Body Language: Dos and Don'ts

Wendy Weiss

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Studies show that much of communication is nonverbal. That means it’s not only what you say, it’s how you say it: your intonation, gestures, facial expressions and posture. Here are some Body Language Do's and Don'ts to help your face-to-face prospect and customer meetings.

Stand tall and have good posture, your prospect will interpret this as confidence. If you do not feel that you have good posture, you can change it! Start working out, going to a gym, take dance classes or do what the models-in-training used to do to help their posture—walk with a book on your head!

Slump or stoop in on yourself. Your prospect will see this as you having something to hide and will be inclined not to trust you.

Smile. It changes your whole attitude and prospects will enjoy doing business with you. People like to do business with people they like. You’ll have a better time too!

Scowl or look stressed and unhappy-even if you are. Your problems are your problems, not your prospects. You’ll feel worse if you blow an opportunity.

Speak out. Have clear and confident speech patterns. Make your intonation go down at the end of every sentence, even if you are asking a question. Be careful, though, not to swallow your words. This speech pattern will make you sound more confident and your prospects will be able to understand what you are saying.

Mumble. Your prospects will not understand you and could see you as having something to hide. If it is hard work to try and understand what you are saying, your prospect will probably give up. People don't buy from people they don't understand and they don’t buy from people they do not trust.

Look your prospect in the eye. Eye contact is a valuable tool for building trust.

Look down. If you cannot meet your prospects eye, they will see you as someone with something to hide.

Dress appropriately in a businesslike manner. Prospects will see you as a professional.

Wear clothes that are too casual or inappropriate or clothes that are wrinkled or not clean. Prospects will not take you seriously if you do not take yourself seriously.

Shake hands firmly. You will seem confident.

Squeeze too hard or conversely have a “dead fish” type of handshake. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression!

© 2005 Wendy Weiss

Wendy Weiss, “The Queen of Cold Calling & Selling Success, ” is a sales trainer, author, and sales coach. Her recently released program, “Cold Calling College", and/or her book, “Cold Calling for Women", can be ordered by visiting Contact her at Get Wendy’s free e-zine at


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