Mirroring is a technique whereby we take on certain mannerisms of those we are around. It makes those people feel as if we’re totally in sync with them, and on the same level. Mirroring happens naturally around friends – maybe you’ve noticed yourself adopting a certain way of speaking, or mannerism, of someone close to you. It’s natural, and it can be utilized in sales to create trust and rapport with your prospect.
If you’re unfamiliar with this technique, first sit in a public place and watch people. Notice that everyone has their own unique mannerisms. Maybe you spy a woman who constantly wraps a lock of hair around her finger or a man who taps his toes as he sits in a chair. These are the types of mannerisms you should look for when you get together with a potential client.
Mirroring is essentially just noticing these mannerisms and then adopting a couple of them temporarily while you’re on your sales appointment. It’s not sneaky or overly manipulative, and it simply uses human nature to create a sense of camaraderie and comfort.
One of the great things about the mirroring technique is that you have a definitive gauge for whether it’s working or not to build up a rapport with your prospect. If they are feeling comfortable with you, they will actually begin mirroring YOUR mannerisms. Try doing something like scratching your ear, or moving your arm position, and see if your prospect does the same.
If you have an especially empathetic personality, mirroring will probably come very naturally to you. But not to worry…it is a skill that can be learned, and perfected, no matter who you are.
You can begin experimenting when having day to day conversations with friends and neighbors. Begin noticing their actions, and choose one or two to mirror back to them subtly. As you begin noticing these small actions, it’ll become easier and easier to recognize them, seek them out, and mirror them back. What the specific mannerism is isn’t as important as is your ability to naturally mimic it – and that’s what you will need to practice.
Mirroring is not only extremely effective in sales, but in team-building, as well as in many other situations. People respond more positively to those they like, trust, and feel understood by, and mirroring is the technique that will help you do just that.