You’ve built the relationship, gotten the meeting, made a great presentation, and you’re about to close the sale. However, there's a silent-but-deadly danger lurking that can undermine your best efforts. The last thing you need is for your non-verbal communication to get in the way of a huge triumph. Poor body language in sales can be a deal breaker. The next time you find yourself at a critical sales moment, here are a few elements to remember to ensure your physicality is motivating your prospect to buy, not pushing them out the door :
Avoid "the point." Ever notice how no one points at the Disney theme parks? Yep – it’s either two fingers or an open-palmed gesture. Take a page from their book at your next sales meeting. Pointing can be considered rude in many cultures, so keep this in mind when delivering your pitch.
Smile. Unless you’re delivering bad news, there’s really no reason not to smile. Smiling triggers the phenomenon of isopraxism, or mirroring. When you see smiles reflected back at you, the whole dynamic of the room can change and work in your favor. Not a very “smiley” person? Practice in your car on the way, or for a minute or two in a bathroom stall before you head in for the pitch.
Keep eye contact consistent. A great relationship building activity to remember? The 3 Second Rule. Eye contact that lasts anything less than 3 seconds can seem a little shifty or dishonest, and anything significantly greater can seem a bit stalker-ish. If there are multiple people in your meeting, make sure you’re taking time to include everyone in the room with your eye contact. If you do, you’ll be talking “to” your audience instead of “at” them, which is always the goal.
Remember not to forget your feet. Are you sitting in a boardroom, or behind a desk or table? Be mindful of your feet! Avoid crossing your legs at the knee — showing the bottom of your shoe can be considered disrespectful in some cultures. And jiggling or shaking your foot can impact the rest of your body too; sure, maybe no one can see your foot moving, but they might wonder why the visible part of your body is vibrating uncontrollably.
Make effective choices with your body language, and you'll silently support all of your closing efforts — don’t let poor body language close the door! At your next sales meeting, keep your prospects engaged, connected, and motivated with your strong non-verbal communication skills.