The Secret to Selling with Body Language

The Secret to Selling with Body Language

And yet in video after video, salespeople look away. When we smile genuinely, the whole flight of muscles is activated, resulting in a full-face smile. For those who fake smile to prospects via video, you’re sending the message that you aren’t being honest. Luckily, the answer to the fake smile is also simple: start smiling for real. The next time you record a sales video, ask yourself: what am I communicating with my body language? If you can open your posture, keep eye contact, and give off a more radiant, genuine smile, then you’re well on your way to building trust with your prospects.

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Back on the ancestral Serengeti (okay, really, before the early 2000s) salespeople had to hunt and gather for their sales.

That is, they had to do it in-person. They’d knock on doors, interrupt strangers’ meals, trade business cards, and make instant, likable impressions or go hungry for the day. This savage jungle forced them to perfect winning smiles, confident body posture, and assertive stares. They knew how to sell through body language.

The exact percentage of communication that body posture accounts for is up for debate. What isn’t up for debate is that it’s incredibly important for displaying trust. Sales are won or lost at a glance and when an entire generation of inside sellers who have never known what it’s like to sell eye-to-eye are now using video, they are terrified.

Or at least, they look terrified, based on their body language. Or are they bored? Or nervous? Actually, we can’t really tell.


If you could use some help closing deals, it’s time to start controlling what you say with your body.

Sellers, here are the 3 big nonverbal cues to correct when selling with video:

1. Open your defensive, closed body posture

When we feel threatened or uncomfortable, we clench up. According to Joe Navarro, a 25 year veteran of the FBI writing in Psychology Today, “Arm crossing helps us to deal with anxiousness or psychological distress.”

Throughout his career, Navarro has picked up on a pattern: people under duress cover their vital areas—such as their chest or their neck—as if they’re going to be physically attacked. This is bad for salespeople because the vast majority of people, including their prospects, can read these signs, if only subconsciously. And, they’re contagious.

Prospects will automatically mirror a salesperson’s discomfort. Closed body posture gives them the signal that there’s something to worry about and they’ll fell ill at ease and much more resistant to persuasion. The fix, luckily, is quite simple.

To correct your defensive body posture:

  • Sit up straight. Align your spine and roll your shoulders back.
  • Lift your chin.
  • Breathe deeply.
  • Uncross your arms. Lay them on your legs with your…