Election 2012: The Great NLP Marketing Test | AccountingWEB

Election 2012: The Great NLP Marketing Test

Back in the 1960's, two professors at U.C. Berkeley, Richard Bandler and John Grinder, invented a new discipline: the Science of How People Think and Communicate. They called it Neuro Linguistic Programming.

It was considered esoteric and few in marketing or business paid much attention to it until Anthony Robbins came along and made it palatable and usable for the masses in "Unlimited Power" back in the mid 1980's.

One major discovery to come from NLP, as it is popularly known, is the various learning modalities in which people process, give, receive, and store information. These modalities are sensory channels or pathways through which individuals communicate and learn: Visually (via pictures/diagrams and reading), Auditory (by listening), or Kinesthetically (experiential or being shown).

Many of us suffered through teachers standing in front of a room rambling on in a monotone voice and occasionally using the chalk board. No wonder my grades suffered! Wish my folks were alive so I could use that excuse on them.

Some of my earliest memories were of playing board games with Dad, who would have to read the instructions and explain and show me how the game worked, although I was reading at a very early age. This indicated all the way back then that I learned best kinesthetically. Newt Becker helped me pass the CPA Exam by showing me how...

Today, my wife prepares her 4th grade lessons involving students in every way possible, so she can most effectively get her message into their little brains.

NLP says communication (and learning) consists of 3 basic ways:
  • Visually - about 38% of communicating the message
  • Auditory - about 7% of communication
  • Kinesthetically - about 55% of communication
Thus, 93% of our communication is non-verbal, but rather how we speak, look and act not the words we say.

Of course, marketers and Madison Avenue glommed unto NLP to most effectively pitch their products

Visual people tend to pay a great deal of attention to how they look, how their offices and home are decorated. Auditory people listen to CD's or podcasts on the way to work, and say things like, "I hear what you are saying." Kinesthetic people are best sold by demonstrating your product; this is one reason social marketing works so effectively where people are paid to go to bars, parties and events and share their latest phone, electronic gizmo or makeup.

Thinking back to 2008, Mr. Obama looked and acted the part of political healer and post-partisan president of all of us. Other than Hope and Change, what did he say? And what did it mean? Mr. Obama was brilliantly marketed (there was an Obama Channel, the Obama song, the Obama logo, his "cool" clothing, his simple message repeatedly consistently, etc.).

The Obama campaign has thus far consisted of saying bad things about Messrs. Romney and Ryan (7% of communication). To most independents, President Obama has little track to run on considering the state of the economy (results and things people can see or 93% of communication), the threat of a nuclear middle east and 16% or the adult electorate either unemployed or underemployed or have simply given up on looking for work.

Where I live there are so many vacant store fronts that it reminds me of the Depression my Dad spoke of. Think of the optics of 5,000 people showing up for a few hundred jobs at a McDonalds job fair, or even the Occupy Wall Street movement where thousands of people wanted to know where the jobs were.

Therefore, 2012 will be a great test of the NLP discipline. Will Mr. Obama's commercials and words saying bad things about his competitors and their plans win out or will visuals of a boring, but presidential-looking Mr. Romney and a lifetime of experience and successes sway the voting masses? Will the results of Mr. Obama's first term matter, or sweet sounding words of what his future of America holds? (Keep your nasty emails to yourself; I am an apolitical observer and marketing consultant).

Allan S. Boress, CPA, FCPA is the author of 12 published books on marketing, selling and managing the business development process for CPAs. He has consulted with over 500 professional firm and trained over 200,000 professionals since 1980. His "I-Hate-Selling" methodology is available at www.ihateselling.com

This blog

by Allan Boress, CPA - Based on over 25 years being a practitioner and consultant to the profession. Mr. Boress is the author of 12 published books in 6 different languages, including a best-seller, The "I-Hate-Selling" Book.

More from this blog

Bloggers crew

Steve Knowles has spent 25 years in business and practice in the UK, but he also worked in the states and the years haven't dulled his way of seeing an alternative view to everyone else, and every day is a new adventure.


Joel M. Ungar, CPA is a lifelong resident of the Detroit area and a graduate of The University of Michigan. He is a principal with Silberstein Ungar, PLLC, a Top 15 auditor of SEC public reporting companies.


Allan Boress, CPA, with over 25 years as a practitioner and consultant to the accounting profession. Mr. Boress is the author of 12 published books in 6 different languages, including a best-seller, The "I-Hate-Selling" Book.


Larry Perry, CPA, CPA Firm Support Services, LLC, is the author of accounting and auditing manuals, author and presenter of live staff training seminars, and author of webcast and self-study CPE programs. He blogs about small audits, reviews, and compilations.

Sandra Wiley, COO and Shareholder, is ranked by Accounting Today as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Accounting as a result of her prominent role as an industry expert on HR and training as well as influence as a management and planning consultant. She is also a founding member of The CPA Consultant's Alliance. Sandra is a certified Kolbe™ trainer who advises firms on building balanced teams, managing employee conflict and hiring staff.

Maria Calabrese, CIR, Human Resources manager for Fazio, Mannuzza, Roche, Tankel, LaPilusa, LLC in Cranford, New Jersey, Maria's topics revolve around the world of: Mentoring, Performance management, and The "Y Generation," a.k.a. "The whY generation".


William Brighenti is a CPA, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified [Business] Valuation Analyst, operating an accounting, tax, and QuickBooks consulting firm in Hartford, Connecticut, Accountants CPA Hartford.


Ken Garen, CPA, is the co-founder and President of Universal Business Computing Company (www.ubcc.com), a software development firm of high-volume, high-productivity accounting and payroll technology.


Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA, is the publisher of TaxMama.com, and author of the weekly syndicated Ask TaxMama column. She provides answers to tax questions from taxpayers and tax professionals worldwide.


Amy Vetter, CPA, CITP is the CPA Programs Leader for Intacct Corporation responsible for leading the CPA/BPO Partners nationally.

Brian Strahle is the owner of LEVERAGE SALT, LLC where he provides state and local tax technical services to accounting firms, law firms and tax research organizations across the United States. He also writes a weekly column in Tax Analysts State tax Notes entitled, "The SALT Effect." For more info, visit his website: www.leveragestateandlocaltax.com
Scott H. Cytron, ABC, is president of Cytron and Company, known for helping companies and organizations improve their bottom line through a hybrid of strategic public relations, communications, marketing programs and top-notch client service. An accredited consultant, Scott works with companies, organizations and individuals in professional services (accounting, finance, medical, legal, engineering), high-tech and B2B/B2C product/service sales.

Rita Keller is a nationally known CPA firm management consultant, speaker, author, mentor and blogger. She has over 30 years hands-on experience in CPA firm management, marketing, technology and administrative operations.

Stacy Kildal is the mom of two fantastic kids, an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Certified Enterprise Solutions ProAdvisor, Sleeter Group Certified Consultant, a nationally recognized member of the Intuit Trainer and Writer Network, and co-host of RadioFree QuickBooks.
Michael Alter's blog specializes in providing practical advice to those who seek greater profitability and practice management tactics that enhance deeper client relationships.

Sally Glick, CMO, Principal, Marketer of the Year in 2003 and AAM Hall of Famer in 2007, leads a lively discussion of the constantly expanding roles of marketing and the professional marketers that drive this initiative in accounting firms of all sizes.


The IMA Young Professionals Blog features the insights of IMA’s Young Professionals Committee. Committee members share advice and experiences on careers, continuing education, work/life balance, and other issues affecting young accounting and finance professionals.


FEI Financial Reporting Blog provides highlights from SEC, PCAOB, FASB, IASB, and other regulatory news, including reporting under Sarbanes-Oxley Sect 404. It is written by Edith Orenstein, Director of Technical Policy Analysis at FEI.


Sue Anderson has 30 years of experience in continuing education for accountants. Currently she is the program director for online CPE provider CPE Link.


Jim Fahey is COO of Apple Growth Partners, a regional CPA firm in Ohio. His focus is on the effective and efficient use of technology within the firm by all team members.

Caleb Newquist is the Editor-in-Chief of Sift Media US, overseeing content for both AccountingWEB and Going Concern.

Leita Hart-Fanta, CPA, CGFM, and CGAP is the author of "The Yellow Book Interpreted" and owner of Yellowbook-CPE.com a website devoted to training for governmental auditors.


AccountingWEB is more than just a U.S. team of journalists and financial and technology experts - we have an international side, too! Members of our British team who publish AccountingWEB.co.uk share their ideas, insights, and perspectives from across the pond.