We mirror and match client behavior to more effectively communicate with clients. When we behave in a manner that listeners prefer it helps them feel comfortable and focus on the subject matter of the message without distraction. To be clear, the practice of mirror and matching should never be considered a deceptive sales practice designed to manipulate or overly persuade. Instead, think of it more like attempting to speak the native language or observing local customs when visiting a foreign country. Mirror and matching is extending a courtesy by acting in a way that the listener wants you to act. Agents that focus on mirror and matching techniques find they are increasingly able to provide better customer service to their clients. They also attract a larger number of clients since they are able to behave in ways that a wider array of people prefer to relate and communicate.The art of mirror and matching can be categorized into 5 disciplines that are further explained below.
– If they sit forward, you sit forward
– If they cross their legs, you cross your legs
– If they slowly drink water, so do you
– If they talk with their hands, you talk with your hands
2. SPEECH RATE – Speak at the same speed and tempo as them
– Don’t speak fast in 5th gear when they are back in 1st gear
– Certain DISC behaviors like “D”s and “I”s speak more rapidly than “S”s and “C”s
– Speaking at different paces creates a noticeable disconnect
3. VOLUME – Speak as loud or as softly as them
– By matching volume you can slowly bring them to more of a neutral volume
– Quiet or shy people begin feel more comfortable and begin to speak up
– Loud and gregarious people start to relax and listen to your message
4. TONALITY & PITCH – Make your voice sound like their voice
– Match their emotion: anger, stress, sorrow, excitement or etc.
– Match foreign or ethnic accents subtly
– Match their level of grammar – don’t be too fancy or casual for your client
– Match high-pitched or squeaky voices, along with low and deep voices.
5. KEY WORD (or PHRASE) BACK-TRACKING – Restate their favorite words back to them
– A great way to communicate that you hear and understand their needs
– If they frequently tell you that “they don’t need to sell“, then you should repeatedly validate by stating “I understand that you don’ need to sell, so . . .” or by explaining “It’s a good thing that you don’t need to sell since . . .“.
– Us the individual words they use multiple times.
– For example, a prospective home buyer might constantly mention “the feel” of different homes with statements like “It feels like a good family home” or “It feels cold and dark“. Here the client is expressing that the feel of the home is more important to him than other considerations like the condition or features. Accordingly, a good communicator’s attention should be directed at how prospective homes feel as well.