How to Use the Mirroring Technique with Your Prospects

In today’s short post, I want to share some simple tips about how to use the mirroring technique when you communicate with your prospects. I learned about this simple concept many years ago, when I was an Amway distributor.  It has helped me immensely in life and in business. I hope it will have the same effect with you.

How People Communicate

First off, you need to realize that people communicate in two ways: verbally and non-verbally.  Verbal communication is what we say, the words we use.  Verbal communication examples include:

  • Hello, how are you?
  • How as your day?
  • Nice to see you today, Tom!
  • Good morning, Sally!
  • What’s for dinner tonight, mom?
  • I love you, honey!

mirroring techniqueOn the other hand, non-verbal communication includes the expressions we make and the body language we use WHILE we talk with others.

When you are talking with someone else, what you say is important, BUT your body language and non-verbal communication is even more important.  In other words, it’s not just what you say that matters; it how you say it that matters! Here are a few examples to put things in perspective.

  1. If you tell your wife that you love her, but you give her a scowling look while you do it, she will get the wrong message.
  2. If you start talking to your prospect about your business, but you cannot make eye contact while you do it, you send out the wrong message.
  3. If someone asks you if you are okay and you respond with yes, but you have a sad facial expression, you send out the wrong message.

Does this make sense?  I hope so.

It’s vital that your verbal and non-verbal communication match, so you can deliver the right message.

What is the Mirroring Technique?

One way to form instant rapport with your prospects is to use what’s called the mirroring technique.  I don’t know if this is the “official term” for this approach, but it’s what I was taught.

The mirroring technique is when you MODEL the other person’s body language.  Here are a few examples of what I mean.

  • If the person you are talking to is hunched back in the chair and relaxed, you hunch back in your chair and relax.
  • If the other person smiles at you, you smile back.
  • If the other person crosses one leg, you cross one leg.
  • If the other person leans forward in their chair, you lean forward in your chair.

Basically, you “copy” what they do.  This makes the conversation much more enjoyable, puts the other person at ease, and helps build instant rapport.

Of course, you can’t be too obvious when you use the mirroring technique.  You can’t make a scene out of copying their body language.  Discretion is key.  Do it naturally and there isn’t anything to worry about.  Be too obvious and you might offend the other person.

Why does the mirroring technique work so well?  I’m not a therapist or psychiatrist, but I would guess it works so well because people like to communicate and converse with people who are SIMILAR to them.  When people have things in common, it puts them at ease with each other.  When people have SIMILAR body language, both people are at ease.

Once again, discretion is key when you use this mirroring technique with your prospects and friends.  If you’re blatantly obvious about it, it won’t work; it could actually back fire.

Suggested Resources

  1. New Sales. Simplified.: The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and New Business Development by Mike Weinberg
  2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  3. Personality Plus by Florence Littauer

Final Thoughts

My challenge for you is to try using the mirroring technique, starting today, and see what kind of results you get.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how well it works.

What are your thoughts?  Have you used the mirroring technique before?  If so, what type of experience did you have?  Was it effective?  Leave a comment below to share your experience with us.  I look forward to hearing from you.  Have a great day!

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