As we continue our thoughts on some of the research behind the relationship between happiness and sales, we are advised to consider the interesting world of “mirror neurons,” and how they radically affect a prospect’s reaction to our pitch. Research involving mirror neurons provides a glimpse into the powerful effect of a sales professional’s positive emotion on a potential customer.
Live Science describes research on primate brains which revealed a cluster of cells in the area of the brain which controls the planning of movements. The cluster of cells reacted not only when the primate performed an action itself, but also when it observed the same action performed by another. Researchers coined the term “mirror neurons” because the cells “mirrored” the actions that the primates observed in others. Subsequently, researchers have reported that humans also have these mirror neurons, and discovered that such mirror neurons not only mirrored actions, they mirrored sensations and emotions. Ever wonder why your smile evokes a nearly instantaneous smile from someone else?
Thus, while a prospect listening to a sales pitch may be listening to the words, her brain’s mirror neurons are firing at the same time in reaction to the salesperson’s emotions, demeanor, etc. A positive, uplifting attitude and demeanor will have the effect of increasing the positivity of the prospect, which will increase the likelihood of establishing trust, building rapport, and ultimately obtaining a commitment by the prospect to do business.
The opposite is also true: a lower level of positivity yields a lower likelihood of accomplishing these critical sales goals. If a disconnect exists between the words that are cognitively processed and the emotions that are mirrored, the pitch will likely be less potent. In other words, if a sales pitch is otherwise brilliant, a sales professional’s negative or mediocre emotion will prompt the prospect to mirror such emotion internally, thus reducing the likelihood of trusting the sales professional, getting into rapport with her, and making the mental decision to move forward with a purchase.
The take away here is to remain positive, with an uplifting attitude and demeanor every step of the way with a prospective client or customer.