Profitably influencing the sales process with your body language – Part 2
Identifying your persuasive body language
Now, how does this apply to your selling process? When communicating with a prospect, watch the way you use your body. How do you sit? What’s your facial expression? How do you breathe? How are your feet positioned? Where do you place your hands? All these details will go a long way in influencing your prospect. Your aim is to appeal to your prospect’s subconscious mind so that when it checks the registered list of body languages, it will interpret your body language to mean likeable, confident, truthful, professional and trustworthy.
To sell effectively especially in a recession you must identify your persuasive body language, which means, the way you move your body when you’re fully persuaded. Persuasion is contagious and can be passed from one person to another. As mentioned earlier, I’m not relegating the importance of content because without it the whole sales process is useless.
Here’s what you need to do to identify your persuasive body language. Simply get a friend to look at you or stand in front of a mirror then note how you move your body when persuaded about something. Note your key body features at that time like; the positioning or movement of your head, hands, feet, eyes, mouth or breathing. Whatever body movement you note is what you must do as much as possible when face to face with a prospect or client in order to be persuasive enough.
Finally, when meeting with a prospect, here are ten body languages to increase your boldness and effectiveness;
1. The way you walk: Walk with energy, walk fast, walk intentionally, walk consciously and walk boldly. This will let the prospect know that you’re as busy as he or she is.
2.Your handshake: Make your handshake firm. Let it exude energy and confidence. Don’t squeeze the hand of the prospect but let it be comfortable or at most mirror the handshake of the prospect. When giving a handshake, use more of your thumb and forefinger to grip the prospect’s hand and move only your forearm, not your whole arm.
3. The way you stand: Chin up, chest out and stand straight like you are leaning on a wall with the back of your head and heel touching the wall at the same time.
4. Touch your prospect: Touch below the elbow (anywhere between the wrist and the elbow) or behind the hand with the tip of your fingers, this will make the prospect feel a sense of warmth towards you. Make this as natural as possible, no use going straight for the prospect’s hand to touch it. This should be after rapport has been built.
5. Avoid touching your face, ears, nose or jewellery: Doing any of these indicates timidity, insincerity or discomfort.
6. Avoid using your hands to cover your body parts: Folding your hands to your chest or placing your hand in front or over your crouch should be avoided. This makes you come across as defensive.
7. Give body space when talking: Be careful not to move into the private space of your prospect. The moment you move close and the prospect moves back then you know you’re invading their private space.
8. Keep hands open and feet facing them: Avoid pointing your finger to your prospect that will come across as domineering. When using hand gestures to communicate ensure your palm faces the prospect, this means you’re open and sincere with nothing to hide. Also, if you’re standing make your feet face the prospect not away from the prospect. This will show you’re sure of what you’re saying.
9. Practice mirroring and matching: This is a key to building instant rapport. When two people are discussing and they’ve built rapport, you’ll notice that at some point the tone of their voice and the positioning of parts of their body will be similar. Iyore Ogbuigwe is a sales consultant.