Humans are naturally intuitive when it comes to body posture and the meanings assigned to our many different mannerisms. When watching apes or chimpanzees, you can see some of this same posturing going on, though hopefully, it is more subtle in us humans.
How body language relates to sales is an interesting study, and though proper posturing may come naturally to some, it is a skill that can be learned and perfected by utilizing a few general rules, and then tailoring your actions to the audience you are trying to capture.
Start with a comfortable, casual stance. Your shoulders should be comfortably back, imparting a sense of confidence. Arms are down by your sides, clasped in front of or behind you, but never should your arms be crossed unless you are mirroring that behavior in a prospect. Your entire body should impart a sense of trustworthiness and helpfulness.
Here are just a few specific posture styles that will help you when on your sales calls.
Mirroring is noticing, and matching the nuances of your prospect’s body language and mannerisms. Even the way your prospect talks can be mirrored. Each one of us has unique hand movements, postures, and habits that can be mimicked. When we see others acting the way we are, we subconsciously feel accepted and understood. This leads to trust. The key to successful mirroring is that you do it naturally, confidently, and subtly.
When you look your prospect in the eyes, it shows that you care, and are interested in what they have to say. This goes closely with listening instead of talking. Let your eyes express your genuine curiosity about your prospect, and that you want them to keep talking. Avoiding eye contact will make you seem untrustworthy and not confident.
Leaning Towards Your Prospect
Leaning into whoever you’re speaking to gives them a feeling of exclusivity as if they are the only one privy to the deal you’re about to present. It is a friendly gesture that shows your openness to know more, and your willingness to listen, too.
Walk Your Talk
Your body language should be aligned with what it is you’re saying. If you’re presenting a powerful message, use powerful body language. If your message is exclusive and subtle, then tone down the mannerisms to match. An incongruent message will sound a warning bell in the subconscious of your potential customer, so make sure you’re aligned physically and verbally with your message.