What is Mirroring: definition, examples, techniques, and mistakes

Mirroring is a method applied in sales and any other business negotiations. This method can work well in any business environment as well as in most personal social interactions.

When mirroring, one person scans and subtly replicates the physical and verbal behaviors of another in order to establish rapport and empathy during a conversation (e.g., in the process of promoting an offer). 

This may sound like an easily detectable method, however, when done accurately, it’s almost impossible to notice, and numerous studies support its efficiency. On top of that, mirroring helps bring both sides to a common understanding of key points and enables them to draw identical conclusions.

Origins of mirroring

Mirroring tends to take place automatically between the individuals who know one another very well. Real friends will frequently choose the same expressions and use the same body gestures, especially when they spend time together. Spouses do it, too – this sort of involuntary mirroring commonly occurs in families, and anyone who has a kid knows that babies are very good at mirroring the behaviors of adults around them.

Using mirroring in sales 

Mirroring is a strong sales technique as it can give your prospect a subconscious feeling that you’re just like them (whether because you’re their soulmate, companion, or someone who can become a very good friend because you’re so similar to them). Sales representatives can practice mirroring to establish instant rapport, understanding, and empathy with their leads, making sales easier.

When selecting clues to your prospect, it’s important to you prepare beforehand. Search for information about your prospect before actually meeting them in person. For example, if you see an eco-movement sticker on their Tesla car in the parking area, you might promptly change your screensaver to an eco-movement wallpaper placing your phone at a subtle angle that would make it possible for your prospect to notice it (but not showcasing it). Again, subtlety is key.

Aspects of mirroring

There are many sides to mirroring. They can be used together or separately.

Body language

For example, if the client is sitting in a chair, crossing their legs, try to copy them and do the same. This will carry a positive (and most importantly, a subliminal) message that you are attentive to all of the aspects of your communication (physical in this case), making them feel important, and indicating that you are on their side.

Politicians mirroring body language
Source: Zimbio

Make sure your body is turned straight to the interlocutor, gaining just enough eye contact and providing them all of your attention. Furthermore, studies show that when you nod your head three times consecutively while listening, prospects feel more significant and will talk three to four times longer.

Voice

One of the simplest mirroring methods suggests imitating the volume and speed of the client’s speech. If your customer talks at high volumes and fast, you should do the same. Be careful – you should be absolutely aware that you are not unintentionally mimicking their accent. The mirroring should be subtle.

Communication/processing style

People transmit and process messages in many ways. 

Some people are results-driven and action-oriented. This type of client wants to get straight to the point. Meanwhile, other customers may have an emotional approach to processing information and communication, so a huge amount of time for affinity building will be spent on small talk before getting to the main point. Some prospects are rational and concentrated on figures and data – these clients demand facts and don’t appreciate long speeches and small talk about the weather. Identifying your client’s communication style and adapting yourself to it is crucial for building rapport.

It is essential to once again remark that mirroring methods work on a subliminal level. Of course, a client will not make a deal with you just because you are mirroring their speech and body language throughout the meeting; however, this can make them more mentally relaxed with you and, as a result, more open to receiving information and accepting offers from you.

Mistakes to avoid when mirroring

Mirroring can be challenging, especially if you want to do it well. The biggest mirroring mistake is mirroring people’s unique traits, mistakes, or imperfections. Never mirror a person’s dialect, specific speech impediments, or any unique expressions. Besides, avoid mirroring body language with negative implications, such as turning away, crossed arms, or averting your eyes.

Mirroring

It’s especially important to be shrewd and subtle, as mirroring only has an effect if the lead doesn’t understand you are copying them and doing it intentionally. If a lead notices your behavior, they are likely to believe you are mocking them. 

This is especially likely if you mirror something very personal and unique to them, such as the aforementioned speech impediments or mispronunciation of certain words. Open mirroring can feel disrespectful to the prospect, and you risk becoming a parody of them, which is sure to provoke anger. 

Mirroring tip 

Mirroring commonly works best during personal, two-way discussions rather than in group meetings or marketing presentations that may include only one-way discourse in a group with other people. 

However, in these circumstances, you don’t have to abandon mirroring completely. If you see a person using a particular word or expression during the meeting, you might want to add it to your performance for soft assistance later.

Take your business to a higher league
Find more leads and accelerate conversions with Snov.io, an all-in-one toolbox for B2B sales.

No credit card required

footer-people.png

Become one of our successful clients

With over 100,000 thriving companies on board, Snov.io continues helping businesses grow. Here's what our users say about their experience.

testimonial

"Our sales revenue has grown by 18% since we started using Snov.io"

Joey Mallat

testimonial

"With Snov.io we discovered new ways of lead generation."

Ramzi Barkat

testimonial

"With Snov.io our response rate has grown 900%."

Fatma Ezzahra Amrani

testimonial

"With Snov.io in just one week we sent out 500 emails with an incredible 86% open rate that led to 177 scheduled interviews. "

Ross Nazarenko

testimonial

"Snov.io helped us collect more than 80,000 leads in a month, accelerating our search for emails while reducing the cost per lead. "

Dmitry Chervonyi

testimonial

"We needed something that would help us automate, send emails just in time, yet feel personalized and human. We started looking for a solution, and we found Snov.io. "

Sofiia Shvets

testimonial

"Snov.io’s Email Finder reduced the time it took us to find email addresses by almost 50% and the lead generation efforts by 20%. "

Jaswant Singh

testimonial

"We managed to collect 35,000+ emails, including elusive leads from companies we could never reach out to before. "

Aleksandr Usoltsev

testimonial

"One of our clients got 23 email meetings scheduled from just 117 emails sent with Snov.io. "

Deepak Shukla

testimonial

"We needed an additional contact channel, and discovering Snov.io has allowed us to boost our conversion rate, both contact-to-reply and contact-to-call. "

Kirill Rozhkovskiy

testimonial

"The open rate for the emails sent to leads collected and verified with Snov.io tools went from 25% to 73% in just one month, which resulted in 95 business meetings with potential customers. "

Ricard Colom