Nonverbal communication in Sales
Much of the communication in a sales presentation is non-verbal.
The business world has few constants more universal than the need to sell your product or service. Restaurants sell their food and atmosphere, retailers help craft your self-image, manufacturers want to move units, and even your dentist must sell you on the benefits of a perfect smile. The sales presentation is correspondingly important. It's always important for a salesperson to listen to a prospect, but much of the communication in a sales interview is non-verbal. It's important to pay attention to both spoken and unspoken signals that can represent success or failure.
Before your sales presentation begins, take a moment to examine any cues your prospect's environment might present. If you're meeting in the prospect's office, the office itself sends signals. An antiseptically barren room with everything in its place is likely occupied by a logical, rational thinker looking for unornamented facts, while an office cluttered with family photos and citations from charities and service clubs argues for a different approach. If you're meeting on neutral ground, consider your prospect's wardrobe or the relative warmth of his interactions with co-workers. These clues can provide guidance as you fit your presentation to your prospect's personal style.
The eyes are among the most telling of nonverbal cues. If your prospect's eyes are locked on you and your presentation materials, and if his pupils are visibly dilated, you're holding his interest. On the other hand, if your prospect's eyes are wandering or losing focus, you need to make an effort to regain his attention and get the presentation back on course. Make a note whenever this happens. If it's consistently at the same point in your presentation, the presentation will have to change.
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