During many of my sales trainings in Boston, clients ask me how they can really connect with prospects on a deeper level than they are now. This always leads me to the same question:
Who is your favorite person in the world?
If you’re going through the list of people you know, then just stop there; you’re already off track. Your favorite person is you. Your prospect’s favorite person is him or her. It’s just the way people are wired. That’s how we’ve survived for the millions of years we’ve existed as a species. At the end of the day, we must like ourselves the most in order to survive a pretty tough evolutionary process.
Therefore, if the prospect believes that you are similar to him, then he will begin to feel connected to you. How do you get the prospect to feel that you are similar to him? In order to be perceived as similar to your prospect, you want to match and mirror him.
Matching and mirroring is an old concept, but it simply works—so why change it. This is all about thinking of yourself as a chameleon. I don’t want you to be fake, but rather just adapt to your surroundings so as to build a connection. There are three key modalities you want prospects to feel similar to you on:
1. Visual: how you look, move and carry yourself.
2. Audio: the tone and pace of your voice.
3. Kinesthetic: how your presence feels to them.
It is your job to be perceived as similar on all three fronts. That means, visually, you want to look like them in dress and style, you want to move like them and you want to carry yourself like them. The way to do this is to just match them.
Dress the same way that your prospects dress. If they wear suits, then wear a suit. However, if they wear T-shirts and jeans, then it’s time to dust off your favorite old T-shirt. Think of this as dressing for the right game—if you are playing football, you wear pads and a football uniform, but if you are playing tennis, trade in those pads for a tennis racket and shorts.
If you tend to move very quickly, carry yourself with a lot of confidence and make strong piercing eye contact, but your prospect appears shy, slower moving, weak postured, and makes only occasional eye contact, you want to slow down your movements, relax your posture a bit and ease up on the eye contact.
The same goes for your tone and pace of voice as well. If you are a generally loud and fast talker, but your prospect is quiet and slow-paced, then just tone it down and slow it up a bit to match them.
Finally, you want to match your presence as well. A great example of this is the hand shake. I was taught by the sales trainers to always have a very strong grip when shaking a prospect’s hands. That is a disaster. If your prospect has a weak grip, match his grip. On the other hand, if he has a very strong grip, then have at it and show off your strong grip. It’s about matching and mirroring on all three modalities: visual, audio and kinesthetic.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? Please share below.