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NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION
- THE SILENT LANGUAGE IN SELLING

Gavin Fox
This class...
What is non-verbal communication (NVC)?
Why study NVC in a sales setting?
How does personal appearance have an
impact on NVC and customer perception?
What NVC send the loudest messages?
What is non-verbal
communication?

Non-verbal communication involves those


nonverbal stimuli in a communication
setting that are generated by both the
source [speaker] and his or her use of the
environment and that have potential
message value for the source or receiver
[listener] .
(Samovar et al).
The Importance of
Body Language

8%

Words
22%
Tone of Voice

Body Language
70%

(Salisbury, 2011)
Two Sides of the Story
1. Salespeople need to be aware of the
messages they are conveying from
their own NVC.

2. Sales people need to be very skilled


at reading other peoples NVC.
Reading the Customers Body
Language
Examples of negative body language
Their arms folded across their chest
They sit back, lean away from you
Their face is expressionless
They appear tense
Their handshake is limp, they withdraw quickly
They do no make eye contact
Reading the Customers Body
Language
Examples of positive body language
Their arms are open
They lean forward towards you
They move closer
They smile
They use hands to express themselves
Their handshake is firm and may linger
They make regular eye contact
1. Entrance and Carriage

All of us make entrances throughout our


business day as we enter offices, conference
rooms, or meeting halls. And every time we
do, someone is watching us, appraising us,
sizing us up, and gauging our appearance,
even our intelligence, often within the space
of a few seconds.
- Susan Bixler, Author of The Professional Image and Professional Presence
How Customers Read
Your Body Language

According to research, when we meet


someone for the first time, we make
11 decisions about that person inside
the first 7 seconds.
11 Decisions, 7 Seconds
1. Economic Level (where they come in
society, how rich or otherwise they are)
2. Educational level (how intelligent they
are and what is their probably academic
level)
3. How honest/credible they are
4. How much they can be trusted
5. Their level of sophistication
6. Gender, their sexual orientation,
desirability, and availability
11 Decisions, 7 Seconds
7. Level of success
8. Political background
9. Value orientation (whether or not you
share the same values/principles)
10. Ethnic origin
11. Social desirability (how much you would
like the person as a friend)

(Source: Research by Dr. Michael Solomon, Graduate School of Business


New York University. As cited in Eggart (2010) Brilliant body Language.)
1. Entrance and Carriage
First impressions are very important
The moment a salesperson walks
into a clients office, the client begins
making judgements
The key to making a successful
entrance is believing and projecting
you have a reason to be there
What helps?
A strong stride, a good posture, a
friendly smile
A confident manner communicates
the message This meeting will be of
benefit to you
2. Shaking Hands
Today, the handshake is an important symbol
of respect and is usually the proper business
greeting
In the field of selling, the handshake is usually
the first and frequently the only physical
contact one makes during a sales call
A good handshake can communicate warmth,
genuine concern, and an image of strength
A poor handshake communicates aloofness,
indifference, and weakness to the customer
2. Shaking Hands
What makes a good handshake?
1. Eye contact during the handshake; eyes transmit
more info than any other part of the body, so
maintain eye contact throughout the handshake
and display a pleasant smile.
2. Degree of firmness; a firm handshake
communicates a caring attitude, while a weak
handshake (a dead-fish handshake)
communicates indifference.
3. Depth of interlock; a full, deep grip communicates
friendship to the other person.
2. Shaking Hands
What makes a good handshake?
4. Duration of the grip; by extending the duration of
the handshake we communicate a greater degree
of interest and concern. Rule of thumb dont
pump up and down more then once or twice.
5. Degree of dryness on the hands; a moist palm is
not only uncomfortable to handle but it
communicates the impression that you are very
nervous. Some have a physiological problem that
causes clammy hands, so carry a handkerchief
and use it!
2. Shaking Hands
What makes a good handshake?
6. Present your name when you extend your hand;
when you introduce yourself, state your name
clearly and listen carefully to be certain of your
customers name. To be sure of their name, repeat
it back to them or ask them to spell it (or confirm
the e-mail address).
3. Facial Expressions
If you want to identify inner feelings of another
person, watch facial expressions closely
We can often determine whether a customers
face is registering surprise, pleasure, or
scepticism
People tend to trust a smiling face
Salespeople should get in the habit of offering a
sincere smile when meeting a prospect

Smiles are an enormous controller of how people perceive you.


George Rotter, Professor of Psychology, Montclair University
4. Eye Contact

When a customer is talking, maintaining eye contact is the best


way of saying Im listening
If you are looking around the room or at paper in your
briefcase, the customer will assume you are not listening (or
not interested)
Prolonged eye contact, however, can send the wrong message
(i.e. Threatening)
To avoid the prolonged stare, take a fleeting glance at your
notes
As the customer speaks, nod occasionally to indicate
agreement or interest
Dont take my word for it!

Social psychologist Amy Cuddy, an associate


professor at Harvard Business School, talks
about NVC...
http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_
you_are.html
Conclusion
NVC is made up of a mixture of silent messages that
are very powerful in conveying a message
NVC can make up 80% of the message we convey
Personal appearance is an important factor for
salespeople to consider in projecting a professional
image
Salespeople have to be aware of the message they
convey through body language
They also must be skilled at reading and interpreting
the NVC messages of their customers/prospects