The meeting to discuss ShoeGel and its cross selling with office shoes of INV seemed to be proceeding on a positive note. Ravi, the promising salesman from ShoeShine, was impressing Vikram with his homework on the product.
INV had never before dealt with ShoeShine so Vikram was not aware of the company or its products. This made him take on a closed defensive position when the two got seated after the greeting. He had his arms crossed, and was leaning away from the table. Ravi understood the importance of having the sales head open up before beginning his sales pitch else Vikram would lose the first few points he presented. Research shows that when people cross their arms while talking, their receptiveness towards what the other person is speaking goes down by upto 40%.(Allan Paese in his Body Language classes). Ravi thus presented his visiting card first to Vikram and talked a little about ShoeShine company while Vikram was studying his card. The very action of taking Ravi’s visiting card made Vikram uncross his arms and get out of the unreceptive position.
Ravi understood that territorial space intrusion should be avoided by him, especially since he was meeting the Sales Head of INV for the first time. He took due care to use minimal space on the table. He was careful to put his hands only at a slight angle on the table and not rest them completely on Vikram’s desk. All these things put together would ensure that Vikram would not be threatened by the stranger that Ravi was to him.
To build good rapport, Ravi was careful to maintain eye contact with Vikram 60-70% of the time when they were discussing. He also nodded in agreement whenever Vikram raised a point. In fact he even repeated a few points to clarify what Vikram was trying to convey. This showed he was listening actively. To show interest in the discussion, Ravi would lean in slightly forward when he observed that Vikram showed signs of interest, like leaning in or touching his chin. Ravi used open arm gestures to highlight the benefits of ShoeGel and the advantages that INV could get if they both could work out a deal. Open arm gestures are non threatening poses as long as they remain in the upper half of the torso in a formal discussion.
Ravi would have to be very attentive, not only to what Vikram was saying verbally, but also what his non verbals were suggesting. Read on to know how the good greeting of Ravi made Vikram stay receptive to his sales pitch and how Ravi could detect that Vikram was liking his sales pitch.
Read on to see how to Detect Customer’s Fading interest in the Sales Process
Go to the previous article Warming up the Customer with the Correct Greeting