5 Ways to Improve Your Body Language

Body Language is a Powerful Form of Communication

I’m sure you’ve heard that the majority of your communication comes in the form of body language. If you google it you’ll find it’s between 70 and 90% (although 65% of the statistics you find on the web are only 29% accurate). Whatever the number is, a lot of communication takes place in the form of body language.

On today’s show discover:

  • … 5 simple ways to improve your body language;
  • .. and how these changes can help you feel more confident, more happy and communicate better even over the phone!

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Body Language on the Phone

When it comes to communication it’s not just about the words you use. You could be giving the best sales presentation of your life but if your tone of voice and body language aren’t in sync with the words you’re saying the whole thing can fall apart. So if I sell over the phone I should skip this episode right? Nope! Even though your customer can’t see your body language they can hear it’s influence.

Whether you’re happy, sad, angry or excited people can generally see it in your face. The changes in your face influence your tone of voice and believe it or not there are a lot of muscles in your face. In fact, you have more muscles from your shoulders up than from your shoulders down! The rest of your body comes into play too. In fact, there has actually been research done showing that the way you sit and stand can cause biological changes in your body that influence how you feel!

Your Body Language Can Change How You Feel

Psychologist Amy Cuddy researched  “power poses.” and talks about her findings in her Ted Talk “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are” (see the video below).  According to her research, assuming a powerful pose in a high-stress situation demanding peak performance increases your level of testosterone (the dominance hormone), and decreases cortisol (a stress hormone). So, changing the way you stand and sit can actually help you feel more confident and less stressed (a great way to feel while engaging with customers!)

Five Ways to Improve Your Body Language on The Phone

1 -Stand up Straight

Sit up StraightWhen you’re slouching and hunched over it makes an impression. (even when you’re on the phone). Sitting and slouching impacts your air-way and that can change the tone of your voice. If you can stand up while you’re on the phone do it! You’ll feel more confident and energized and your customer will hear it in your voice. If you have to sit, remember what you’re mother told you and sit up straight!

2 – Mirror Your Customer

By matching your customer’s speed you make a stronger connection. If you’re talking too fast it feels uncomfortable and they might feel pressured. If you talk to slow it’s also uncomfortable and they might feel you’re talking down to them. It’s important to remember that mirroring is not about copying the customer, it’s about adopting a subtle change in your communication style that matches their style.

For more on the power of mirroring your customer check out episode 21 at KOSalesCoach.net/21

3 – Make Eye Contact

Your eyes send powerful messages. They let others know you’re paying attention, and that what they’re saying is important…but what if you’re talking on the phone, I mean most of us aren’t video conferencing? Believe it or not eye contact and maintaining focus is even more important when you’re on the phone. When you’re on the phone and not focused it’s easy to get visually distracted by something else and miss critical things your customer is saying.

To be a good listener it’s important to stay focused and limit distractions. You might keep your eyes on your notes, computer or phone.  I’ve even seen some people close their eyes when they’re talking on the phone to help maintain focus and listen carefully. Even if your customer can’t see you they can tell when you’re not paying attention.

4 – Uncross Your Arms and Legs

When you cross your arms and legs it can be a sign that you’re closed off and feeling defensive. It’s the opposite of the power pose and because your actions can influence how you feel a less confident or defensive tone can creep into your side of the conversation. Your customer is less likely to be confident and buy if you sound defensive or unsure. So maintain an open posture to feel and sound confident.

5- Smile

We talked about how facial muscles impact your tone and when you’re smiling people can hear it! For most people shopping is a pleasurable experience and they want to talk with a happy salesperson. Who wants to rush over and talk to a grouch? But what if you don’t feel happy? Well, it turns out that putting a smile on your face could change that too. Researchers at Cardiff University[1] found that people who smile, even if they don’t feel happy at first, can make themselves feel a lot happier.

So keep a smile on your face while you’re talking on the phone, make the selling experience a positive one and get a little happier at the same time.

Summary

So there you have 5 simple things you can do to improve your body language and your communication on the phone.

Remember to:

  1. Stand up straight
  2. Mirror Your Customer
  3. Make Eye Contact (to be a better listener)
  4. Uncross Your Arms and Legs
  5. Keep a Smile on Your Face

Today’s One Two Punch

Improve Your Body Language and Communicate Better on the Phone

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References

  1. Wenner, M. (2009, September 01). Smile! It Could Make You Happier. Retrieved July 08, 2016, from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/smile-it-could-make-you-happier/

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