The Power of Persuasion
For anyone in sales, persuasion is the ultimate power tool. Below are some techniques to achieve maximum voltage.
Effective eye contact
They say that eyes are the “windows to the soul” for a reason. Eye contact establishes a subconscious connection that can generate positive interaction during sales conversations. Research has found that our eyes can give an indication of variations of whether we are warm and trusting or neurotic and impulsive. So how much eye contact is enough? According to body language expert Carol Kinsey Gorman, you should aim to make direct eye contact for 30% to 60% of your conversation.
Smile and dial
It may not always be possible to meet prospects in person, leaving it all up to your tele-personality to close the deal. It is important to remain sensitive to vocal intonation when we are not speaking face to face with potential clients. Studies have shown that we are able to identify different types of smiles based solely on audio. Keep this in mind and you will come across as more approachable, engaged and helpful while smiling during your conversations. Your prospects will naturally open up to you and your pitch or product.
Research has shown that smiling can also help towards achieving a positive mind set as it decreases stress levels and makes one feel happier. So smile! It’s good for you and it has a positive ripple effect on the people that you speak to.
According to social psychologist Amy Cuddy in her TED talk “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are,” we need to “fake it until we become it.” Cuddy conducted a study where individuals were separated into two groups with one group assuming high-power positions and the other, low-power positions, for two minutes. The outcome revealed that the high-power group saw an increase in testosterone levels, the hormone associated with confidence, and a decrease in cortisol levels, a hormone associated with stress. The low-power group experienced a significant counter effect with lowered testosterone and increased cortisol levels.
It’s all in the body language basics. When you portray yourself to be confident, comfortable and in control, you will inspire confidence and instil trust in others. So strike a pose! High-power poses include standing up straight with your hands on your hips, leaning back in your chair, or opening up your body by taking up space using your arms and legs.
For more poses and for inspiring insight on non-verbal communication, click Cuddy’s TED talk link below:
Nod at your prospect
Like smiling, the physical nodding action is associated with agreement which has proven measurable effects on opinion. Because humans naturally mimic each other, nodding is likely to be mirrored in agreement by your prospects, guiding them to say yes.
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