Crafting a killer sales pitch?
Well, did you know that it’s not what you say but how you say it?
In fact, how you’re visually perceived by your audience can matter more than what you say.
You could have the best speech written down and not a single person would remember it if you spoke in whispers while looking down.
How you deliver a pitch is far more important that what you actually have to put across.
Wandering eyes, crossed arms and a stooped posture can quickly drown your message if you’re not paying attention. You need to exude a calm, confident demeanor when trying to reach out to prospects. If you don’t, your audience will pick up on it and won’t trust or value what you’re saying.
Fortunately for you, this article is about to teach you how body language can help emphasize your argument and resonate with your audience when used strategically. If you’re looking to really drive a point home, why not try walking a few steps to your prospect? Simply nodding, maintaining eye contact and smiling will help create a receptive and positive atmosphere.
If you can master facial expressions, eyebrow gestures, leg activity and torso/arms behavior, you’re well on your way to a successful sale. What’s more, small, restrained gestures can help project an air of confidence and authority.
Use the below table of contents to click and fast forward through our article.
Verbal vs Nonverbal Communication
What does the science say about using non-verbal communication in sales? A psychology professor known as Albert Mehrabian proposed a communication model that breaks down the different types of communication people use. The 7-38-55 model is still used to this day.
What is the 7-38-55 model you ask?
The model states that 7% of communication is verbal consisting of spoken words while 38% consists of vocal intonations. The other 55% is fully visual and consists of body language. This means that body language makes up more than half of business communication, and an increase in email and text messaging is getting in the way of good business.
So, what form of communication should you use to increase sales? You need to use all forms of communication efficiently if you truly want to influence people. That’s why the best business coaches incorporate a lot of body language into their sales techniques and lessons.
Non-Verbal Cues to Watch Out For in Meetings
While prospects are quite focused on what you’re going to say during sales meetings, body language plays a crucial role in the sales conversation. Lots of things could kill a sale, but the way you interact with customers should never be one of them. Below are a few tips on how to boost your sales with body language.
Nonverbal Cue #1: Facial Expressions
From babies all the way to adults, we use our faces to communicate with one another. Facial expressions are not just communicated by what the eyes say, there’s an array of different moving parts that have to work together.
This includes the way your mouth moves when you talk and how your nose crinkles when showing emotion. Whether your forehead is relaxed or furrowed also communicates something to your audience. From your lips to the tension that arises on your neck, all these factors will subconsciously say something to anyone listening to you.
So when you’re talking, try not to grit your teeth or lips. Have a slight smile that shows you’re positive about the information you’re giving your prospects. A simple smile shows you’re pleased to be able to share knowledge and experience with your audience.
Nonverbal Cue #2: Eye Contact
Are the eyes truly windows to the soul? Whether or not this is true, they surely are the windows to a sale. You can tell whether a prospect is interested or not just by looking into their eyes when talking to them.
Your eyes and brows tell incredible stories since majority of your immediate emotional reactions to what people say is evident in your facial expressions. Positive or negative, these expressions say quite a lot within a span of a few seconds.
Think about it; what does minimal eye contact translate to? If you won’t meet your prospects gaze during a meeting, they’re likely to think you’re uninterested or distracted in what they have to say. Similarly, not making eye contact with your clients can make them feel as if you’re being dishonest which will lead to a lack of trust and lost sales.
Always make eye contact with your target audience throughout the sale interaction along with a calm and relaxed facial expression. Not only does this allow them to feel relaxed and trust you, but you can watch out for pupil dilation by maintaining eye contact. Just keep it balanced so you don’t creep out your prospects by staring at them too much.
Our post on covert sales hypnosis might help you out more.
Nonverbal Cue #3: Arms and Torso
Just like facial expressions and eye contact, the way you hold out your arms and torso can reveal a lot about what you’re really thinking. For instance, crossing your arms is a sure sign of defensiveness, anxiety or insecurity. So if you naturally cross your arms, try to avoid the temptation by placing your hands on the table or your lap.
Likewise, your posture also reveals a lot. So listen to your parents and try not to slouch. Lean forward and focus on active listening while avoiding nervous behaviors. If you nervously tap your toes or click your pen, make a note of this and avoid it.
Otherwise, your posture and arm movements tell your prospects whether you are bored, agitated, impatient or excited.
Nonverbal Cue #4: Legs
Here’s a type of body language that is often overlooked by a lot of sales people. The good news however is that unless you’re in a very specific type of sales, your legs shouldn’t really be noticed during a meeting. So, what do your feet communicate to prospects?
This one’s a bit different; you actually want to make prospects forget that you have legs during a meeting. This means no toe tapping or constantly crossing and uncrossing your legs. And if you happen to be standing or giving a presentation, make sure you stand and walk confidently.
Body Language Techniques to Use in your Next Sales Meeting
During a sales meeting, body language can easily turn against you. As such, you need to be aware that how you feel is not always how you’re perceived. For instance, you could be cold and cross your arms to generate some heat. Unfortunately, your prospect might read into this as a defensive move.
Your prospect doesn’t know you, so nonverbal cues are all they can use to get a read on you. That’s why you need to make your prospects first impression a great one. Here are a few techniques that you can use to influence prospects positively.
Body Language Tip #1: Match and Mirror
One of the most effective ways to portray yourself in any sales interaction is to match and mirror the body language of your prospects. By reflecting the same movements, gestures and posture as your client, you will get them to feel comfortable and relaxed as the meeting progresses. Mirroring someone shows that you’re interested in what they have to say.
But you need to be very careful. Although the technique shows empathy and approachability, there’s a fine line between mirroring and mimicking. Trust me, nobody likes to be mimicked. The idea is to make people feel at ease in your presence while also showing you’re involved and focused on them.
If you can master the art of matching and mirroring your prospects’ body language during most sales interactions, then your future presentations should be nothing but successful.
Body Language Tip #2: Open Up
Just like you, customers want to buy from brands that are open and honest about what they’re selling. And whereas words used to sell a brand can make a ton of guarantees and promises, the body doesn’t lie.
So when meeting prospects face to face, you have to be comfortable in your own skin. This means standing straight and sitting tall. It means opening up your hands when you gesture and exposing the body by not hunching over.
Opening up your body and eliminating barriers between you and your prospect will make you seem confident and in control even if you might not feel that way. Similarly, be mindful to prevent gestures that close you off such as crossing arms and tucking your hands in your pockets.
A great example of someone whose body language communicates a sense of openness is Chris Lema.
Body Language Tip #3: Avoid Fidgeting
Another way that might betray the fact that you’re feeling less than confident is a nervous body and voice. Getting the jitters during a pitch is not a big deal. But as a seasoned professional, you’ll need to keep your body in check.
It’s easy to get extremely carried away with overly exaggerated body movements and hand gestures if you’re very passionate about what it is you are selling. Let the sale do the talking; not your hands. Ironically, being too expressive with your body might actually distract the potential buyer from what you’re selling.
Body Language Tip #4: Vary Your Gestures
The main idea of using gestures is to keep the audience engaged. However, using the same movements over and over again will quickly get repetitive and boring to your audience. As such, you need keep things varied and interesting.
Make use of open gestures, small movements, and expressions that involve your hands and arms. And while broad gestures may be engaging and welcoming, smaller ones also have their advantages. Small, stiff gestures not only demonstrate authority, they also encourage people to trust you and view you as confident.
Body Language Tip #5: Walk it Out
If you’re giving a presentation and have some space to work with, try to use walk it out and bring movement to your pitch. One great technique is to move to a different position with each point you’re presenting. Move to point A for talking point 1, point B for talking point 2 and so on.
And when you want to encourage audience participation, make use of open gestures and walk toward your audience. People tend to engage more when they have proximity to the speaker. At the very least, people will pay more attention due to fear of being singled out by the speaker.
Body Language Tip #6: Strike a High Power Pose
A high-power pose is all about taking up space in a room so you appear assertive and powerful. Strange enough, you can see this in the animal kingdom when alpha males or pack leaders puff out their chest to assert strength and authority. Appearing like you’re in control translates to more customers being likely to trust your judgment and what you’re saying.
Leaning forward and standing upright with hands planted widely on a surface will show dominance over most situations. Other elements of high power poses include standing tall with hands on your hips or leaning back with the hands interlinked behind your head when seated. This will take up a lot of space around you.
According to Amy Cuddy, power posing actually boosts your confidence.
Body Language Tip #7: Contradictory Body Language
Another thing to note is that just because a person says yes doesn’t necessarily always mean they truly agree. Try to look at what their bodies are saying versus what they’re verbalizing. If the prospect is nodding, then they’re showing a positive reaction in an honest way.
But if they have their eyebrows scrunched and seem to avoid eye contact, then you might not exactly have the deal in the bag. One characteristic of a great salesman is the ability to take advantage of all opportunities that present themselves. Even things that people may not be consciously aware of.
Being a master of body language and reading people is not there to help you manipulate a situation, but rather show you when you are succeeding and failing. This will help you immensely when it comes to selling immediately as opposed to waiting for the deal to fall through.
Final Word on Body Language in Sales
Even with all the above information, there’s nothing better than knowing the type of customer you’re dealing with. It’ll really help in how you approach them and knowing when to close. Naturally, you need a top of the line CRM to generate data that will help in understanding your customers better.
With access to all this data, users can build a complete picture of your relationship with customers. You’ll be able to see which benefits, products and services resonate most and what ultimately leads to a purchase. Likewise, you’ll need the right tools to work hand in hand with your CRM.
And that’s where top tier CRM like Salesforce combine with Veloxy to solve this problem. These tools give your team secure access to intel anytime, anywhere, and on any device. With Veloxy Engage, you can also get email insights that will allow you to analyze customer data and personalize marketing strategies.