Using Body Language In Sales Interactions

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Body Language Tactics For Successful Sales People

I’ve asked my long time friend and public speaking guru Aileen Bennett to write a guest blog for me today. Aileen is an award winning public speaker who is Brit living in America.

You know, body language plays an important part in face to face sales interactions so read carefully to the tips that Aileen is about to tell you:

As a sales person it’s not always what you say that clinches or loses the deal, but how you say it. If you say one thing and give another message with your body, people will ALWAYS believe what your body language over your words. And it gets worse, not only will they believe your body language – they will also assume that they know what it means.

If your words and body language aren’t congruent your buyers won’t trust you; If you show that you are nervous your buyers won’t trust you. If you aren’t sure of yourself, they won’t be sure of you. You need to be physically and mentally confident for them to have confidence in you.

The easiest way to get your body language to match what you are saying and therefore, get your buyer to believe what you say is… to sell something you really believe in, to know your product, know it is a good deal. Your job is to convey this honestly and match the right product with the right person. If you believe in what you are selling there is a good chance that your potential customers will too. Faking body language is an art that you probably don’t have time to perfect unless you are a scam artist. If you don’t feel sure about selling something – don’t do it!

Where learning about your body does help is for salespeople who are sure of their product, sure it’s a good deal, sure they are selling for to the right person or company but aren’t sure of their own ability as a salesperson. They tend to get uneasy about closing a deal, or talking about money, and their body language shows this uneasiness and it is perceived as doubt in the sale.

Your body can make it seem you are asking a question or leaving room for negotiation (or doubt):
by raising your eyebrows
by the tone of your voice going up at the end of your sentence
by a slight shoulder shrug
by turning your palms upwards as you speak
by a slight holding of your breath after you finish speaking (as if waiting for a question)
by a tilt of the head to one side or the other
by pursing your lips

You need to practice the parts of the sale that make you nervous – talking about money gets easier over time, say the amount to yourself over and over until it sounds normal. Compare it to other things until you are comfortable with the amount. Think of it as potatoes rather than currency. Whatever it takes, do it. When you exhibit any sign of nervousness or ‘question’ after you have mentioned money, your prospect will not trust you in the same way as if you were confident about it. Smile and delight in telling them the price – if you believe they are getting a bargain you are giving them good news, not bad.
Relax when you ask them for their business (I believe you should be closing from the beginning and this step is hardly necessary) but it should be the fun bit. You have a great product or service and you have found the right match for it. Enjoy.

Once you change your mindset you will change your experience. You will spend more time listening than speaking, more time evaluating what your buyer needs and creating a match. More time watching their body language than monitoring your own.


Aileen Bennett

You can do your part by continually learning about communication, update and remind yourself of your skills, sign up for weekly communication tips at the most valuable thing to land in your in-box every week. Aileen Bennett is a professional speaker and author who is obsessed with communication so you don’t have to be.

Hope you enjoyed that guest blog? If you are interested in writing a guest post please email me.

Thanks again


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 10 March, 2009

Related Articles

Arrow down

Search For More

Arrow down