Mirroring and Psychology in Sales: What you need to know to succeed

In sales, mirroring and psychology is a way of engaging prospects on a deeper level. Also known as Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), it’s a series of techniques, words and phrases used to encourage prospects to take positive actions.

Positive actions in sales include moving forward with a purchase, or at very least agreeing to a demo, or you creating and sending a tailored proposal after giving them a demo. NLP and mirroring, when used the right way, can be powerful.

However, we must stress that these aren’t tricks. NLP isn’t a Jedi Mind Trick; these are natural and subtle ways to encourage prospects to take the actions you want them to take.

What is NLP?

Mirroring and psychology is a simpler way of explaining NLP. Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a framework of words, phrases and body language actions that encourage subconscious activity in another person that produces real-life outcomes.

NLP in sales involves using specific words and phrases, and relevant subtle mirroring body language movements, to shape how prospects feel about what you’re selling.

Think about every sale you’ve ever made in your career. Have you ever closed a deal, no matter how big or small, where the buyer didn’t get along with you?

And likewise, have you ever bought something from someone, and not got along with them?

Whether selling or buying, there is a slim chance of either scenario mentioned above happening in real life. Buyers and sellers need to get along, as a natural part of the value exchange, to make sales happen. People only buy from those they really can’t get along with when there’s no choice. Either no alternative suppliers, or other options can’t deliver in the sort of timescale a buyer needs.

In sales, when the process of buying and selling is built on relationships, you need buyers to want to buy from you. Establishing and maintaining strong sales relationships is crucial. NLP, and using mirroring and psychology, is simply a way of enhancing how you’d normally get along with prospects, to increase the chances of sales happening more quickly.

Let’s start with words and phrases you can use to encourage the kinds of actions you want prospects to take.

Powerful NLP words and phrases

Language has a power. Words and phrases can encourage people to take action. Hence the power of advertising, or stories, of movies and music, of speeches, of sales and marketing copy. For all we are visual creatures, we need words to express ourselves and explain, to encourage people to take action.

In sales, there are a series of words and phrases that could be used in copy (e.g. emails, proposals and websites) and when speaking with prospects. Words and phrases that evoke an emotional response. Words such as:

  • Change
  • Progress
  • Thrive
  • Excellent
  • Believe
  • Deadline
  • Final
  • Now
  • Limited
  • Exclusive
  • Proven
  • Genuine
  • Expert
  • Guarantee

Beyond words and phrases, there are other techniques salespeople can use to encourage prospects to take positive actions.

NLP sales techniques: Mirroring and Psychology

#1: Body Language

Body language is such an important part of sales. Even doing sales meetings over video platforms, such as CrankWheel, you need to be especially mindful of your body language.

Two things you should avoid doing: being too eager, to the point of seeming aggressive, or being too laid-back, relaxed and therefore not attentive enough. Either way, you risk putting a prospect off. Body language that seems aggressive, even if it comes from a place of eagerness because you want the sale so badly, can put prospects off. Likewise, body language that is too relaxed doesn’t convey the right impression either.

Ideally, you need to balance between being attentive whilst coming across as relaxed. A smile also goes along way. Building a rapport so that you’re laughing with a prospect is equally useful.

#2: Active Listening

Active listening is essential in sales.

Prospects need to know they’re being heard. Also, it’s equally valuable that salespeople listen to prospects and use smart questions to both qualify them as a lead and get the information needed to tailor a sales proposal.

Using active listening is the best way to drop in NLP words and phrases proactively. If you are listening and asking smart questions, then you can tailor the conversation naturally to use words and phrases to encourage positive actions.

#3: Be Positive

Nothing kills a sale like negativity.

Even given the current state of the world, if you start a sales call being negative, the energy of the call could stay negative. The possible outcome from being negative? A prospect associates or attaches the initial negativity with you, and therefore what you’re selling.

Instead, and this can’t be stressed enough: Be and stay positive.

Buyers want to feel they’re going to work with positive people. A team who will do what they say, who will provide excellent customer service, and that all starts with positive words, phrases, body language and energy in sales calls/demos and meetings.

#4: Mirroring

One of the most difficult techniques to master, but invaluable if you can. Providing you get it right. It has to be subtle. If this is something you naturally do with other people anyway, then you’ve got a good chance of being able to do this in sales.

You could start with repeating words and phrases, to show you’re listening. Then progress to subtle mirroring of body language, mannerisms and expressions. Doing this puts prospects at ease, and can help build rapport more effectively, thereby encouraging a sale to move forward in the right direction.

NLP, also known as mirroring and psychology isn’t a way of tricking prospects into going ahead with a sale. Instead, this is an invaluable series of words, phrases and actions that make it easier to build a rapport, establish a relationship, and encourage a buyer to go ahead.

Key takeaways for using NLP in sales:

  • Use powerful words and phrases
  • Be mindful of body language
  • Active listening and smart questions
  • Be positive
  • Mirroring body language and mannerisms (subtly)

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