Nonverbal communication can be just as powerful as spoken words, and salespeople can use body language to gain even further trust with prospects and clients. In an article for Yesware.com, Bernie Reeder writes, “Scientific studies confirm that body language is all-important when it comes to making first impressions, forming new relationships, and maintaining existing relationships — three things we do every day.”
Reeder believes that you can form even stronger connections with others by consciously using three types of nonverbal communication:
Eye contact. Studies have shown that the more people look each other in the eye, the more they like each other. Despite this, people generally only maintain eye contact 40–60% of the time. To build rapport, strive to meet their eyes 70–80% of the time, and Reeder reports that ideal eye contact lasts approximately 7 to 10 seconds. Eye contact not only encourages trust from the other person, but it also shows that you are actively listening.
Mirror their behavior. Matching the other person’s gestures, facial expressions and other behaviors can bring you closer together. “Matching nonverbal behaviors creates the sense that people are on the same page and conveys feelings of trust and empathy,” Reeder explains. Intentionally work to build trust by subtly mirroring certain gestures, such as leaning in when the other person leans in or being expressive with your hands while speaking. But, be cautious–if you go too overboard, you may just come across as creepy.
Check out Reeder’s article for the final tip, and then consider how you can integrate them all into your own communication style. By adopting Reeder’s suggestions, you can establish stronger rapport with partners and clients without even saying a word!