Your eyes communicate confidence. Your hands demonstrate leadership.

Salespeople lose control of many sales calls — and their own sales motivation — due to their lack of eye contact and how they use their hands.   It’s important to note, though, that the eyes and hands serve different purposes.

Your eyes communicate confidence. If the salesperson can’t give the customer eye contact, then clearly the salesperson is not confident about what they’re talking about — or worse yet, they are intimidated by the customer.  In either case, the salesperson’s ability to close the sale is going to be severely jeopardized.   This is especially true when communicating price or dealing with objections raised by the customer, as it’s at these critical points of a sales call  where eye contact is absolutely essential.

Your hands help you convey leadership in several ways.  First, it’s with your handshake. The firmness of your handshake is going to go a long way in communicating your confidence and in essence your ability to lead.   The main reason why I believe your hands help demonstrate leadership is in how they’re used as a communication tool. 

Leaders use their hand motions to move at a pace consistent with the words per minute they speak at.  Overly fast and jerky movements communicate a sense of panic. In contrast, deliberate hand movements that flow in sync with what is being said demonstrate the salesperson is in control and has an ability to lead.

Another way your hands demonstrate leadership is how they’re held in relation to the body. The further the hands are extended from the body, the more it shows leadership, due to the space the person is looking to control.

Finally, the hands demonstrate leadership because they can show someone that you are listening.  When the hands are still while the other person is talking, it conveys you are listening.  Obviously, listening is crucial to leadership.  True leaders show this not just with their ears, but also with their posture and with their hands.   When you hold your hands still while the other person is talking, it is a very visible contrast to your hand movements when you’re talking. 

Your eyes and your hands — two communication tools that help demonstrate confidence and leadership. Be intentional and conscientious in how you use your eyes and your hands.  They are saying more than you realize.

Copyright 2010, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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