People communicate with more than just words, they use their bodies to tell us what they are thinking. This is also known as using Body Language. So, what exactly is body language? Simply put, body language is the unspoken element of communication that we use to revel our true feelings and emotions.
It is the relaxed facial expression that breaks into a genuine smile, with the mouth turned upward and a slight wrinkle of the eyes. It can be that tilt of your head that show’s someone that you are listening or sitting upright to convey that you are interested in what the person is saying. Body language can also have negative gestures as well, such as an arms-crossed posture or a relentless tapping of your feet.
You must learn to “read” the signs that Body Language is telling you. Then you will completely understand the message that someone is trying to tell you, or maybe even hide from you. You will instantly be more aware of other’s reactions to what you are saying and doing.
On the flip side of that, you too give off Body Language. Many people spend too much time wondering what the other parties Body Language means that they forget about what their Body Language is saying. As a salesperson you can use your Body Language to appear more positive, engaging, and approachable.
The Science of Body Language
Studies have shown that only seven percent of a message is conveyed though word, the other 93 percent comes from nonverbal communication. These studies also show that Body Language is more important than tone of voice and the choice of words. These studies show us why it is so tough to gauge someone’s true sentiments when we can’t see them, especially when communicating via email or text messaging.
How to Read and Understand Body Language of Your Customers
Being aware of your customer’s Body Language means that you are picking up on their unspoken feelings and emotions. Here are some negative signs to look out for while dealing with a customer.
Awareness of Your Customer’s Body Language During the Sales Process
During the sales process your customer will communicate with you by their actions and not their words. You need to watch out for the following signs in the customer’s body language:
Customers can also display signs of nervousness, skepticism, disinterest, and even dishonesty by doing the following:
- Arms crossed or folded in front of the body
- Minimal or tense facial expressions
- Body turned away from you
- Slouching or leaning back in chair
- Fidgeting or tapping feet
- Playing with objects
- Lack of eye contact
- Looking at watch
If your customer is exhibiting one or more of these behaviors, they are likely disengaged, disinterested in you and what you have to say, or unhappy with what you are saying. Being aware of these signs can help you adjust what you say, how you say it, and even your own Body Language. This can turn your customer’s Body Language and feelings around, making the customer feel more comfortable with you. This also makes them much more open to what you have to say and more open to persuasion.
Body Language that Projects Positivity
Using positive Body Language supports your points, helps you convey your ideas more clearly and helps avoid sending mixed messages and feelings. Additionally, when you observe your customer using positive Body Language, your confidence will grow.
The following are some basic Positive uses of Body Language that can help project self-confidence and openness.
People display signs of interest and agreement by doing the following:
- Sitting up straight
- Leaning forward
- Good eye contact
- Head nod
Virtual Body Language
The world today is different than it was even just a year ago. And with these ever-changing times, communication is becoming more and more virtual. You can also apply much of the Body Language guidance above to video calls. You will just have a little less space and visual area to work with. Here are some ways to show your enthusiasm and to help make your customers feel more comfortable and receptive to your ideas:
- Get your camera setup properly – This means that you are close enough to the camera to show that you are interested but not so close that you are invading your customer’s virtual space. Additionally, you want to have enough room to gesture (use Body Language) without hitting the screen or camera.
- Clean your workspace and eliminate any background noise – It is important to ensure that your customer is not distracted by anything that they will see or hear in your presentation. This will also help you from be distracted as well.
- Maintain eye contact – Look into the camera as if you are looking into someone’s eyes. Be sure not to come off as staring.
- Use facial expressions – Your face is front and center on a video call. You must maintain a smile throughout the call, as well as use other facial expressions such a raising an eyebrow to show that you are interested in what the customer is saying.
It is critical that you remember, during every interaction with a customer, you give off these same signs to your customers when you demonstrate the same actions. You must mentally note to use the positive Body Language actions and remove the negative.