Thursday, January 14, 2016

Mimic Me, My Pretty

Flattery of the shopper and feelings of familiarity facilitate purchasing. One way to accomplish both is for a salesperson to copy a few of the gestures and repeat some of the phrases used by the shopper. People are flattered when others imitate them, as long as it clearly is not ridicule. The flattery does not need to be genuine, although it shouldn’t be flagrantly false. And having someone subtly mirror your behavior makes that other person more familiar to you. This relaxes barriers to trust, so you’re more willing to comply with requests.
     If using this tactic, listen carefully not only to words the shopper is using, but also to their tone of voice. Watch the shopper’s gestures and their facial expressions. Figure out how they all go together. 
     Then establish your attractiveness to the shopper. Researchers at Florida Atlantic University and University of Social Sciences and Humanities-Warsaw found that store customers spent the most money and gave the highest customer service ratings when mimicked by a salesperson who the customers considered to be attractive. Those customers interacting with a salesperson considered unattractive who used gestures contrary to the customer’s gestures were the least likely to say they planned to return to the store.
     But realize that salesperson attractiveness doesn’t always help. In a set of five experiments at Chinese University of Hong Kong, shoppers who were considering items that might prove embarrassing hesitated making purchases from a salesperson they found to be highly attractive. There was substantially less hesitation if the salesperson was considered by the shopper to be less attractive. When the shopper and salesperson were of different genders, the reason seemed to be based in sexual attraction. With same-gender duos, the reason for discomfort seemed to be the shopper feeling they were inferior to the salesperson.
     Still, when mimicry works, it works well. Researchers at University of Southern Brittany observed customers who were asking for advice about selecting an MP3 player in a retail store. Unbeknownst to the shoppers, some of the salespeople had been given instructions to subtly mimic the shopper. In other cases, the salesperson was not instructed to mimic the shopper.
     About 79% of the shoppers who were subtly mimicked ended up purchasing an MP3 player. Among those who were not mimicked, about 62% made the buy. In addition, the customers who were mimicked rated the salesperson and the store itself more favorably.

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more: 
Flatter Shoppers with Care and Caring
Twin the Shopper Subtly to Double Rapport
Bare Asinine Oversights That Embarrass

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