Effectively reading non-verbal messages can dramatically improve your sales relationships, as well as your sales results.
Everyone communicates on two levels. Verbally and non-verbally. Verbal communication, or the spoken words we use, represent a very small portion (less than 10%) of our overall message. People can lie, misrepresent or mislead you with their words. Non-verbal language represents over 50% of our total message.
If there is an inconsistency between the verbal message and the non-verbal message you are getting from a prospect, I would advise paying more attention to the non-verbal. The non-verbal message will always be more a more accurate representation of the person's feelings, attitudes or beliefs.
There are a number of ways we communicate non-verbally. There are: gestures, facial expressions, eye movements and eye contact, posture and body position, verbal tone, inflection, pauses, pace and volume. The way people dress also sends a non-verbal signal.
An easy way to determine what someone is thinking or feeling is to observe whether their signals are open or closed. Open signals represent openness, acceptance, willingness, enthusiasm, and approval. Closed signals represent the opposite of all of these. Closed signals are crossed legs, arms, hands. A lack of eye contact, rigid posture, leaning away from you, and the hands on top of the head are also examples of closed signals. Open signals are exactly what they imply: open hands, uncrossed legs, eye contact, leaning forward, and so on. There are thousands of ways we communicate non-verbally.
I suggest you spend the next few days observing and trying to interpret people's non-verbal messages.
Tim Connor, CSP is an internationally renowned sales, management and leadership speaker, trainer and best selling author. Since 1981 he has given over 3500 presentations in 21 countries on a variety of sales, management, leadership and relationship topics. He is the best selling author of over 60 books including; Soft Sell, That's Life, Peace Of Mind, 91 Challenges Managers Face Today and Your First Year In Sales. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 704-895-1230 or visit his website at http://www.timconnor.com.