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The Power of Status
When dealing with power, chances are you'll get burnt if you do not take certain precautions. The power of status will need similar precautions in order to achieve results without getting destroyed in the bargain. As a salesperson you will come across all sorts of clients, and one among them will be the established, powerful tycoon who always gets his way. Nothing talks louder than money and you will soon be made aware of the decibels. When face to face with a powerful client you will be left in no doubt that you are in the presence of someone who may believes they hold your future in their bejewelled hands. So it would be wise to send appropriate signals back that serve to establish viable means of communications. It wouldn't require too much frontal lobe activity to figure out who your boss will choose to please, if has to pick sides between a replaceable salesperson and an influential client.
While interacting with some one used to commanding and getting things done at the snap of his fingers, you'd better be prepared to read body language like the French speak French. That is the only way for you to retain your head on your shoulders. Here you have a situation where your client expects you to know what to do, often without too much details divulged or requirements explained. You have to mind read and deduce and hope and pray, and keep your fingers crossed like a pretzel. Fortunately, there's body language to the rescue. You can immediately realize something's right or wrong from the quirk of a bushy eye brow or the sulk forming at the corners of the mouth, and adopt a more suitable tactic.
Now professional salesmanship is not at all about kowtowing or fawning, it is a job like any other. Your client however powerful needs your service or product. He has the money and you are the authority who has the information. This authority is something he does not have but expects you to possess. Your primary concern would therefore be to convince him, using verbal as well as nonverbal communication, that you are an authority on what you are selling. Your secondary aim would be to prove indisputably that you have the power to get this done without harassing him with details or wasting his valuable time. The authority and power you wield in your field is seen by him as common ground and if convinced of its authenticity, he will happily deal with you.
Unimpeachable knowledge about the service or product, delivered in a low, confident tone, with a minimum of gesticulation would sound highly convincing and impressive. To fully authenticate your verbal pitch you need to dress the part. The impeccable fit of a dark coloured suit that looks like it was tailored with you in it, would convey power, confidence, and authority like none other. Of course, you should have the accessories to go with it—good shoes, briefcase, and nice hair style and well manicured hands. Strong colognes and perfumes are best avoided as it might be distracting. Now you are talking his language. On the other hand an ill fitting suit or even one of a weak colour, and shoes that were wiped behind your trouser legs five minutes ago, would have you dismissed as inconsequential or a wannabe in the power and status club.
To reinforce your message you would need to adopt gestures where your body continues with the sales talk even when you've hardly said anything at all. Mirroring his moves indiscreetly is a proven way of coercing compliance without anyone being any the wiser. The best part is that once your powerful client is convinced of your ability to put up, they might even eschew the business talk and slip into casual conversation. He has decided, and now it's in the past. Keep up the camaraderie and soon he'll supply you with other big fish to fry. He'll recommend you in his exclusive circles and you get a toe hold that will take you places. Powerful people often pride themselves in their ability to read other people and pick winners. So if you can drop clues using body language to prove him right that would be one of the wisest things you can do.
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