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Sales Training Tip #342: When Should You Lean Forward?

When you’re in a meeting with a customer and they ask you a question, don’t lean back. Instead, lean slightly forward.

I’m always hesitant to get too caught up on saying absolutes regarding body language, as I’ve found that for every absolute, there is always an exception.  However, there are some basics that for some reason always get lost.  No matter what your body language, you have to ensure the other party feels you’re engaged with them and in control of what you’re saying.

It might be very comfortable while seated to lean back in the chair just before you speak. Even so, it’s not a good idea. It gives the impression you’re not confident with what you’re going to say or you are slightly aloof in how you feel.   Anytime you are about to speak, lean forward slightly and give a slight hand motion. These two actions convey confidence and control, and they will help to bring your audience into what you’re about to say.

You can even take this one step further by beginning what you say with a softer voice. This in turn will draw the audience even closer to you in terms of having to pay 100% attention to what you’re saying.   These simple actions can and will allow you to control the meeting in ways you didn’t think possible. Watch leaders — they do this and do it in such a subtle manner you don’t even notice.

Remember — your actions speak far louder than your words. Therefore, make sure that your actions are working in sync with what you’re saying.

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6 thoughts on “Sales Training Tip #342: When Should You Lean Forward?”

  1. Pingback: Sales Training Tip #342: When Should You Lean Forward? | moneyhours

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  3. Mark is right on the “mark.” Many salespeople are hesitant to use these natural techniques to build and maintain rapport with their prospects and customers for fear that the other person will “see what they’re doing.”

    In fact, they do see it but they see it as a natural thing to do and therefore respond accordingly.

    The proper use of body language is a sales tool. Don’t suppress it, use it.

  4. Pingback: Are You Making These 3 Mistakes With Your Sales Manager Training? at Sales Manager Training

  5. Mark, thanks for reminding me, what is really important in meeting with a client. What you describe, makes me think about martial arts. There you also do not back off, you start to move to gain controll, you calm yourself. Do you see a connection between martial arts and selling?

  6. Thanks for the reminder. Getting the buyer to engage is a key challenge – something that as you point out elsewhere most sales pitches and presentations struggle to do. Too often buyers turn up, but that does not mean that they will open up. We talked to lots of buyers in writing our new book, called The Buying Revolution, and clearly they are happy to sit back and let the salesperson do all the talking.

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