If you are like many people you are asking yourself what the heck does my posture have to do with success in sales (or anything for that matter). This all depends on how you are defining posture. We are not specially talking about how you stand or sit in a chair; however this may contribute to what we are talking about. What posture in sales means is the attitude reflected in the communication of the salesperson. It is well known that the message we send in our communication is made up of our body language, our tonality, and our words. However, how we mix those three elements creates a particular attitude that is truly noticed by the receiver of the message. In this case a sales prospect.
In sales interactions there are three possible postures that we may use. Superior, Equal, or Inferior – as you can imagine one of these is far better than the other two. Let’s look deeper into these three postures –
Superior: In this style, the salesperson takes the position of being superior to the prospect. The manner in which they communicate would suggest they are better than the prospect and are talking down to them. The superior posture is overly “I” centered and typically sends the message of aggressiveness. Superior posture has a low tolerance for any one else’s opinion. Often times, they speak with a loud and overbearing in tone.
Equal: The posture of equality is the most desirable posture for a salesperson. This style communicates confidence to the prospect. The equal posture requires the sales person to adopt an attitude of equal business stature with the prospect. The equal posture creates a respectful, yet highly assertive environment where the salesperson is in control of the selling process. The equal posture speaks clearly with authority, and places a high priority on having his rights respected. All issues are addressed with confidence, including those that may be difficult and uncomfortable for the prospect.
Inferior: Unfortunately, this is where to many salespeople communicate. In this posture, the seller will quickly acquiesces control of the sales dialogue to the prospect. They send the message that the prospect has the power and the salesperson is honored to be in their presence. Inferior posturing too easily provides the prospect a way out without addressing the difficult questions. The inferior salesperson allows themselves to be manipulated in order to avoid conflict. They take a literal interpretation of “the customer is always right.”
On the chance you did not figure it out already Equal is the posture that yields the best results. Professional salespeople who understand their job is to diagnose the prospects problems, understand their PAIN, and then provide mutually beneficial solutions; always work from a posture of equality. This is an essential attitude to bring to our communications with prospects. This Equal posturing will lead you to the greater success you seek.
We all develop a pattern of communication that is comfortable and becomes a habit for us. A true professional sales person (like the ones we train at Sandler) understands this and recognizes how to adjust communication in the selling process to create lasting customer relationships built on an equal stature business relationship.
There is a good chance many of you in sales are likely thinking – yes that is what I always do. When you ask prospects you may be surprised at the fact their perception is not the same as yours – and in case you did not know – theirs is the only perception that matters. It is how they perceive your posture that matters – not how you think you did!
Now let me ask – do you have the Equal posture to communicate properly? If yes, that is wonderful and you deserve congratulations. However if you said no – think about how much it is costing you? Is it worth fixing?
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