Here’s the rest of Ray’s story: When Ray and I met that morning for breakfast, one look said it all. His elderly grandfather, a retired lawyer, had died and Ray had inherited the grandfather’s briefcase. It obviously had great sentimental value, but looked like it had barely survived the apocalypse. I didn’t say anything. We went to the first appointment to meet our prospect, Julian. As Ray withdrew documents, etc., Julian’s eyes kept darting over to the briefcase. No sale. For the rest of the day I made Ray to use my briefcase. He did great. Problem solved.
The briefcase’s shabby appearance created a conflict within Julian’s mind. Ray’s choice of the briefcase was a form of communication to Julian. I suspect the fatal blow was a suspicion that Ray wasn’t successful, wasn’t a sales winner and couldn’t afford something better. No one wants to buy from a failure. From Julian’s perspective, he had formed doubts and his default behavior was to not buy.
Positive body language (e.g. good posture, alertness, vitality, etc.) has been validated by extensive research to identify you as an individual who is credible, with something to say that is worth hearing. If you are directed to a chair in a waiting room or lobby, sit straight, face the door where you think your prospect will appear, and avoid any appearance of slouching or excessive casualness.
When you arise, stand tall, pull your rib cage up, flex your knees and look directly at your prospect’s eyes for at least three seconds (but no more than about five – that can be interpreted as excessive aggressiveness).
The next thing that happens is you will physically approach each other to shake hands and vocalize mutual greetings (e.g. “Hi Ted. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” “Thank you, Alice. Would you like some coffee before we get going?”). Seems simple, yes? But, there’s a lot going on beneath the surface, as you will read in Part 4.