Non-Verbal Communication

posted: Friday, April 13, 2012

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When people hear the words sales and salespeople, they often think of talking and many associate salespeople with fast talking. There's no doubt that salespeople make their money with their voice and their ability to communicate, but there are more ways to communicate than just verbally. Non-verbal communication is often more important than what the person you are talking with is actually saying.

Think about relationships you've had in the past and how non-verbal communication has had an impact on the relationships. If we look at a husband and wife for example, how many times is one of them saying something with their voice, but their body language is saying something else? Someone may tell you they are doing "fine" but the non-verbal cues are screaming at you that something is wrong. Just as you undoubtedly pick up on these cues in your personal life, it is just as vital that you pick up on them as a salesperson.

Your customers are constantly providing you with non-verbal cues and your ability to pick up on them will go a long way to closing sales. If a customer comes in looking for a pair of earrings for his long-time girlfriend and starts out very excited but then gets very quiet after looking at two or three pairs, that's a non-verbal cue. Obviously, something has happened that caused the customer to go from excited to quiet. What was it? Were the earrings not what he had in mind? Were they out of his price range? Your customer is telling you something by not saying anything; take the time to find out what they are saying. Ask questions such as, "What's important to you in selecting earrings?" or "What have you seen before that she would love to have?" Those questions hopefully will get the customer talking again and result in him telling you exactly what he wants. Your goal is to get the customer back to the level of excitement he showed when entering the store.

Life for a salesperson would be easier if every customer would tell you exactly what they wanted, but they don't. Therefore it is important that salespeople are paying attention to all of the non-verbal cues; they may tell you more than anything the customer says verbally.

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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