The Technique Of Mirroring and Matching For Persuasion
By Steven Gillman
The subliminal persuasion technique of "mirroring and matching" is easy
to understand. It is simply a way to make a person feel more comfortable and trusting
of you. We all feel more comfortable with some people than others, and there are
reasons for this that have nothing to do with the character of the people and everything
to do with the specific ways that they operate.
I had just one neighbor most of the year when I used to live in a small cabin in
Michigan. He was a big friendly guy, and for lack of any other people, we spent
quite a bit of time standing out on the road by the beach talking. After a year
of this, you might think we got along just fine, and we did, except that we irritated
each other. We never said it, but it was obvious that our "styles" clashed.
He talked so slow that it drove me crazy! I am sure that when I rattled on at high-speed
it annoyed him as well. We became friends despite this, but can you imagine if when
I first met him I was trying to sell him something or persuade him to do something?
I would have seemed like the classic fast-talking salesman. Most likely, any efforts
at persuasion would have failed.
This is why step number one of the "mirroring and matching" technique
of persuasion is to match the pace of your prospect's speech. Talk at the same
speed, and people will feel that you are more like them. They will trust you more.
You should also use their words. If they say "I can see how that works"
several times, at some point say, "You can see how this works." Pay attention.
If they use the words "understand," "hope," or the expression
"That makes sense," more than once, use the same words or expressions
to persuade them. This is the "matching" part of this persuasion technique.
The "mirroring" part is simply acting, moving and positioning yourself
as they do. Be careful not to appear as though you are mimicking the person, but
mirror them as much as you can. Sit in the same position, use the same facial expressions.
Laugh when they laugh, and if you are really good, laugh the same way.
When done well, you can use this technique to establish rapport quickly and easily
with most people. Most people will never notice that you're doing this, but
of course don't be too obvious. When you become good at it, the person will
just feel that you're a lot like they are, that you can "relate" to
them, and they can relate to and trust you. A bond will begin to develop between
You can test this bond by "leading." When you think you have established
the bond, change your body posture, to see if the person unconsciously does the
same. Uncross your legs and see if the prospect does the same, or lean back to see
if they follow your lead. If so, they are ready to follow and trust you.
At this point, you continue to mirror and match, but you also start to lead the
prospect. You lead him right to the bottom line on the contract, or to whatever
action you want him to take. Practice helps, of course, but done properly, this
is one of the more powerful persuasion techniques.
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