What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say – Ralph Waldo Emerson
A dismissive shrug of the shoulders. An impatiently tapping finger. A child with crossed legs, squirming like a centipede. These more or less involuntary movements speak for themselves: I don’t care; hurry up already; I have to use the bathroom right now.
If only all nonverbal cues lacked subtlety. Then you’d never be stuck trying to discern whether a prospect needs a little more hand holding or more breathing room; whether a client has one foot out the door or is eager to deepen your working relationship. You’d win every Saturday night poker game.
Last issue, we talked about the treasure trove of information hidden within facial expressions and head positioning. This time, we’ll take you by the shoulder and point your feet in the right direction. Continue reading →
This Thanksgiving, when many of us get together with friends and family we may not have seen in a while, we’re going to have different kinds of relationships with the people at the table.
With some people we feel quite close; with others we’re more distant, and some relationships might be downright challenging (let’s remember not to talk politics with Uncle Paul). However we feel about them, all relationships are subject to change.
Allies turn into enemies and adversaries become staunch supporters. The US doesn’t officially relate to Cuba, but not relating is its own kind of relationship. And that, too, is subject to change. Continue reading →
You’ve just spoken with Bill Gormin, the controller of a 20 person architectural firm, and gotten the green light to circle back six months down the road and schedule a meeting to provide him with a cost and coverage insurance review before his next renewal period. Bill was open-minded, sincere, and willing to hear what your agency could do for him. But he was preoccupied and didn’t spend long on the phone. Six months later, when you finally get Bill on the phone again (after several missed attempts) he tells you that he’s terribly busy and won’t be able to meet after all this year. As a friendly concession, he invites you to check back next year, but that sales opportunity has evaporated. Unfortunately, this is an all too common scenario. Continue reading →
You know you’re a good agent and producer. You’ve got a nice book of business. You’re a people person, you’re astute and knowledgeable about risk and insurance.
When you go out on sales calls, you bring with you a firm handshake, a warm smile, and the confidence that you can do a better job for the prospect than their current agent. But are you thinking about what else your body language is conveying? Is it aligned with your intentions? And how well can you read the physical signals you’re getting from others?
46 years ago, Dr. Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of psychology at UCLA, published a landmark study on nonverbal communication. His findings have since become a standard in the field, especially the 7%-38%-55% rule. Continue reading →