudly say, "I've never read a single book on NLP but dammit, I know what I'm talking about."

            There is not a single A list copywriter that I know of - with one exception - who has not studied NLP.

            "The greatest living copywriter" - who has trademarked his name - bought every single NLP product he could find.

            A list copywriters who write for Boardroom, Agora, Phillips, and many more study NLP language patterns.

            One of the top copywriters in the world writes his copy and then goes back to it to load it up with NLP patterns.

            It's true. If you know nothing about NLP, you won't find anything in NLP that's not found in copy.

            And don't get me started on people who have no clue about NLP and try to use it (badly) in a sales letter.

            But if you haven't studied NLP, and you aren't familiar in depth with the transformational grammar structures at the heart of the language models, do yourself a favor.

            Stop babbling.

            The one copywriter who did not study NLP was Gary Halbert. He was irritated when people claimed he used NLP in his copy. I can't find the exchange of emails where someone tried to get Gary to "admit" he used "NLP" and Gary denied it. I doubt the WF would allow the language Gary used to be posted. He was not a fan.
            Signature

            Harlan D. Kilstein Ed.D.
            Free NLP Communications Course at http://www.nlpcopywriting.com
            http://overnight-copy.com
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            • Profile picture of the author Harlan
              Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

              Kindly list a few of these transformational grammar structures.
              Kindly do your homework.
              Signature

              Harlan D. Kilstein Ed.D.
              Free NLP Communications Course at http://www.nlpcopywriting.com
              http://overnight-copy.com
              Get Fit In Four Minuteshttp://just4minutes.com
              Learn how to build a Super Site Without SEO http://supersiteformula.com

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

                I've done my homework, Harlan. I suspect that you have not.
                You strength, as always, is that it's easy to deny and denigrate something without proof than it is to prove something without showing proof.

                You're always expecting someone else to do your homework for you.

                Of course, it's easy to say you've done the homework.

                Let's see your proof. What have you studied of NLP?

                Come on, as you say, let's see a list.
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                • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
                  Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

                  No, I'm expecting someone to actually back up what they say with an example instead of a dodge.

                  I know that's asking a lot.

                  In fact, it would be downright miraculous around here.
                  And I'm just asking you to back up your claim that you've done your homework.

                  From past evidence, that would be a miracle, too.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
                    Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

                    I've studied linguistics and grammar structures. I hold a couple of degrees in language. So when I see someone talking about a revolutionary advance in the understanding of deep grammar structures, I'd like to know what it is.

                    As for NLP, I looked into it to see what all the rigamarole is about. People have told me that I was using it long before it became fashionable. Have I read extensively into it? No, just a few books. If there was an exciting new trove of persuasion techniques to learn, I would certainly want to learn them.

                    I don't see anything in it but unjustifiable claims, warmed over rhetorical devices that any salesman knows and a fervent, almost cultish devotion to it from people I wouldn't let wash my car.

                    At any rate, I made no fantastic claims concerning it, I simply wanted to see some concrete, tested results using NLP.

                    Can you supply them?

                    Can you tell me what physiological responses it triggers in the brain?

                    Can you tell me how its deep grammar structures differ from those posited by Chomsky?

                    Can you point out a single instance with measurable results where NLP techniques out-performed good, persuasive writing?
                    There's a lot I could say here, but I'm tired and need to sleep.

                    However, I do want to thank you for pointing out Noam Chomsky on language.

                    I'm a fan of some of some of his work. I didn't know he was involved on that side.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
                      Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

                      There's a lot I could say here, but I'm tired and need to sleep.

                      However, I do want to thank you for pointing out Noam Chomsky on language.

                      I'm a fan of some of some of his work. I didn't know he was involved on that side.
                      Any thread that causes Noam Chomsky ("arguably the most important intellectual alive"-NYT) to be mentioned in a marketing forum, is a good thread.

                      For those of us who tend to get very vociferous, even belittling the other side in debating our views, I just found a nice exchange in an interview with Professor Chomsky that might remind us to take it down a notch:

                      Q: "Do you ever doubt your own ideas?"


                      Chomsky: "All the time. You should read what happens in linguistics. I keep changing what I said. Any person who is intellectually alive changes his ideas. If anyone at a university is teaching the same thing they were teaching five years ago, either the field is dead, or they haven't been thinking."

                      (for those unfamiliar with his reputation, Chomsky is a major figure in linguistics, so much that linguists have often used the terms "BC" and "AC", meaning before Chomsky and after Chomsky. If he keeps changing his ideas regarding linguistics, perhaps it would be wise for the rest of us to keep an open mind).

                      Keeping that in mind, it's entirely possible to imagine that those who currently swear by NLP will be calling it nonsense 5 years from now, while the debunkers might be making a career of it. Humans have a habit of lasting long enough to be embarrassed by their own opinions and diatribes promoting them.
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              • Profile picture of the author Jennie Heckel
                Hi All,

                Please be aware this is my own personal opinion so please take it as this.

                This is my own personal experience with two recent WSOs I wrote, which were launched within the last quarter of 2012, whose sales percentages can be reviewed right here on this forum for proof.

                You can read the WSOs and see if you can figure out how I used NLP to get the massive sales numbers. (Yes, I know that the copy is NOT the only thing that helped sell these two WSOs, but the fact I used NLP in the copy WAS a big determining factor in the higher than average conversion percentages.)

                Since I have studied and tried to apply what I have learned in Harlan's NLP courses I have quadupled (or better) my conversion rates on my WSOs and sales letters.

                I always try to use NLP in my copy. I write the copy draft and then go back and add the NLP subliminal references I learned in Harlan's courses to help boost the conversions and close the sale.

                IMPORTANT: Now I am the first person to say, I am in NO WAY an NLP expert, so let's get that clear here.

                I am new to NLP, (for I am sure it takes you many. many years to excel as an NLP writer.)

                I have only used NLP to enhance the persuasiveness of my copy for the last couple years -- there is NO WAY I am in any way in the same league with Harlan.

                What Harlan writes is a work of NLP Art.

                Study Harlan's sales letters to see how a REAL PRO uses NLP. Or better yet visit his websites to review his free movies on persuasion.

                But after reading all this bashing NLP, with little to no basis for any proof (as far as any verifiable sales proof) -- I had to put in my 2 cents and tell you what works for me.

                Please remember, (I am a rookie at using NLP in copy) but I know using NLP suggestions boosted my conversion percentages on the last two WSOs I wrote for Neil B. for the Mobi Guys by an incredible percentage with the Mobi Cyclone WSO and then the Mobi Niche Raider WSO.

                Just check the two WSOs and see if you can figure out the NLP suggestions I used.

                So I'll say to you... If you could enhance your copy to boost the conversion rate -- wouldn't it make sense to check it out on your own to see if it worked for you?

                I have split tested my copy for clients with and without NLP suggestions and the conversion rates are always at least double and most of the time triple with NLP suggestive copy added.

                Remember this is just my own personal experience and what has worked for me.

                Good luck to all in your copywriting...

                Jennie Heckel
                Sales Letter Copywriter
                Signature
                ******* WSO & JV ZOO COPYWRITER -- VLS & SALES LETTERS PROVEN TO CONVERT ******* Get Higher Profits From Launches That SELL! Proven Copywriter with 17 Years of Copywriting Experience. Contact Me Via Skype: seoexpertconsulting Copywriting Website: http://www.VideoScriptCopywriter.com

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            • Profile picture of the author benracz
              Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

              I love watching these crash and burn threads.

              This is where a person can proudly say, "I've never read a single book on NLP but dammit, I know what I'm talking about."

              There is not a single A list copywriter that I know of - with one exception - who has not studied NLP.

              "The greatest living copywriter" - who has trademarked his name - bought every single NLP product he could find.

              A list copywriters who write for Boardroom, Agora, Phillips, and many more study NLP language patterns.

              One of the top copywriters in the world writes his copy and then goes back to it to load it up with NLP patterns.

              It's true. If you know nothing about NLP, you won't find anything in NLP that's not found in copy.

              And don't get me started on people who have no clue about NLP and try to use it (badly) in a sales letter.

              But if you haven't studied NLP, and you aren't familiar in depth with the transformational grammar structures at the heart of the language models, do yourself a favor.

              Stop babbling.

              The one copywriter who did not study NLP was Gary Halbert. He was irritated when people claimed he used NLP in his copy. I can't find the exchange of emails where someone tried to get Gary to "admit" he used "NLP" and Gary denied it. I doubt the WF would allow the language Gary used to be posted. He was not a fan.

              Thanks Harlan. I was desperately hoping you'd do something to this thread to make it go in the right direction :-)

              But let's admit it. It's pointless.

              There are way too few people here who actually know what they are talking about when they mention Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and most of them are shouting their opinions around based on shallow impressions.

              They know nothing, but of course they'll shout it anyway.

              The stuff Harlan teaches, the stuff I teach, and the stuff we apply in our every day lives is making our communication - and our copywriting - a lot more effective.

              This is not a question of opinion. It is a fact.

              And of course people who doubt this can't be convinced about it until they try it themselves, and see it's effects on their lives and their communication.

              But the thing is, this is not something I'd want to convince anyone to do.

              Either you know it's for you and you learn it, or you don't, and you don't.

              It's the same as choosing between a Windows and a Mac.

              For some people it fits, for some it doesn't.

              Why don't we just accept NLP as something a lot of people learn to make their copy and their communications more persuasive, and accept that it works for some people, while others will find it too strange for their taste.

              I wonder if we, all of us, could do that without passing judgement and calling each other names, really.

              Kind regards,

              -Ben Racz
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    • 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.
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  • 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
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    • 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.
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    • 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.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
        Originally Posted by The Marketeer View Post

        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.
        You're right.

        Gary Bencivenga refused to do any courses or seminars until he was ready to retire.

        Even I, a lowly copywriter, keep a few things back. Things I'll only be teaching in my upcoming (self-promotion ) course.

        And even then I'll only teach the high-end ninja NLP stuff to my personal coaching and mentoring students.
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Originally Posted by The Marketeer View Post

        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.
        Possibly.

        Gary Bencivenga said he did because he was competing against the very best.

        When he retired he didn't have reason to hold back secrets on his retirement seminar and home study training.

        He talked in easy to understand language,
        not putting new labels on things or pointing to science.

        If you only concentrated on 4 things you would create breakthroughs
        was his simple message.

        When the scientist who discovered the DNA,
        he could tell the public what it is in 5 minutes
        that could be understood.

        Something inherently complicated as that he could distil it.

        Some say if a person can't make the complicated easy to understand,
        they either don't know the subject or are hoodwinking you.

        Jack Trout wrote a book on the subject, Horse Sense.

        Best,
        Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    The more books you read, the more
    insight you get.
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  • 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.
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    • 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.
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      • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
        Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

        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.
        You studied IT. IT is not a study.

        You have ability in IT. IT is not an ability.

        IT is a technology. By definition.

        No need to rethink the sentence.

        (note in case anyone is confused: IT is information technology. We are not screaming "it" at each other.)
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    • 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
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      • Profile picture of the author CopyMonster
        Originally Posted by Alex Cohen 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.
        And I'm sure your excellent logical description will be met with an equal silence from the other side.

        Alex
        I realize comparing apples with oranges is a specialty of copywriters, but blood cells as part of the equipment and not the area of study?

        Let's say we go with that "logic"... so if you see the word "success" in a sales letter, because it is part of the English language, it cannot also be described as "copy" in that context? Similarly, if you read the word "love" in a poem, since it is English, it in combination with other words can't be described as poetry? Or "chicken" in a cookbook, isn't really part of a recipe, it's just English.

        Hmmm... so much for copywriting or poetry then. It must all be just English or French or Italian or whatever the language is. I wish Lady GaGa would just stop singing that English! And can you return that English book? I feel like Beef Wellington for dinner.

        The thing with NLP and persuasion/influence is that there are some distinctions not found elsewhere (I could be mistaken of course). I'm referring specifically to distinctions like Sleight of Mouth, the language patterns as initially mapped out by Dilts. Also the Milton model patterns which are based on Milton Erickson's use and articulation of language - yes, it came from Erickson's language but as far as I know he never sat down and set out the patterns specifically. That's what Bandler and Grinder did. They sat down, studied Erickson's work and pulled out the patterns. NLP doesn't claim technologies depicted elsewhere. As far as I'm aware there's no NLP cooking, NLP running or NLP golf.

        But hey, as I mentioned above, do what works for you. If you are happy with your work and your results, that's great.
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        Scary good...
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  • 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
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    Always looking for badass direct-response copywriters. PM me if we don't know each other and you're looking for work.

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    • 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
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  • 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!
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  • 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
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    • 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?
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  • 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.
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    Tim Pears

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    • 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.
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  • 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
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  • 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...
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    • 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:
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    • 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.
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      • Profile picture of the author Shadowflux
        Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

        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.

        No offense, friend, but that isn't NLP. I believe they call it trolling.

        I really mean no offense, I'm not calling you anything, I'm just pointing out the difference between what is actually NLP and what can be misconstrued as NLP.
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        • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
          Originally Posted by Shadowflux View Post

          No offense, friend, but that isn't NLP. I believe they call it trolling.

          I really mean no offense, I'm not calling you anything, I'm just pointing out the difference between what is actually NLP and what can be misconstrued as NLP.
          So where in that post did I claim it's NLP, huh, clever clogs?

          If you're going to accuse someone of trolling get your facts straight.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
            Banned
            Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post


            You are quite a nice boy, aren't you Mark?
            You coming onto me again Ken? Would be flattered if it wasn't for the fact you're dog ugly and not my type. No offense darlin'.

            Originally Posted by Shadowflux View Post

            No offense, friend, but that isn't NLP. I believe they call it trolling.

            I really mean no offense, I'm not calling you anything, I'm just pointing out the difference between what is actually NLP and what can be misconstrued as NLP.
            A contradiction in terms if ever I saw one. Of course you're calling him a troll.

            Whilst Rezbi might be many things, trolling this forum isn't one of the things he is guilty of. He's a copywriter, it's his job to generate responses, get under the skin, irk and rile up emotional responses or replies to thought provoking threads.

            If he wasn't doing this, he wouldn't be doing his job properly. It's what we do.

            Bet you thought Rezbi you'd never see the day me sticking up for you lol. Ya pain.

            Originally Posted by sethczerepak View Post


            Speaking of, I'm still not sure what "hogwash" even is?
            Hogwash is cagmag. Piffle. Codswallop. Tripe. Balderdash. Or any one of a number of similar words when used in this context.

            For clarification purposes.


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

              Bet you thought Rezbi you'd never see the day me sticking up for you lol. Ya pain.
              Nah.

              I know I've laid into you before, but I say it like I see it. And I'll continue to do so.

              If I think you're doing something wrong I'll say so. Conversely, if I see you do something right I'll also say so.

              And that goes for anyone else, too.

              I expect others will do the same to me.

              Credit where credit is due. End of story.
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              • Profile picture of the author Harlan
                Since there's nothing in NLP that doesn't exist in copy:

                Can one of you experts who have never studied NLP point me in the direction of shifting temporal predicates in non-NLP copy?

                How about about shifting person between second and third person?

                How about changing someone's higherarchy of criteria?

                Kindly cite the copywriters using these techniques.

                Thanks.
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                • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
                  Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

                  Since there's nothing in NLP that doesn't exist in copy:

                  Can one of you experts who have never studied NLP point me in the direction of shifting temporal predicates in non-NLP copy?

                  How about about shifting person between second and third person?

                  How about changing someone's higherarchy of criteria?

                  Kindly cite the copywriters using these techniques.

                  Thanks.
                  Finally! We might be close to something concrete.

                  Can you show us some examples of these things, please?

                  And tell us what makes them NLP?
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      • Profile picture of the author expcontent
        Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

        I'm a copywriter who is willing to use various methods to make my copy better. NLP is just one of those tools.
        I think this is the best way to look at it. At the end of the day, NLP is a tool (a fairly unscientific one at that, although I'm sure some will disagree) that's used to increase compliance. It's NOT the foundation of good copy, and terrible copy that effectively uses NLP isn't going to work any better than good copy that ignores it.

        Whether or not NLP itself is effective, many of the principles behind it and the supposed methods have a lot in common with basic persuasion and will be of benefit to your copy. Quit arguing and TEST copy with and without NLP to see which works the best.
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  • 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.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
      Banned
      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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  • Profile picture of the author Sean Fry
    Is NLP utter hogwash?

    Let's ask Jon Benson and Mike Geary while they're counting their $1,000,000 a month just from truth about abs. (Loads of NLP in that VSL.)
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    • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
      Originally Posted by Sean Fry View Post

      Is NLP utter hogwash?

      Let's ask Jon Benson and Mike Geary while they're counting their $1,000,000 a month just from truth about abs. (Loads of NLP in that VSL.)
      Great!

      Can you point out an instance of NLP in that VSL and tell us why it's NLP and not something that's been used and talked about for ages?
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

        Great!

        Can you point out an instance of NLP in that VSL and tell us why it's NLP and not something that's been used and talked about for ages?
        Such a bad boy for asking for specifics!

        Best,
        Ewen
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        • Profile picture of the author Shadowflux
          I'm a fan of NLP but mostly of the books by Bandler and Grinder as I found most other books I've looked at to be mostly garbage. The problem with NLP is that forcing it into applications in marketing and copywriting will always fail. That's because NLP has nothing to do with marketing and is far removed from the lame parlor tricks so many "NLP Gurus" like to show off.

          NLP was created as a therapeutic tool. It was meant to help people who were having serious issues in one way or another. It was meant to help people ease their social anxiety, to remove old guilt or overcome some other sort of fear. It was not meant to control anyone's mind.

          NLP is really about the way in which the human brain processes information. Sure, it has a little to do with the structure of sentences and reactions to certain words but, overall, it is about the way we process and internalize certain external stimuli. It's about gaining a better understanding of the human thought process but not in a textbook sense.

          Is there a lot, I mean A LOT, of garbage surrounding NLP? YES! Just as there are tons of pure garbage regarding Ericksonian Hypnosis. The truth is that many people may like to talk about NLP but very few of them have read any of the Bandler and Grinder books. Most people have not gone to the source material and are, therefore, stuck with an improper understanding of NLP.

          Using anything learned from NLP for marketing is actually somewhat unethical although possibly unavoidable. NLP can work quite well for helping people but it isn't a cure all. It can help someone overcome social anxiety but it isn't going to magically stop them from smoking or eating cake if that's what they like to do.

          The real trick to NLP is helping a person understand something from a different perspective. It's almost as simple as helping someone take a big task and break it up into small manageable tasks.

          There are no magic words in NLP but certain words can be interpreted and internalized in different ways while still meaning the same thing as other words. Cost vs Investment, for example.

          Part of the reason Bandler and Grinder are not popular in the therapeutic industry is because much of what they wrote about is hard to reproduce. It isn't a mechanical procedure like surgery, it can't be done by just anyone after only a brief summary.

          To make NLP effective you MUST study other related subjects. You have to understand how people think and why they react the way they do. You need to have a solid understanding of many different fundamental elements of the human thought process before you can understand how NLP works.

          NLP isn't magic. It does, however, have some very interesting concepts which may or may not have applications in marketing and copywriting if you understand how to apply them.
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          • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
            Originally Posted by Shadowflux View Post

            NLP is really about the way in which the human brain processes information. Sure, it has a little to do with the structure of sentences and reactions to certain words but, overall, it is about the way we process and internalize certain external stimuli. It's about gaining a better understanding of the human thought process but not in a textbook sense.

            ...

            To make NLP effective you MUST study other related subjects. You have to understand how people think and why they react the way they do. You need to have a solid understanding of many different fundamental elements of the human thought process before you can understand how NLP works.
            This is about the simplest NLP definition I've seen yet. I've followed this debate, the previous debate with Rick D's comments, I've read parts of the original Erickson books, I've read some (bad) NLP how-to books, I've visited many NLP-specific websites, and I've read many consumer psychology books, such as Cialdini's.

            There is no question that in competent hands, an understanding of the principles used (modeled) in NLP can be powerful in many applications.

            But there really is a lot of marketplace confusion about NLP, what it is, and what it can do. Like the six blind men and the elephant, everyone has a different take on it, even the NLP professionals.

            The more I learn, the more I realize what I do not know. In a way, learning NLP is like being Carlos Castenada - we can catch glimpses of the big picture from time to time, but realize it will take much work before reaching full understanding.

            But from what I have seen so far, in copywriting it's not a full understanding of NLP we need to reach - it's an understanding of human nature, and how to interact with it in marketing.

            NLP seems to provide one modeled framework for connecting with human behavior, but it's certainly not the only way. That would explain why some copywriters that never knew NLP can be using NLP-like methods; they are addressing that same human nature, using methods that they have found to be effective (and which NLP has found to be effective too).

            Explanatory examples of copywriting using NLP are scarce as hen's teeth, but I'm beginning to understand why. Such examples without an understanding of the processes behind them would be incomplete.

            As has pointed out elsewhere, established NLP needs to be adapted to copywriting. My question is this - can copywriting-specific NLP be taught separately, and well enough to be used effectively without needing the full NLP professional background? Can we work effectively with human behaviour in marketing using a only subset of the established (and adapted) NLP-modeled techniques?
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            • Profile picture of the author Shadowflux
              Originally Posted by Steve Hill View Post


              As has pointed out elsewhere, established NLP needs to be adapted to copywriting. My question is this - can copywriting-specific NLP be taught separately, and well enough to be used effectively without needing the full NLP professional background? Can we work effectively with human behaviour in marketing using a only subset of the established (and adapted) NLP-modeled techniques?

              Keep in mind that this is just my opinion:

              I don't think it's impossible to teach copywriting specific NLP but it would be quite hard. The most important thing to remember about NLP is that it is a therapeutic technique, it was created to help people in a therapeutic setting. The problems it aims to fix are ones which are, more often than not, mental rather than physical problems.

              One of the difficulties I think you would run into trying to teach only copywriting specific NLP is that most of your students wouldn't have a foundational understanding of real NLP. They would only be there to find out "secret words" and "magic phrases" which will allow them to sell something no one really wants.

              It's like someone who wants to go right from sitting on the couch all day to Olympic weight lifting. You could teach them plenty of stuff from an intellectual standpoint but, without the foundation of proper diet and years of exercise, they aren't going to be able to lift 400 lbs over their head. This student could then regurgitate all of the intellectual stuff he was taught and write his own book but, without the proper foundation, he won't really know what he's talking about. People will read the book, then write their own book and you would basically have the state of NLP that we have now.

              Does NLP have some useful stuff for copywriters? Of course it does. So does general psychology, social psychology, sociology, indoctrination techniques, motivational material, religions, Machiavelli, day time tv, a trip to the grocery store, a used car salesman and even that one friend you have who is incredibly social.

              The truth is that if you want to be a good copywriter then you need to study everything that interests you with an eye towards copywriting and persuasiveness. One thing I've realized over the course of my life is that you'll never know when you might pick up something useful.

              The other important factor is actually applying that knowledge. There are tons of "theories" and "rules" about writing copy but if you don't test them out in some sort of real world situation then you will never know if they are any good. You have to keep in mind that the term "NLP" will quite often help sell a book, video or program that otherwise would not have garnered any interest. No matter what sort of copy we write, we are in the world of business and everyone is out to make money.

              Hell, I even remember being contacted by a guy who was "certified" as an NLP practitioner and apparently a hypnotist as well. I even met with him, in person, one on one, in his own house and he couldn't even convince me to work with him despite the fact that I needed the money really bad at the time.

              Alright, I'm probably rambling at this point so I'm going to stop.
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              • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
                Originally Posted by Shadowflux View Post

                Does NLP have some useful stuff for copywriters? Of course it does. So does general psychology, social psychology, sociology, indoctrination techniques, motivational material, religions, Machiavelli, day time tv, a trip to the grocery store, a used car salesman and even that one friend you have who is incredibly social.
                That pretty well sums it up. Some might be hoping for "secret NLP zombie phrases" to add to their copy, but they'll be disappointed. Those looking for additional insights into human psychology will find them in many places, NLP being just one of them. Parallels and insights useful in copywriting can come from almost anywhere, as you mentioned.

                Interestingly enough, I do have a thin anonymous book on NLP for marketers, with a section for copywriting. The examples given (based on real ads) happened to have word combinations that fit certain patterns (such as presupposition or agitate and solve), but it's questionable if they were developed with NLP in mind. Those patterns have been around long before NLP existed.

                Originally Posted by Shadowflux View Post

                The truth is that if you want to be a good copywriter then you need to study everything that interests you with an eye towards copywriting and persuasiveness. One thing I've realized over the course of my life is that you'll never know when you might pick up something useful.
                Intense curiosity does seem to be a prevalent copywriter trait. The mind's ability to connect seemingly unrelated pieces of information on an unconscious level is remarkable. I've often wondered about the mind's filing system and the chemical associations it makes that enables information to be searched and correlations made among snippets of information learned years apart.
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      • Profile picture of the author Sean Fry
        Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

        Great!

        Can you point out an instance of NLP in that VSL and tell us why it's NLP and not something that's been used and talked about for ages?
        Absolutely good sir! Second sentence: Pattern Interrupt.

        The Pattern Interrupt is an old NLP technique. While human beings have no doubt been using pattern interrupts accidentally or deliberately before NLP came along, it's been extensively modeled and developed quite a bit by Bandler and Grinder.

        Next up: Pacing. "First, I'm gonna tell you a story, which is probably similar to your own..." Pacing is a powerful rapport generating technique, and is used quite a bit among NLP practitioners because it makes everything else that follows easier. Persuasion is easier when you've first established rapport. No rapport = no sale.

        Next: Hypnotic Storytelling w/metaphors. If you ever have a chance to listen to someone like Richard Bandler doing is thing, you'll be amazed at how often it just sounds like he's telling a bunch of stories. Of course, within the story he's loading them up with embedded commands, presuppositions, leading statements, metaphors and other mild trance-inducing mind f*ckery...but to the listener it just sounds "like a story."

        NLP is not all new stuff though. The creators came up with it from modeling other great persuaders, hypnotists, salesmen, etc. If you want to learn more about it, I suggest checking out Jon Benson's VSL course where he goes over quite a bit of NLP techniques. It will make your head spin.
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        • Profile picture of the author cjp214
          Originally Posted by Sean Fry View Post

          Absolutely good sir! Second sentence: Pattern Interrupt.

          The Pattern Interrupt is an old NLP technique. While human beings have no doubt been using pattern interrupts accidentally or deliberately before NLP came along, it's been extensively modeled and developed quite a bit by Bandler and Grinder.

          Next up: Pacing. "First, I'm gonna tell you a story, which is probably similar to your own..." Pacing is a powerful rapport generating technique, and is used quite a bit among NLP practitioners because it makes everything else that follows easier. Persuasion is easier when you've first established rapport. No rapport = no sale.

          Next: Hypnotic Storytelling w/metaphors. If you ever have a chance to listen to someone like Richard Bandler doing is thing, you'll be amazed at how often it just sounds like he's telling a bunch of stories. Of course, within the story he's loading them up with embedded commands, presuppositions, leading statements, metaphors and other mild trance-inducing mind f*ckery...but to the listener it just sounds "like a story."

          NLP is not all new stuff though. The creators came up with it from modeling other great persuaders, hypnotists, salesmen, etc. If you want to learn more about it, I suggest checking out Jon Benson's VSL course where he goes over quite a bit of NLP techniques. It will make your head spin.

          Still don't know how I feel about NLP, but thanks for that info. I was watching a Frank Kern video on Youtube the other day and, now that I think about it, it seems like they were using the "pattern interrupt" a ton for a 20 minute interview.

          It seemed to work, too! Every time I found my attention starting to drift, I heard the pattern interrupt sound and refocused on the video.

          Best,

          Corey Pemberton
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        • Profile picture of the author Sean Fry
          Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

          NLP is responsible for pacing, narrative, metaphor, meter and leading statements? I'm amazed that anyone ever sold anything before the advent of this revolutionary technique.

          No, NLP is not new stuff. People have been selling useless nostrums, quack medicines, airy notions and fraudulent claims for a long time.

          NLP is just another in the line.
          Never said NLP is "responsible" for those things, but I appreciate you putting words in my mouth at any rate. Good show!
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        • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
          Originally Posted by Sean Fry View Post

          Absolutely good sir! Second sentence: Pattern Interrupt.

          The Pattern Interrupt is an old NLP technique. While human beings have no doubt been using pattern interrupts accidentally or deliberately before NLP came along, it's been extensively modeled and developed quite a bit by Bandler and Grinder.

          Next up: Pacing. "First, I'm gonna tell you a story, which is probably similar to your own..." Pacing is a powerful rapport generating technique, and is used quite a bit among NLP practitioners because it makes everything else that follows easier. Persuasion is easier when you've first established rapport. No rapport = no sale.

          Next: Hypnotic Storytelling w/metaphors. If you ever have a chance to listen to someone like Richard Bandler doing is thing, you'll be amazed at how often it just sounds like he's telling a bunch of stories. Of course, within the story he's loading them up with embedded commands, presuppositions, leading statements, metaphors and other mild trance-inducing mind f*ckery...but to the listener it just sounds "like a story."

          NLP is not all new stuff though. The creators came up with it from modeling other great persuaders, hypnotists, salesmen, etc. If you want to learn more about it, I suggest checking out Jon Benson's VSL course where he goes over quite a bit of NLP techniques. It will make your head spin.
          All things that were used and discussed before Bandler and Grinder came along.

          What make them NLP?
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          • Profile picture of the author Sean Fry
            Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

            All things that were used and discussed before Bandler and Grinder came along.

            What make them NLP?
            Nothing. From what I understand, I don't think Bandler or Grinder claim to have created anything at all. They only took things they observed people doing anyway and named them and perhaps expanded on them a bit.
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            • Profile picture of the author DavidG
              Originally Posted by Sean Fry View Post

              Nothing. From what I understand, I don't think Bandler or Grinder claim to have created anything at all. They only took things they observed people doing anyway and named them and perhaps expanded on them a bit.
              I think you hit on a good point Sean...

              And maybe that's what it all comes down to. I mean, look at how many info-products selling at 2k+ and seminars for 20k+, teach information anybody can get with classic literature.

              It's all recycled. But of course that doesn't mean it's useless...

              For example, I enjoy Clayton, Eugene and Bencivenga's perception on selling even though their formulas and practicalities have already been preached by John Caples, Lasker and Hopkins...

              Some may prefer NLP - and even though it sounds bogus, if it helps their copywriting life, then let them be. Kinda like Christians vs Atheists...

              Even though one side might sound crazy, if it helps them in life then let them follow their beliefs as long as no one is being unethical.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
    For those who may be unaware...

    "Shifting temporal predicates" = Changing the words to deal with time. Often used to put problems in a past tense and good stuff in a future tense.

    An example would be future pacing, done in pretty much every sales letter ever written. And it also existed long before NLP.

    It also refers to presuppositions, ie. "how soon will you have that contract signed and back to me?" The "embedded command" is basically that they've already made a decision to sign it, and now they just have to get it back to you. Works more often than I would expect (though more so for "easy" purchases where there's little resistance). But I wouldn't call it an invention of NLP.

    Again.. nothing new.

    "Second position" relates to vividly experiencing an event that isn't happening to you. A lot of sales letters use this in a story way... drawing the reader in to feel the shame/sorrow/guilt/joy/success/failure of the avatar of the story. Third person comes in a few forms, but is basically anything that isn't second or first (ie. actually happening to you).

    I'm sure you've all seen this done a few times.

    "Heirachy of criteria" is basically just people's priorities. E.g. are they more interested in eating that slice of cake or looking good at the beach? Saving money or buying your product? Etc.

    Every sales letter I've ever written has a value justification that changes this. "Sure, it seems like a lot, but..."

    Notice NLP likes to use confusing phrases to describe something people have been doing for a long-ass time. Also notice there's nothing that special about what they're saying. It's old stuff in a new wrapper. Which is fine, until the NLPers get up in arms about "it's special and different! It's NLP!"

    No... it's basic psychology packaged in a new one. NLP is a marketing ploy, nothing more. And an effective one at that.

    I'm not here to dispute the value of certain "NLP techniques". Usually they're solid ideas with different words or angles... nothing new. A lot of them work.

    That doesn't change the fact it's not NLP. It's persuasion by a different name. I can't suddenly pretend I made up modern day construction techniques by calling a hammer a "nail pounder". And that's essentially what a lot of NLP guys do.

    But don't take my word for it...

    Google it, and check out how much of it has already been covered in old school psychology textbooks and sales/copywriting training.

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

      For those who may be unaware...

      "Shifting temporal predicates" = Changing the words to deal with time. Often used to put problems in a past tense and good stuff in a future tense.

      An example would be future pacing, done in pretty much every sales letter ever written. And it also existed long before NLP.

      It also refers to presuppositions, ie. "how soon will you have that contract signed and back to me?" The "embedded command" is basically that they've already made a decision to sign it, and now they just have to get it back to you. Works more often than I would expect (though more so for "easy" purchases where there's little resistance). But I wouldn't call it an invention of NLP.

      Again.. nothing new.
      This pretty much summarizes your response.

      You don't know what you are talking so you say it's something else.

      Shifting temporal predicates is a presupposition? Nonsense. Only in your world.

      It has NOTHING to do with future pacing.

      It has NOTHING to do with embedded commands which DO NOT work in copy at all.

      And they have nothing to shifting "words".

      Do you not know the definition of "predicate"?

      The rest of your comments were equally off target.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Harlan View Post


        This pretty much summarizes your response.

        You don't know what you are talking so you say it's something else.

        Shifting temporal predicates is a presupposition? Nonsense. Only in your world.

        It has NOTHING to do with future pacing.

        It has NOTHING to do with embedded commands which DO NOT work in copy at all.

        And they have nothing to shifting "words".

        Do you not know the definition of "predicate"?

        The rest of your comments were equally off target.
        Does your knowledge of NLP Harlan help you to exude warmth and friendliness at all? Only I'm not being funny with you but you come across as perhaps one of the coldest most unfriendly and unappreciative characters on this forum.

        If copywriting is about building bridges, would it not behoove you to sometimes, well, you know, demonstrate this in your replies rather than coming across like English aristocracy with your nose in the air looking down on everyone else?

        If you've got excellent knowledge in a particular subject, why not share this knowledge with warmth and enthusiasm rather than coming across like your guarding the secret holy grail of copy?

        An observation.


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

          Does your knowledge of NLP Harlan help you to exude warmth and friendliness at all? Only I'm not being funny with you but you come across as perhaps one of the coldest most unfriendly and unappreciative characters on this forum.

          If copywriting is about building bridges, would it not behoove you to sometimes, well, you know, demonstrate this in your replies rather than coming across like English aristocracy with your nose in the air looking down on everyone else?

          If you've got excellent knowledge in a particular subject, why not share this knowledge with warmth and enthusiasm rather than coming across like your guarding the secret holy grail of copy?

          An observation.


          Mark Andrews
          I actually used to dislike Harlan for this reason. But it doesn't bother me anymore.

          I'm more interested in what he, and others, have to say rather than how they say.

          If they want to be the life of the party, or miserable old farts, that's their business.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
            Banned
            Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post


            I actually used to dislike Harlan for this reason. But it doesn't bother me anymore.

            I'm more interested in what he, and others, have to say rather than how they say.

            If they want to be the life of the party, or miserable old farts, that's their business.
            That's true enough Rezbi fair point.

            Let me make it clear though, I don't dislike Harlan. I have no reason to do so.

            It's just when someone is as knowledgeable as he obviously is about this subject, it would be great to see him espousing much more enthusiasm for the subject at hand.

            Of course this is his prerogative whether or not he chooses to do so.

            Of course NLP isn't something anyone completely inexperienced in this is going to learn overnight but maybe, just maybe, just a suggestion (Harlan) now and again you might like to pop up an illustrative thread or a post or two illustrating how a simple word switch around can affect the emotions on the part of the recipient reading a piece of sales copy?

            Now that I'd love to see. It's a compliment not a dig btw. I'd just love to see you teaching a little bit more about a subject which is obvious you have a great passion for.

            To be perfectly frank, I think too many people here don't actually understand completely what Harlan does and it would be a great opportunity here from time to time to simply share with us a few more thoughts and ideas.

            My apologies if I'm putting you on the spot Harlan. Not my intention. Of course it's up to you what you do and I respect that. Top of the day to you and my...

            Kindest regards,


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

              It's just when someone is as knowledgeable as he obviously is about this subject, it would be great to see him espousing much more enthusiasm for the subject at hand.
              Ah, but he is. You just have to read between the lines.

              Of course NLP isn't something anyone completely inexperienced in this is going to learn overnight but maybe, just maybe, just a suggestion (Harlan) now and again you might like to pop up an illustrative thread or a post or two illustrating how a simple word switch around can affect the emotions on the part of the recipient reading a piece of sales copy?
              I did start such a thread - one I was going to continue with further articles - but it was moved to a different forum.

              I thought it was copywriting related as it was about psychology and persuasion.

              It was moved here http://www.warriorforum.com/mind-war...gs-you-do.html where it's already buried on the second page.
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        • Profile picture of the author applegreensnake
          Originally Posted by Mark Andrews View Post

          Does your knowledge of NLP Harlan help you to exude warmth and friendliness at all? Only I'm not being funny with you but you come across as perhaps one of the coldest most unfriendly and unappreciative characters on this forum.

          If copywriting is about building bridges, would it not behoove you to sometimes, well, you know, demonstrate this in your replies rather than coming across like English aristocracy with your nose in the air looking down on everyone else?

          If you've got excellent knowledge in a particular subject, why not share this knowledge with warmth and enthusiasm rather than coming across like your guarding the secret holy grail of copy?

          An observation.


          Mark Andrews

          I know a guy with Asperger's who's a good copywriter. He's pretty highly intelligent; he's learned what works; and it's only mild Asperger's, I think. He's a good guy – I think so, anyway.

          I'm NOT talking about Harlan. I do NOT know Harlan. I'm talking about another guy.

          An observation
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          • Profile picture of the author MaxTheMarketer
            NLP!!! ^^,

            As a psychology-nerd myself I just had to share my two or thousand cents of it...

            From the standpoint of the scientific method where you have "operational definitions" in the "positivism perspective" NLP is "bogus" in the sense that you cannot define it (quantify it objectively that is).

            Therefore, you will hear and see on Wikipedia and other sites that use rigorous scientific approach on the topic that "NLP is NOT a scientific discipline".

            However, just because something is NOT a science or cannot be defined using the scientific method or perspective, does not make it less useful.

            Hypnosis and the field of psychology itself has received tons of criticism due to its vague definitions and almost undefiniable variables (e.g. emotions, consciousness, subconsciousness, trance, etc.,).

            And at the same time, you still see, hear and can experience yourself, a session of hypnosis and get a first hand experience of it and see its tremendous powers.

            I strongly believe NLP has lots of useful stuff as the brain IS "plastic" and can change due to experiences (including "NLP Patterns").

            Indeed, it will remain heavily debated whether NLP will ever be scientifically defined or not. One professor, I don't remember who, once said, "If you cannot measure it, it does not exist".

            But "emotions" and "feelings" really seem to exist thanks to millions of self-reports (although that method is heavily flawed in most instances) from people all around the world, and the operational definitions of these terms are still debated today, in 2013.

            In conclusion. NLP has its good uses, but of course, like anything here in life, there are really no "LEGAL MAGIC PILLS" (well, you can always rob a bank as a magic pill to get cash, but I ain't recommending it).

            NLP could be seen as an art as what defines the "scientific method", it is NOT a science since it cannot be "operationally defined".

            And as you read this message you will feel the deep-rooted feeling to take up your pocket and enter your credit card number to me... MUHAHAH...

            Nah, let's cut that right there, or should we?! ;-)

            Take Care & Have An Awesome Day, Fellow Warrior(s)! / Max "MaxTheMarketer" K.
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        • Profile picture of the author hhhusted
          Originally Posted by Mark Andrews View Post

          Does your knowledge of NLP Harlan help you to exude warmth and friendliness at all? Only I'm not being funny with you but you come across as perhaps one of the coldest most unfriendly and unappreciative characters on this forum.

          If copywriting is about building bridges, would it not behoove you to sometimes, well, you know, demonstrate this in your replies rather than coming across like English aristocracy with your nose in the air looking down on everyone else?

          If you've got excellent knowledge in a particular subject, why not share this knowledge with warmth and enthusiasm rather than coming across like your guarding the secret holy grail of copy?

          An observation.

          Mark Andrews
          Look whose talking. You act the same way. You have the personality of a dead frog sometimes. Take your own advice sometimes. Instead of trashing others when they make comments, you think are absurd, why not thank them and encourage them to add more to the conversation.
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          • Profile picture of the author Daniel Sanchez
            Now...I'm no expert...But after reading this "waste of most people's time" thread, I thought I'd speak up.

            First...you need to know a few things.

            1. How NLP came to be.

            You see....there was this guy named Milton. Suffered a case of polio as a kid and couldn't move or speak for YEARS.

            In fact, people thought he was mentally retarded at first...

            But then something happened....

            Once Milton started to speak, he had this weird ability to make people do some of the oddest things. (one of his proteges later on in life could make his abusive father pass out in his own cereal by the age of 8 years old...anyways, back to Milton)

            Milton developed what many considered nearly superhuman powers...some even thought it was witchcraft or trickery....

            But turns out Milton developed an awareness for something few people could see. After years of being strapped to a chair unable to move....Milton noticed something...something so small, you might not catch it unless you really paid close attention...

            And it's right in front of your very eyes....

            Milton could see it in the way you talked....the way you moved...even the way you dressed. It was like exposing your every nerve to his mental control.

            Hard to believe?

            Have you ever heard to the famous Aboriginal trackers of Australia? They're so good at tracking, they can catch a man traveling thousands of miles away in the middle of a thousand people ...and tell you he smokes, has a limp, what kind of clothes he wears and if he's argumentative or not...

            All by looking at the ground....

            Seem impossible?

            I thought so once....until I spent a weekend with one of the last Apache teacher's known to man

            I've stared at the ground for hours...and could see what I never saw before.

            If you open your mind and just simply notice....things start to show up...

            I still remember the day when I went "tracking" in a mall...

            And I heard these fast, hard foot steps...and without looking I could tell it was an older women with a defiant personality and knee problems...

            Sure enough...there she was...smacking the ground with those high heels like she was angry at the very ground she walked on..

            The moment our eyes made contact, she reeked bitterness at me with a glare most men would reel back from.

            Anyways...

            Long story short - Milton went on to school to become a psychiatrist to prove what he did was real.

            He was laughed at, ignored and even threatened by everyone in the psychiatric community.

            But Milton pressed on...and kept scaring the crap out of all of the so called "experts"

            He helped the "unhelpable"...cured the "incurable"...and did the "impossible"

            It took years, but finally,after decades of hard work....

            Hypnosis become an excepted tool in the psychiatric community....and what you know as hypnosis today is because of this great man.

            Now...NLP is based on the work Bandler and Grinder to figure out how Milton and several other amazing people, did what they did

            They put things into words...gave them names and structure to help people wrap their heads around things they couldn't put into words before....or just plain didn;t notice.

            I believe Grinder and Bandler added a lot of stuff to mix....things that weren't originally part of observation....and more imagination and experimentation.


            Now...the reason I'm sharing all of this is to clear up a few things.

            NLP's persuasive roots came from hypnosis....and hypnosis came from observation.

            It's not something that was created or "made up"

            It's an observation of something that already existed. It came from paying DEEP,close attention to things you wouldn't normally see.

            Ever notice how Obama always tilts his head when he speaks?

            Not an accident.

            Those of you who are screaming "NLP is phony..it's all made up"

            Yes and no. It's nothing anything new. It's not something created.

            But a lot of it (which stems from hypnosis) came from defining things most people didn't have words for....or who never noticed them because they couldn't see them.

            Personally I believe the majority of NLP's got out of hand. It's like marketing incest. They've swapped so much DNA, they've got weird mutant babies ....and the babies think themselves to be smart. It screams "stay away" for anyone with any level of logical intelligence

            BUT...you might not see the secret hiding into between the lines ....in between the spaces

            If you're into copywriting, you've probably experienced this before....

            You're going through a sales letter and than "AHA!"...you noticed something powerful you've never seen until now. Something you haven't read or heard about ...

            And it feels like a secret...but in a way you know it's not....because you found it right there in front of your eyes.

            Do you share it with others? No...Why? Cause others won't get it. They haven't got the eyes to see it.

            And that's what you're missing if you don't give NLP a chance

            To answer Pusateri's earlier question about how it compares to rhetoric...

            In most cases (not all)...REAL nlp deals more with the micro where rhetoric approaches are more larger picture "macro" techniques.

            It's not about approaches as much as the details in language...

            Capice?

            And as for proof....

            How can I prove scientifically a certain inflection on someone's voice reveals a they're ticked off at you?

            Or how your mind assimilates time?

            You ask for proof but to paraphrase someone been criticized for millenia...

            You can't have proof without faith first.

            Waiting on your duff for someone to do the work for you so you can finally "feel safe" to try something is ludicrous in my opinion.

            And reading about it isn't really trying.

            In fact, "trying" is useless too

            You need to "just do it" like the slogan of an over priced shoe company exclaims

            I'm no expert but I know my way around a sales letter or two....

            And I will tell you this. Most NLP is truly useless turd crap

            BUT...what works, works so well you'll be amazed at the mind bending power you wield at your finger tips.

            For those of you on the 'proverbial fence"

            Here's something to consider...

            Daniel Levis, a great copywriter and collaborator of Clayton Makepeace, always noticed NLP in Clayton's copy.

            And Clayton was always pleasantly surprised. Didn't know a lick of NLP of it smacked in the face.

            Doesn't matter which way you bend, as long as you study persuasion and copy, you'll be a success. Study, observe, apply and test.

            This to me is what it's all about.

            PS - Rick...I'd love to know who you studied with. You've got quite the handle on NLP for copy.

            PPS - Paul Hancox really does teach some awesome NLP..even for embedded commands

            PPPS - can you find the NLP in this post? If so...post it. If not....don't post it and post what you DID see. NLP is just a label. What it really is stems from observation....so....what did you observe?
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            • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
              Originally Posted by Daniel Sanchez View Post

              Now...I'm no expert...But after reading this "waste of most people's time" thread, I thought I'd speak up.
              Maybe you should learn some NLP... and brevity for that matter.

              First you say...

              I'm no expert
              and then you call this thread a...

              "waste of most people's time"
              And then...

              you proceed to write a long rambling post in a thread that's a "waste of most people's time" like you're an expert.

              Make up your mind.

              Is it worth it, or not?

              If not, why didn't you just ignore it and get on with your life... and let us waste ours with these types of threads?
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              • Profile picture of the author Daniel Sanchez
                "waste of most people's time" calls out anyone who thinks this is a waste of time...using their own words works wonders.

                Average NLP guy would say I was using an embedded command....

                Smart copywriter OR NLP guy would see what I actually did.

                And where did I say I was an expert?

                If you felt offended my opening sentence it's because you feel NLP has some value...

                Neat, eh?

                (the simple stuff words can do)

                PS - As for whether NLP has value or not, that's not for me to decide...even if I think it has value.

                Picked up from great copywriters: Let people come to their own conclusions (at least make them think they did....)
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                • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
                  Originally Posted by Daniel Sanchez View Post

                  "waste of most people's time" calls out anyone who thinks this is a waste of time...using their own words works wonders.

                  Average NLP guy would say I was using an embedded command....

                  Smart copywriter OR NLP guy would see what I actually did.

                  And where did I say I was an expert?

                  If you felt offended my opening sentence it's because you feel NLP has some value...

                  Neat, eh?

                  (the simple stuff words can do)

                  PS - As for whether NLP has value or not, that's not for me to decide...even if I think it has value.

                  Picked up from great copywriters: Let people come to their own conclusions (at least make them think they did....)
                  Did I say you did?

                  Read my post again and see if you understand.

                  Although I started a thread defending NLP, I will say I've come across many NLP practitioners who are very arrogant and think they really are amazing with words.

                  And they do actually say things like this...

                  If you felt offended my opening sentence it's because you feel NLP has some value...

                  Neat, eh?
                  And, of course I think NLP has some value. I started this thread defending it.

                  All you've proven is that you make comments without bothering to read what went before...

                  Something a lot of so-called NLP practitioners do.
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            • Profile picture of the author Harlan
              Originally Posted by Daniel Sanchez View Post

              Now...I'm no expert...But after reading this "waste of most people's time" thread, I thought I'd speak up.

              First...you need to know a few things.

              1. How NLP came to be.

              You see....there was this guy named Milton. Suffered a case of polio as a kid and couldn't move or speak for YEARS.

              In fact, people thought he was mentally retarded at first...

              But then something happened....
              Let me point out that what you've spent a lot of time sharing about the origins of NLP is totally untrue.

              NLP was the study of Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir, and Gregory Bateson. It was built upon Grinder's study of transformational grammar.

              In fact, their first books didn't even mention Erickson for one simple reason - Bandler and Grinder didn't know he even existed.

              So the idea that NLP was built based on Erickson's work was pure fiction.
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              • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
                Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

                In fact, their first books didn't even mention Erickson for one simple reason - Bandler and Grinder didn't know he even existed.

                So the idea that NLP was built based on Erickson's work was pure fiction.
                This is an area of some confusion. According to Wikipedia (yes, I know that doesn't make it true, but hear me out):

                "According to Bandler and Grinder, NLP comprises methods that were modeled on the work of Virginia Satir, Milton Erickson and Fritz Perls, which also drew upon theories of Gregory Bateson, Alfred Korzybski and Noam Chomsky, particularly transformational grammar[19][20][12]."

                This is later followed by:

                "In 1975, Bandler and Grinder wrote The Structure of Magic I: A Book About Language and Therapy and The Structure of Magic II: A Book About Communication and Change. The authors referred to Chomsky's tranformational grammar and stated that the therapeutic "magic" as performed in therapy by Perls and Satir, and by performers in any complex human activity, had a structure that could be learned by others given the appropriate models. In contrast, the Milton model was described by Bandler and Grinder as "artfully vague" and metaphoric.[citation needed] They say it was used in combination with the meta model as a softener, to induce so-called "trance," and to deliver indirect therapeutic suggestion. However, adjunct lecturer in linguistics Stollznow, describes Bander and Grinder’s reference to such experts as namedropping. Other than Satir, the people they cite as influences did not collaborate with Bandler or Grinder. Chomsky himself has no association with NLP whatsoever. Chomsky's original work was intended as theory not therapy. “Other than borrowing terminology, NLP does not bear authentic resemblance to any of Chomsky's theories or philosophies - linguistic, cognitive or political” [12]."

                I haven't read the cited references, but they may be worth following up on, for those interested in the true answer.

                See more here:

                Neuro-linguistic programming - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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                • Profile picture of the author Harlan
                  Originally Posted by Steve Hill View Post

                  This is an area of some confusion. According to Wikipedia (yes, I know that doesn't make it true, but hear me out):


                  I haven't read the cited references, but they may be worth following up on, for those interested in the true answer.

                  See more here:

                  Neuro-linguistic programming - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
                  Yes, always turn to Wikipedia for the truth.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
                    Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

                    Yes, always turn to Wikipedia for the truth.
                    Did you even bother to check the references to see what the truth may be?

                    There is a lot of information out there saying Bandler and Grinder got parts of their research from Erickson. True or not? I don't know. But just sayin'.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
                      Originally Posted by Steve Hill View Post

                      Did you even bother to check the references to see what the truth may be?

                      There is a lot of information out there saying Bandler and Grinder got parts of their research from Erickson. True or not? I don't know. But just sayin'.
                      Actually, NLP in its original form - as far as I know - was used to model success.

                      What Bandler and Grinder did was to model Erickson. If you think about it, they would need to have come up with NLP in the first place in order to use it to model Erickson.

                      And I have to agree with Harlan: wikipedia isn't always right. Don't forget, people write those posts, too.

                      And, yes, I've looked at the references they mention.

                      One thing I know about scientists is that, like actors, there are only a few who make all the money. The rest will write anything their paymasters tell them to.

                      And one thing they do very well is to write stuff they don't believe in themselves, just to sound controversial.

                      And we know controversy is good for publicity, right?

                      What better for an unknown scientist to get noticed for?

                      And...

                      As much as I believe NLP has its uses, I don't believe it can affect people who refuse to let it in. Just as with hypnosis.

                      I've had people insisting their 'patterns' had me in a trance despite tell them absolutely to the contrary.

                      I've had one guy saying, after I read something he wrote, "You were in a trance."

                      When I replied I wasn't. He actually said, "Yes you were."

                      And he wasn't even in the same room as me. We were chatting over skype.

                      This is the type of idiocy going around with some people.

                      I do believe NLP can be used in copy. But, as with most things, it can't work miracles.
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                      • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
                        Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

                        Actually, NLP in its original form - as far as I know - was used to model success.

                        What Bandler and Grinder did was to model Erickson. If you think about it, they would need to have come up with NLP in the first place in order to use it to model Erickson.

                        And I have to agree with Harlan: wikipedia isn't always right. Don't forget, people write those posts, too.

                        ...

                        I do believe NLP can be used in copy. But, as with most things, it can't work miracles.
                        Ah, ok. I see now what Harlan meant - Erickson didn't figure into the equation until later. He's right, according to this brief but detailed history of NLP:

                        A brief history of NLP

                        Per my initial disclaimer, anything from Wikipedia is taken with a huge grain of salt until otherwise documented. It's good for some information leads, but it's certainly not an acceptable source for academic or scientific research.

                        I agree with you that NLP-based methods have promise, but are not going work miracles. I have seen reports from others citing results similar to Jennie's, so it would be foolish to ignore that potential.

                        It is interesting that some or most A-level copywriting also contains some NLP patterns. Even though the writers themselves may not know the techniques as NLP, they are still proven techniques for them. Learning the techniques through NLP could perhaps shorten the learning curve.

                        For those looking for a quick fix, it's not magic pixie dust to sprinkle throughout copy to turn leaden copy into gold, far from it. But for those looking for that extra edge, NLP has potential, alongside various other techniques. I've found it intriguing, at least what I can find that relates to copywriting. It's not much so far, but I'd like to find more.
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                      • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
                        Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

                        And, yes, I've looked at the references they mention.

                        One thing I know about scientists is that, like actors, there are only a few who make all the money. The rest will write anything their paymasters tell them to.

                        And one thing they do very well is to write stuff they don't believe in themselves, just to sound controversial.

                        And we know controversy is good for publicity, right?

                        What better for an unknown scientist to get noticed for?
                        That's just plain asinine.

                        I've had some feuds with academics over the years, and academia certainly has its problems. But if you're going to say shit like that, you don't get to sit at the grownup table anymore.

                        Academics don't publish in an uncritical vacuum (unlike a lot of IM copywriters/marketers.)

                        You ever hear of peer review?

                        An academic submitting a paper just to be controversial WILL end his career. Reputation matters. Academics can't just take on a new name and move to another niche.

                        Academic papers are not about what the researcher believes. They are about what the evidence shows.

                        Try reading a few.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
                          Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

                          That's just plain asinine.

                          I've had some feuds with academics over the years, and academia certainly has its problems. But if you're going to say shit like that, you don't get to sit at the grownup table anymore.

                          Academics don't publish in an uncritical vacuum (unlike a lot of IM copywriters/marketers.)

                          You ever hear of peer review?

                          An academic submitting a paper just to be controversial WILL end his career. Reputation matters. Academics can't just take on a new name and move to another niche.

                          Academic papers are not about what the researcher believes. They are about what the evidence shows.

                          Try reading a few.
                          If that's the type of rubbish 'grown-ups' write I don't want to site at their arrogance filled table.

                          You just have to look at all the rubbish that's been out in the media - 'backed up by science' - to see what you're talking is utter rubbish.

                          First you have to drink x amounts of pure water or you'll dehydrate. Yes, that was scientists. I should be dead by now according to them.

                          Then there's fluoride, aspartame and a whole host of stuff scientists have 'verified'.

                          Please!

                          If you're going to pretend to be grown up, act like one instead of sticking your head in the sand.
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                          • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
                            Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

                            If that's the type of rubbish 'grown-ups' write I don't want to site at their arrogance filled table.

                            You just have to look at all the rubbish that's been out in the media - 'backed up by science' - to see what you're talking is utter rubbish.

                            First you have to drink x amounts of pure water or you'll dehydrate. Yes, that was scientists. I should be dead by now according to them.

                            Then there's fluoride, aspartame and a whole host of stuff scientists have 'verified'.

                            Please!

                            If you're going to pretend to be grown up, act like one instead of sticking your head in the sand.
                            Seems the lesson you should have learned is don't go to the media for scientific information.

                            Here: Google Scholar

                            It's a start.
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                            • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
                              Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

                              Seems the lesson you should have learned is don't go to the media for scientific information.

                              Here: Google Scholar

                              It's a start.
                              Well, if that's anything to go by, there's a few there which seem to give NLP more credibility than wikipedia.

                              Have you read any of them?
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                              • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
                                Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

                                Well, if that's anything to go by, there's a few there which seem to give NLP more credibility than wikipedia.

                                Have you read any of them?
                                I looked at a smattering of the abstracts when this thread started.

                                To which are you referring?
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                                • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
                                  Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

                                  I looked at a smattering of the abstracts when this thread started.

                                  To which are you referring?
                                  Aha. There you go.

                                  Too many people put up references to other sources without bothering to check them out.

                                  And here I thought copywriters were thorough in their research.

                                  Maybe not.

                                  Looks like my new career as a researcher for copywriters might be just in time.
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                                  • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
                                    Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

                                    Aha. There you go.

                                    Too many people put up references to other sources without bothering to check them out.

                                    And here I thought copywriters were thorough in their research.

                                    Maybe not.

                                    Looks like my new career as a researcher for copywriters might be just in time.
                                    Google Scholar is a preliminary research tool. It gives you access to abstracts and snippets, not complete papers (for the most part.)

                                    To read most full papers you will need a library or a JSTOR membership.

                                    I had read several abstracts back when this thread started. If you will remember, my question at that time was:

                                    "What is NLP?"

                                    I asked that question because it seems there are as many definitions as there are NLPistas, and I think it's important to know WHAT something is before looking into whether it might be "hogwash."

                                    You dismissed my question, telling me not listen to what others say it is and to find out for myself.

                                    I responded that i was posing the question to YOU, one of the proprietors of a site called persuadewithnlp.

                                    Your response: "if you go to the site, there's a guy, Clive Cable, who can answer that question for you."

                                    My conclusion: Rezbi don't know.

                                    Which sent me to Google Scholar and elsewhere...beginning to feel like Diogenes.

                                    I came to the conclusion that other than being a modeling methodology, there is not much I can determine about NLP, except that it's very attractive to flighty types.

                                    If I wanted to sell an NLP course, I think I would do very well targeting known buyers of cosmic healing, big foot and UFO material.

                                    Throughout this thread you have pimped NLP as a science. Today you call scientists frauds.

                                    I called you on that and gave you a starting point for real research on pretty much any scholarly subject, since your mention of "the media" as your well of scientific knowledge demonstrated you were sorely in need.

                                    What did you come back with?

                                    "Well, if that's anything to go by, there's a few there which seem to give NLP more credibility than wikipedia."

                                    Holy confirmation bias!
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                    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
                      Originally Posted by Steve Hill View Post

                      Did you even bother to check the references to see what the truth may be?

                      There is a lot of information out there saying Bandler and Grinder got parts of their research from Erickson. True or not? I don't know. But just sayin'.
                      The story I posted came from John Grinder.

                      Now who do you think got the story correct? The guy who was there or Wikipedia?
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                      • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
                        Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

                        The story I posted came from John Grinder.

                        Now who do you think got the story correct? The guy who was there or Wikipedia?
                        Thanks for clarifying that. Even my dog is a more reliable source of information than Wikipedia (and as I said initially, just because it's in Wikipedia doesn't make it true).

                        What threw me is when you said "So the idea that NLP was built based on Erickson's work was pure fiction."

                        I already knew that this book existed:

                        "Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, M.D. by Richard Bandler and John Grinder"

                        but now I understand you were referring to Grinder's books before Erickson entered the picture, and even afterwards, it looks like it may have been just modeling using the developed techniques, as Rezbi said.

                        So let me get this straight, then (since I haven't read all the literature on this) - so Bandler and Grinder developed the modeling technology, but the subsequent results (from modeling Erickson and others) then became "part of" NLP?

                        By the way, don't get the idea I am advocating Wikipedia as a reliable source for the truth, though... I never have, and never will.
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                  • Profile picture of the author David Maschke
                    Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

                    Yes, always turn to Wikipedia for the truth.
                    That's the funniest thing I've ever read.

                    By the way, I'm still waiting on yours and Carlton's Incongruent Juxtaposition Presupposition Generator. I'm never gunna stop buggin' you about it either.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
    Not according to the research I've done. But you're welcome to your opinion.

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

      Not according to the research I've done. But you're welcome to your opinion.

      -Daniel
      If a little research is enough, and makes up for years of study, then anyone should be able to research a particular market and write copy like Bencivenga.

      Right?

      I don't think anyone would agree with that. Except of course for those who believe you can write copy to that standard in a day.

      Bencivenga, and I would assume most copywriters, learned the rules of copywriting years before he became really good at writing copy.

      So why would anyone assume to know the nitty gritty of NLP through even a month's worth of research?
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post

      Not according to the research I've done. But you're welcome to your opinion.

      -Daniel
      I guess you'll have to spend another 2 minutes on Google then.

      As Gregory Bateson would say: Shoddy Epistimology.
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      • Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

        Shoddy Epistimology.
        Great band name.
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        • Profile picture of the author Shadowflux
          So what this thread has really taught me is that bringing up NLP on a copywriting board has the same effect as bringing up Ayn Rand or Nietzsche on a literature or philosophy board.

          There are a lot of people with a lot of opinions and very few of them have ever touched the source material. Of those who have, few actually understand it.

          I think the best answer to the original question of this thread is:

          "It doesn't matter, do what works for you."
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          • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
            Originally Posted by Shadowflux View Post

            So what this thread has really taught me is that bringing up NLP on a copywriting board has the same effect as bringing up Ayn Rand or Nietzsche on a literature or philosophy board.

            There are a lot of people with a lot of opinions and very few of them have ever touched the source material. Of those who have, few actually understand it.

            I think the best answer to the original question of this thread is:

            "It doesn't matter, do what works for you."
            I already said that.

            And my reason for the post was to promote discussion.

            No one is ever going to agree on everything. And not everyone will ever agree on one thing.

            You get this type of discussion on the topic of copywriting on this copywriting forum.

            So why not NLP?
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            • Profile picture of the author Shadowflux
              Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

              I already said that.

              And my reason for the post was to promote discussion.

              No one is ever going to agree on everything. And not everyone will ever agree on one thing.

              You get this type of discussion on the topic of copywriting on this copywriting forum.

              So why not NLP?
              I'm not complaining, I actually enjoyed reading through most of it. I just think it's funny how heated people get over a difference in opinions. It's like hearing people debate about which martial art is better and why.

              It also always surprises me how many people will simply repeat an opinion on something that someone else gave them.

              It's like any discussion of Machiavelli. 90% of people don't know the answer to "Is it better to be loved or feared?" They just operate on assumptions. "I heard X and Y about NLP so NLP is X and Y. You're wrong!!!"

              I guess I find it funny because you could just pick up a copy of the book and read it for yourself but so many people refuse to do it. I'll never understand that.
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              • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
                Originally Posted by Shadowflux View Post

                I'm not complaining, I actually enjoyed reading through most of it. I just think it's funny how heated people get over a difference in opinions. It's like hearing people debate about which martial art is better and why.
                And that's what makes it so fun.

                Anyone who has a passion about anything will do the same. Whether it's martial, copywriting, NLP or... tiddlywinks.
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          • Profile picture of the author verial
            Originally Posted by Shadowflux View Post

            So what this thread has really taught me is that bringing up NLP on a copywriting board has the same effect as bringing up Ayn Rand or Nietzsche on a literature or philosophy board.

            There are a lot of people with a lot of opinions and very few of them have ever touched the source material. Of those who have, few actually understand it.

            I think the best answer to the original question of this thread is:

            "It doesn't matter, do what works for you."
            Psychologists (experts) in psychology (which NLP petitions to be) dismiss (via peer review) reports of NLP success (subjective and anecdotal findings) because SCIENCE (that thing that allows us to know what's true and what's not).

            How is than an OPINION?

            So let me ask you, what do you consider to be the "source material" that shows NLP is a science? Have you access to a research university's journal database? I do. And I've seen studies on NLP, the vast majority of which dismiss NLP as a science. So you must be referring to a different type of source material?

            But hey, for those who want to: go ahead and believe what you want. Make up an excuse as to why psychologists haven't touched the subject for decades.

            Pretend to have a grasp of human beings via NLP and be like the rest of the NLP "practitioners" -- people who lack social skills and want a shortcut to developing social influence.

            Or get a grip on reality. Your choice.
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            • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
              Originally Posted by verial View Post

              So let me ask you, what do you consider to be the "source material" that shows NLP is a science?
              What do you mean by source material?

              Are you saying someone has to say it's a science to make it so, or it's not?

              That's not my understanding of how something is classified as a science. Unless you know something else?

              Dictionary definitions of science:


              1.a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws: the mathematical sciences.

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


              2.systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation. Again, the effects of such a system is observable, as you’ve already said.


              3.any of the branches of natural or physical science. Considering it’s something that affects the brain and the body, I’d say it qualifies.


              4.systematized knowledge in general. Again, I refer to the above quote.


              5.knowledge, as of facts or principles; knowledge gained by systematic study.
              Same as above.


              Considering that NLP persuasion and advertising copy are based on the same principles, to say NLP is not scientific is like saying advertising copy is not scientific.


              In fact, more or less, they are the same thing under different titles.


              Going by the above five points I would say both NLP and advertising are scientific. Which means both are sciences.
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            • Profile picture of the author Shadowflux
              Originally Posted by verial View Post


              How is than an OPINION?

              So let me ask you, what do you consider to be the "source material" that shows NLP is a science? Have you access to a research university's journal database? I do. And I've seen studies on NLP, the vast majority of which dismiss NLP as a science. So you must be referring to a different type of source material?
              When I say "source material", in this context at least, I am referring to the actual books by Bandler and Grinder as opposed to the mountain of other books written by self proclaimed "NLP Experts".

              When I say that people haven't read the source material I am saying that they have never read the original books. They have only read articles, books and other material written by people other than the originators of NLP.

              You say you've read studies about NLP, have access to a research university's research database yet NONE of that is the original source material. No offense but all you've done with your post is prove exactly what I was saying.

              Psychologists and psychiatrists are not fans of NLP because the current mental health industry favors psycho-pharmacology over any form of non-medicated therapy. In a therapeutic setting, NLP has nothing that can be instantly proscribed for a broad range of different people. Due to the nature of NLP, therapeutic plans have to be designed around the individual being treated and can not, therefore, have the same effect on every patient with out being modified.

              We all choose what we want to believe in and you have, apparently, already made your decision so there is no point in any of us trying to convince you to think otherwise.
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              • Profile picture of the author Harlan
                In my doctoral study - published in 1983 - I studied ALL of the Scientific Studies on NLP.

                There were tests of predicate matching, eye ball positions, etc.

                NLP didn't do very well.

                Then they labeled themselves, the study of subjective experience.

                Frankly, NLP and Science did not mesh together in the lab.

                One of the early originators of NLP thought it might be effective in counseling because of the placebo effect.

                But years later, certain patterns have emerged.

                The phobia cure truly works wonders.

                Anchoring is extremely powerful.

                Submodality shifts can change a person's life in just second.

                Frankly, not enough tests have been done of NLP in copy to have any measure.

                I did do a video of the world's greatest copywriter showing his elegant use of NLP patterns.

                But I was threatened with a lawsuit because I didn't know his name was trademarked.

                When I asked David Deutsch the odds that those patterns just "happened" to appear in the copy - he answered - "impossible."

                And that was a damm good letter.
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                • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
                  Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

                  In my doctoral study - published in 1983 - I studied ALL of the Scientific Studies on NLP.

                  There were tests of predicate matching, eye ball positions, etc.

                  NLP didn't do very well.

                  Then they labeled themselves, the study of subjective experience.

                  Frankly, NLP and Science did not mesh together in the lab.

                  One of the early originators of NLP thought it might be effective in counseling because of the placebo effect.

                  But years later, certain patterns have emerged.

                  The phobia cure truly works wonders.

                  Anchoring is extremely powerful.

                  Submodality shifts can change a person's life in just second.

                  Frankly, not enough tests have been done of NLP in copy to have any measure.

                  I did do a video of the world's greatest copywriter showing his elegant use of NLP patterns.

                  But I was threatened with a lawsuit because I didn't know his name was trademarked.

                  When I asked David Deutsch the odds that those patterns just "happened" to appear in the copy - he answered - "impossible."

                  And that was a damm good letter.
                  Thanks for that. Interesting stuff.

                  I guess when it comes to any kind of persuasion in print, what we have is little more than a large body of heuristics.

                  Writing copy remains a craft, not a science.
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  • Profile picture of the author hhhusted
    Reading through all the post, I am getting a mixed bag of answers. What is the truth? Does NLP work in copywriting or not? If so, how has it been used in copywriting in the past?

    By the way, I know what NLP is. I am currently studying the subject so as to become certified in using it.
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    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      Originally Posted by hhhusted View Post

      Reading through all the post, I am getting a mixed bag of answers. What is the truth? Does NLP work in copywriting or not? If so, how has it been used in copywriting in the past?

      By the way, I know what NLP is. I am currently studying the subject so as to become certified in using it.
      129 posts later, and this is where you're at?
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      • Profile picture of the author hhhusted
        Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

        129 posts later, and this is where you're at?
        Yeah, because it seemed that the issue of NLP in copywriting wasn't clearly answered. However, I did get a response privately that did answer my question. So I am good.
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  • Profile picture of the author Moriarty
    Can I untangle all this a little? Because the brain is one big place and there are few of us who even think about it, let alone organize some kind of structure to understand it.

    Those who like NLP like it, use it and find it suits their needs. Any decent copywriter will know that there is never a one-size-fits-all category of humans. That goes for describing brain functions too.

    My own take is so far out the box that people can't find me. That doesn't worry me as I can sit in a box any time I like - and that allows me to tell people about it. Actually the link in my website footer is screwed up so it ain't around just now.

    Just as an aside - there is one thing that divides the real thinkers from the also-rans. The real thinker can imagine what isn't there. Usually people only look at what they are selling because that is what they have proof for. The master sees what they aren't selling and has the imaginatoin to see what they might sell.

    Geddit?

    Because in brain terms, think that your brain weighs three pounds. Yet your head feels like it weighs an ounce. The human body is so elegantly designed that the weight of your brain is carried where it is comfortable. Your abdomen.
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    • Profile picture of the author hhhusted
      The problem is not with NLP, it is with people and their understanding of it. I took a number of courses in psychology and human behavior, and even did part-time counseling, and one thing I noticed, which was a common trait, is that people will not accept something they don't understand. If it doesn't fit well with their understanding or belief system, they will reject it.

      Also, people don't like change. Therefore, if someone was told he had to change his thinking (a belief that was obtained and kept for many years), he won't do it. The reason is he is used to thinking that way and won't alter it. It would take some kind of shock or sudden event to make people conform to the new way of thinking.

      Anthony Robbins expresses this point very clearly in his tapes, CDs, and seminars. The bottom line is that NLP is not the problem here as it is people's perceptions and beliefs about it. I'm studying it now and find it very interesting and helpful in my writing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Sanchez
    rezbi - you seem awfully defensive...and, NLP or not, that's never good for persuasion.

    Ever try studying debate tactics and rhetoric? Really helped my copy.

    Oh...and about that "you're in trance" crap....I've experienced this same thing.

    But I've also seen the opposite.

    I remember watching Tad James tell someone they were in deep hypnosis and the person didn't believe it. He then took a pin and pricked this guy's skin....and he didn't feel a thing. Started to bleed. He then told the guy to tell himself to stop bleeding. And he did.

    Honestly rezbi...I have no idea what the hell you're excusing me of...but if I don't understand it, there's a good chance I probably didn't intend whatever you thought I did.

    I believe NLP has tremendous value....but don't get so caught up in it that you don't open your eyes once in a while and see life through an unfiltered lens. NLP is just a tool. A tool doesn't make you a mechanic.

    I say draw your own conclusions and not from studies or other people's opinions....but from you're own testing and experience. That's what being a copywriter is all about anyways.


    Harlan - thanks for clearing up my snafu.

    You are correct.

    When I made the reference to NLP I meant NLP as we know it today. When people refer to NLP persuasion techniques most of the time they're referring to language patterns pulled from Erickson's indirect hypnosis methods.

    (and as a random side note: Dave Dobson was the man. He is sorely missed)

    Pusateri - I appreciate your determination and intelligence to seek solid scientific information. Peer reviewed info is always best in some circles...

    But realize no innovation would ever exist if everything followed "peer reviewed" journals. Heck, look at Milton Erickson's life's work!

    Back in the 1930, a pediatrician did a study on 1300 or so of his patients proving Vitamin E could help prevent heart disease. But because the study was done in his local community and races didn't vary, the study was thrown out. Wasn't until the 1990's when a peer review study proved vitamin E helped reduce the risk of heart disease.

    Do you really want to wait 60 years before someone can tell you something works? Do you really need their authority?

    I'll say this...

    I believe the pursuit and study of Hypnosis and NLP has value in copywriting. And like anything, you need to learn it well and really give it a fighting chance. Many things in life take 1000's of hours to master before you can see valid results.

    that said....hundreds of master of copy have never studied NLP in their life.

    More than anything: study great copy. Study persuasion. Practice, test and refine. All that matters is "did it help me boost conversions and sales"

    I believe true masters are always students of everything that helps them refine their art.

    I'll always study great copy above NLP any day of the week. But I'm also not going o close my mind to other avenues just because it's not peer reviewed or related to copywriting.

    I've studied Method acting to help build my ability to connect to my market. (small secret: Method acting isn't peer reviewed)

    I'll study anything and everything to help better myself as a person and as a copywriter. You say something doesn't work, I'm OK with that. You're skeptical....that's your business. I'm still going to play with it and see for myself.

    I'd rather look the fool to learn something than look smart and risk never growing.

    NLP...Method acting....copywriting...

    All just a bunch of big words that mean "get the sale"

    At least that's how I believe those who strive to master copywriting see it.

    I don't believe we're going to draw any solid conclusions about NLP here on a forum. We're just going to have to go out there and use it ourselves to find out.

    I really appreciate this discussion. It's been a while since I've had the chance to mess around and talk "copy crazy" (as my wife likes to call it). This has been an awesome.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
      Originally Posted by Daniel Sanchez View Post

      rezbi - you seem awfully defensive...and, NLP or not, that's never good for persuasion.
      I'll admit it openly...

      I'm being purposely aggressive. I don't really care one way or the other.

      Each to their own.
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      Originally Posted by Daniel Sanchez View Post


      (and as a random side note: Dave Dobson was the man. He is sorely missed)
      How did you know Dave?
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    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
      Originally Posted by Daniel Sanchez View Post

      (and as a random side note: Dave Dobson was the man. He is sorely missed)
      I have one of his courses.

      What a voice. Makes Sylvester Stallone sound like a squeaky mouse.
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
    To take a step back and find the "Cult" marketing that allows "NLP" to thrive:

    1. Take a study or discipline that people want to learn or want help with, do a survey of it and pull out some really juicy bits that you know work. What will happen is that when people use "your" stuff, it will work. You will get credit.

    2. Create a bunch of acronyms and new words for these working bits and explain a "system" of how they work together. If you are the "in" for people coming into the discipline, you control their ability to learn more, because you've given them made-up names for concepts instead of the commonly used ones. They MUST come to you for more because they can't dig deeper without real handles on the subject matter.

    3. Reference the older works, too. Claim your work is an expansion and further development of it (even though it's just repeating it with a new name). Name-drop this pedigree for authority. Your reference of the sources you borrowed from legitimizes what you're doing beyond just a re-name. And even if they DO dig deeper into the source works, these are usually academic and dense, so "your" stuff seems like you made it accessible and "for the masses" when really you've simplified by omission, not by adding elegant insight.

    4. Market your names for these things heavily, correct people when they use the older names. Whenever people talk about the old works you've co-opted, bring up the new names. "Your" people will defend your work for you because it DOES work for them, and they NEED you. When they encounter the pre-existing working things you teach out in the wild, they'll use YOUR names and give you credit. Even if it pre-dates you, they'll say, "oh this was early before they KNEW what they were REALLY doing!"

    5. Charge A LOT for "training". Rinse, repeat, get rich, and retire.
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

      To take a step back and find the "Cult" marketing that allows "NLP" to thrive:

      1. Take a study or discipline that people want to learn or want help with, do a survey of it and pull out some really juicy bits that you know work. ...

      2. Create a bunch of acronyms and new words for these working bits and explain a "system" of how they work together. ...

      3. Reference the older works, too. ...

      4. Market your names for these things heavily, correct people when they use the older names. ...

      5. Charge A LOT for "training". Rinse, repeat, get rich, and retire.
      I love your definition of re-branding.

      -Ray Edwards
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
      Colin's a very insightful guy when it comes to bullshit, and I think he's hit the nail on the head here.

      Don't really know the guy, but from being in his "Cult of Copy" I can see he knows social engineering and manufacturing credibility pretty damn well.

      When you look at NLP in this light (and most religions, for that matter, but that's another story) it's interesting to say the least.

      -Daniel

      Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

      To take a step back and find the "Cult" marketing that allows "NLP" to thrive:

      1. Take a study or discipline that people want to learn or want help with, do a survey of it and pull out some really juicy bits that you know work. What will happen is that when people use "your" stuff, it will work. You will get credit.

      2. Create a bunch of acronyms and new words for these working bits and explain a "system" of how they work together. If you are the "in" for people coming into the discipline, you control their ability to learn more, because you've given them made-up names for concepts instead of the commonly used ones. They MUST come to you for more because they can't dig deeper without real handles on the subject matter.

      3. Reference the older works, too. Claim your work is an expansion and further development of it (even though it's just repeating it with a new name). Name-drop this pedigree for authority. Your reference of the sources you borrowed from legitimizes what you're doing beyond just a re-name. And even if they DO dig deeper into the source works, these are usually academic and dense, so "your" stuff seems like you made it accessible and "for the masses" when really you've simplified by omission, not by adding elegant insight.

      4. Market your names for these things heavily, correct people when they use the older names. Whenever people talk about the old works you've co-opted, bring up the new names. "Your" people will defend your work for you because it DOES work for them, and they NEED you. When they encounter the pre-existing working things you teach out in the wild, they'll use YOUR names and give you credit. Even if it pre-dates you, they'll say, "oh this was early before they KNEW what they were REALLY doing!"

      5. Charge A LOT for "training". Rinse, repeat, get rich, and retire.
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  • Profile picture of the author UKCopyKing
    Hi Guys,

    Newbie here so be gentle!

    I've probably had almost £20k's worth of combined NLP and Psychology training. With both there are some extremely useful areas and practical advice that copywriters should be blending in to their copy.

    That said, for me, NLP is not the magic ingredient. No amount of persuasive words can be a substitute for deeply researching your audience and understanding the way they operate. In my opinion, NLP techniques only have their place within copy that has already successfully engaged and interested the reader.

    NLP practitioners will tell you that the use of NLP is essential for buildinng rapport, for me that rapport already needs to have been built before any NLP techniques are introduced. Otherwise you lose that other key ingredient - believability.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    12 Scientific Findings That Were Actually Faked

    12 Scientific Hoaxes - Business Insider

    Yes, science can be faked, depending on the paymaster's requirements.
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    • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
      Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

      12 Scientific Findings That Were Actually Faked

      12 Scientific Hoaxes - Business Insider

      Yes, science can be faked, depending on the paymaster's requirements.
      Jeezus, Rezbi!

      Do you really think this article supports your point that research in general is untrustworthy due to a widespread agency problem?

      Of the twelve, only three were perpetrated by researchers and only one had a "paymaster" involved.

      Why are you grasping?
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      • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
        Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

        Jeezus, Rezbi!

        Do you really think this article supports your point that research in general is untrustworthy due to a widespread agency problem?

        Of the twelve, only three were perpetrated by researchers and only one had a "paymaster" involved.

        Why are you grasping?
        Actually, now you mention it, that was a response to something else. Not meant for this thread.

        What an idiot I am. I-yyam, I-yyam, I-yyam. :confused:
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  • Profile picture of the author Moriarty
    12 Scientific Findings That Were Actually Faked
    I am afraid that the more intellectual the person, the more gullible they really are. In fact the person who claims not to be gullible usually is.

    Those who know their gullibility know where they are gullible. That is one step on the road, let us say.

    NLP is just another explanation for how the brain works. Whilst we are all struggling to define it, we have our dreams, our premonitions and thoughts. None of which are quite so easy to define.

    So in the mean time, we have Freud, Jung, Adler and their followers - and NLP. Some people like it because it speaks to them. If they learn something about themselves, learn a little of their weaknesses, it won't have done them any harm.

    And that's what counts in the long run.
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
    Whether or not some science has been faked has no bearing on the scientific validity of any other given subject. That's like saying some people have baked terrible tasting cakes, therefore sometimes a hot dog might also be a cake.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Herman
      Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

      Whether or not some science has been faked has no bearing on the scientific validity of any other given subject. That's like saying some people have baked terrible tasting cakes, therefore sometimes a hot dog might also be a cake.
      That's a good one, lol
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  • Profile picture of the author ferghayden
    Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

    NLP is a boondoggle. It's an attempt to quantify rhetorical techniques. Any success you have with it is directly attributable to the blind squirrel axiom.
    Gotta Love this!
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonChoi
    I guess I'm a bit late to this discussion, but as an Master Practitioner of NLP, I agree with the OP. It's always been there. Sadly, there is a lot of people who do not understand how NLP works, which is essentially understand how things work. And in the case of sales copy, the structure of language and the effect it has.
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    • Profile picture of the author hhhusted
      Originally Posted by JasonChoi View Post

      I guess I'm a bit late to this discussion, but as an Master Practitioner of NLP, I agree with the OP. It's always been there. Sadly, there is a lot of people who do not understand how NLP works, which is essentially understand how things work. And in the case of sales copy, the structure of language and the effect it has.
      I'm studying NLP now and find it interesting. The more I learn, more I find it fascinating.
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  • Profile picture of the author hhhusted
    I agree with you. If you aren't living proof that your product works, no one will buy it. I won't get involved in buying a product or course, unless the owner is reliable, trustworthy, has impeccable credentials, or is well known. In other words, if the owner hasn't already tried the product to complete satisfaction, I won't bother.

    Thanks for the comment Seth and Charidemos.
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  • Profile picture of the author hhhusted
    Richard: I disagree with you. If you were to hire a plumber to work on your pipes, and you went to visit his home or office and found he had lousy plumbing, would you hire him? I know I wouldn't. To be honest, if a person is going to promote something, he must be able to make accurate claims that show the product worked. If the person didn't actually work the product himself, how can he lay claim that it actually works.

    NLP does not work, unless there is someone that has plenty of knowledge and experience to use it effectively. How many people do you know that have used NLP perfectly, and benefited by it. I'm not talking about those you read about. I'm talking about people you actually talked to and witnessed it working.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dietriffic
    After reading most of the posts here, would it be true to say that NLP advocates have failed to nail down a specific example of NLP in copy?

    Something that can be clearly identified as NLP, rather than a persuasion technique which has been used by gifted salesmen for years before the NLP craze?

    Perhaps I missed it.

    Or perhaps concrete examples are like the tooth fairy? Believed to exist by some, but never proven?

    Just wondering.
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    • Profile picture of the author DavidAllenNeron
      Originally Posted by Dietriffic View Post

      After reading most of the posts here, would it be true to say that NLP advocates have failed to nail down a specific example of NLP in copy?

      Something that can be clearly identified as NLP, rather than a persuasion technique which has been used by gifted salesmen for years before the NLP craze?

      Perhaps I missed it.

      Or perhaps concrete examples are like the tooth fairy? Believed to exist by some, but never proven?

      Just wondering.
      You definitely won't find NLP in any copy because NLP isn't a thing.

      A better way to frame your question would be;
      is there any evidence for exclusive NLP patterns or techniques in copy.

      and my answer would be a resounding NO.
      Because NLP by nature is a collaboration of techniques, patterns and observations learned by modeling the people who performed those techniques and patterns proficiently.

      Now on the other hand; I think people are missing the point of NLP and that was to put all of that information into a system as well as to be able to systematically collect that information... or rather you could think of NLP as a toolbox ... by itself is just an empty toolbox, which NLP was when it was in it's infancy but now the toolbox is full of useful techniques and patterns.

      The one thing I've learned is that it isn't hard to come up with your own NLP patterns and techniques by observing the world around you.
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  • Profile picture of the author DavidAllenNeron
    Quote from Richard Bandler:
    If you ever find yourself defending NLP, I want you feel a giant SLAP up side the head.
    I've studied NLP quite in depth for about 12 years now.

    I also noticed a lot of people learned NLP or even learned about NLP from people who weren't even around when it didn't even have a name at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

    and it actually started when Bandler got a job transcribing video of gestalt therapist Fritz Perls performing gestalt therapy live.

    Then he (Bandler) ended up meeting Virginia Satir (a family therapist) ...

    Milton & Bandler DID NOT get along..

    and one thing I don't think I noticed mentioned anywhere here yet is ......

    Above All Else NLP is an attitude.
    Attitude (psychology), a person's perspective toward a specified target and way of saying and doing things
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  • Profile picture of the author George Hutton
    Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

    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?

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

    Is NLP Utter Hogwash? | Persuade With NLP
    NLP has a lot of stuff in it, but there are three basic areas that people are generally attracted to.

    One is for persuasion reasons. Saying that it's "nothing more" than persuasive words and sentences" is absolutely correct.

    After all, NLP, as far as a model for persuasive language (written and spoken), wasn't created in a laboratory.

    It was copied, reverse engineered from folks like Erickson and others who were just naturally good at it.

    Like any other skill, some people are naturally good at covert persuasion, and others aren't. NLP, when it comes to persuasive language, merely takes apart the specific language patterns, and shows structurally, WHY they are so persuasive.

    Now, I imagine that many copywriters who have spent years and thousands of dollars learning from "gurus" are loathe to think there is some kind of "magical system" out there that short cuts the process.

    After all, in order to become really good with NLP, you've got to put your (and your guru's) ego aside and just focus on learning tools that work.

    You might want to check Keven Hogan's Book, Covert Persuasion (or something) where he shows that even St. Paul, in his many letters, used techniques that are now considered part of NLP (e.g. pacing and leading).
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    • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
      Originally Posted by George Hutton View Post

      NLP, when it comes to persuasive language, merely takes apart the specific language patterns, and shows structurally, WHY they are so persuasive
      How is this different than what rhetoricians have done since ancient times?
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      • Profile picture of the author Marvin Johnston
        Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

        How is this different than what rhetoricians have done since ancient times?
        Why does it matter?

        Marvin
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  • Profile picture of the author DavidAllenNeron
    I think information gathering is an important function in any successful business, because if you can't gather information on how people view your products/services (properly) then you're lost...
    A lot of people give Richard Bandler a hard time, and I disagree with those people.
    Even in this ONE video there is tons of information that if you're creative enough can translate into your business. Especially about information gathering, it is SOOOOO helpful to ask for the right info on your opt-in forms that allows you a window into your prospects mind. You need to gather information that people are more then happy to answer, yet at the same time is valuable information.

    1989 NLP Change Work - Part 1 - YouTube

    and if you LISTEN long enough, you'll hear him explain a lot of stuff that everyone's been talking about.

    I prefer to hear tings from the horses mouth me'self
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  • Profile picture of the author BudiT
    I personally believe in any copywriting you should strive to make sure you get the value proposition straight, before you go for any kind NLP technique. I've heard that it worked, but I'd much rather spending my time getting the value proposition right from the beginning!
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  • Profile picture of the author TakenAction
    Frank Kern has recently been pushing information in using NLP in his sales letters etc.

    Anyone been seeing this also? What are your thoughts?
    Signature

    The best thing you can do is put yourself out there.

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  • Different strokes for different folks. Depends on what your belief systems are already. I suspect though that some may be jumping on the bandwagon.
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