There is a compelling amount of evidence that has confirmed that the verbal and nonverbal behaviors salespeople deploy when selling shape how prospects perceive them, the company they represent and the product or service they sell.
In spite of its importance, nonverbal communication is one of the most neglected components of successful selling. This disregard is dangerous because a large part of communication is nonverbal.
The following are three powerful nonverbal behaviors that when executed correctly will boost the effectiveness of any sales presentation.
One of the leading experts on gestures is Dr. David McNeil, a professor of psychology at the University of Chicago. McNeil’s research findings have shown that gestures are connected with the spoken word and together produce meaning. He has also identified that the very act of gesturing boosts the brain’s ability to process information and formulate thoughts.
It is important that gestures are natural, but also done with intentionality. Think through how you can display gestures that visually illustrate your words. Also, be mindful of using the same gesture over and over again, as this is often distracting to prospects.
One effective way to monitor your gestures is to video a sales call and then watch it in two different ways. First, view for the purpose of comparing your verbal and nonverbal signals. Are they in sync? Do your nonverbals contradict your words?
When you watch the sales call again, turn the sound off. As you analyze your nonverbal behaviors without the distraction of sound you will acquire a different perspective and notice new areas for improvement.
One of the most potent, yet underappreciated nonverbal behaviors is smiling. The act of smiling is often overlooked because of its simplicity, but science has revealed that smiling creates a profound impact.
Research studies have shown that smiling causes one to be perceived as being approachable and competent. For instance, one social science study found that interviewees who repeatedly smiled during interviews were far more likely to be offered the job. What’s more, another study identified that the first impression prospects had of sales people was largely shaped by whether or not the salesperson smiled.
When sales people smile, it will improve their performance. This is because when facial muscles contort to produce a smile, blood flow to the brain increases, which lowers the brain’s temperature. This naturally produces feelings of pleasure and puts one in a more optimistic, energetic and productive emotional state.
3. Power Movements
Power movements are movements or poses that alter body chemistry and enhance performance. Research has confirmed that holding “high power” poses, such as placing your hands on your hips, will trigger an increase in testosterone. This release of testosterone will amplify feelings of confidence.
The simplest way to create power movements is to observe how you naturally move when you are extremely confident. You will notice that there are certain gestures or poses that you instinctively adopt. Power movements are the international use of these movements and poses.
The reason power movements are so influential is because science has revealed that they are reflections of confidence and produce confidence. Though feelings influence our body movements, the opposite is also true. If you are feeling one way and you purposefully display body language that reflects a different feeling, soon you will begin to feel more like what your body is representing.
As you begin working to improve your nonverbal behaviors you will notice that within a very short time your ability to communicate will improve and so will your sales results.