If you want someone to see something, it helps to know what they’re looking for.
One of the things I listen for when I speak with someone is whether the person is a “matcher” or a “mismatcher.”
I learned this from Tony Robbins; it’s a component of what Tony calls a person’s “model of the world” — basically, how the person see things and what shapes the person’s perspective.
Knowing whether someone is a matcher or a mismatcher is the key to closing more sales, because you’ll know how to influence the person. It is also the key to most effectively serving your clients.
You cannot persuade a matcher and a mismatcher with the same technique. You need to speak to them in a way that they will be motivated to take action.
Matcher vs Mismatcher
A “matcher” looks first at what is similar. A “mismatcher” looks first at what is different.
To take a really simple example: I show you a picture of a red circle, a blue square, and a yellow triangle. I ask you to tell me about the picture.
A matcher might say: they are all colored shapes.
A mismatcher might say: they are all different shapes in different colors.
It’s Not About Good vs Bad
This isn’t about identifying something “wrong” with you. It’s your basline: what do you notice first?
Do you notice similarities first or do you notice differences first?
This is about being aware of your tendency. And of your client’s or prospect’s tendencies.
Once you are aware, you can work within that.
If you were looking at the sky and said “look, it’s a beautiful day,” a matcher would agree with you.
A mismatcher might point out the clouds or say “I hear it’s going to rain tomorrow.”
It’s Not The Same As Negativity Bias
It’s worth noting that being a mismatcher is different from negativity bias, although I have a completely unfounded theory that there is probably some correlation between mismatchers and those who exhibit a high negativity bias.
That’s the surface level of it.
The deeper level is to see where the pattern shows up for positive and negative outcomes.
Marchers, for example, often tend to be agreeable. They follow rules. They are compliant. They often appear to be more positive, on the surface. But they can tend to people pleasing.
Mismatchers tend to be the “problem spotters.” They see the discrepancies and flaws. People often perceive them as negative. But, they often are the divergent thinkers who will come up with out-of-the-box solutions.
How Does it Serve You?
Knowing your tendency is important. Knowing how it serves you is even more important.
I know that I tend to be a mismatcher; this actually serves me well in many areas. For over 2 decades, people have come to me for guidance in making life-altering, high-stakes decisions. They rely on my gift for “seeing the field” with clarity — I can see where the issues are. I see what’s not aligned.
People also ask me to look at the fine details. In law school, I was a copy editor on my law journal. I could spot an extra space after a period with a glance at a page.
That’s how being a mismatcher serves me: spotting flaws, inconsistencies, and what doesn’t belong.
How Doesn’t It Serve You?
For years, I did not hang artwork in my home because a picture hanging slightly unlevel really irritates me. That’s not the best outcome.
Mismatching to Self-Sabotage
Being a mismatcher often is a subtle way I self-sabotage. For example, as a mismatcher, I tend to like to prove people wrong; I like to take the opposing view.
There is nothing “wrong” with this in theory. In many big moments in my life, when people have told me I can’t do something, I went out and proved them wrong.
And, when people have told me I’ll be great, or I’m so talented, smart, etc, I went out and proved them wrong too. I sabotaged myself. This doesn’t serve me as well.
Mismatching as sabotage was unconscious for me for a long time. I’m aware of it now because I created awareness around it for myself; I’ve never worked with a coach who was able to see this to that level of depth.
I recently had a breakthrough about another element of this. One of my challenges is that I often feel like nobody believes in me. I don’t feel supported in my vision and mission.
I realize I probably unconsciously set up this dynamic because it forces me to a place where I can prove others are wrong. But it also makes for a very lonely life where I feel I don’t have support.
A truly masterful coach would help me find a way to get out of that dynamic, so I stop mismatching to my own sabotage.
Fitting this into other personality patterns
Knowing your tendency is half the battle. Using that awareness in life is the next step.
For example, because I know I have a tendency to mismatch, I actively work to look for the similarities.
Also, I know I am an overthinker, and as a lawyer, I can argue all sides of an issue. That’s a dangerous combination for someone like me and a key place where I get in my own way. It’s why I know I need really strong coaching support.
I also know how I respond to sales pitches. I often will heighten my mismatching when someone is trying to sell me something I don’t really want to buy. That’s a sign for me to walk away. (It also teaches me a lot about the sales person’s skills; most salespeople don’t deal with mismatchers well).
Listening for the tendency in others
When I’m listening to clients or colleagues, this is one of the key things I listen for.
Knowing what you’re dealing with in others helps you offer better solutions that will fit their way of thinking.
When you understand how to speak to people in a way that influences them, it helps you create consensus.
This understanding will also help you win more influence and close more sales.
All you need to do is listen.
Thanks for being here. This is day 51 of a daily publishing streak. I’d love to hear your comments and questions.