Is your body language telling customers to go away?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from The Retail Doctor’s blog.
Looking for how non-verbal communication impacts sales? Your body language sends wordless cues long before you try to close a sale.
Studies show that 55 percent of our language to communicate with another person is non-verbal. Slumped shoulders, crossed arms and averted eyes can all send bad vibrations long before words arrive.
The more we understand about what our bodies are saying — oftentimes without our knowledge — the more we can see how often they get in our way. And that is especially true when it is your body and you are selling to a shopper in a store.
Here are nine ways to improve your non-verbal skills:
Lift the sternum (that’s the flat bone at the front center of your chest). This allows more oxygen into the lungs. A good image to maintain is that of a string pulling your posture up from your sternum. This allows your shoulders to become more relaxed when engaging strangers.
Lean forward (but just a bit). Yes, it’s subtle, but it keeps you from leaning backward, which shows a negative attitude.
Smile. A smile is your best tool to get someone to like you, and when you don’t smile, it’s the quickest way to turn someone off.
Use your hands. Don’t overdo this but when you gesture with your hands in a natural way, you are creating energy.
Meet their eyes. We like people who look at us. Too much eye contact can feel threatening, but too little comes off as insincere. Yes, this is a balancing act to practice.
Gesture. Point directly at a feature and look at it with the shopper. They will follow your gesture, and so will their eyes as you describe the benefit. Use an open hand or two fingers together; it’s perceived as more open and friendly.
Nod. Nodding is another sign of being engaged and agreeing with someone.
Open your arms. Hold your arms open and loose to show a welcoming attitude. Arms folded over your chest indicate you are unsympathetic, authoritative and, at some level, closing yourself off from the other person.
Stand side-by-side, not face-to-face. When you present merchandise standing by your shopper’s side, it allows you to do a sideways lean, which is friendly and non-threatening.
- Retail Sales Training: Is Your Body Language Telling Customers To Go Away? 9 Ways To Improve Your Non-Verbal Skills – Retail Doctor
Is the importance of body language typically addressed in retail training and in-store practice? What tips would you have for associates around improving body language?