How do you know that it is time to….? We have triggers for all of our behaviour and we then follow a regular process in our head in order to produce our behaviour. This is our strategy. In NLP we learn to identify strategies – buying strategies, decision strategies, strategies for feeling loved, strategies for producing exceptional performance, the list goes on….

We can adopt other peoples strategies to reproduce their results and we can change strategies that we have that do not produce resultant behaviour that we want.  Learn all this in our NLP online training courses.


When it comes to clothing I would buy anything designed by Karen Millen, if it is at the right price. I do not bother with other brands.

So, I would buy any dress under 60 pounds, any cardigan under 40, any top under 25, and any trousers under 30. Only occasionally, I would raise this limit, if the dress is for a very very special occasion. I choose them during sales that takes place several times a year. I am usually informed about them through a friend who sets up a company that informs his clients of lowering prices in a specific brand.

The quality is high by definition. The fit is always perfect (as if designed for my body); as long as it is my size. The only problem may be the colour. If it is yellow, I do not buy it, as it does not fit with my complexion.

I order everything off the internet in order to save time.

Motivation: I like being well dressed but I do not like loosing time or money over it.

Convincer: Value for money

Ve (Seeing the clothing item online)

AD (making sure the price is at acceptable levels)

AD (ensuring that the size is correct)

Ve (the colour should not be yellow)

AD (Ensure that it is good value for money)

Bought it!



[colored_box variation=”silver”]The purchase I have chosen is a laptop. The laptop has ‘alien ware’ with excellent graphics. It is very attractive and colourful  (external visual : colourful and looks attractive . this is a description of how I perceived it) ; also fast  – it connects very quickly to the internet. I was also given the opportunity of interest-free credit over one year.

I had a picture of the lap top in my head (internal visual-also it is a visual recall), then I saw an advertisement for it online. The trigger was that I needed to complete lots of courses online with speedy access) (kinesthetic external) to the internet and an attractive laptop (VE)which I enjoy using and does not frustrate me (Kinesthetic internal). The colour of the laptop was very beautiful(VE) and the colours of the light-up keys were changeable (Visual; changing of the focus) ,  so gave me the feeling (Kinesthetic internal)of a firework display. I am a visual person but also auditory, as I heard (Auditory E) good feedback from someone else about this laptop and how it made his life much easier. He said he was able to store a lot on the desk top without slowing down its operation. The motivation was that I would be able to finish my work in a very short period of time. All of the above made me feel excited ( Kinesthetic :intensity of the feelings) about having the laptop. I imagined myself having it (Visual internal) and the picture was bright and colourful (Visual internal) in my head, as the laptop is metallic pink (Visual external) . The picture was moving in my mind (Visual internal). The name of the laptop – Alien – made me feel (Kinesthetic Internal) that I was getting something very ‘high tech’ – like the aliens in Hollywood films.

I looked at the price, which was rather expensive, but the company offered interest-free credit. I was convinced to buy it as it fitted all my criteria; also, the company assured me (Kinesthetic internal) that there was one year’s free insurance with it.

I found I used language (Auditory) to describe the laptop in a very passionate (kinaesthetic internal) way; also through my tonality(Auditory) and my eye accessing cues. I also used my logic (kinaesthetic internal). I made the decision by myself without influence from anyone else. I looked at several shops and several computers before buying this one. The first thing that made me look at(Visual external) it was the colour; also the speed of it. I had a detailed conversation with the company selling it. I clearly made the connection straight away when I saw it online (Visual memory). To be convinced, I watched (Visual external) a video demonstration online. I also listened (Auditory external ) to the company salesman and the friend who had bought it. I did some investigation on Google to compare it with other laptops; this was like an assurance strategy. I evaluated the options and my priority was the speed and the quality of the hard drive.

I used TOTE. I compared my present laptop with the desired one, then  I acted to reduce the difference between the two. When I had achieved my desired laptop I exited (Internal kinaesthetic).


]I have gone shopping for new clothes over the past few weeks so this exercise can help me reflect back on my own strategies with keeping the TOTE Model in mind.

I work the majority of time within a school setting, therefore have time off over the summer.  Last week I was looking through my wardrobe of clothes to see what condition they were in for my return to work.  My favourite dress looked a little worn, so I made a decision to go shopping for a new dress for my return to work, hence my motivation to make a purchase.  My next decision was whether to shop in Belfast or Lisburn and I had to decide which shops would be most appealing to me in order to find a purchase that was of good quality material, not too expensive and might have the most range of dresses available.  I decided to go Belfast as there are a couple shops I have purchased from previously and have been happy with the outcome, which are River Island and Top Shop.

The shop I decided to try first was Top Shop as it was first shop I came across.  I was not really sure what colour, material or design I wanted so I browsed about the shop to see if anything caught my eye.  Unfortunately nothing really appealed to me, so I left the shop and proceeded to River Island.  On browsing around River Island, I saw two dresses that I really liked the colour and design of so I decided to try them on. The first one fitted perfectly, I liked the look of it, the feel of it and felt really comfortable so I decided to purchase this dress without even trying on the alternative.

In keeping with the TOTE Model, my outcome was to purchase a new dress.  My test was where to go, either Belfast or Lisburn, and which shops to go to.  My action (operate) was to look about Top Shop first to see if I could find one that I liked. The test proved unsuccessful and there was a loop in my buying strategy as I did not see anything I liked and I subsequently moved onto another shop, River Island.  On browsing this store (operate) I saw two dresses which I liked, one of which felt just right for me and made me feel comfortable (test) and therefore I made my purchase and my exit and felt reassured that I had chosen the right dress for me.

My Motivation Strategies: Decided to buy a new dress for starting back to work in September as my other one had become a little bit worn out. My motivation for going into Belfast was because there were a few shops I had purchased previously from and I was happy with the material, price and variety of clothing.

My Convincer Strategies: Chose Belfast and the stores as previous purchases proved a successful outcome for me which convinced me to go to Belfast as it had the same stores. On finding the dress I finally purchased; I liked the colour and design of the dress, it was reasonably priced and affordable and I felt comfortable wearing it, therefore, these were the convincers.

Buying Strategy: VE – I saw the dress in the shop which I liked.  AD – My internal dialogue was positive about the dress and met my expectations.  KI – It felt comfortable and just right for me. K+ – I felt good about the dress and I had an excited and pleasant feeling following my purchase.