We all know that actions speak louder than words. While every sales position involves a good amount of words, it is indeed true that our body’s movements and mannerisms can have a profound effect on our sales pitch, the type of demeanor we give off, and, ultimately, whether we’re perceived as trustworthy, knowledgeable and confident.
I may already know that the FAM family is the epitome of trust, knowledge and confidence, but your prospective clients don’t. This is why it’s all the more important to pay attention to your non-verbal communication. Fortunately, Inc . has already compiled a list of Seven Body Language Hacks That Immediately Make You More Likable.
I’ve noted a couple of my favorite tips below, though it’s worth the click-through to familiarize yourself with all of them.
Nail the Handshake
I don’t think I’m alone when I say few things turn me off more than a limp, half-hearted handshake. The handshake is typically your immediate introduction to a person. It is literally the first impression of the first impression, so make it a good one.
Engaging in a proper handshake may seem like the easiest thing on the planet, but I can tell you from experience that a lot of people get it wrong. Start with eye contact, approach with confidence, hold out your hand, greet theirs, grasp it firmly without being overbearing, shake it, exchange names/introductions/pleasantries, let go.
The handshake doesn’t come natural to some and can even warrant some practice. Believe it or not, there is a lot to consider for such a small, widely accepted gesture. You want to shake firmly without hurting someone. You want to be especially cautious if your size or strength seems to outmatch the other party’s. You want to be gentler if someone is wearing a lot of jewelry or a large ring, as squeezing their hand shut can cause discomfort.
Standing is also advisable. It’s just good manners. Don’t make someone come to you if you’re already seated at your desk or at a dining table. Get up, offer your hand and make eye contact while you’re both positioned at the same level.
Posture Makes Perfect
The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but the body says a whole lot too. A slouchy posture can imply I’m lazy, I’m careless, I’m unprofessional. A general rounding of your body can also look like you’re trying to escape within yourself. Guess what that implies? I’m embarrassed, I’m incapable, I’m unconfident – ultimately – I’m not the right person for the job.
So stop it. Right now. For so, so many reasons. Bad posture can lead to a whole litany of problems. Backaches, neck aches, poor gait and a general lack of vitality are just a few of them. If this is how you feel on the inside, imagine what you’re portraying to the outside world!
Exercises like stretching and yoga can definitely help. As can a good chiropractor or even a new exercise routine. Some also choose to correct posture by switching out their desk chairs, working from a medicine ball, or even using a standing or treadmill desk. While every at-work desk option may not be available to you 24/7, there are plenty of opportunities to change the way we sit, work, watch TV and read by swapping our current couch habit for a position that adds more value – and height – to our lives.
Posture should always be considered whether you’re sitting or standing. If standing, feet should be about hip distance apart, with shoulders squared and back and your head up. Your feet will always be your base but your weight should be evenly distributed throughout your body, with no one body part bearing the brunt of the pressure. If sitting, your behind will be your base, but your spine should remain straight with your shoulders arched back. These poses may take some practice, and may even cause a little discomfort at first, but before long, our bodies get used to the natural stances they were supposed to take long ago.
Confidence and communication – both verbal and non-verbal – will always be two of the most important elements as you perfect your career as a trusted, capable loan officer. Mastering these basics skills can add immeasurable value to your first impressions and relationships down the road as you set your path on a course for success.