Although many first sales appointments take place over the phone, if you have been following our Guide to Active Listening, chances are you've had a meaningful, successful interaction with your prospect and may have landed that deal-closing face-to-face meeting. To further aid you in your communication endeavors, FRONTLINE Selling CMO, Cherie Stowe, discusses the final component to active listening: non-verbal signals and how to use them to improve your conversations.
Body language is a large part of communication. Picking up on non-verbal cues can be vital to understanding meaning when having a discussion. Crossed arms can signal resistance. Someone who doesn't like the person sitting next to them tends to cross their legs away from that person. There are hundreds of examples of how body language conveys meaning. In a business setting, being able to portray and read body language can be the difference between winning a sale and tanking it. The following is a short list of non-verbal signs you can use or look for to gauge or reinforce active interest in what is being said.
- Smiles - small smiles can be used to show that the listener is paying attention to what is being said. Combined with nods of the head, smiles can be a powerful tool in affirming messages are being acknowledged and understood.
- Eye contact - it is normal and usually encouraging for the listener to look at the speaker. Combine eye contact with smiles and other non-verbal messages to encourage the speaker. If your prospect is looking at their phone or out the window, you have a problem. Change focus or bring them back into the fold by asking them a question.
- Posture - posture can tell a lot about the sender and receiver in interpersonal interactions. The attentive listener tends to lean slightly forward or sideways while sitting.
- Reflection - automatic mirroring of facial expressions used by the speaker can be a sign of attentive listening. These reflective expressions can help show sympathy and empathy, especially in emotional situations.
Using or looking for these non-verbal signs in face-to-face communications will not only help you to become a better communicator, but will help you build better overall relationships and enhance your sales success.
To learn more about the importance of interpersonal communication and how you can increase the number and quality of your first business conversations, contact the professionals at FRONTLINE Selling today.
Image via Shutterstock.com