8 Jedi Mind Tricks for Salespeople

18 Dec


You genuinely like people, ask good questions, know your product, and are persistent – but for some reason you are still having difficulty closing. What gives? While you are listening or talking, you can make several subtle changes which will lead to dramatic improvements. It’s time to review a few sales Jedi mind tricks! 

Non-verbals to pay attention to when in front of a prospect or customer:

  1. Positioning: Wait to sit until they are seated. Try to get the spot next to the prospect instead of sitting directly across from them. This may be difficult to manuever in a meeting with just one person, but usually you can grab the seat at the table so that you are only looking across the corner in conference room meetings. Also, give the lead prospect or customer the chair at the end of the table (if you take it, they may be offended).
  2. Posture: Your posture shouldn’t be pulled in or closed. Lift your chest and spread your shoulders out and back. Put your hands on the table with palms up when not writing or talking to show openness that you are listening. Don’t be rigid or hunched over. You are going for a relaxed look where your shoulders are pulled back and your back is straight. You are trying to show an open, almost vulnerable posture – be relaxed and open.
  3. Hands: Holding your hands in front of you while standing is a defensive gesture. And don’t place them behind your back or in your pockets. Feel free to use hand gestures when talking!
  4. Fingers: Avoid twitching them or your hands while in front of a customer or prospect. Your hands should usually be ABOVE the table and seen when listening or writing. Hold a pen or brochure in your hand when you are talking. Also, don’t touch your face when talking. It is a sign of shyness or indecisiveness.
  5. Arms: Don’t cross your arms. We tend to do this more often to stay warm, but your client or prospect may take it as disagreement (see Brad Pitt in the movie Fight Club).
  6. Head: Hold your head and eyes up. Your neck should feel like it is exposed.
  7. Mouth: Avoid biting or licking your lips (and the prospect!). Also, don’t smile or laugh excessively. I’m all for someone smiling, but if you do it too often, it can be taken as a sign of nervousness.
  8. Eyes: Try not to blink too often. If this an issue for you, blink your eyes slower. Let your eyelids relax and let them droop a bit. Don’t shift your eyes around when speaking. It’s important to maintain a steady gaze at the customer or prospect’s face. Use direct eye contact, but not too much! It can look a little weird if you don’t look away. Optimally, your eyes should be on the person or people you are meeting with about two-thirds of the time. If you are thinking in response to a question, you will appear more confident looking directly at the person or to the side (not down).

I was in Toastmasters for a few years which helped me look at myself in the mirror. We don’t act and sound the way that we think we do. Videotape yourself a few times and you’ll see your weaknesses and be able to improve them. Overall, I would suggest you simply talk and move slower: Everything in your confidence mode is probably moving slower than you think. Because you are so comfortable, you aren’t startled by everything and you can move slower than the other people around you. Like a Jedi Knight, closers first disarm the people with whom they interact! 

Happy Holidays!




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