If you’ve made it to the point of being a financial advisor or wholesaler, you’re probably pretty well versed in what to do (and what not to do) in a professional setting.
Strong handshake and genuine smile? Yes. Wearing torn jeans and flip flops? No.
Saying things like “Nice to meet you,” and, “I look forward to talking again soon?” Yes. Burping and picking your teeth? No.
But while most of the unwritten rules of professional engagement are pretty well known, there is a whole other language we may never think about: body language.
What you don’t say is equally as important as what you do say.
Body language expert and best-selling author Tonya Reiman says this:
“When someone first meets you, an evaluation is quietly and unconsciously taking place. There is an incredible amount of processing going on as millions of neurons in the brain are activated and working to determine if they believe you to be credible, trustworthy, and likable. That impression is based primarily on your nonverbal communication."
In short, you could win or lose a sale before you ever sit down.
Every gesture you make from the moment you meet a potential client sends messages about who you are and what you will be like to work with.
“Sit up straight!” your mother always said, and the same is true in a business setting. But don’t sit up too straight – that could give the impression that you’re stressed or on edge (and that might lead to your client feeling the same way). Be professional but relax…sit back and align your body to look confident without looking stiff.
Fidgeting can send some very strong non-verbal messages. Bouncing your knee or your foot, twisting your fingers or tapping a pen give the impression that you are anxious and that you lack personal power. Don’t play with your hair, touch your face or frequently shift body positions, either.
Believe it or not, your voice itself (not just the words coming out of your mouth) can give a lot of information to another party. The tone, inflection and volume of your voice make a difference in how your half of the conversation is perceived.
Think of this scenario: How did your significant other respond the last time you asked, “Is everything okay?” Did he or she say, “Yes! Everything is fine!” or was it more like, “Yes. Everything is fine.” Same sentence; completely different meaning.
We’ve all been told to make eye contact and that’s great advice…but don’t stare down the person on the other side of the table. Look them in the eye when you’re communicating, but don’t be afraid to look away every now and then. It shows that you’re thinking beyond just that moment, that you’re considering their question or that you’re envisioning the scenario being discussed.
Of course, being yourself is the most important non-verbal communication of all. If you are comfortable with who you are and with the subject matter of your meeting, it will show on the outside and your confidence will be your best asset.
The ESA Advantage
Body language is important even over the phone and ESA schedulers are trained in the proper industry etiquette.
Have you ever heard the saying that you can hear a smile? Our schedulers are taught to smile and dial, making sure that their communication with other professionals is a pleasant one.
They are also trained to note individual scheduling preferences so that they know ahead of time how to approach the person on the other end of the line.
Finally, an ESA scheduler is mindful of your goals, making sure to be politely persistent when booking meetings. We always make sure to put our best foot – and yours! – forward in every call we make.
Have a great story about body language? Tell us about it in the comments below.