A Reader’s Question:
I meet with customers face to face and want to improve my presentation skills. What are some ways I can use body language effectively to communicate confidence and impress customers?
A Reader’s Response:
Use physical cues to communicate that you are paying attention to customers and their needs:
- Maintain eye contact with customers and lean toward them. While they are speaking, don’t look away or glance at other activities within your view.
- Nod your head to show understanding and agreement when it’s appropriate to do so.
— Karen Cavaliere, IWP Sales Support Supervisor
Response from the Editors:
Body language sometimes speaks louder than words. That’s why your hands, eyes and stance should communicate confidence. Avoid these body language faux pas to ensure effective customer interactions:
- Hands in pockets. That position is too casual and may communicate that you are nervous or bored. Instead, keep your hands at your sides, so they are available to gesture or point at your presentation or product demonstration.
- Crossed arms. That is the universal sign for disagreement or disrespect. Even if you aren’t annoyed by customers, don’t cross your arms and risk offending them.
- Hands on hips. In some cases, that stance communicates a readiness for action. However, it can also communicate that you are prepared to challenge another person’s ideas.
Quote of the Week:
“The purpose of business is to create and keep the customer.”
—Peter F. Drucker
Tip of the Week:
Elevate your attitude with energy talk
Stay on the career success track by countering these negative thoughts:
- “I can’t find the time for self-improvement.” Counter: You certainly can spare 15 minutes each workday to listen to an informative tape. That’s just 75 minutes per week.
- “Every day seems like a bad day to me.” Counter: Establish a “positive memory bank” and deposit something in it at the end of every day. Spending a mere five minutes reflecting on the day’s good experiences can yield a big positive-thinking dividend.
- “I’d set higher performance goals, but I doubt I’d be able to meet them.” Counter: Adopt the “Star Trek” philosophy—boldly go where you have not gone before. That may not guarantee success, but you limit your chances if you never dare to fail.
—From the editors.
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Each issue of the First-Rate Customer Service Forum offers you tips for improving your customer service skills. Plus, you have the opportunity to request advice on your most vexing customer service problems—and receive feedback from your peers and our panel of editors!