15 Body Language Secrets of Successful People

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Our bodies have a language of their own, and their words aren’t always kind. Your body language has likely become an integral part of who you are, to the point where you might not even think about it.

If that’s the case, it’s time to start, because you could be sabotaging your career.

TalentSmart has tested more than a million people and found that the upper echelons of top performance are filled with people who are high in emotional intelligence (90% of top performers, to be exact). These people know the power that unspoken signals have in communication and they monitor their own body language accordingly.

What follows are the 15 most common body language blunders that people make, and emotionally intelligent people are careful to avoid.

  1. Slouching is a sign of disrespect. It communicates that you’re bored and have no desire to be where you are. You would never tell your boss, “I don’t understand why I have to listen to you,” but if you slouch, you don’t have to—your body says it for you, loud and clear.

The brain is hardwired to equate power with the amount of space people take up. Standing up straight with your shoulders back is a power position. It maximizes the amount of space you fill. Slouching, on the other hand, is the result of collapsing your form—it takes up less space and projects less power.

Maintaining good posture commands respect and promotes engagement from both ends of the conversation.

  1. Exaggerated gestures can imply that you’re stretching the truth. Aim for small, controlled gestures to indicate leadership and confidence, and open gestures—like spreading your arms apart or showing the palms of your hands—to communicate that you have nothing to hide.
  2. Watching the clock while talking to someone is a clear sign of disrespect, impatience, and inflated ego. It sends the message that you have better things to do than talk to the person you’re with, and that you’re anxious to leave them.
  3. Turning yourself away from others, or not leaning into your conversation, portrays that you are unengaged, uninterested, uncomfortable, and perhaps even distrustful of the person speaking.

Try leaning in towards the person who is speaking and tilt your head slightly as you listen to them speak. This shows the person speaking that they have your complete focus and attention.

  1. Crossed arms—and crossed legs, to some degree—are physical barriers that suggest you’re not open to what the other person is saying. Even if you’re smiling or engaged in a pleasant conversation, the other person may get a nagging sense that you’re shutting him or her out.

Even if folding your arms feels comfortable, resist the urge to do so if you want people to see you as open-minded and interested in what they have to say.

  1. Inconsistency between your words and your facial expression causes people to sense that something isn’t right and they begin to suspect that you’re trying to deceive them, even if they don’t know exactly why or how.

For example, a nervous smile while rejecting an offer during a negotiation won’t help you get what you want; it will just make the other person feel uneasy about working with you because they’ll assume that you’re up to something.

  1. Exaggerated nodding signals anxiety about approval. People may perceive your heavy nods as an attempt to show you agree with or understand something that you actually don’t.

 

  1. Fidgeting with or fixing your hair signals that you’re anxious, over-energized, self-conscious, and distracted. People will perceive you as overly concerned with your physical appearance and not concerned enough with your career.
  2. Avoiding eye contact makes it look like you have something to hide, and that arouses suspicion. Lack of eye contact can also indicate a lack of confidence and interest, which you never want to communicate in a business setting.

Looking down as you talk makes it seem like you lack confidence or are self-conscious, causing your words to lose their effect. It’s especially important to keep your eyes level if you’re making complicated or important points.

Sustained eye contact, on the other hand, communicates confidence, leadership, strength, and intelligence. While it is possible to be engaged without direct, constant eye contact, complete negligence will clearly have negative effects on your professional relationships.

  1. Eye contact that’s too intense may be perceived as aggressive, or an attempt to dominate. On average, Americans hold eye contact for seven to ten seconds, longer when we’re listening than when we’re talking. The way we break contact sends a message, too. Glancing down communicates submission, while looking to the side projects confidence.
  2. Rolling your eyes is a fail-proof way to communicate lack of respect. Fortunately, while it may be a habit, it’s voluntary. You can control it, and it’s worth the effort.
  3. Scowling or having a generally unhappy expression sends the message that you’re upset by those around you, even if they have nothing to do with your mood. Scowls turn people away, as they feel judged.

Smiling, however, suggests that you’re open, trustworthy, confident, and friendly. MRI studies have shown that the human brain responds favorably to a person who’s smiling, and this leaves a lasting positive impression.

  1. Weak handshakes signal that you lack authority and confidence, while a handshake that is too strong could be perceived as an aggressive attempt at domination, which is just as bad. Adapt your handshake to each person and situation, but make sure it’s always firm.
  2. Clenched fists, much like crossed arms and legs, can signal that you’re not open to other people’s points. It can also make you look argumentative and defensive, which will make people nervous about interacting with you.
  3. Getting too close. If you stand too close to someone (nearer than one and a half feet), it signals that you have no respect for or understanding of personal space. This will make people very uncomfortable when they’re around you.

Bringing It All Together

Avoiding these body language blunders will help you form stronger relationships, both professionally and personally.

By Dr. Travis Bradberry

How to Impress Your Sales Prospects Quickly to Get the Door

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How to Succeed in Outside Sales

In order to succeed in outside sales you need to start on the inside. So how do you cover a lot of ground to build your sales funnel these days ? It’s not easy because there are so many means of communicating with a potential customer. Nobody answers their phone anymore and nowadays some folks will not even respond to your email! They say that social media is the new way to the attention or communicate your information to potential customers and they will come to you, but eventually you will have to engage in a conversation with your prospect via telephone to get in the door.

Top Sales Techniquessales success

So how do you achieve sales success? After many years in sales , I actually developed my sales skills on the telephone to “get the appointment” working with one of the major radio broadcasting stations. There were 12 sales professionals selling to a very narrow demographic so you could imagine what was left to call on. My plan was to find old accounts that nobody wanted and to find ways to sell different demographics creating alternate needs for the our product. I wanted to cover as much ground as possible without wasting a whole lot of time and energy so the best way to target the companies that I had in my was to try to call them by phone to get a chance for an appointment. These days if you do get an appointment it means two things – They have a genuine need to see you or they need another quote which can also end up in a sale but that is a whole new conversation. The first thing I did was research on the company, and have some semblance of a solution ready for them when I got them on the line. One thing you NEED to keep in mind is that you do not want to sound like a canned sales pitch, to avoid this most successful sales professionals keep their “pitch” conversational and this is the approach I used . I was successful at this method because in the course of conversation I would find out in a short period of time if they were happy or not with their current situation then the prospect would invite me in for an appointment and then my chances were very good that I would end up closing them. Needless to say I increased my sales 400 percent using these tactics and was asked to become a mentor for the other new reps and then shortly thereafter to become the Sales Manager.

Sales Tips for Success

Most recently I had the opportunity to perform my skills with sales coaching for a software company that provides sales training to the automotive industry. I was tasked to listen in on the sales people’s repertoire and found that they would just go into their usual routine of presenting the product. Their close ratio was low and I found a couple of simple key things that helped them to be more successful. The first thing I taught them was to find out why the prospects inquired about the program in the first place. Then to talk about that pain at the beginning of the sales call and reiterate the pain throughout their sales presentation and attach it to the solutions that the software company offered.

This method immediately got the prospect talking and asking questions, which leads to closing the sale! (When your prospects starts asking questions you always have a good chance of selling them.)

The secret to successful telephone sales is getting the prospects attention in a very short period of time, this is why the company research and offering a solution to your prospect that creates value will get you in the door to insure inside sales success.

 

Time Management Workshop – Sodexo Campus Services Columbia, SC

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Keys to Team Building with New EmployeesLeaders Speakers was chosen to facilitate a Time Management Workshop for the Sodexo Food Service Group. Rachel Ayalya, General Manager Sodexo Campus Services University of South Carolina contacted Leaders Speakers to facilitate a program that would help her management staff develop more effective time management techniques by changing ineffective habits and how to overcome obstacles. Leaders Speakers one day workshop  showed them how to plan their day well in advance with effective time management tools – how to prepare a Task Plan. We defined and showed how to them establish goals, priorities and activities and how important it is to establish practical measureable and definable goals, define activities associated with achieving goals, and how to define your priorities. The process translates to organizing activities in priority that need to be done that day against the time that needs to be allocated to each activity. Important emphasis was given on how to keep on track and AVOID the distractions that keep individuals from accomplishing their daily goals. We teach that setting goals and Objectives is important. Working without effective time management goals and targets does not establish a “tangible” plan for what you want to accomplish.

Time Management Tips and Strategies

We made the participants aware of the fallacy that some people think they may even have it all in their head, but without an established plan you will go off course and fail to achieve your objectives. Leaders Speakers also showed the group of Managers good time management skills included” How to Tame the Email Monster”. Most employees get bogged down with and are slaves to their email which is a HUGE time waste and can account for many hours wasted hours that could be better spent on other priorities. The group seemed surprised to learn that one of the basic email rules is 99 percent of emails do not require immediate action and 50 percent require no action at all! In the end the Managers learned how to determine sources of time management challenges, use Time Management tools to change habits and behaviors, and Time Management requires discipline.

 

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