Nonverbal communication can positively affect sales, business negotiations, conflict resolutions, and customer service. Being a great salesperson or businessperson isn’t just about what you say; it’s about how you say it. Multiple studies have shown that 50-90% of communication is nonverbal. To effectively communicate, then, you need to utilize body language to get your message across.
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Body Language is Half of Business Communication
A professor of psychology, Albert Mehrabian, developed a communication model that breaks down the types of communication people use to convey their message. His 7-38-55 communication model is still used today, which states communication is:
- 7% verbal (words spoken)
- 38% vocal (intonation)
- 55% visual (body language)
Business Insider agrees that Body Language is Half of Business Communication, and the increase in text messaging and emailing is getting in the way of good business. To truly influence people, you need to use all forms of communication. It’s no wonder the best business coaches incorporate body language into their lessons and sales techniques.
What Body Language Should You Use to Sell?
Managing your facial expressions and body language in a natural way takes practice, but there are basic nonverbal cues you can quickly master. Just remember, don’t be too emphatic; otherwise, you may come across as ingenuine or manipulative.
1. Confident First Contact
When you first come in contact with someone, stand straight, look directly at the person, and smile while looking the person in the eye. Keep in mind that some cultures frown upon eye contact in certain situations, so be sure to do your homework first. Also dependent on culture is the handshake or kiss on the cheek. Whatever the appropriate gesture is, do it in a way that is confident, but not forceful. You want the person to feel you are happy to meet them.
2. Open Posture
Try to keep an open posture. Do not cross your arms or hide your hands in your pockets or behind your back. By keeping your hands in sight and your midsection vulnerable, you convey on a basic human level that you are not a threat or hiding anything. You also show that you are open to what the person has to say or offer.
3. Lean In
Since we naturally lean in when we are trying to hear somebody, it makes sense that leaning in can confirm we are listening. If you slightly lean toward the person who is talking, they will feel like they are being heard, and customers want to be heard.
4. Match the Customer’s Tone
When you answer the client, try to match their tone of voice. This is a form of mirroring that is very effective when it comes to influencing others. You can see this on a basic level where mothers match their child’s excitement over a simple drawing that instills pride and satisfaction into the child.
5. Nod in Understanding
Nodding doesn’t just express agreement; it also expresses understanding. When you nod at key points in a conversation, even if it’s almost imperceptible, you will give the impression that you are attentive and interested in what the person is saying. Remember, people like to be heard. If a customer feels like you are listening, they will be more confident that you understand their position. And, of course, you should actually be listening, because Listening Builds Connections and Success.
Using Body Language to Influence Others
Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Learn to use your body to inspire emotions in others. You can ethically influence customers and improve your sales by mastering your body language. Your mouth is just one small tool to use for your business. To optimize your business communication, you need to incorporate the rest of your body.
Learn more about business communication coaching and how you can influence others using body language.