Mirroring technique in sales – what is it?
Mirroring (or sometimes referred as mimicry) is a technique that should be harnessed by any sales lead no matter if it’s cold calling, F2F – or in chat service.
Mirroring = when one person subtly emulates aspects of another person’s verbal or non-verbal behavior.
That’s the short version. Here comes the long one.
Mirroring behaviour (conscious, or unconscious) often occurs in social situations within friends, family or someone else one might want or need to establish a sense of empathy.
The behaviour of mirroring begins as early as infancy when the child starts to mimic the behaviour of others around him/her.
increased ability to build rapport with an individual.
In general, mirroring is done subconsciously as one reacts with the situation in hand. Smiling, frowning or nodding with the speaker are few examples of mirroring or mimicry. Imitation of the posture and attitude towards the topic are others.
Why do we mirror each other?
Mirroring is an important part of child and infant development but it plays a role even when we’re adults. While mirroring each other, we wish to emulate or appease them. This helps in building relationships in general.
It is proved to be effective way of showing/receiving empathy and increase the odds of being “accepted” by the other.
In sales the foremost comes the increased ability to build rapport with an individual.
People buy from people who they like
Sales is many times left wondering what went wrong with the pitch though the rational criteria was fulfilled and no reasonable arguments against were there.
Most people aren’t “compatible” to more than few personality types
It’s mostly about rapport. The same goes when salesperson made a deal that the customer wasn’t so sure about but went for it anyways. Rapport has huge significance in breaking the deal.
“We just didn’t connect”
Most people aren’t “compatible” to more than few personality types (similar to their own!). When they meet someone different, it becomes up to “fate” if there’s a match or not.
Those who thrive in building relationships from the first meeting, usually thrive in sales too. That said, it is not only what we’re given. We can learn to be better at building rapport!
How do I get better at building rapport?
“Rapport is a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned are “in sync” with each other, understand each other’s feelings or ideas, and communicate smoothly” – Wikipedia
The easiest entry is through the mirroring technique.
Observe your behaviour with those closest to you. Observe their behaviour. See how alike you move, talk, behave? There’s no secret to mirroring or mimicry. Appear more similar to your prospect gets you far.
Mirroring can also include other parts in communication. Beliefs, values… You don’t actually have to live them. Just mirror those of your prospect’s.
Here’s a quick three to remember the next time you make a call or meet a business prospect:
How to use mirroring technique in sales
1. Research what he values or believes in
Put yourself in those shoes of the prospect’s for the time being.
2. When in a meeting or in a phone
Keep repeating and/or summarising his sentences or words as your own.
3. Follow on your prospects body behaviour
Subtly (!) move like they do.
And yes, remember to listen and do not over do it!
Mirroring only works if the person does not realise you’re doing it.