I recently watched a TED talk and was reminded again about the importance of body language in communications. Studies continue to confirm that body language is even more important than speaking in terms of the perceptions we have of each other, and that we form and trust those impressions amazingly fast . . . often in milliseconds. So as salespeople, that means we can have developed and delivered the most elegant presentation ever, but if we have not passed the body language test, it will likely fall on deaf ears.
Powerful and confident body language not only impresses other people, it actually fires up our brains’ chemistry to feel more powerful and confident in a wonderful virtuous circle between body and mind. Researchers have conducted numerous experiments in which people who assumed powerful poses were tested against people who assumed submissive poses, then measured hormone levels like testosterone and the people asked to assume the powerful poses tested consistently higher.
And here is a pretty cool anecdote: researchers observed two sets of athletes in track races. One set could see. The others were blind. They photographed the winners in each category, and the automatic response and body language of each winner was to throw his/her arms up in victory at the finish line, pull the head back and smile. So not a learned response . . . a deeply, hardwired reaction of positive body language.
The lessons for us as salespeople are twofold.
Psyche up before every important call or meeting with positive, confident body language exercises.
Absolutely, positively, bring positive body language to the meeting itself, particularly concentrating on confidence, which is a key clue buyers look for from sellers.
If you would like to learn more, watch this TED Talk: Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.