How To Use NLP To Successfully Increase Your Revenue: A Case Study

How A Senior Manager at a Major Global Consultancy Increased Revenue By $1M In Three Months

A senior manager at one of the big four management consultancies who studied NLP mainly for herself not so much driven by a specific business need. However, she found her Graduate Certificate in NLP training invaluable for demonstrating success in a management consulting context. She applied NLP to identify the underlying issues and framing the solution for her last role at the consultancy.

The Starting Point

  1. The revenue of the Big 4 firm had slowed down. It struggles to recover the same level of revenue that it used to have pre-GFC.
  2. The firm also recognised that a number of its key accounts that bring a significant amount of revenue are not profitable.
  3. Firm recognised it is no longer enough to rely on existing relationships for business. Clients are becoming more demanding and selective in procuring services.
  4. There is significant ‘white-space’ or untapped market potential that is yet to be realised.

The Critical Issue

The Senior Manager was brought in to implement business development capability to address underlying issues:

  • There needs to be a stronger focus on sales or business development.
  • It is not enough to bring in revenue without taking into account profitability.
  • People need to recognise and optimise business development opportunities more. People are ‘leaving opportunities at the door.’
  • There is lack of commitment to participate and invest in business development capability building programs because of the negative mindset associated with selling.


Senior Manager realised that reasons for underlying issues where:

  • Most of the staff, partners and directors were hired and promoted due to their technical skills not their business development skills.
  • There is resistance to selling or business development.
  • A capability survey indicated that people are already relatively good at relationship building but not on capitalising sales opportunities. People don’t necessarily have the skills for the pointy-end of sales (i.e. closing, negotiation, etc.)

The Senior Manager recognised that the resistance is coming from a negative mindset about selling. The underlying presupposition is that Business advisors or consultants don’t sell. It is not our job to sell.

The Senior Manager redefined underlying presupposition and developed a framework to establish business development capability. i.e. Everyone already sells. As consultants and business advisors we sell ideas all the time as part of our job. The question is not about should we sell? It is about how good are we at (already) selling?

How NLP skills came into play

Drawing on her NLP skills the senior manager designed a program that would shift the mindset accept business development and selling a natural part of one’s day-to-day job.

Business development capability building programs were designed within a framework that uses NLP to re-frame prevailing attitudes and mindset about business development.

Using NLP the Senior Manager created a ‘double-bind’ in sales performance.

The heads of divisions were responsible for revenue targets. The Senior Manager proposed to help these heads achieve division targets if they commit to the participation of high-performers in the business development capability programs. These high-performers are in turn accountable for targets defined by the Heads of Divisions and will receive support through workshops and coaching (using NLP patterns) to help them achieve their targets.

The results

  • The business development capability pilot programs were very, successful.
  • The first cohort reported more than >$1M in increased revenue over a period of 3 months.
  • A senior manager who disliked the idea of selling, looks forward to developing more business for the firm.

* The Senior Manager referred to in this success story has completed the 10970NAT Graduate Certificate Neuro-Linguistic Programming


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