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Mirroring Technique

A member recently referred to "the mirroring technique" which he described as a sales professional mirroring or mimicing the clients, speech, speech patterns, facial expressions and body language to gain cooperation.

Anyone have any opinions on how the use of that technique would reconcile with the popular belief that we should "Be ourselves?"

I'll get things started with the confession that I personally believe that the ideas conflict with one another. However, it's important to realize that all of us have more than one side to our personalities, and those sides can be drawn from within--certainly not a matter of "mimicing" another person.

I'll use myself as an example. I grew up in a blue collar rough and tumble neighborhood and I can talk the language of the street, because it's part of me. But I'm also an educated man who can hold my own in discussions on Western and Eastern philosophy, Jungian psychology, and great literature, etc.--as well as a Mickey Spillane novel.

So what are your thoughts? Mimic other people (with the risks involved)? Or be OURSELVES? - by Gary A Boye
I personally do not recommend the mirroring technique. Due to the fact that the person receiving your message may pick up on those singles and interpret it as being condescending. Being receptive and at least giving the impression that you're listening to your prospect will be much more effective. I do believe in being myself when I am in the company of a prospect. I personally feel it's antagonizing to me when a salesman comes up to me and uses this technique. I'm African-American and I've witnessed a salesperson use this on me by talking slang. Which was a turnoff and a lost sale for the salesman. - by dankhn
Now, it's highly effective to use empathy to sale to a prospect. That is the only form of mimicking I would recommend in any case. There is a fine line between persuasion and manipulation so, you better either be a great actor or great at relating and being conscious of a prospect's needs. I prefer to be professional and guide the prospect through the sales process with integrity, without all the smoke and "mirrors." - by dankhn
Hi Gary
I am in telesales and normally speak fairly fast(both on and off the phone)and also speak with a fair amount of natural enthusiasm.
When I speak with a prospect who speaks slower than me and who is also prehaps a little reserved I tend to slow my speech down and reign my enthusiasm in a bit.While doing this I am still being myself.
Would that be regarded as a "mirroring technique " ?

Positive Regards - by salesdog
Hi Gary
I am in telesales and normally speak fairly fast(both on and off the phone)and also speak with a fair amount of natural enthusiasm.
When I speak with a prospect who speaks slower than me and who is also prehaps a little reserved I tend to slow my speech down and reign my enthusiasm in a bit.While doing this I am still being myself.
Would that be regarded as a "mirroring technique " ?

Positive Regards
It's known as "pacing."

I would not put it into the category of mirroring, because many people do it unconsciously. Mirroring, as we have discussed, is a tactic of volition. - by Gary A Boye
A member recently referred to "the mirroring technique" which he described as a sales professional mirroring or mimicing the clients, speech, speech patterns, facial expressions and body language to gain cooperation.

Anyone have any opinions on how the use of that technique would reconcile with the popular belief that we should "Be ourselves?"

I'll get things started with the confession that I personally believe that the ideas conflict with one another. However, it's important to realize that all of us have more than one side to our personalities, and those sides can be drawn from within--certainly not a matter of "mimicing" another person.

I'll use myself as an example. I grew up in a blue collar rough and tumble neighborhood and I can talk the language of the street, because it's part of me. But I'm also an educated man who can hold my own in discussions on Western and Eastern philosophy, Jungian psychology, and great literature, etc.--as well as a Mickey Spillane novel.

So what are your thoughts? Mimic other people (with the risks involved)? Or be OURSELVES?
While NLP wants credit for the "mirror" technique as a way to gain rapport, it was used in the Army for years prior to it coming on the market in the mid-seventies. It was used in their hospital psych wards to communicate with the mentally impaired or those suffering from brain damage.

Studies reveal, that when "mimicing" is used and recognized as such by a mentally normal person, this technique draws suspicion rather than trust. It's called mocking.

Being yourself is the only way to go. - by John Voris
We say be yourself or be true to yourself however most of us have learned how to sell and it became natural. It flows within your discovery, information gathering time and presentation. Your speech flows with questions that were learned and it is lead by learning when to ask the questions. What is the real you? Were you real and true before you learned the skill to sell effectively? I know I was not really good before I learned new tools, techniques and had to practice and implement strategies and make them mine.

My contention is when you are skilled enough to use this tool to gain cooperation it is natural and is not condescending or mocking the client. Take time to watch a few people gathering and talking and watch one person fold their arms and see how many people follow out of habit. Watch a person lean back in their chair and watch how many people lean back in their chair. Listen for a word spoken and listen for the next person to use that word. It is natural and like almost all things in sales becomes part of what you do naturally.

Of course it can be condescending or mocking when out of place, the same can be said of a misguided question or premature solution without listening to the client. Be careful when deciding to use any tool in the toolbox. Often with a disagreeable client it is wise to gain agreement or cooperation. This technique is one of many ways to gain cooperation.

Gary you used the social aspects of fitting in with the boys and I have one question to ask is that the real you? We know it is. Each person has the ability to adapt to different situations and be real and it is natural for most to adapt to the situation and place. I can be fun and silly or I can be serious and business like. I can go to a Black Tie wine tasting event and I can tour breweries in jeans and still be true to me. I can eat hot dogs with stadium mustard and the next evening do fine dining. It is all me I can adapt to the situation and allow it to be natural.

Remembering this is not something that is done with every client. If I was to guess I might say 1-2% (if that high) of the clients that I have interaction with mirroring may come into the conversation. I am in the service industry and I whistle while I am installing the product. I cannot tell you how many clients start to whistle that same tune and it is a lot. I whistle because I want my client to know that I enjoy what I am doing and I am enjoying doing it for them. True to me, absolutely.

Professional,absolutely it is.
- by rich34232
Professional,absolutely it is.
Rich, you asked me a question above, and then chose to answer it for me. I prefer to do my own answers.

First, I made no reference to "hanging out with the boys." I interact with many kinds of people, and some I prefer not to interact with, and I live my life accordingly. I'm multidimensional and even if I wasn't I would still harbor the strong belief that being multidimensional is a huge asset in selling.--not to mention life itself. I don't call myself a sales professional (which I equate with "mercenary"), but I am a professional who sells. That said, having acquired much savvy in the world of moving products and services, I share what I believe. One of the things I believe was stated above and might bear repeating here, complete with correction of spelling of "mimicking.":
However, it's important to realize that all of us have more than one side to our personalities, and those sides can be drawn from within--certainly not a matter of "mimicking" another person.
I do not encourage people who are trying to succeed in sales to spend time learning a "mirroring" technique. Too many other things to learn. - by Gary A Boye
Gary I would agree 100% with you that mirroring is not something an inexperienced sales person would commit to learn during the early stages of their career and that probably should have been stated. I thank you for bringing that point to the forefront. I assumed that was a known and sometimes I assume too much and I have been working on that issue diligently. Sometimes my passion takes over and I forget simple yet valuable communication. There are many ways and techniques to learn and these are far more important than learning the mirroring technique. I do not think I have stated anywhere that this is one tool to learn immediately. At some point during a sales career this technique will be taught and learned it is at this stage where the sales person can decide for him or herself that this is something of value and can be used or useless o him or her. I understand that you and others do not care for this technique and can appreciate that it is not something that you find of particular value. I wish one hat fit all sizes. Since this is an opinion based question all opinions are welcomed and not wrong.

I mistook talking the language of the streets as hanging with the boys.
- by rich34232
Mirroring can be a powerful technique when done naturally and with empathy towards the person being mirrored. When I was first introduced to this concept, I was skeptical for some of the same reasons already stated. Improperly used it can be manipulative, fake, insincere, insulting etc, etc.
However, I practiced the technique with the intention of lowering the barriers to trust. I practiced on other colleagues diligently but never tried it on a prospect until one night I was driving along the interstate close to home. My battery went dead. I managed to pull on to the shoulder. Parking on the interstate is a dangerous thing. I called the Highway patrol, my road service and my wife. I needed someone to park behind me with flashers on so I wouldn’t be run into. 30 minutes passed and no one came. Then the tow truck driver called me on the cell just as my wife pulled in behind me. I was giving the driver instructions as my wife sat beside me. When I finished, she asked why were you talking like a “redneck”. I replied that I didn’t realize I was. The bottom line the Tow truck driver took my car several miles beyond what the auto service paid. Why? Because I spoke his language. I didn’t mimic him, I mirrored his speech and people like to talk with people who are like themselves.

From that point I started mirroring without trying to and my results in sales soared. People talk fast, slow or intermediate and they can’t stand to communicate with someone they don’t know well that talks at a different pace. It’s about “when in Rome do as the Romans do.” The catch is you have to understand that you are trying to help someone and in so doing you speak like they do.

[FONT='Calibri','sans-serif']Correct use of the mirroring technique fosters trust, bonding and rapport. Incorrect use or understanding of what mirroring is meant to be, spells failure.[/font] - by triadtraining
Mirroring can be a powerful technique when done naturally and with empathy towards the person being mirrored. When I was first introduced to this concept, I was skeptical for some of the same reasons already stated. Improperly used it can be manipulative, fake, insincere, insulting etc, etc.

However, I practiced the technique with the intention of lowering the barriers to trust. I practiced on other colleagues diligently but never tried it on a prospect until one night I was driving along the interstate close to home. My battery went dead. I managed to pull on to the shoulder. Parking on the interstate is a dangerous thing. I called the Highway patrol, my road service and my wife. I needed someone to park behind me with flashers on so I wouldn’t be run into. 30 minutes passed and no one came. Then the tow truck driver called me on the cell just as my wife pulled in behind me. I was giving the driver instructions as my wife sat beside me. When I finished, she asked why were you talking like a “redneck”. I replied that I didn’t realize I was. The bottom line the Tow truck driver took my car several miles beyond what the auto service paid. Why? Because I spoke his language. I didn’t mimic him, I mirrored his speech and people like to talk with people who are like themselves.

From that point I started mirroring without trying to and my results in sales soared. People talk fast, slow or intermediate and they can’t stand to communicate with someone they don’t know well that talks at a different pace. It’s about “when in Rome do as the Romans do.” The catch is you have to understand that you are trying to help someone and in so doing you speak like they do.

[FONT='Calibri','sans-serif']Correct use of the mirroring technique fosters trust, bonding and rapport. Incorrect use or understanding of what mirroring is meant to be, spells failure.[/font]
May I suggest that your results occurred from the concept of "pacing." Seasoned sales people know not to speak too fast or slow to a prospect. They are not sure why it works with many calling it; establishing rapport; empathy; and many other descriptions.

Brain/Speech/Correlations

The fact is, reasoning is a thought process requiring language which is different than intuition. We can intuit ideas in a second because these are mental events that bypass reasoning language. These instantaneous events are what we often call epiphanies.

Speaking pace
resonates with our thinking pace which by the way usually correlates with our reading pace. When others speak much slower than ourselves, we often feel they are not mentally up to our level and question the information they provide. They can overcome this impression by speaking articulately and with profound importance. When others speak much faster than ourselves, we often feel their integrity is not up to our level by the impression that he or she is hiding something by not giving us time to properly process the information. This can be overcome by he or she fully addressing our questions.

Naturally, pacing with the prospect's speech rate also correlates with understanding and holding interest. When someone speaks much faster than someone who needs additional time to process information, a great deal of the message can be lost. When speaking too slow, the faster listener can become bored and want to move on, again losing focus and much of the message.

Rather than risking these potentially damaging impressions, just match the pace of the prospect, eliminating this as a possible reason for losing the sale. - by John Voris
I also recognize the example as "pacing." - by Gary A Boye
Pacing is part of the mirroring technique.It is copying the client.Some may want to seperate the two however it is copying the client and matching their speech pattern is mirroring the client.

Whatever or however you want to seperate the two it is what it is and that is copying the client. - by rich34232
Pacing is part of the mirroring technique.It is copying the client.Some may want to seperate (sic) the two however it is copying the client and matching their speech pattern is mirroring the client.

Whatever or however you want to seperate the two it is what it is and that is copying the client.
Do you copy the client?

Let's examine that. If she crosses her legs do you do so also? If he is rude in manner, do you follow suit? If he (or she) opens the door and you see he is wearing a Mohawk hair cut, what do you do? If he is drunk, do you act drunk? If she can't look you in the eye, do you then avoid eye contact? If he has a lisp when he talks, do you adopt a lisp?

Now we both know those are "absurd" references, but where does your copying start and end?

For years, aligning our speech delivery with that of a client, etc. has been referred to "pacing." Mirroring, on the other hand could include an ill-advised attempt to parrot (copy) many things--some of which I provided in my absurd examples.

It's syllogistic. Abe Lincoln was a man. I am a man. Therefore I am Abe Lincoln. Right? No, Rich, clear distinctions are always welcome here. And they are necessary in these discussions. - by Gary A Boye
Pacing is part of the mirroring technique.It is copying the client.Some may want to seperate the two however it is copying the client and matching their speech pattern is mirroring the client.

Whatever or however you want to seperate the two it is what it is and that is copying the client.
I appreciate your recognition of the idiomatic quality of such terms as "mirror," "copy," "matching," and "pacing" as often used in the sales industry. However, referring to them as being actually synonymous is a symptom of the introduction of Neuro-linguistic Programing which has been invading sales training since the late 1970's. So, this perspective is certainly understandable.

I say "invade," because it has long been proven (1985) that NLP has no scientific foundation and in fact contradicts accepted principals of neural functions and individuation processes regarding "normal" people.

However, the concept had been used by the army prior to the 1950's, as a method of communicating with the mentally ill and soldiers suffering from brain damage. It was called "Echoing."

There are many of us in sales today who had been using the linguistic "pacing" concept for years before NLP came into the market and popularized the idea of "mirroring."

For us, there is a very clear distinction and by mentioning "mirroring," other NLP techniques are inferred which should be avoided. That is the main reason I felt the need to comment here. Seasoned sales people talking around the old water cooler is one thing, but distinctions are important in an education medium such as SalesPractice.

Finally, the criteria for pacing is a process of time, while mirroring is a physical observable in the moment, which are certainly not the same. You cannot look into a mirror and deduce time other than the present. - by John Voris
Finally, the criteria for pacing is a process of time, while mirroring is a physical observable in the moment, which are certainly not the same. You cannot look into a mirror and deduce time other than the present.
Excellent.

Ayn Rand in an essay on thinking once described the process of grasping a new concept. She pointed out the importance of recognizing both the genus and the differentia in relation to a known or existing concept. What's different? What's the same? That is how you draw distinctions and distinctions are truly necessary here. - by Gary A Boye
All of the preceding remind me of my time in Viet Nam. My favorite Commanding Officer said, we are not really in Viet Nam, we are not really getting fired upon and returning fire, we are in East Baltimore and it is all done by mirrors.

End of Topic I hope!! - by triadtraining
My sales training came from the "School of Hard Knocks" so I have no idea what you call it. Be it pacing, mimic, copy, matching or mirroring. I can only speak from my years of selling a high dollar, intangible product...I sold air! I learned I have to get in a rhythm or flow with my prospect. I begin by following his lead...if he leans forward, I lean forward. If he speaks slow, I speak slow, etc. This happens while I am asking questions and listening. Before the questions, answers and listening is over the flow has changed. I know I have the sale when the prospect is no longer leading but is following. - by MPrince
]I would love to travel with the “seasoned “sales people and watch how often they do mirror a client without realizing it is being done. Leaning back in a chair, sitting on the edge of the seat, crossing legs or feet, movement of their hands and body, facial expressions, speech and make notes of these actions to prove they do happen more than we think. It does because it is more natural and true than we think it is and have done this most of our lives.
Rich, I have a habit of what some might call "matching" people's communication patterns that results in much ribbing from my wife but makes for great impressions (comedy) and even better communication.

I pay great attention to people when they speak. I notice their tone, rate, cadence, body language, etc. and really attempt to understand the message they are trying to send and what that means to them. I do this because I realize that communication (decoding/encoding) can be a very 'sloppy' thing (generalizations, deletions, presumptions, etc.) and I need the best information I can get if I am to communicate effectively.

As a result of "listening to understand" I often find myself entering a "We Space" with others. It is in this "We Space" that I find myself matching the other persons communication patterns although I think of it more as "aligning" than "matching" or "mirroring". - by Jeff Blackwell
Martha and Jeff,

Right on!! - by triadtraining
Jeff I understand I do the same and that is one of the many reasons why my success rate is extremely high and why I am very passionate about this individual thread. I do not sit and state hey I am mirroring the client. I look at it as adapting to the client instead of having the client adapt to me. Adapting, aligning, pacing belong in the same family. Socks, under garments, pants, and shirt are all belong in clothing family yet different articles of clothing. It really boils down to terminology and the separation of that terminology. I do wish a different and superior term would have been chosen by those who described this subject to define this technique that would be more acceptable to accept.

Jeff I do appreciate your explanation. I would like to thank Martha for her explanation along with triad training. Perhaps I am taking liberties and looking at this too simplistic. I do believe that sometimes we make some things more difficult than they really are when it is in truth simple.

I felt the same way Gary with other portions of this thread.
 
 
- by rich34232
Rich, I have a habit of what some might call "matching" people's communication patterns that results in much ribbing from my wife but makes for great impressions (comedy) and even better communication.

I pay great attention to people when they speak. I notice their tone, rate, cadence, body language, etc. and really attempt to understand the message they are trying to send and what that means to them. I do this because I realize that communication (decoding/encoding) can be a very 'sloppy' thing (generalizations, deletions, presumptions, etc.) and I need the best information I can get if I am to communicate effectively.

As a result of "listening to understand" I often find myself entering a "We Space" with others. It is in this "We Space" that I find myself matching the other persons communication patterns although I think of it more as "aligning" than "matching" or "mirroring".
I then have a question directed exclusively to you.

What are we doing here?

Is this basically a training medium for sales people who need help or where successful experienced sales people are standing around the water cooler and trading stories? Or both? If both then do we have a responsibility to those who are looking for guidance?

If we are here where professionals trade stories, I am in the wrong forum.

While all experienced people can learn from each other, our fundamental beliefs about sales are now driven in stone, leaving us generally open only to new peripheral techniques and ideas to improve the success we now realize. After all, we would not abandoned what has worked for us all our professional life.

We have become unconsciously competent where a lifetime of techniques and sales philosophies have melded together, funneling into a single flow of indistinguishable expertise.

For us, it doesn't matter what we call what we do for chances are at this point, we cannot definitively separate every ideology from another: we just do it all.

However, what about those new to sales that are here?

Remember when we first learned to drive a car? How many of us today really hold the steering wheel at 10:00 AND 2:00? Now, why did these instructors tell us, inexperienced drivers, to do just that?

The driving instructor could have said, hold the wheel anyway that feels comfortable, look in the rear-view mirror when you feel the need, or come to a complete stop unless no one is around as most experienced drivers do today. What other driving "rules" do experienced drivers violate and still avoid accidents?

I approached the issue from the position of an instructor. My comments were not to correct Rich, for his view of sales is his own, and he is certainly right. I wanted to clarify terms for the inexperienced who may benefit.

First, draw the appropriate distinctions then let the student's experience reassemble and define these terms according to their personality needs and style.

So, would any seasoned sales rep tell a new recruit--terms don't matter? - by John Voris
Hello John. I am not sure I understand the question you are asking. Can you phrase it differently? Thank you. - by Jeff Blackwell
So, would any seasoned sales rep tell a new recruit--terms don't matter?
It IS possible that could occur. Even "seasoned" is a term. But, John, I like your thoughts on this as much as you probably suspect.

Time to set some ground rules--and YES they are mine.

Two people whose minds and professionalism I have utmost admiration and respect for have voiced thoughts not consistent with mine or John's. I'm referring to Jeff, and Martha who brings great success and experiences to this forum--as do we. Martha tells a story about her own methods and to me it is a valuable story, simply on the basis of who is telling it. So YES...stories work JUST as they do in selling.

AND--debate is OK here. Personal slams such as referencing another member's common sense is NOT OK. Telling members that the common method of using absurdities in a discussion does not belong on this forum is overstepping the bounds of participation--and NOT OK. Accusing other members of illusory tactics in conversation here is NOT OK. Reverse snobbery taints the quality of the discussion and can discourage members from using their own abilities of expression and communication.

If we can follow the examples of good constructive discussion set by Jeff and Martha, we should be able to rescue an interesting thread.

John, even if I did not agree with your post as I do, I would still admire your wonderful ability to connect verbs and nouns to make your points. You are very welcome addition here. - by Gary A Boye
Two people whose minds and professionalism I have utmost admiration and respect for have voiced thoughts not consistent with mine or John's.
Hello Gary. Thank you for the kind remarks.

Out of curiosity, which of my thoughts did you view as inconsistent with your own? - by Jeff Blackwell
Hello Gary. Thank you for the kind remarks.

Out of curiosity, which of my thoughts did you view as inconsistent with your own?
A thought you expressed from your own unique experience, rather than an opinion:
As a result of "listening to understand" I often find myself entering a "We Space" with others. It is in this "We Space" that I find myself matching the other persons communication patterns although I think of it more as "aligning" than "matching" or "mirroring".
Although I also listen intensely to understand, I don't believe I experience "We Space." I don't "match" others' communication patterns. Instead I develop my own cadence as fits the conversation. The result often is a complementary CONTRAST which can be a good thing. I am able to make my points verbally because of the contrast which the prospect picks up on. For instance I will often put a pause in the middle of a sentence where one would not expect it. OR--I often put undue inflection on a word in a sentence uncharacteristic of the norm. The result is ATTENTION.

So again..it is the difference between matching and complementing. A room designer can use monochromatic as a statement. Another designer can use opposites of the color wheel such as purple/yellow.

It is OK not to believe in something that others believe in. - by Gary A Boye
Hello Gary. I am a fan of "Contrast" and "Attention". msnwnk;

*************************************************

I would like to share the definitions I refer to for the following terms:

Pacing - Pacing is the process of feeding back to a client, through your own behavior, the behavior and strategies that you have observed in them –that is, by going to their model of the world.
Rapport - The phenomenon of people trading and/or sharing particular behaviors. It happens naturally and unconsciously as people spend time together. It can be done consciously, by mirroring and matching, to enhance communication.
  • Mirroring - Adopting other people’s behaviors as though you were a "mirror image". If you were facing someone who had his left hand on his cheek, you would put your right hand o your cheek in the same way.
  • Matching - Adopting parts of another person’s behavior – such as particular gestures, facial expressions, forms of speech, tone of voice, and so on. Done subtly, it helps create a feeling of rapport between people.
We Space - A state of connectedness (relationship) characterized by mutual understanding, trust and respect.
- by Jeff Blackwell
If you believe in mirroring, as I do, in the sense that it helps bring down defense walls between salesperson and prospect, and you also believe it is best to set your own pace as Gary says-- is that a conflict or can they be blended? - by triadtraining
If you believe in mirroring, as I do, in the sense that it helps bring down defense walls between salesperson and prospect, and you also believe it is best to set your own pace as Gary says-- is that a conflict or can they be blended?
If one were to think of his part in a sales conversation as a role, he/she could choose the interpretation of the role.

Go to you tube and search To Be or Not to Be. Listen to any five actors interpret that soliloquy. Burton. Olivier. Gibson. Brannagh. You will not find two with the same inflections in those six words. Note Olivier's inflection on the second "to." - by Gary A Boye
Hi,

enjoyed the posts on this topic. Although it seems a few of you may have been at odds about semantics.

Not surprising really,wasn't it George Bernard Shaw who said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." ?

I hope I have got this right but Gary thinks that modifying your voice to align with a prospect is OK but not to "mirror" their posture ?

I don't presume to be an expert but I can say that I used many different mesans of gaining rapport with prospect's over the years. I only discovered I was using matching and mirroring after I had been using it for some time when I stumbled across Anthony Robbins and then studied NLP.

I think it is natural to align with people you want to communicate with. I used to travel overseas on business and sometimes stay abroad for up to 5 weeks at a time. Upon returning after 5 weeks in the USA people in my office told me I was talking with an American accent (I'm Australian). Obviously, this was not something I was doing intentionally. I have also been in an observer position while at training courses and have seen people in the audience naturally move into similar postures as they come into rapport. So, if these things occur unconsciously as rapport develops could it be that "matching" intentionally helps build rapport ? NLPers believe it does and my experience backs up their claims.

Is it always necessary to have rapport in order to sell. No, I don't think so. Some sales people can just pull it off with knowledge and charisma. They lead right from the start. And maybe this is part of what Gary writes about when he mentions his own "cadence" in communicating ?

The people commenting in this thread all seem to be good at what they do, doesn't that imply both side of the argument can work ?

Greg
AussieSalesGuy - by Greg Woodley
I hope I have got this right but Gary thinks that modifying your voice to align with a prospect is OK but not to "mirror" their posture ?
Yes..that is very close to what I believe--and more importantly practice. On that note one question I would ask a person, or ask myself silently is this: If I conform to what you are advising, would I then be aligning myself with your level of success?

That's an Intrinsic Question, btw. - by Gary A Boye
Yes..that is very close to what I believe--and more importantly practice. On that note one question I would ask a person, or ask myself silently is this: If I conform to what you are advising, would I then be aligning myself with your level of success?

That's an Intrinsic Question, btw.
Hi Gary. thmbp2;

A question I might ask myself is: If I conform to what you are advising, would I then be aligning myself with the success this technique is bringing others who are executing this technique effectively? - by Jeff Blackwell
Excellent.

Ayn Rand in an essay on thinking once described the process of grasping a new concept. She pointed out the importance of recognizing both the genus and the differentia in relation to a known or existing concept. What's different? What's the same? That is how you draw distinctions and distinctions are truly necessary here.

Yes, Rand is one of my favorites. Power is found in distinction for distinction is the key to identity and therefore existence.

I know a man who's wife claims his birth date does not conform to the best astrological outcome nor does his last name generate luck according to numerology.

So, the wife is going to send him to the astrologer with a new and improved ( falsified) birth certificate. How many distinctions are being missed and what does and does not exit in their world?

Conceptual distinctions in sales also designates empirical realities. - by John Voris
Hi John. :)

IMO, distinctions (conceptual, sensory, etc.) and the ability to make distinctions provides us with a fuller and richer experience (reality). - by Jeff Blackwell
Hi John. :)

IMO, distinctions (conceptual, sensory, etc.) and the ability to make distinctions provides us with a fuller and richer experience (reality).
Yes, that was my main thrust regarding the need to keep concepts separate and cleanly defined. Without teaching industry boundaries, it is difficult for those new to sales to grasp their distinctions and realize their true power.

Once these concepts are generating their intended results in the hands of the experienced, labels become absorbed into the vicissitudes of character and are only then unnecessary. - by John Voris
Yes, that was the main thrust regarding the need to keep concepts separate and cleanly defined.
I am not sure I understand. Please elaborate. - by Jeff Blackwell
Hello John. I am not sure I understand the question you are asking. Can you phrase it differently? Thank you.
Sorry Jeff,

This is where I should have placed my last post.

When I asked "what are we doing here," it was in reference to our function and responsibility to those seeking advice.

Definitively set boundaries concerning sales theory, are essential in training those who are still finding their way. Experienced sales people understand each other on an entirely different level, and can let that experience write and define their own way to success.

This lack of clarity was the major unifying cause concerning several misunderstandings regarding the "mirror technique" discussion.

There also needs to be a protochol that shapes and directs how we approach members in relation to their experience. After all, when a 25 year old laments being in sales and the same statements are from a 50 year old, our responses should not be the same or we would be doing a disservice.

I'm confident that your talented mind will come up with something. - by John Voris
Hello Gary. I am a fan of "Contrast" and "Attention". msnwnk;

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I would like to share the definitions I refer to for the following terms:

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Notice you separated and defined these terms for clarity. You're not calling mirror, mimic and pacing the same. That is because they are not the same.;sm - by John Voris
Hi Gary. thmbp2;

A question I might ask myself is: If I conform to what you are advising, would I then be aligning myself with the success this technique is bringing others who are executing this technique effectively?
Yes.

Then the follow up question might be: By doing so, am I now aligning myself with a level of success that is at a higher, or lower, level than I currently enjoy? - by Gary A Boye
The following are my interpretations of what I believed Gary and others initially intended to convey.

If I have misunderstood anyone and committed an error, I fully apologize. However, you all should know that I have my clients repeat the following quote from James Joyce when they too are in their personal hour of despair.

“A man (women) of genius makes no mistakes; his (her) errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.”

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Gary’s question is deceivingly complex. It is existential in nature: what does it mean to have an identity? And, what are the consequences of attempting to deliberately morph this our essential self, to theoretically accommodate the principal of rapport as taught by NLP or elsewhere (NLP is inferred).
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He begins with offering a definition of the “mirroring technique.”

A member recently referred to "the mirroring technique" which he described as a sales professional mirroring or mimicking the clients, speech, speech patterns, facial expressions and body language to gain cooperation.

This is a good working rendition of NLP terminology. However, the theory also suggests mirroring the prospects breathing, eye movement, eye blinking and more!

Anyone have any opinions on how the use of that technique would reconcile with the popular belief that we should "Be ourselves?"

The question infers a dialectic consisting of adopting external and formally learned techniques or focusing on our internal nature?

I'll get things started with the confession that I personally believe that the ideas conflict with one another.

This tells us he suspects there are two distinct criteria that are responsible for the assumed conflict.

However, it's important to realize that all of us have more than one side to our personalities, and those sides can be drawn from within--certainly not a matter of "mimicking" another person.

He emphasizes this dichotomy, he draws a distinction between enlisting our natural persona or personality variances, against this alien external criteria indicated here in the form of a learned technique called “mirroring.”

I'll use myself as an example. I grew up in a blue collar rough and tumble neighborhood and I can talk the language of the street, because it's part of me. But I'm also an educated man who can hold my own in discussions on Western and Eastern philosophy, Jungian psychology, and great literature, etc.--as well as a Mickey Spillane novel.

To exemplify his position, he explains how the dynamics of his multidimensional background is his source from which he may draw conformity with the prospect’s demeanor. And---this should not be confused with the appearance of the “mirror” technique.

So what are your thoughts? Mimic other people (with the risks involved)? Or be OURSELVES?

We are asked to explore the value of mimicking other people, thereby demanding unnatural behavior at the risk of being caught, or to simply being ourselves?

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Dankhn clearly saw the nuances of the question with finding his reflection in the deeper meaning. He opposed the “mirror” technique as possibly being recognized as such by the prospect and deemed condescending. In fact, someone used this technique on him in the form of “talk slang” which he found offensive. I would agree. He then mentions empathy as a technique, which can occur naturally between any two people without using any artificial technique and thereby keeping integrity intact.
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It is one thing to have Clint Eastwood play the role of a cowboy then move into being a submarine commander in WWII. This level and scope of mirroring can certainly become natural with training and experience. This I believe, is where Jeff . Martha and others are of course right.

However, being a cowboy or a submarine commander are species of character subdivided beneath the genus called Clint Eastwood. Anyone in theatre, will reach into their history and find an experience that will offer a variant extension of their natural internal identity to conform to the roll. Clint will not be “mirroring “ anyone even in the vernacular sense.

What I believe Gary, Dankhn and myself were struggling against is that the “mirror technique” is often taught as a substitute for natural behavior. If carried too far it is like casting Clint in the roll of Pee Wee Herman and telling people everyone will believe it. And I have experienced car salespeople come very close. It can become comical.

Where is the demarcation between being an expression of self and that of another? Do you really appear and disappear in the metamorphosis of becoming a sales rep or simply become empowered with knowledge? - by John Voris
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