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Body Language in Selling

How much importance do you place on body language? I'm referring to everything from tone of voice to eye movements and posture. - by Jackie
How much importance do you place on body language? I'm referring to everything from tone of voice to eye movements and posture.
I find I can't help but try to read into it, and of course I've heard all about how tell-tale it is, but frankly I don't find it to be that strong of an indicator. I've had people who's body language and tone seem so positive that I actually can't WAIT to get to the close, only to be surprised when they don't buy, and I've had the reverse, as well. I've had some reals "blanks" who appeared to be completely indifferent pull out their checkbook without a single objection!

I find it interesting how so many people are all so different--like snowflakes. - by RainMaker
How much importance do you place on body language? I'm referring to everything from tone of voice to eye movements and posture.
With regard to what? Are you talking about the prospect's "body language" or the sellers? Are you asking about reading a a person's body language to determine your chances of making a sale? Or are you discussing certain mannerisms by the salesperson that would enhance the possibility of a sale? - by Gary Boye
With regard to what? Are you talking about the prospect's "body language" or the sellers? Are you asking about reading a a person's body language to determine your chances of making a sale? Or are you discussing certain mannerisms by the salesperson that would enhance the possibility of a sale?
I was referring to reading the propect's body language in an effort to add another aspect to the communication. - by Jackie
How much importance do you place on body language? I'm referring to everything from tone of voice to eye movements and posture.
I realize a lot of books talk about this but I'm not quite sure how well this concept works in the field for the general salesperson. :( - by Calvin
I was referring to reading the propect's body language in an effort to add another aspect to the communication.
I believe it's very overrated as an indicator of intentions. - by Gary Boye
I was referring to reading the propect's body language in an effort to add another aspect to the communication.
I believe you will find that a large number of top producing salespeople read body language quite well.

IMO, this is an important communication skill that is usually developed through experience. ;) - by MagicMan
I believe you will find that a large number of top producing salespeople read body language quite well.
I can agree with and relate to this statement. ;) - by SalesGuy
I once read something to the likes of: "Just because your radio commercial didn't work doesn't mean radio commercials don't work". By the same token, if reading body language doesn't work for you then it's probably "you." - by Bulldog
I once read something to the likes of: "Just because your radio commercial didn't work doesn't mean radio commercials don't work". By the same token, if reading body language doesn't work for you then it's probably "you."
There is a significant different between reading body language (an instinctive ability) and relying on body language as an indicator of intentions. I would bet that everyone here has a radio that works, and, natural human awareness.

For instance, it's popularly discussed that a person folding their arms as you converse with them is shutting you out. Can you explain how "reading" that "works" for you? What would you do specifically to counteract the prospect's implied disinterest that would be any different than what you or I would do if the prospect revealed disinterest through dialog? - by Gary Boye
For instance, it's popularly discussed that a person folding their arms as you converse with them is shutting you out.
It's a common mistake to believe that a single cue such as "folded arms" is representative of an "attitude", or as you say "intention", across the board. This is no more the case than "No" always meaning "No." ;) - by Bulldog
It's a common mistake to believe that a single cue such as "folded arms" is representative of an "attitude", or as you say "intention", across the board. This is no more the case than "No" always meaning "No." ;)
There are a lot of common mistakes that are popularly discussed, Bulldog. I think it's a common mistake to put too much emphasis on the importance of body language in selling. But that's just my opinion. There are intelligent people on this thread who disagree with me. I'm anxious to hear their thoughts as well as examples of applications.

But aside from that, give us something creative rather than just reactive again. If you prefer a body signal more to your liking that would imply disinterest, what would you do specifically to counteract the prospect's implied disinterest that would be any different than what you would do if the prospect revealed disinterest through dialog? - by Gary Boye
But aside from that, give us something creative rather than just reactive again.
"reactive"... that's an interesting viewpoint.

... what would you do specifically to counteract the prospect's implied disinterest that would be any different than what you would do if the prospect revealed disinterest through dialog?
I would do nothing different than had the prospect voiced his/her feelings. The information serves to "enhance" the communication by providing a richer representation.

Your question prompts my curiosity... what purpose do you think body language serves? - by Bulldog
That seems reasonable.

I don't know if there is a purpose to unconscious mannerisms and behavior and I believe for the most part that what we're calling "body language" is in that category.

However, if you are referring to the observance of body language, and it's purpose for the observer, I'm obviously not inclined to place the value on it that others do on this thread. Certainly your reply about enhancing the communication is valid. But not everybody goes there. I'm sure I value some elements of communication that others would not value.

Selling is like martial arts. There is no one best system. I think it's important to know other systems and viewpoints as well as our own. But it's even more important to master our own system first. - by Gary Boye
Selling is like martial arts. There is no one best system. I think it's important to know other systems and viewpoints as well as our own. But it's even more important to master our own system first.
I couldn't agree more. :) - by Bulldog
When I talk with a client, I make sure that I pay attention to their body language. I don't think its an "exact" science, but it allows me to dynamically change my sales strategy if needed to, and it also makes me aware of my own body language, and use it to counter theirs. - by cs_obd
Interesting discussion... I'm glad I asked. :) - by Jackie
wel when you look strainge into other's eyes, it's impolite. But if you don't, who art you dealing with? - by nhocaokeu
wel when you look strainge into other's eyes, it's impolite. But if you don't, who art you dealing with?
Look strainge? :cu - by Seth
wel when you look strainge into other's eyes, it's impolite. But if you don't, who art you dealing with?
Did you mean look "straight" into other's eyes? In some cultures that is a possibility. In the United States it's not impolite to look someone in the eyes but it is impolite to stare. - by Franklin
I believe that understanding body language or the more holistic and inclusive term non verbal communication (NVC) is crucial to being successful in the sales arena.



Freud said something like ĎIf the lips remain silent the finger tips speak volumesí. It is virtually impossible to prevent your self from indicating your mental state by disguising your NVC, which makes it a very good indicator to how well you are doing with a customer.



It is more complicated than looking out for some one crossing their arms or legs though, it is something you should be aware of through out your sales presentation but I would suggest that instead of trying to become a psychologist who can recognize every nuance of NVC, you really need to watch out for closed or open body language to indicate how well you are doing.



I feel it is much more important for a salesperson to learn to manage their own NVC so their body language is congruent with the words they are using.



This is a very good thread though and I just joined this site today and I think itís brilliant!! - by louie66
That is a great way of thinking about it Louie66. ;co - by Thomas
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