Communication in sales negotiations isn’t just about what’s written on the documents or what you say. How you stand, sit, point your finger, or shake their hands reveal much more.
People use nonverbal cues all the time—shrugging, eye-rolling, hand gestures, etc. The way you communicate your sales pitch makes or breaks the deal. When you’re selling to clients, take note of non-verbal communication—active listening and body language. What you and the client see is as important as what you both can hear.
Do you look bored, nervous, or terrified whenever you present your proposal? If you want to close more deals and invite more prospects, then here’s how you can start paying attention to your body language.
Your non-verbal signals are an extension of your character. The way you present yourself during the meeting gives your client a peek of who you are as a person, how much work you put into drafting the proposal, and how prepared you are with the sales pitch. Even the simplest act of having a firm handshake reveals if you’re confident or not about yourself; or the enthusiasm to meet them.
In line with that, presenting to a client is also about telling a narrative that they can follow, for the most part. Aside from saying the important details, you can enhance this by adding non-verbal cues. An alive and animated presentation to a client will tell them that you know what you are talking about from top to bottom.
Negative body cues leave a bad impression to anyone. Constantly glancing on your watch, playing with a pen, checking your phone every five minutes are negative signals that can display disinterest, which can put off your prospects.
Non-verbal communication makes it easy to show the wrong message. Improve your chances of closing sales during negotiations by exhibiting safe body signals such as effective eye contact, natural smiles, and active listening.
Did you know that body language can improve, weaken, and diminish your impact as a leader? Effective leaders emanate confidence and competence in the way they stand, walk, and speak.
If you can’t read your client’s body language, you may be missing half of the discussion. When you are in a sales pitch, you have to take the leadership role in terms of guiding where the conversation and discussion go. Being a leader goes both ways. You can speak but you also have to listen. Keep your ears open to what they say, and your eyes peeled to what their body expresses.
Excellent body language skills can enhance relationships, project credibility and reliability, and reflect how you lead a team.
It’s your responsibility to send out “safe” signals to your customers. These are body cues that exude openness—where clients can feel comfortable discussing what they think and feel about your presentation without apprehension.
Keep your arms open and slightly bend towards your prospect to show that your full attention is directed to them. Maintain a conversational albeit professional tone. Don’t act dominant around them, so they don’t feel intimidated and stiff around you.
If what you say isn’t supported by your body language, this may sabotage your sales process. Displaying a clenched fist or folded arms won’t help you close a deal. These are negative body signals that can leave a bad taste in your client’s mouth.
Demonstrate a positive body language around your clients. Don’t interrupt them when they’re talking and actively listen to what they say to show you’re there to work with them. These help in establishing a solid foundation of trust.
So how do you clean up your non-verbal communication and be an all-around presenter? Here are some effective non-verbal cues that help you close a deal:
A handshake is an opportunity to make a good impression with the client. Giving a genuine handshake communicates how confident you are about the meeting. Whether you’re meeting a prospect for the first or 10th time, don’t forget to stand, make eye contact, show a genuine smile, and offer a firm handshake to leave a positive reaction.
Stop checking your phone or watch every now and then. Looking people in the eye when talking to them lets them know that they have your full attention. This also shows that you’re interested in what they have to say.
Eye contact is an excellent indicator of confidence and sincerity—characteristics clients look for in business partners or service providers.
Naturally, you’d want to keep your back straight when presenting your product, brand, and value offer to the client, but don’t be hesitant to switch to a slightly relaxed posture for a friendlier approach. Make sure that you don’t hunch back when sitting otherwise this can project disinterest. You want to sit and stand in the way that shows receptiveness.
Anyone can spot if you’re displaying a fake smile. Inability to show a genuine smile can send the message of dishonesty or even impatience. Practice your smile in front of a mirror, make sure that your smile extends to your eyes and cheeks. There no secret to this; the key to give out a genuine smile is to smile for real.
You can draft the best sales proposal, but if you don’t arm yourself with confidence and a holistic approach to your body language during your meeting, then it leaves you with uncertainty if you have a closed deal in your hands.
The Communication Assertiveness of Guthrie-Jensen Consultants can unleash your confidence and help hone your sales skills. You wouldn’t have to stress about exhibiting awkward movements or wrong gestures if you work on your non-verbal communication skills early on.