Sell More by Paying Attention to Body Language

There have been so many studies on body language.   We know that our body movements send signals, even when we don’t mean to.  Research indicates that nonverbal communication has a much greater imnpact and reliability than spoken words.  And I just read about a study that showed mirroring body language can help close more sales.   Mirroring refers to copying other people’s body movements and repeating their words.  It is believed that this behavior helps people form bonds and strengthen relationships with others.

A Northwestern University study found that negotiators who copied their counterparts’ gestures and movements, such as running their fingers through their hair or leaning back in their chair, were actually able to secure a better deal.   And in a recent study at the University of Wisconsin, they found that salespeople who mirrored the expressions, sentences, and body movements of their customers sold more products than those salespeople who did not.  The salespeople who mirrored also rated higher on customer satisfaction surveys than those who didn’t.

Mimicking others seems to make them feel more rapport with you.  And this increased rapport can lead to more sales.  Are you ready to try it?  When you do, make sure that you are maintaining eye contact and paying attention to what the customer is saying.  You do not want to be so busy scanning their body looking for gestures to imitate that you lose track of what is going on in your conversation!  And don’t mimic every action.  Repeat their words only occasionally and do not make too many unnecessary movements.   Subtlety is the secret. 

Try to build this rapport by mirroring in the first 10-15 minutes of the appointment.  This subconsciously tells prospects that you like them and agree with them.   If there are a lot of crossed arm/closed body postures, gradually change your postures to be more open by uncrossing your arms, etc.  Your prospect will hopefully follow suit!


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