Strategy Mirror

To explain this method requires another brief psychology review.

There are three kinds of persons: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.

Visual people process thoughts and ideas visually. You know that someone is visually oriented when he uses words like, " Can you picture that?", "Do you see what I mean?", "Please focus on what I'm saying."

Auditory people process thoughts through their hearing faculties. You can find a lot of people like these; discerning them is simple. Listen for statements like, " That's clear as a bell", "Can you hear what I'm saying?", " How does that sound to you?"

Kinesthetics are "feeling" people who process through their gut feel. Listen for statements like, " I can sense it!", " Do you feel that?", " I can grasp the idea".

Everyone thinks in a predominantly visual, auditory or kinesthetic manner. However, everyone does mix all methods at the same time, in varying degrees.

To generate rapport using the Strategy Mirror, first understand that for every decision one makes, an internal "thinking" template is followed. Everyone processes thoughts in a certain pattern. For instance, he may first do it visually, then kinesthetically then auditory. He may mix it up in whatever combination. The key to mirroring under this method is to decipher your prospect's decision making process and then to mirror it back to him. The principle is essentially similar to the mirror and matching technique, except that you mirror thought forms and decision making processes instead of body language.

To convince someone of your idea or thought, you first determine how a person arrives at a conclusion, action or decision. This is done by asking four carefully phrased questions geared to elicit this information. After you gain this information, you play back the decision making strategy he just revealed, this time inputting the ideas you are trying to "sell".

At this point the concept may appear vague. An illustration will shed light on this powerful technique.

For the example, assume you are selling a piece of real estate. You want to convince someone to buy, and for that purpose, you decide to generate rapport through the Strategy Mirror method. For the opening salvo, ask four questions along the following lines:

Q1: Tell me, do you remember a time when you bought a piece of real estate and were truly satisfied?

Listen for the response then follow up with the following three important questions.

Q2: So, tell me what was the first thing that drew you to that piece of land? Was it something you saw? Something you heard? Something you felt?

This question reveals the first decision making strategy your prospect employs when choosing real estate. It reveals whether he uses a visual, auditory or kinesthetic method. For this case assume he answers that it was the green grass and sweeping roof that he saw. This statement reveals that his first strategy is visual.

Q3: After that striking thing that you (saw, heard or felt), what was the very next thing that appealed to you? Something else that you may have seen? Heard? Felt from the house?

This question reveals the 2nd strategy technique he uses when buying houses. For this case, assume that he replies that the sound of the rustling brook nearby attracted him next. This reveals that his second decision making step is auditory.

Q4: After that, what was the next thing that attracted you? Was it something else that you saw? That you heard? That you felt?

This question reveals the 3rd strategy technique he subconsciously employs when buying homes. For this case, assume that he responds that he loved the feeling of warmth inside the home.

After the fourth question, you have deciphered the decision making process your prospect normally uses to purchase homes which eventually satisfy him. You discovered that he first processes information visually (the green grass and sweeping roof), then auditory (the rustling brook), then kinesthetically (the warmth of the home). For the previous example, you know his psychological process is V-A-K, or visual, auditory, kinesthetic.

This information can now be used to elicit rapport. Play back the discovered strategy to your client when selling him a piece of real estate. Phrase your persuasive speech to sell your idea following the V-A-K sequence. Here's an example:

"Mr. Smith, I have a wonderful piece of property for you. It's a breathtaking (V) piece of land with a great sunset (V). At night, you can hear the rustle of trees (A) that gives you a warm cozy feeling (K)."

By replaying his decision making strategy, and this time, inputting your own content into the framework of his strategy, you persuade him to your idea. The impact is subtle yet effective because your ideas reach him in the pattern that he uses to reach favorable conclusions.

A word of warning. The decision making strategy varies from instance to instance. Your prospect uses different sequences for different situations. Do not assume that the discovered strategy will be the same for other decision making problems. He may use a K-A-V approach for purchasing a car, and the V-K-A approach for buying clothes. Decipher the specific strategies!

This technique can be applied to other situations other than acquisitions. For instance, you can discover how someone gets attracted to others of the opposite sex. For such a situation, you may modify your questions in the following manner:

Q1: Can you remember a time you were totally attracted to someone?

Q2: What was the very first thing that attracted you? Was it something that you saw? Did he say something that inspired you? Was it his touch? Something he felt?

Q3: After that, as you realized that he was so attractive, what was the very next thing that you noticed of him? What it something you saw in him? Something you heard? You felt?

Q4: This really interests me! So what else pulled you to this mystery man? Something he may have said? Did you see him move in a certain way? Did a fuzzy feeling seem to grow inside you?

From this point, you can use the decision making strategy revealed to formulate your "sales pitch" using the revealed strategy and laced with your ideas.

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