Each week you spend so much time in technician sales training sessions discussing just the right words to handle tough objections, but how often do you harp on another critical component to securing business: your technicians’ and/or salespeople’s body language? If you’re like most contractors, you may not discuss it at all. If not, make it your mission to change that!
Research tells us that as much as 90% of our communication is nonverbal. That might sound like a lot until you really think about its importance. For example, you may have the smoothest speaking technician in town, but if he can’t look a customer in the eye—or he can’t help but shove his hands in his pocket or slouch—what does that communicate? I don’t need to answer that question for you-you’ve already answered it yourself. You wouldn’t trust that tech.
To help you talk with your team about nonverbal cues in your next training meeting, here are some body-language strategies to mention and practice.
6 steps to help your field team appear more confident while better connecting with your customer.
1. Stand Up & Sit Straight:
Your techs and salespeople should always be cognizant of how they’re posturing their bodies. They should never slouch. It’s always best to stand straight up, and lean slightly forward with your shoulders back a bit and relaxed. This shows confidence and interest in what the customer has to say.
2. Mirror Language:
One of the first lessons in sales is to listen more than you talk. It begins the moment you meet the customer. Immediately pay attention to their speech patterns. If they’re slow paced, you want to make sure not to speak too quickly. It can come across as intimidating. Same is true if someone speaks in a fast-paced manner, your can frustrate them by being overly paced or slow. Nodding helps to indicate you’re understanding what the customer is saying as your listening.
3. Know What Your Hands Are Doing:
Nothing can be more distracting than a person’s flailing hands. It can be absolutely distracting when holding a conversation, resulting in a totally confused homeowner. Furthermore, your techs and salespersons never want to bury their hands deep in their pockets. This is a clear body language indicator that they’re either not interested or even sheepish. Coach your techs on speaking at a solid pace, taking a deep breath, and getting comfortable. Their hands will follow suit.
4. Just the Right Squeeze:
Not all homeowners will want to shake hands. So, don’t shove your hand in a customer’s face. Instead, if the homeowner offers their hand, by all means, reciprocate! Make sure to match the pressure that their giving you when squeezing hands. This isn’t a contest to see who can be the most forceful or dominant. Match what the customer is giving you as a best practice.
5. Arms Say So Much:
What does it communicate when someone crosses their arms while talking to you? It communicates an awkward, standoffishness that you certainly do not want to communicate with a potential customer! Work on reminding your field team to never cross their arms when talking to a client. They should get in the habit of leaving their hands at their side, and never crossed over their chest.
6. Eyes Tell it All:
If you implement nothing else from this blog, remember this: Eye contact is everything. Your eyes send such incredible non-verbal messages. Eye contact with customer means your techs and salespeople are absolutely paying attentions. The absence of eye contact makes homeowners feel like your field team doesn’t give the slightest care about what they’re saying. Eye contact is the number one way to make a connection. Connection creates trust. Trust creates sales.