The Coaching Effect Blog

Body Language Tips During Sales Negotiations

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

December 15, 2010

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

Came across an interesting article at The author, Rick Morgan, president of Public Words, a communications consulting firm, and the author of Trust Me: Four Steps to Authenticity and Charisma., wrote about the importance of our nonverbal signals during sales calls and negotiations.  Here is a quick overview of the article. Read the entire story about BODY LANGUAGE in business.

Most of us give little thought to our nonverbal actions while these verbal activities are going on. We may consciously raise our voice, or use anger to try to carry the day, or even stand up to physically dominate the room. But beyond that, we're clueless about nonverbal means of persuasion.

First, mirror your adversary. Mirroring builds agreement; you can often head off potential trouble by establishing a strong basis of nonverbal agreement before the real negotiating begins. But you mustn't be obvious. The idea is simple enough: When the other party adopts a certain seated or standing position, try to adopt a similar one yourself. You want to move slowly until you more or less match the other person's stance.

The idea is to take some time standing or sitting in roughly the same position as the other person. That will send an unconscious message to the person that you are on an equal level and generally in agreement with them. They will begin to trust you. But remember not to be obvious about it.

If you align yourself with the person--that is, sit or stand facing in the same direction--you'll be surprised how often all protest will cease. Alignment looks and feels different from mirroring. With alignment, you stand shoulder to shoulder with someone, looking in the same direction.

If tension still remains high, use the hands-down gesture to dampen it. When tempers flare and feelings run high, spread your hands out, palms down, at about waist height, and gently push them down a couple of inches. If you're sitting at a table, you'll have to bring your hands above the horizontal plane of the tabletop. Again, this must be done so subtly that it probably isn't consciously noticed. Repeat as necessary. This gesture sends a clear message that it's wise and safe to calm down now.

Another important part of communication is Emotional Intelligence. During our Fall Sales Coaching Summit we brought in Bill Benjamin, CEO of the Institute for Health and Human Potential (IHHP), to speak on this subject.  Because of the response we received from the audience, we are bringing JP Pawliw-Fry, the President of IHHP, to our Fall Sales Coaching Summit, to dig into the next level of detail on communicating and coaching with emotional intelligence. Also, this article from the EcSELL Institute Resource Library titled "Connecting Is The First Step To Coaching" provides some interesting ideas on communicating with your sales team.

Do you think body language matters? What are your body language tips? Let's hear from you! 


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