This week I’m in Dublin presenting to retail sales professionals on meetology® as I’m sure you’ll agree just how important the social skills of people who serve you in shops are. In many ways the interpersonal skills of the staff are even more important than the quality of goods that are on sale as if you don’t have a good experience in the shop you won’t be heading back there to buy anything in the future anyway.
With this I mind I want to share a behavioural insight that you can use in your personal as well as professional lives to help people connect and bond with you and one that I’ll be sharing it in my session tomorrow too as, when used in the retail environment, it led to a 17% increase in sales as well as more positive ratings of sales staff from customers.
I wonder if you can guess what it is.
The science-backed suggestion is to subtly mimic the body language as well as the verbal speech patterns of the people you interact with. It’s a learned skill and something that needs practice but if you mirror the verbal and non-verbal communication of others psychological research suggests that you’re likely to make a positive impression on others that leads to them being more co-operative with you.
Now, beware. As I mentioned earlier it isn’t as easy just doing it without practicing. If you literally mimicked others’ movements exactly it would be very unauthentic and odd. It is subtle and should almost be unconscious eventually (it is something we tend to do naturally as humans anyway).
So this week’s tip – mirror others to help them connect with you more effectively.
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The Meetology® Lab
Retail salespeople’s mimicry of customers: Effects on consumer behaviour. Celine Jacob, Nicolas Gueguen, Angelique Martin & Gaelle Boulbry. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 18 (2011) 381-388.