Sales Expert Lenann McGookey Gardner Explains Mirroring
Gardner points to Dr. Genie LaBorde’s research which says that three of the most powerful things you can do to help people feel comfortable with you immediately are:
1. Talk exactly as loudly as they talk – no louder or softer.
2. Talk at the same speed they speak – no faster or slower.
3. Have a similar physical body posture – that is, a similar degree of alertness or relaxation in your body position.
Voice volume, speaking speed, and body posture might change during the course of the conversation. Let’s assume that you show up to meet with someone who’s leaning back in his chair. Be sure to lean back in yours.
But what if, at some point in the conversation, he moves to put his elbows on the table? You’ll move too. But not right away. Wait until the next time you speak. Start your remark, then sit up and put at least one of your elbows on the table.
And what if, later on, he leans back again? Have you lost him?
Not necessarily. Many people sit back because they’re becoming more comfortable with you. Or because they want to disengage from interacting to think about what’s being discussed and how it might be used in their places of business. That’s good! Let them think. And, the next time you’re speaking, get your own back against the back of your chair.
“Are you thinking that all this matching might not be comfortable?” queries Gardner. “You’re right. You’re most comfortable with the volume and speed of speech that you usually use. But your prospect is most comfortable with his normal volume and speed, so you make the adjustment. After all, you’re doing the selling.”
“When I first read Dr. LaBorde’s suggestions for building rapport, I thought it might be manipulative to match another person in the way just described,” Gardner said. “Over time, though, I’ve come to see it as hospitality; it’s simply a way to help another person to feel comfortable. Making adjustments to help another person feel more comfortable – regardless of how you feel – is kindness.”
Matching loudness and speed of speech, and emulating body posture, are kindnesses, too – concessions you make to another’s comfort level. Try it!
Lenann McGookey Gardner is a Harvard MBA, an American Marketing Association “Professional Services Marketer of the Year” award winner, and a 2010 winner of the “Top Performing CEO” award from her state’s Business Weekly. She has two decades of experience helping services providers to grow their revenues and is the author of Got Sales? The Complete Guide to Today’s Proven Methods for Selling Services. She is also an Executive Coach. Learn more at www.YouCanSell.com.
Other press releases from Lenann McGookey Gardner Management Consulting, Inc.
- Test Your Leadership Qualities with YouCanLeadCoaching.com Quiz - August 26th, 2011
- How To Successfully Conduct Sales Follow-Up Phone Calls - August 16th, 2011
- The 90-10-90 Rule for Selling Successfully - August 3rd, 2011
- Lenann McGookey Gardner Now a Certified Speaking Professional - July 25th, 2011
- Can Scientists Learn How To Sell Their Services? - July 19th, 2011
Contact InformationLenann McGookey Gardner
Title: President/Executive Coach
Lenann McGookey Gardner Management Consulting, Inc.
11024 Montgomery Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87111
Alt. Phone: 505-250-3355
Additional ContactGail Rubin