We live in a digital age, but when it comes down to it, personal one-on-one communication is still paramount for any sales person or business owner. In order to get new clients, you first need to attract and engage the people you interact with everyday, proving yourself likable and trustworthy in the process.
We meet hundreds if not thousands of people every month, so strategically using interpersonal tactics and techniques can equate to a huge bump in leads, clients, and closed deals.
So, today I’ll share five communication “cheat codes” that will help you do just that. Try these the next time you’re sitting with a sales prospect, at a business mixer, or even at a cocktail party!
5 Communication cheat codes:
1. DON’T smile right away
When you first meet someone, don't flash an immediate smile, and don’t enter a room or encounter already with a full smile. If you do so, it appears to the other person that you already have that smile, and so they are not special.
Instead, pause and look at the person’s face for a brief moment, and THEN flash your big, warm smile. By smiling AFTER you see them and register their face, your smile will always appear sincere, and people will know that you’re lighting up specifically for them, not just because you happen to be in a good mood, leaving them with a strong positive impression and emotions.
2. Make eye contact for 60% of a conversation
Maintaining eye contact with the person you're speaking with is key to engaging them and forming a connection, but how much is too much? After all, you don't want to blankly stare at their eyes, which is a surefire way to weird them out and make yourself highly avoidable! Instead, maintain a balance by making straightforward eye contact about 60% of the time, and you'll be perceived as interested, friendly, and trustworthy.
Another interesting note: focus not on both of their eyes at once (that will leave you a little cross-eyed!) but on one eye or the other, which will feel (and appear) more natural.
3. Everyone loves to hear their name – the Cocktail Party Effect
No matter who you are or where you’re from, chances are you respond positively to hearing your own name, a trait that’s hard-wired in humans. So, whether you’re meeting someone for the first time or just trying to woo them, repeat their name a few times organically in conversation.
In fact, scientists have established that hearing your name activates a different part of the brain - the medial prefrontal cortex, and you respond in “self-representational” ways that are linked to identity and other self-image processes.
So, that’s why you can hear your own name over the din at a noisy cocktail party, when you wouldn’t be able to hear anything else in a normal conversational tone. And it’s also why using a client’s name is so damn effective!
4. Follow their feet to gauge interest
Is someone genuinely interested in you and what you have to say, or just going through the motions and being polite until they can get away? There's a great trick to be able to tell, and it has nothing to do with reading facial expressions, voice, or other body language. Instead, look at their feet.
If they're pointed in your direction, the person is interested and really listening to you. However, if their feet are pointed away, they're not engaged at all and can't wait to get out the door.
5. People remember unfinished…
Interestingly, people remember communication messages that are cut off early or aren’t finished at higher rates than those that are completed. Called the Zeigarnik Effect, advertisers, marketers, and behavioral psychologists are using this trick everywhere - but you probably don’t even notice.
You can use this tip to get someone’s attention and ensure that they remember you, possibly by telling them that you have a great story for them later on, a joke without a punchline yet, or letting them know that you want to tell them something important, like…
...see how well that works?
Contact me if you need any help with your marketing or if there's a topic you'd like to see here. Now go get 'em!