How Your Body Language Can Influence Sales

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body language can influence

Small business owners get out of practice. They spend so much time in their offices and online that they sometimes forget how to act when they come face to face with a prospect or customer.

While many professionals spend time practicing what they will say in a meeting, few focus on what their body language looks like. This is unfortunate since studies show over half of how we communicate comes from our facial expression and body positions.

Here is what you can do to win over more customers:


The first thing a person sees when meeting you is your facial expression. This begins on your approach and will set the tone for the entire meeting.

Prepare for this by remembering positive things that make you smile about a minute before beginning that meeting. This will make smiling more unconscious and authentic. In the meeting, looking someone straight in the eye and smiling will instantly make them more comfortable.

It will also make you more likable which increases the chance of a sale.

Sit up Straight

Customers get more confidence from people that hold themselves up straight then those that slouch.

Most small business owners have poor posture from being at computers all day or talking on a smart phone. Before the meeting, stand with feet shoulder width apart and get a grounded footing. Then stand straight, as if someone had a string attached to the top of your head. This will help you stand, walk and sit straighter.

Customers will buy more from people that show confidence in themselves with this type of posture.

Lean In

The physical orientation of two people together says a lot about their relationship. Slouching back in a chair or sitting straight on the end doesn’t make the other person comfortable.

Instead, leaning forward will engage people in any conversation. This also enables you to talk more softly so people need to tune in to what you are saying. Leaning in can also show a greater intent to listen which the customer will appreciate. However, be careful not to invade their personal space.

Also, try to sit side by side with someone you are trying to win over rather than two opposing chairs or across a desk or a table. This will help them feel you are both on the “same side.”

Match Body Language

When you “mirror” similar body language to the customer, it builds feelings of trust because it generates unconscious positive feelings of affirmation.

It will make them think you agree with what they are saying which increases the likability factor. This does not mean that every time the customer crosses their leg, you need to do the same. Instead, look for body language cues to copy over the course of your meeting.

Remember that business body language differs by culture. All of this takes practice so always make it a standard part of your pre-meeting preparation.

Fascinated Photo via Shutterstock

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Barry Moltz Barry Moltz gets small business owners unstuck. With decades of entrepreneurial ventures as well as consulting with countless other entrepreneurs, he has discovered the formula to get business owners marching forward. His newest book, BAM! shows how in a social media world, customer service is the new marketing.

4 Reactions
  1. Great advice. I help out at a farmers’ market on Saturdays and I’ve found that a smile and cheerful greeting instantly makes people feel comfortable at our booth. Of note, avoid asking people “Can I help you?” because it increases pressure to buy and can chase off certain people. Same goes for defensive body language like crossed arms.

  2. I smile quite a bit when I meet people and we’re talking.

    Haven’t tried the mirroring thing. It might be something I do without noticing though.