Body language is a major element of communications in all species. When it comes to human beings, research has shown body language to be even more powerful than verbal communication, as it’s an indicator of a person’s true feelings and motives. As professional communicators (salespeople), it is mission critical that we have a good understanding of other peoples’ body language and what we are conveying with our own.
There are hundreds of books on this subject and we obviously cannot tackle this huge body of work in depth here, but there is one simple gesture that generates astonishing, subliminal power both on the giving and the receiving end . . . the SMILE. Sound a little light? Check this out.
The smile is a universal sign of goodwill among every culture on earth. When we are on the receiving end of a genuine smile, we naturally begin to relax a little and let our guard down slightly. It is also virtually impossible to ignore our own subliminal reflex to smile back, which often starts a virtual circle of communication to follow.
Meanwhile, on the giving side, research shows that the simple act of smiling transmits positive signals to the brain and releases endorphins, which raise our moods in the process. Of course that’s why most speakers begin their speeches with a good story/joke and why most of us enjoy laughing it up while watching a good comedy.
So as salespeople, we have to ask ourselves, if smiling raises our moods, relaxes the prospect, helps pull his guard down a little and promotes emotional connectivity in the process, what’s not to like? But here is the rub.
When we are prepping for an important presentation or nervous standing in front of an important group of buyers, we can easily default to our “game face,” which can be anything but disarming and friendly . . . probably pretty intense and even competitive. So the point here is to be conscious of our body language and especially, our opportunities to smile. The multiple benefits are both significant and profound!
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