Just for a moment, imagine that you’re meeting with a financial advisor to discuss your investment strategy.
As you look across the desk at him, you notice that he’s sweating, twisting his wedding ring, and refusing to make eye contact. As he delivers advice and proposes that you put large chunks of money into certain funds, he stammers and trembles.
Now, ask yourself this question: How confident are you in giving that person the power to control your financial future? Not at all confident, right?
As a salesperson, your posture and body language can have a similar impact on how your customers and prospects view you, your company, and the products or services you sell. As hard as it may be to believe, the better it is, the better your chances are of gaining the confidence and trust of the people you sell to! The worse it is, the worse your chances are of getting them to listen to what you have to say.
In fact, in the recent Ted Talk, “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are,” Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy went so far as to suggest that body language (or, as Cuddy calls it, non-verbal communication) can change other people’s perceptions of us, as well as our own body chemistry. So, even though you might not feel confident when you meet with a prospect, you can actually convey confidence through your body language, posture, and movement. And that can have an enormous impact on your ability to close more sales.
Need Big Results? Make These Small Changes
Now, I’m not saying that you should all of a sudden start acting like an over-confident meathead in sales meetings – shouting, cracking crude jokes, or awkwardly attempting to dominate the conversation will get you nowhere.
Rather, I’m suggesting that you consider making some relatively small tweaks. As the Wall Street Journal’s Sue Shellenberger points out in this article, embracing the concept of striking “power poses” to raise your confidence before you enter meetings or pick up the phone can drastically improve performance.
What exactly does a power pose look like?
According to Shellenberger, it can be as simple as standing in front of a mirror, leaning forward a little bit and placing your hands on a table in front of you. Or, it could be sitting back in your chair and kicking your feet up onto your desk. Both body positions instill power and confidence, and Shellenberger’s article suggests that they raise testosterone levels and lower the presence of the cortisol – a hormone that has been tied to stress and anxiety.
Act Confident, Even When No One is Watching
Winning sales is really about the confidence you’re able to convey to your prospects (in addition to solid solutions, of course). If prospects trust what you’re saying, they’ll be more likely to buy-in to your recommendations. If they don’t trust you, even the best recommendations will fall on deaf ears.
How you stand, smile, pose, or speak can change the energy in a face-to-face meeting with a customer, while the tone, power, and confidence of your voice can greatly influence the flow of a phone conversation.
So, smile as you talk. Stop slouching. Breathe from your diaphragm. Strike a power pose when you stand up from your desk. All of those things will raise your energy level and confidence. And that will undoubtedly translate to winning more sales!