Have you ever wondered why you lost a sale you thought was "in the bag?" If you're like most salespeople, you probably have. And have you given any thought into why? Again, you probably have; however, there's one area that's often overlooked when it comes to self-evaluation while trying to determine how and why you lost any given sale—body language.
Is your body language costing you sales? Do you know?
Are you sure?
Here are the do's and don'ts of body language and exactly how to use them to your advantage.
What You Already Know
Most sales training programs teach that you should always look people in the eye when they talk, present a firm (but not too firm) handshake, and to smile. But that's usually where it ends. Or at least, the only lessons that seem to transfer into practice. Sound familiar?
However, there are so many other ways your body language translates positively or negatively, whether you know it or not. Unfortunately, you don't know what you don't know and that could be negatively affecting your sales.
Let's take a look at what to do and what not to do when it comes to coming across as an approachable, likable, trustworthy salesperson.
What Leads to How Your Body Language Comes Across?
Buyers these days are very perceptive and emotionally intelligent, so they will quickly be able to tell if you're not being sincere, also known as faking it.
The first lesson in positive body language is not actually your body language at all. It's the energy you're portraying, which ultimately leads to how your body language is coming across. For example, have you ever encountered a salesperson who was smiling at you, but the "vibe" they were putting out just felt off? That's negative energy and people can feel it, regardless of how well you fake going through the motions.
What does this mean? It means, if you want to be a good salesperson, you must SINCERELY want to help each and every person who walks through the door, no matter how good or bad they are treating you. If you can't do that, you're in the wrong business!
Now that we've got that covered, let's talk about how you can use your body language to positively influence your sales and some of the traits that could cost you a sale, especially if you don't realize what you're doing.
Expert Positive Body Language Tips That Will Help Skyrocket Your Sales
- Always make eye contact but don't stare.
- Keep a relaxed facial expression and smile.
- Offer a firm, but not too firm, handshake to help create a bond with your prospects.
- Pay attention and actively listen.
- Nod, to acknowledge that you are listening.
- Keep a relaxed upright posture regardless of whether you're sitting or standing. Keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed, and lean in slightlyto show you're actively listening.
- Be conscientious of your tone of voice. Using a soft, low, and calm tone can help you control any given conversation. This doesn't mean you should never express excitement, which you should always portray when presenting your product or service. Excitement is just as contagious as negativity, so use it to your advantage.
- Sincerely use laughter, empathy, and understanding when appropriate. This lets people know you understand their plight and are on their side.
Negative Body Language You Should Always Avoid
- Never cross your arms as this portrays a defensive and/or disinterested stance.
- Avoid repeatedly touching your face when talking with someone as this comes across as a sign you are insincere.
- Don't look at the ground to avoid coming across as being disinterested.
- Stop picking and fiddling whether it's your clothes, a notebook, your hair, or even your devices.
- Avoid finger, feet, pen, or any other type of tapping, as well as excessive movements of any kind. Be mindful of any other personal ticks you might have that could be distracting.
- Respect personal space. Four feet is the appropriate amount of space between you and another person to avoid making them feel uncomfortable.
- Never put an object in front of your body as this shows resistance. Place objects at your side. This shows you are not trying to hide anything.
- Don't fake smile. Ever!
- Always keep your hands in sight, never in your pockets, etc. because this comes across as if you are disengaged or trying to hide something.
How to Use This Information to Improve Your Sales
You can begin by trying to incorporate the positive body language techniques we presented above. This might mean you have to totally re-think how you present your sales information to prospects.
The best way to become a better salesperson is through practice. Find a top performing sales professional who displays exceptional customer service skills, a flawless sales presentation, and a pleasant, relaxed demeanor and make that person your mentor. Then take what you've learned and add a bit of your personality to come up with your own new and improved techniques and watch your sales skyrocket.
On the flip side, if you've identified with any of the above negative body language don'ts, you should make a concentrated effort to be mindful of them and avoid them at all cost. This might take some practice which you could easily do in front of a mirror or with a friend or colleague.
The Bottom Line
If you take what you've learned here and make a sincere effort to incorporate as many of these tips as you can as part of your everyday persona, you will see a measurable difference in your sales. Why? Because how well you treat people will have a positive impact on their life, whether you realize it or not. And this, in turn, will have a positive impact on yours!