Cringe-Worthy Moments in Mismanaged Negotiation Tactics, blog article written by Ted Prodromou

Mirroring can be a very effective tactic when you are selling or negotiating. 

I first learned about mirroring in one of Brian Tracy's sales courses around 2000. 

In case you're not familiar with mirroring, Brian Tracy teaches you to mirror the other person's actions and body language while you are negotiating. 

If they lean forward, you should lean forward. 

If they smile, you should smile. 

If they look concerned, mirror their expression. 

Body language mirroring can be downright creepy if you aren't subtle. 

In Never Split the Difference, Chris Voss simplifies mirroring. 

Simply repeat the last one to three words and turn it into a question. 

Your prospect says "We can't afford this" 

You repeat "Can't afford this?" 

"I don't have time" 

You repeat "Don't have time?" 

Once you ask the question, shut up and wait for them to respond. 

After an awkward silence, they will continue talking and explain why they don't have time or can't afford your proposal. 

The more you listen, the more comfortable they'll feel, and the more they will tell you. 

They'll feel like you have their best interest in mind. 

Repeating what they said and listening builds trust. 

I know it sounds too easy but it works. 


You overdo it. 

The other day I was on the phone with customer support and the rep repeated everything I said. 

"I understand you are having trouble with your printer" 

"I understand you tried to fix the problem by rebooting your computer and recycling the power" 

After the 10th time, they said, "I understand...." I was ready to scream. 

They thought they were defusing my frustration, but they were pissing me off. 

Keep it simple and don't overdo it. 

P.S. Never Split the Difference, is our book of the month in the Mastermind Book Club

Join Tom Ruwitch and me on June 22nd at 11:30 AM Pacific/2:30 PM Eastern time for our live call. 

About the author 

Ted Prodromou

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