Strike a Powerful Pose to Sell and Serve Better

Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy's research into power posing can change your sales life. I want you to consider incorporating power posing daily – to better serve your customers and maintain their loyalty. Melia Robinson explains power posing as “the act of taking a posture of confidence, even when you don't feel so confident, to make yourself more dominant,” in her piece for Business Insider.

As Cuddy likes to say, “fake it until you make it.” Maybe you suck at client retention. Maybe you absolutely hate asking for renewals. Well, sister, you’re gonna fake it so you can make your goals.

Cuddy notes, "When you pretend to be powerful, you are more likely to actually feel powerful. So what is your body language communicating to me? What's mine communicating to you?"

But, she says, it's more than how you appear publicly,” Rita Braver wrote in a piece for CBS News. “Her studies show that if you stand like a superhero privately before going into a stressful situation, there will be hormonal changes in your body chemistry that cause you to be more confident and in-command.”

"Before you go into the next stressful evaluative situation, for two minutes try doing this in the elevator, in a bathroom stall, at your desk, behind closed doors — that's what you want to do," she said.

I know you’re thinking this sounds ridiculous. But success and empowerment are worth taking the risk of looking ridiculous. Am I right? Besides, no one has to see you. No judging. I also want to encourage you to take a few DEEP breaths while in a pose. The deep breathing will help to quiet your nerves before walking into a client meeting as well as set your own mind at ease. You will appear before them as calm, cool and collected without even noticing your own transformation. And if someone squeaks into the elevator at the last second while you’re posing, just say you’re stretching. Fake a yawn. And if they give you crazy eyes, tell them you’ll cut them for interrupting your Zen just then. Own it.

Braver reminded readers that Cuddy points out that power posing can't magically give you knowledge or abilities that you don't already have. "It's personal power," she said. "It's about bringing your best self forward, [and] having the keys to unlock that best self and show it."

Melia Robinson describes 8 power poses to use at work for specific end goals, but I want you to apply the ones you are drawn to for your specific needs and situations. They are not hard and fast rules. You make them work for you. Wield the power into whatever you need the power to accomplish. Here are just a few she tried out.

For speaking in a meeting: Tightly cross your arms across your chest and roll your shoulders back.

For closing: Plant your hands on the table and lean forward.

This one you can do in your sleep. Literally. For sleeping: Lie in an open position with your arms and legs outstretched.

And now my favorite. The Wonder Woman. Robinson recommends using it for chitchat with your boss, but I find that it works for ALL interactions. It is my go-​to stance, which hearkens back to my cheerleading days. But it’s also just a natural fit for me and makes me feel comfortable. So that’s what I want you to get out of any one of these poses: comfort. Then you are more open and accepting of the POWER.

Puff out your chest, plant your hands on your hips, and stand with feet hip-​width apart.

When your boss joins you in line at the K‑cup brewing machine, you may feel your heart quicken as your mind scrambles to come up with a more interesting response to "How was your weekend?" Channel your favorite super heroine and take what Cuddy calls "The Wonder Woman," a classic crime-​fighting pose. Tilt your chin up to maximize the power trip,” Robinson says.

Remember: Take up space. That is the key. Claim YOUR space. Then take it all up. Fill the room with your confidence and enthusiasm. The space is yours for the taking.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.