They say that it is “not what you say but how you say it”. There is a lot of truth to this. Communication is not only what is spoken verbally, but also how it is delivered through your body language and tone of voice.
As an insurance agent you must realize by now how body language plays a big role in the success (or failure) of a sales pitch. If you are having trouble closing sales, these tips may be of some help to you.
Body language tips you need to master:
1. Maintain a friendly eye contact
A person who avoids eye contact when spoken to is often perceived as unconfident, or even dishonest. Yes, we all know how important it is to keep eye contact with the person you are speaking to. However, it is also important to not overdo it. You do not want to come across as being intimidating and aggressive.
Maintain a friendly eye contact, keep your gaze soft. Avoid staring at the person too long. To do this, try breaking eye contact every 5 – 7 seconds. When you break eye contact, avoid looking down as it may indicate that you are nervous and unsure of what you are saying. Look up or to the side instead as though you are thinking or remembering something. If the other person is speaking, break eye contact while nodding and smiling.
2. Careful where you place those hands
Your hands are very useful tools you can use to emphasize important points. They can add more meaning to your messages while making you appear to be more open. This will help put your prospects at ease and feel more welcome in your presence.
Keep your hands visible at all times. Fiddling with the ring on your finger or your phone, or excessive hands movements are all signs of anxiety and nervousness. Not to mention they can be very distracting. But this does not mean you have to be as stiff as a board either!
3. Mind your facial expression
“The look on your face speaks volumes” – heard of it? So always be aware of your facial expression. You want to display friendliness and understanding. The next time you talk to a customer or a prospect over the phone, do so in front of a mirror. Watch yourself while you speak. Do you squint, frown, arch your brows or make funny faces unconsciously?
Practice watching yourself in a mirror while on the phone several times so you can identify the expressions you make that you’d like to eliminate. At the same time, practice smiling, nodding attentively and good overall posture. This helps tons!
4. Perfect posture
Speaking of posture, you want to look calm and composed. Slouching or lounging back in your chair show disinterest. So sit up straight but keep your arms open and body relaxed.
It is important to know your audience. Your posture need not be the same when you are speaking to a CEO of a multi-million dollar company who is interested in insuring his assets as to when you are talking to the owner of a modest kedai runcit (sundry store) in your taman (neighborhood).
5. Watch your tone
People will judge you by the tone of your voice, so be careful how you speak. According to John Daly, a Communication Professor at the University of Texas, a deep voice connotes dominance, expertise, and competency while a high-pitched voice suggests nervousness and excitability. So although it is ok to go all high-pitched while talking to your friends about your bumping into your favorite celebrity on the way to the pasar malam (night market), it is a no-no when you are presenting a sales pitch (no pun intended) to your prospects.
Speak with clarity and with short pauses between transitioning ideas. Put emotional emphasis into your words and switch tempo to create engagement. Speak with calmness and composure. Although speaking a little faster than normal is a sign of competence, you should not go overboard that no one could understand you!
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