Mimicry Increases Sales

Researchers have finally discovered what good salespeople have known for decades – that mimicry matters.

Social scientists have long been intrigued by the human tendency to mimic the behavior of others. Now, a new study from the April issue of the Journal of Consumer Research expands the field, exploring the potential for mimicry to influence product consumption. The researchers find that watching someone else eat a certain food-in this case, either goldfish crackers or animal crackers – will cause the viewer to be inclined to eat the same thing. Additionally, in another experiment, participants who had their posture and speech mimicked by a salesperson rated the product higher and consumed more of it.

This research was funded by the Department of Obvious.

  • It certainly works. Some people say it’s false, but if you get into the habit of doing it, you begin doing it naturally anyway.

  • On the NBC hit TV show The Office, there’s a character Andy Bernard who’s basically the ultimate butt-kisser.

    When he first transfers into the Scranton branch, to win-over the mind share of his new boss (Michael Scott), Andy’s goal is to basically mirror EVERYTHING Michael Does.

    Since The Office does such a great job of taking both the obvious and ridiculous to the extreme, it was pretty funny to watch just how silly this sales-technique looks when you’re in on the joke.