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SEVENTY TO NINETY PERCENT of what we communicate is shared through body language, not words. If you’re in a sales role, your ability to interpret and react quickly to body language cues from prospects will either make you or break you. More often than not, the reason a sales pitch fails is never vocalized. However, body language can give away an objection before the prospects are ready to voice their concerns. If you’re going to be a savvy communicator, you need to be able to interpret the subtle meaning behind your prospect’s body language. In reading a prospect’s body language, look for gestures like: Touching the Face: When a prospect touches his face with his index finger pointing up and another finger covering his mouth, creating an “L” shape, he may be disagreeing with you. Covering the Mouth: A finger covering the mouth might be a prospect’s subconscious attempt to withhold something. If you see this gesture after he’s voiced an objection, ask probing questions to find out if there’s another objection still lingering. Arms Folded: Folded arms could mean your prospect is hiding something. It could also mean that he doesn’t like what he is hearing. Overcome negative body language by giving the person something to hold, like a brochure. Occupying his hands can help open a prospect up. Clenched Hands: Two clenched hands supporting one’s head can mean your prospect is frustrated or impatient. Clenched hands on a desk are easier to overcome. Regardless, these gestures telegraph a negative response before it’s vocalized. Try another strategy before that negative response becomes official. Hand Supporting the Head: A hand supporting the head could signal boredom. Finger or foot tapping can show boredom, too. Inject more energy and interactivity into your pitch. Stroking the Chin: This means your prospect is assessing what you’re sharing with him. Open Palms: This says your prospect is open to what you have to say, or he’s already formed an allegiance with you. Direct eye contact and a tilted head also indicate interest. Relaxed Brows: Relaxed brows indicate ease in the conversation. A tense brow line may indicate tension or confusion. Smiling Eyes: It’s hard to fake a natural smile. Smile lines around the eyes mean it is probably genuine. As a student of body language, don’t let a single gesture derail your pitch. Sometimes a tapping foot is just a sign of too much coffee. It is not an exact science, so be sure not to overreact at every movement. However, if you see your prospect starting to mirror your gestures, you know you’re on the right path. After you’ve made your pitch, if your prospect leans forward with unclasped hands and smiles, it’s time to close.

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RedRover Sales & Marketing

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