Category Archives: Non-verbal communication skills

In selling, sometimes the best thing to say is nothing . . . just listen, then work from what you hear

Sales tip: silence is one of the essential communication skills . . . and a powerful selling skill, as well.

When you're in the 1-1 selling face-to-face mode, non-verbals can be just as significant—and telling–as words.

Think of the questions you ask in a sales call as seeds. It's crucial to give the questions time to grow, and the power of silence gives that time. After you ask, be silent, even if it means letting the silence hang in the air. That gives the prospect time to think and respond.

Ask a question, then let it "grow" in the silence and listen closely to the response. In some cases, you'll need to rephrase the question so it's clearer, or to focus the Decision Maker's response so it's more on target.

But those are exceptions. As a rule, once you've asked the question, bite your tongue and let the prospect talk. Listening well is at least as important a communication skill as speaking confidently.

There are other good reasons to ask fewer questions and allow more silence: constant interruptions to ask new questions may irritate the prospect.

Besides, if you let the prospect go at her own pace, and in the general direction she thinks best, you may find other potential needs opening up in ways that you wouldn't have anticipated.

Above all, don't be so busy asking questions (and thinking of what your next questions will be) that you neglect to listen to the answers you do get.  That's another benefit of the power of silence: silence gives you time not just to listen, but also time to think ahead.

Non-verbal communication skills: free book sample from PROFESSIONAL SALES PRESENTATIONS & DEMONSTRATIONS

The term, “Non-verbal communication skills” has been getting a number of hits lately on this blog, so I thought it would be a good time to put up a sample on using body language in the sales call (particularly when making presentations or demonstrations) from my little book, SALES PRESENTATIONS & DEMONSTRATIONS.

Today, in this post, for reasons of space I’ll be pulling only a short section from Part Three.  I hope the visuals on non-verbal movements  and subtle communication tips come through

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5 steps in responding to sales objections and questions

This five-step model approach in responding to objections and questions: Explore, Listen Well, Restate (if appropriate), Respond, then Move on.

1.    Explore. Ask questions to get the person talking about what they really mean by the objection, and why it's important to them.  (Why do you feel that way? will do if nothing better comes to mind.)

2.    Listen well to their response.  You may have heard this objection a dozen times already this week, but this person may put a different twist on it.  Don't be too quick in cutting off the

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“How ‘Power Poses’ Can Help Your Career”–career tips from the Wall Street Journal

As factors in your career success, it's not just how competent you are, and it's not just about the words you say: no less important are the non-verbal messages you send . . . and read in others.  I cover some of this in my books, but let me recommend "How 'Power Poses' Can Help Your Career"– an excellent article with accompanying video  from the Wall Street Journal.

The article is not–as you might suspect–about being a  phony poseur, but rather about how to pay attention to the body-language and other non-verbal messages you are sending . . . and receiving.

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Somebody let the Apple out of the bag!

Apple was founded by a Genius, Steve Jobs, and now has emerged the secrets of how Apple trains employees to serve as geniuses (small g, as opposed to capital G for the late Genius-in-chief.)

Now it seems that Apple's sales training manual has emerged. It makes for interesting Ah-ha! moments if you've ever been to an Apple shop:  you'll be rehearing your conversations with the sales folks there.

But, from the perspective of your humble blogger, who has written a good many sales training and interpersonal skills books and courses, it is (a) well done, and (b) not all that unique in content, though (c) the presentation of the ideas and skills seems well done (from the little you can see in the leaked excerpts.)

The core article is in Gizmodo article: Apple's Secret Employee Training Manual.  I've seen parts of picked up by both Slate and the Washington Post.

But Sam Biddle in Gizmodo is most detailed.  I won't repeat, only this: "Selling is a science, summed up by five cute letters. (A)pproach. (P)robe. (P)resent. (L)isten. (F)ind."  Not all that different than my concept of the Selling Wedge (in  my book, SELLING 101, and others; pardon the shameless plug!)  The basic concept sounds to my ear an adaptation of Consultative Selling, also covered in SELLING 101 and a good many other sales training books and programs.  (Not that Apple uses the term consultative selling . . . at least not in the parts I've managed to see. But it's there, of that you can be sure.)

The Apple books also gets into nonverbals: things to do and avoid with prospects, as well as how to read what the prospect is "telling" you nonverbally. (Just in case you've missed good stuff on nonverbals, you might check out my little book, SALES PRESENTATIONS & DEMONSTRATIONS

But to have the APPLE acronym to work with! That made memory easy.

And, oh yes,  Apple has good products!  That makes it even easier.


“Best presentations ever” — see Squidoo

Sales presentations– I'm doing my homework before branching into Squidoo, and part of that homework involves seeing what's out there.

This "lens" on Squidoo is titled "Best presentations ever" . . . and it's very good.  It's actually a sampling of what the author thinks are the best.

Maybe most interesting is a young Steve Jobs, wearing suit, white shirt, and long hair(!) doing the introductory presentation for the first Mac, back in January 1985.

Anyway, here's the link to "Best presentations ever," via Squidoo

Non-verbal selling skills: “screen test” checklist

Check out your non-verbal selling skills by doing a videotaped run-through before important demos and presentations. 

Here are some key elements to attune to as you check the quality of the non-verbal selling skills you project on your taped run-through:

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