body language sales

Body Language in Sales



thongs influence in many cases
verbal constitute by the way
gun weapon fold his arms
sword embrace shake hands
pain closed off automatically
ache be careful interpret (2)
nod situation misinterpreted
elbow lean (2) pay attention
grab convey deliberately
tone ancient responsible
voice undershirt concerned
bunch slightly trustworthiness
initial prospect take him aside
firm (2) reluctance backwards
last (2) groom (2) impression
judge worldwide take off (3)
bum effective mentally ill
upright common tremendous






Body Language

Everyone wants to be more effective. Everyone wants to influence other people better, in many different ways.

And one of the strongest ways you have is the use of body language.

Body language, according to Dr. Albert Merabian at UCLA, constitutes 55% of the message that you send in face-to-face communication.

Learning Body Language

So what you have to do is you have to learn to use body language in an effective way.

Some of my friends are the world’s experts on body language. You’ll find, by the way, that body language is the same, in many cases, worldwide. There are certain differences.

Opening of the Hands

In ancient times, when people met new people, especially in strange places, or at night, they would have to be very careful because you never knew if someone was dangerous.

So what they would do is they would open up their hands when they met a new person.

Today we shake hands. And we shake hands with the sword hand. We shake hands with the gun hand. This is to show the other person that there are no weapon hidden. When we open up both hands, it shows we have no weapon.

This is quite common.

So, the first things you do in body language is to open your hands.

Now today, people actually embrace each other. When you embrace each other with both hands, it means you cannot have any weapons, and neither can they.

Another form of body language, which is very important, is to smile at people, and look straight at them, and hold your hands.

Opening the Arms

Now some people say that when someone folds their arms, they are closed off. Well, this is not always true: in many cases it means people are comfortable folding their arms, or they’re cold, or they have an ache or pain somewhere.

So never interpret that automatically . . .

But if you’re in a meeting with someone else and you find yourself folding your arms, deliberately open your arms.

When you open your arms, what you say is that I am open to what you are say-ing . . . I am open to your message.

When you close your arms, it can be misinterpreted.

Nodding and Smiling

Now, another form of body language is nodding and smiling. It is just leaning slightly forward, and nodding and smiling.

You see in psychology, we always pay the most attention to people who we most value.

You can remember being in a situation where someone said something — and you immediately jumped up, you immediately leaned forward. And you immediately engaged in the conversation.

That tells you that that person grabbed your attention.

So the message you convey in a sales conversation is 55% body lan-guage and non-verbal, 38% the tone of voice, and only seven percent the actual words you use.

Remember Maya Angelou said that people will forget everything you said in a conversation, but they will never forget the way that you made them feel.

Standing Straight

So a form of body language to use is to stand straight when you talk.

Stand straight, open your eyes, look directly at the person, smile, and shake hands firmly, to show them you’re happy to be here, that you’re happy to meet them.

Firm Handshake

I remember a man in my seminar, and he was from India. He was saying to me he was really concerned because he really knew his subject well. He understood his product or service.

But when he met a new customer, the new customer would lose interest almost immediately in talking to him.

Well when I shook hands with him, his handshake was like a wet fish: it just hung there like it was dead from the elbow down.

I’ve lived in India for long periods of time. And I realized he didn’t understand that in Western culture, a firm handshake means character, honesty, quality, trustworthiness, and a whole bunch of other things.

He just though it was something people just did. So when met a new person, he just held out his hand like this. And the person would have to take his hand.

And so I though him how to shake hands firmly. I took him aside, and made him practice. I said, “practice this every time you meet somebody.”

I met him about two months later and his career had taken off.

He said all the initial reluctance he used to get from prospects was gone com-pletely when he shook hands firmly and looked them in the eye. He said nobody would ever tell him this was his problem.


Another thing by the way is that first impressions are lasting. One of the things I’m concerned about, as you can see, is dress.

Many people today have been misled. The fact that 95% of first impression you make on other people is dress and grooming.

Many people say, “people shouldn’t judge me by the way I look.” Well, you judge everyone else by the way they look.

Imagine you walked into a restaurant, a nice restaurant. And the guy who came up to service you was wearing short pants, and undershirt, a tractor cap facing backwards and beach thongs — in a first-class restaurant.

How would you feel about dining in that restaurant? Would you think that that person was mentally ill?

Well how would you deal with someone who was trying to sell you an expensive product or service who looks like a complete bum, looks like a homeless person.

So it’s very important, first impression.

Ask Good Questions

Sit upright. Face forward. Ask a lot of questions. The very best form of body lan-guage is to ask a lot of really good questions, and lean forward and listen closely to the answers and nod…and smile…and agree.

And if you’ll do that, you’ll make a tremendous impression on other people — es-pecially a first impression.

One Action

So thank you for watching. What’s the one action that you’re going to take from now on to use your body language more effectively?

Are you going to open your eyes, shakes hands firmly, smile, tell people you’re happy to be with them?

Ask them questions and listen to them closely.

And until next time, remember only you are responsible for your success. What-ever you are achieving is coming from your own actions and your own behavior.

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1. People convey their ideas and express themselves mainly through words. Is this correct or wrong?

2. Should (sales) people open or close their hands and arms? Why should they open their hands and arms?

3. People who cross their arms are always closed and unfriendly. Yes or no? If no, does that mean it doesn’t matter whether we open or close our arms?

4. A handshake is not important; the only thing that matters is the quality of your product or service. True or false?

5. “You never have a second chance to make a good first impression.” What does this mean? Give examples.

6. It’s unfair to judge others by their clothes. What do you think?

7. How should people sit or stand?

8. Is body language only about physical gestures, postures and movements?


A. Are these physical movements, gestures, expressions and stances the same in your culture or are they different?

B. Are they body languages and gestures and motions unique to culture or that differs from that of the US?

C. Is body language important for success or it doesn’t matter—technical skills and ability is more important. What do you think?

D. For which occupations is body language and communications important? For which professions is it unnecessary?

E. Do you know anyone who has very effective body language? Who has poor body language?

F. How could effective body language enhance your career or business?

G. Will body language become more or less important in the future, especially with the internet?

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