your body can improve your sales performance just as
much as training your mind.
sales reps would see their role as trying to influence
the buying behaviour of their customers. What differentiates
the most successful sales reps are the strategies they
follow and the things they do to achieve that influence.
strategies are ways of solving customer’s problems
in a way which helps the sales rep with access and developing
relationships. For example one high performer developed
some planning software and a book to help write practice
business plans for her customers.
personally ran training courses to help his customers
cope with the massive structural changes in a department
that they were worried about. He said:” It gives
us more credibility and it gives me access to the customers.
I never have a problem getting access to key people”
high performer acted as a process consultant for getting
funds. She said:” It always comes back to going
through the right channel and being properly prepared
to put the right case forward for funding. It is not
just a quick phone call to ask for the money. It can
be a real struggle so I act as a sort of process consultant”.
How do high performers think, feel and interact with
the high performer research has shown is that high performers
follow these kinds of strategies and do these kinds
of behaviours more frequently and more consistently
that lower performers. Average or lower performers may
know about them. High performers do them.
the research aimed to discover the root of these differences
in motivation and aptitude. One of the things we did
was analyse a video recording of an interview with each
high performer and from this produce a Biometric analysis
of their unconscious pattern of body movement.
research, it has been shown, that different types of
these unconscious movements are linked to what we think
and how we interact and relate to others. So the assessor
can count the incidence of specific thought processes,
types of interaction and ways of relating to others
that are characteristic of the individual’s natural
approach in everyday life.
The eleven factors that differentiated higher from lower
performers covered all three areas, Thinking, Interaction
and Relating to Others. Together they form a performance
template against which individuals can be compared either
for selection or to identify those areas where development
will have most impact on performance.
this first article I am going to concentrate on the
third area, Relating to Others, and what differentiated
high performers from the norm. We found that they were
more natural and relaxed. They were more sensitive to
customer’s feelings and personal issues and they
empowered the customer to take more initiative in the
sales process. Finally they were more confident and
comfortable with themselves in the role and in new situations.
can you improve your ability in some of these areas?
natural and relaxed you are perceived to be is based,
in part at least, on how much Integrated Movement accompanies
what you say. This is naturally occurring body movement
when a posture (full body movement) leads into a gesture
(partial body movement) rather than postures or gestures
on their own.
the research we found a strong positive correlation
between rates of Integrated Movement (IM) and performance.
As an example, the high performer average of IM was
more than 75 per hour with a high of 250 per hour whereas
lower performers tended to score in the region of 25
you have a high IM production rate you are likely to
be seen as authentic and the same from one occasion
to another. At first meetings you are more likely to
gain the trust of buyers more quickly so that they in
turn will give you more information about themselves
and trust you with more valuable information.
you have a low rate of IM production it doesn’t
mean you are more likely to lie to customers although
if you did your IM production rate would fall further
still. It does mean that you will be more difficult
to get to know because there are less IMs for the buyers
and colleagues to take in and add to what you say.
can you increase your Perceived Naturalness?
cannot fake IMs, so to increase them you have to create
the conditions for an increase. This means relaxing,
being happy with yourself and who you are and not being
tempted to play a role however well meaning your intentions.
low IMs can indicate low self-esteem. It is too big
a subject to go into here but people with high self
esteem usually have a strong sense of self, they like
themselves, they can recognise and manage the way they
feel and they have a clear sense of purpose. There are
plenty of books to coach you in this area. Try the ‘NLP
Coach’ by Ian McDermott and Wendy Jago.
doing a short ‘Progressive Muscle Relaxation’
(PMR) exercise at key moments of the day such as sitting
in the car before meeting a new customer or waiting
to give a presentation.
can download lots of PMR exercises off the internet
if you search under relaxation exercises. Look for one
that lasts no more than 5 minutes. Try
all recognise the importance of confidence to cope with
the inevitable rejection in selling, particularly in
a new business role. This is not the same as how extrovert
we are. It is more to do with an inner sense of comfort
or discomfort in new situations and has been shown to
have a link to individual movement patterns.
back to a moment when you experienced real rejection
or failure. What did your body do? Did your shoulders
fall, your head and eyes drop and did your frame shrink
as you expelled the air from your lungs with a long
think back to another and happier moment when you achieved
a major goal or won a big order or were praised for
winning a challenge. Did your shoulders rise, your chest
expand, and your head lift and were your eyes bright
and lifted to the heavens.
believe that the way our bodies ‘grow’ with
comfort and ‘shrink’ with discomfort is
connected to built-in rewards systems to encourage the
new born infant to breathe and spring into life. This
reward system is hard wired and stays with us throughout
our research using Biometric profiling we found that,
with higher performers, ‘growing’ accompanied
what they said 40% of the time compared with lower performers
where it accompanied what they said 25% of the time.
can you increase your confidence by growing?
stand up with your arms at your side and with relaxed
Imagine you have a piece of string attached to the top
of your head, gently pulling you upwards.
without shrinking. Now, without straining your muscles
try to grow a bit taller and hold onto it for five seconds
and relax, against without shrinking. Try again and
relax and once more to see how much more you can grow
while still keeping your shoulders open. Remember how
from the diaphragm
your feet slightly apart check that you have a good
posture with your hips tucked under and your back straight.
Test your posture by checking to see if you can go up
and down on your toes without moving forward or backwards.
put your right hand on your diaphragm and take a deep
even breath through your nose (not your mouth). If you
are breathing correctly your hand should feel your diaphragm
expanding. Do this 3 to 5 times and notice any difference.
(Get more information by searching under Diaphragmatic
Breathing on the internet).
these growing and breathing exercises to get you into
a confident and resourceful state when you feel you
example, before a difficult customer meeting or after
a negative customer call to make sure your state does
not spill over to the next call.
the whole body can grow. So remember to smile and see
how your mouth can grow.
you would like to introduce your company to the research
then click here.
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