September 17, 2021

As human beings, we connect easily with those we relate to. The technique of mirroring refers to the replicating of the physical and verbal behaviours of those we’re communicating with.

This technique builds understanding and empathy between communicators. In other words, it makes connecting with others easier. 

Mirror neurons or the set of cells in our brains that trigger mirroring activate as a response to the actions of people we often interact with. 

You may have observed mirroring happen automatically in personal relationships, such as imitating a certain speech pattern from a friend or adopting a behavioural pattern of a spouse. This practice is marked by using similar manners of communication expressions or gestures when interacting with others. 

Here’s an example of former POTUS Barack Obama and Prince William mirroring each other’s posture at the White House. 

An example of mirroring | Zimbio

There is more than one way to mirror someone’s communication style. 

Body-language mirroring copies the way your listener carries themselves. If they are sitting in a chair and leaning back, for instance, you can mirror it by sitting the same way. 

When mirroring the voice, you are imitating the volume, speed, and tone of their speech.

Mirroring the style is another aspect of this technique. In sales and marketing specifically, this means being attentive to what your client or your listener is more interested in. Do they prefer to talk about numbers and statistics? Or are they more detail-oriented? Accordingly, you can alter what you express to speak what they like to hear. 

Gesture-mirroring refers to the imitation of certain gestures your listener uses to express assent or comprehension such as nodding or shoulder shrugging. 

Mirroring in marketing

The mirror technique which is adopted in sales and marketing is the connection that is nurtured to build better customer relationships and deliver personalised content, products, or services. 

This method will make you and your brand approachable, readable and your messages more coherent. 

Building immediate connection

Mirroring may not break tension immediately when you start a conversation but it certainly can ease the client into speaking more openly with you. By altering your voice of delivery to match theirs, you will build familiarity with the client. 

Generally, we find it impossible to dislike someone who communicates in a similar manner to us. So from the first interaction, you can set off by making a good impression and creating a positive brand image. 

Influence consumer behaviour

Through mirroring, what you address is the subconscious of your clients by giving them the impression that you are like them and presenting them a relatable persona to immediately relate to. 

Consumers tend to reject brands that are too aggressive or pushy when it comes to sales. As someone who communicates in a manner that is familiar to them, you can change this by making the consumer more lenient to converse with you. 

When you establish customer satisfaction with approachable speech, it increases your chance of a successful transaction. 

Providing personalised content 

You don’t have to limit mirroring to direct communication with just your clients. You can also use this method in your digital communications, catering to individual preferences and personality types in your target audience by understanding their unique needs. 

This may come across as challenging in digital content delivery where customers are targeted as groups or categories. The trick to providing them with content that aligns with their preferences and personalities is to gather adequate data about individual consumer behaviour. 

You can collect valuable data about your consumers by asking for their information or by monitoring their preferences and interests when communicating with them. For instance, tactics such as social media monitoring, subscription data analysis, or in-store traffic monitoring are some of the easiest data collection methods. 

Mastering mirroring in marketing

You need to use the mirror technique in a way that isn’t obvious. Ensure that your brand remains the same but elicits a positive reaction from the audience you’re trying to reach.

Subtlety is key when it comes to your mirroring technique and there are some impactful strategies you can use to get through to your audience.

Mirroring energy and tone

Matching energy and tone isn’t always about face-to-face communication. It can even translate into digital communication. 

Customers tend to deviate from brands that don’t match their energy. It’s not always a great idea to be overly happy and bright. Getting a feel for your customer’s desired tone can help you understand your client better.

Contrasting energy, especially if it’s an issue that’s more serious than lighthearted, can often lead to tense situations so it’s important to understand what you’re communicating and how to communicate it. 

Always consider the message you’re trying to convey and understand how your audience feels about it. Your energy and tone should be able to reflect this in all your communications—in-person and digital.

Sales mirroring | HubSpot

Use similar words and phrases

Customers want brands to communicate with them without sounding like they’re being belittled. Using too much industry jargon can make it intimidating and confusing for your audience.

Gradually work into using a fair amount of industry knowledge and expertise to show them that you’re reliable and have much knowledge about your field without being overbearing.

If you’re working on a marketing campaign keep your language as close to theirs as possible. If you notice that your audience is using certain words or phrases, use them in your campaigns so that they know that you understand.

Avoid coming across as insincere by matching their communication style by picking up on their speech or language patterns and then adjusting yours to match it.

Mistakes when mirroring sales

Regarding sales mirroring, some pitfalls can make it difficult to further your mirroring strategy and build rapport. Brands need to focus on their strategies internally but also keep the target audience in mind.

To make sure that you’re using the mirroring method successfully there are certain things you can keep in mind for your next campaign.

Listen to your audience

Active listening is perhaps one of the most important parts of any sales and marketing strategy. Again, this doesn’t need to be limited to in-person interactions.

If you’re having an in-person conversation then your attention needs to be devoted to the person you’re speaking with. That means not checking your phone or paying attention to any other distractions.

Your online audience is also a demographic that you should listen to. Today a lot of social interactions and conversations happen on social media and other platforms. If you want to successfully mirror marketing efforts, then you need to stay alert and keep your eyes and ears open for anything that could help you build rapport with them.

Don’t mirror emotion

Think about your social media pages or other pages where customers can leave comments about their experiences with your product and sales or even in-person experiences where customers express negative emotions.

Don’t try to match these emotions. If you find a negative comment on your company’s social media page, convey confidence and a positive tone while also empathising with the customer.

This way you’re not escalating the situation and giving the customer something positive to take with them rather than matching their negativity—an important way to build rapport with your audience.

Adopt mirroring in marketing for your business

When it comes to mirroring, it’s easy to be cynical. But doing what you can to understand your target audience is important to your growth.

If your business is offering a real solution to help customers solve a specific problem, then mirroring can help you connect to them faster.


Are there any potential drawbacks or risks associated with mirroring?

While mirroring can be an effective strategy, businesses should be cautious not to oversimplify or stereotype their target audience. It’s essential to strike a balance between mirroring and maintaining authenticity. Excessive or inauthentic mirroring can come across as pandering or disingenuous, damaging the brand’s credibility.

How can businesses ensure their mirroring efforts are authentic and effective?

To ensure authenticity and effectiveness in mirroring, businesses should:

  • Conduct thorough and continuous audience research to stay up-to-date with evolving trends and preferences.
  • Involve members of the target audience in the content creation and marketing strategy development process.
  • Maintain consistency across all marketing channels and touchpoints to reinforce the mirrored messaging and brand personality.
  • Regularly evaluate and adjust mirroring efforts based on performance metrics and audience feedback.

Can mirroring be effectively used in B2B (business-to-business) marketing?

Yes, mirroring can be an effective strategy in B2B marketing as well. Businesses can mirror the language, pain points, and priorities of their target industries, job roles, or decision-makers within their client organisations. This can help create a sense of understanding and relevance, which is crucial in B2B marketing.