Get off your ego

This week I was teaching some salespeople to build rapport and we stumbled across the topic of matching and mirroring. My group pushed back on me and explained that they’d been taught all of that before and found it quite patronising.

They felt it was too basic, and that copying someone’s body language and imitating their voice was condescending to their customers.

They have a point, they made very well and I could see where they were coming from. And within 5 minutes they had a realisation, let me explain what happened to them, you might find it useful yourself.

I’ve always been fascinated by hypnosis and adore watching TV hypnotists like Paul McKenna, Derren Brown and Kenny Craig aka Matt Lucas.  I also trained as a hypnotist in my Master NLP Training, not a lot of people know that.

Hypnosis is very useful in sales, actually incredibly useful in sales and few of my training groups know that I’m teaching them hypnotic selling skills. Would they run a mile if they knew? Instead, I call it “selling under the radar“, just sounds cooler.

But back on the subject of matching, let me explain how Joe Vitale explains it and it’ll make absolute sense to you as it did with my group.

Joe in his book “Buying Trances” talks about egos.  Buy the way, it’s a great book, you might buy it. Joe says that everyone has egos, some bigger than others. And all my life I’ve met salespeople with egos, it goes with the trade, and some argue that is an essential trait of salespeople. I don’t know I totally agree with this but they have a point.

Please let me continue.

NLP teaches us to match our customer to get on their wavelength because people like to deal with people who are like themselves and this is true. But simply matching body language, gestures, voice, language is quite frankly, demeaning. Who’s frank?

No, it’s deeper than this, but not complicated.  Fret not, I’m not going to wallow in theory here, that’s often the problem with this sort of thing.

I have an ego, just ask my wife, and you have one too, we all have one, even our customers.  To a degree they’re important things, they give us self confidence, sometimes too much, assuredness, self esteem.  All good things. But if you get stuck in yours, you’re doomed.  We all need to come out of our egos.

And when I explained this to my sales group, they didn’t know how to, but they do really, do you?

And when you’re out of your ego, you just need to go into your customers, because they’ll have one too.  And when you’re in their ego, see where they are, become like them, think like them, understand them, hear them, enter their ego.

Then you’re in rapport.

So the secret , is to accept that our ego is not that important, theirs is. I promised I wouldn’t wallow in theory, this is really quite simple, simple things in life are the best…just ask my wife.