Milton Erickson

What qualifies as NLP?

In preparing the video that I’m nearly ready to release, I reviewed Joe Vitale’s books, Hypnotic Writing and Buying Trances .

In one of the two (I don’t recall which one), Joe doesn’t have high praise for NLP because he says it claims to have near absolute knowledge of the mind. He then goes on to describe hypnotic techniques that anyone familiar with NLP would recognize. And then he has Harlan Kilstein explain how he used NLP in a sales letter. That’s my paraphrase anyway.

The second of those books is dedicated to Milton Erickson who NLP was modeled after. In it’s essence, NLP is the systematized and codified hypnotherapy of Erickson. That’s what Bandler and Grinder did when they "founded" NLP. So it’s really misleading to claim that something in the realm of hypnosis definitely isn’t NLP or vise versa.

The reason I comment on this now is that Harlan recently sent out an email in which he referred to a sales letter by Gary Bencivenga that purportedly used NLP. Then, in a video clip from his recent NLP Copywriting 2 seminar, he explains the NLP content. See these links for the sales letter and video clip:

The interesting thing about this is that I don’t really think what he’s pointing out is necessarily NLP. He talks about the presuppositions in the following sentence (the 4th paragraph):

"But when I noticed that no one was creating ham from Kurobuta pigs, I personally sprang into action… leading to the development of the greatest hunk o’ baked ham for your holiday season that you will ever experience!"

The presupposition is supposedly that you’ll be buying the baked ham and it will be a part of your holiday season. But is that really NLP? Or is that salesmanship 101 where you assume the sale?

It may be splitting hairs just like trying to distinguish hypnotic techniques from NLP patterns. Harlan is undoubtedly the best NLP Copywriting teacher. I’m not convinced on this point though.

I also wanted to say that in my upcoming video, I did my best to eliminate traditional sales tactics in favor of huge doses of NLP. You won’t see techniques like assuming the sale being taught as NLP.

If you’re looking for a great book on straightforward persuasion, check out Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence or even the classic How to Win Friends and Influence People .