Practicing scripts is a wonderful way to perfect what you say to clients. It's also important to study how you look when you deliver your speech. Body language can account for up to 90% of the impression you make in a conversation, and it can enhance or undermine the point you're trying to make.
Here's one way to find out whether your gestures are telling customers you are desperate or self-confident. Set up a video camera and practice your pitch to your spouse, siblings, or co-workers in a role-play scenario. Talk to them just as you would a new client. Then watch the tape and see what your body language is telling people. Here are some key things to look for:
Do objections make you frown or lose your train of thought? Frowning indicates defeat or anger, and is obviously negative. Smile as you counter the objection with a positive comment. Mirroring the other person's body language could possibly win them over subconsciously. Imitate the way they posture themselves, and your non-verbal communication says, "I like you, you're just like me."
Do you nod your head when asking for a commitment? Nodding the head signifies approval. This is a technique that's often used in the restaurant business. When the server nods her head "yes" while reciting the dessert menu, your response is more likely to be, "Why sure, I'll take one of those!"
Do you make appropriate eye contact, without staring down your client? An intense stare makes people uncomfortable, and can even make them feel you're a little off balance. On the other hand, if you avoid eye contact, the person you are speaking to will probably think you're lying. Be attentive and smile. This tells them you're a winner!
What is your posture saying? It's important to look relaxed, but don't overdo it. Slumped shoulders give a negative impression; on the other hand, leaning back and clasping your hands behind your head tells people you are quite full of yourself. If the bottom half of your body is covered by your desk when a new client is sitting across from you, they're missing half of your body language. So the way you position yourself in your chair is very important. Relax and lean slightly forward with one shoulder as you tilt your head just a bit. This shows you are captivated by what they have to say.
In business, we often have to remain positive even in a negative situation. Being attentive to your own body language can make an incredible difference in how others perceive you. This is one area where practice really does make perfect. Rest assured, if you're not practicing, your competition probably is.
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