Read an Excerpt
WINNING BODY LANGUAGE FOR SALES PROFESSIONALS
CONTROL THE CONVERSATION AND CONNECT WITH YOUR CUSTOMERâ?"WITHOUT SAYING A WORD
By MARK BOWDEN, ANDREW FORD
The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.Copyright © 2013Mark Bowden
All rights reserved.
Getting Past "Indifference"
There is continuity between species ... Man with all his noble qualities still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.
— Charles Darwin
In this chapter you'll learn:
The important science around nonverbal communication
Exactly how your primitive brain sees others
The pitfalls of the primal snap judgments others make about you
The most important first impressions to give—and to avoid
More powerful roles to play in the sales process
If legend is to be believed, prostitution is the world's oldest profession. In other words, it could stand to reason that selling sex is the oldest sales profession we have. However, back in the days of prehistory there were other essentials to our human survival potentially just as important as sex and reproduction, such as: food, heat, shelter, and safety. All of these, including sex, could be used as currency and exchanged for whichever of the others was lacking for survival. But of course any one of these became valuable only when in short supply.
If we presume that our early ancestors were either more promiscuous or perhaps a less sexually repressed society than today's, we can expect there may have been no supply issues to a mutually high demand for sexual activity in prehistoric times. And so, back then there might have been no real reason anyone needed to convince, persuade, negotiate, or influence anyone else into sex! Some psychologists suggest, then, that prostitution in fact evolved not from the selling of sex, but from the selling of sex with limited attachment or responsibility. If this theory is correct, the oldest sales profession is not the selling of tangible sex but of an intangible future in which, after the sexual act, there would be "no strings attached."
Why is all of this being brought to your attention? Well, some say sex sells. And so the hope is that it has hooked you into reading this chapter a little farther.
In theory, selling is at its core simply this: offering to exchange something for something else. The something of value being offered may be tangible or intangible, real or conceptual. Both the something and the something else are most often seen by the seller and the buyer as of value. And it is implied that the process between the buyer and seller will proceed fairly and ethically so that both parties end up rewarded.
This kind of transaction has been happening from the very first day a group of humans found themselves hungry and short of fuel to cook an antelope they found dead and decaying on the dry African savannah. They may have looked over at a neighboring family with a stack of wood and signaled to them in an effort to determine if they would be interested in "going halves" on some safe roast meat in exchange for the fuel to cook it with.
Trusting in the Sale
As long as there is a tangible demand and a tangible supply, with something tangible to exchange that is equally or more valued, there is potentially an easy exchange to be had. But if there are indeterminate factors to the exchange, which cannot be immediately sensed and so are intangible or conceptual, then the buyer and/or the seller have to go on trust that the correct order of events will occur to ensure that the agreed upon set of circumstances will prevail to satisfy the transaction for both parties.
Ultimately, both parties shake hands and trust that the deal will culminate in the exchange of something real. However, in any exchange like this there are often looming questions: Will there be the supply or payment asked for and expected? Will it happen in the time span agreed upon? Will the concept discussed work in reality? Will it keep on working? If it stops working, what will the after-sales service be like? Will the supply be used in an incorrect manner by the buyer, causing him to abuse the after-sales service?
Of course, all of these factors and many, many more exist in the future and can be talked about verbally by the parties involved in the transaction; but what you are going to be finding and facing over the course of this book is that the "talk" around these intangible futures is often not enough to gain those initial levels of trust needed to start, or for that matter maintain, any profitable, long-term sales relationship.
And That's a Guarantee
Predictability is a key to trust: if we have seen that what you say turns out to be true once, twice, maybe three times, then we can start to predict that you walk your talk and do what you say you will do. However, if we have never done business with you before, then what is the mechanism for us to know that we can predict you are trustworthy? What needs to happen so we don't have to take some kind of blind "leap of faith" and risk being disappointed and out of pocket if "faith" turns out to be ill placed in you?
"Trust Me—I'm in Sales!"
We use nonverbal communication, including body language, as one of our major data sources to make what are inevitably long-lasting snap judgments about whether we can really trust someone or not. We all do it—and we always have done it. And as you will be finding out, even with technological advances in modern communication, we are still reliant on nonverbal communication as a primary source of raw data for creating our feelings about whether we are making the right decisions when we buy.
What does science tell us about how much we rely on nonverbal communication in deciding whether we can trust someone?
If we extrapolate from the famous studies of Albert Mehrabian, professor emeritus of psychology, UCLA (Decoding of Inconsistent Communications and Inference of Attitudes from Nonverbal Communication in Two Channels, 1967), it certainly appears that the nonverbal elements of human communication are particularly important in transmitting information that influences and forms the receiver's understanding of the emotion, attitude, or intent behind the message being communicated. Indeed, this is true to such an extent that it is suggested that body language accounts for 55 percent of that data, tone of voice accounts for 38 percent, and the verbal content (i.e., the words) supplies 7 percent of the data used by the receiver to gain an overall feeling of the attitude, intent, or emotion behind what someone is communicating. This implies in turn that the emotion, attitude, or intent that others feel we are communicating is likely to be more heavily linked to our nonverbal message than our verbal one.
If the Clothes Fit ...
With all this in mind, try this on for size: Imagine you are selecting an item of clothing from a store. You take a few pieces to the changing room and come back out a few minutes later wearing one of them in order to check out the look in the store's full-length mirror. You turn to the sales assistant and say, "How does this look on me?" You notice his nose wrinkles slightly, the corners of his lips go down, and his lower lip depresses—a reaction of disgust is on his face. Will you be buying this piece of clothing now? Possibly not? Let's go back in and try on a different piece, and while you are changing, think about the following:
Dr. Mehrabian's findings have led the majority of communication experts to conclude that to produce effective messages, the words, sound, and body need to support one another. They mu
Excerpted from WINNING BODY LANGUAGE FOR SALES PROFESSIONALS by MARK BOWDEN, ANDREW FORD. Copyright © 2013 by Mark Bowden. Excerpted by permission of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.