Everyone knows something about body language and how it impacts the way that people perceive us.
We all know a firm handshake is good, eye contact relays confidence and smiling makes us more likeable.
But did you know your body language has a scientifically proven impact on your own body and your emotions?
By adopting certain postures for only 2 minutes, such as the wonder woman pose here, you can make yourself feel more powerful and confident… a very useful tip when you are preparing for a high pressure situation such as a difficult meeting or an important sales pitch.
By Changing your Body Chemistry ….
Amy Cuddy, a Harvard Business School Professor and social psychologist, is known for her interest in emotions, power, nonverbal behaviour, and the effects of social stimuli on hormone levels.
During her research into social stimuli and hormones Amy proved that certain body postures that she calls ‘Power Poses’ can immediately change your body chemistry, which in turn changes your emotional state.
They tend to have higher testosterone levels which are associated with power and dominance, and lower cortisol levels which indicate decreased anxiety and a better ability to deal with stress.
Levels of both of these hormones can change rapidly depending on the social, physical and environmental cues around you. If you are in a situation that makes you feel anxious or less then confident (ie. a difficult meeting or an important pitch), you can counter that by changing your body posture. This will in turn change your testosterone and cortisol levels which will change your emotional state.
To increase your testosterone and reduce your cortisol Amy suggests 2 minutes in a high Power Pose.
This involves opening up your body, stretching and expanding it as much as possible. Basically you are making yourself appear bigger – think Mick Jagger strutting on stage!
If you need to feel more confident we suggest adopting a high power pose for 2 minutes (ideally before your meeting and not whilst in it!) to help your body to create the right balance of testosterone and cortisol to help you to feel more powerful and relaxed.
If you continue to use power body language in your meeting or pitch (see the picture at the end of this post for examples) you will positively impact how others perceive you too.
It is also useful to be aware of your posture so that you avoid ‘low power’ poses, where you are hunched or making yourself smaller (look down at your notes or slouching in your chair).
Below are some examples of high power poses with the associated low power pose underneath to avoid.
Amy’s TED talk on how your body language shapes who you are is one of the most popular talks of all time is and definitely worth the 20 minutes to watch if you haven’t seen it
When you are in a sales situation one of the most important things to do is to appear credible, and asking intelligent and thoughtful questions is a great way to demonstrate and build your credibility. Asking questions promotes thought in the other person – particularly if the questions you ask are open (cannot be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’) and come from a state of curiosity.
When planning your questions, think about what you can ask early on in the conversation or presentation that will cause the other person to really think. Asking a question that causes thought, directs attention or encourages the other person to question their perspective can all build your credibility, providing the question is authentic (or sincere) and not simply designed to lead the other person.
Here are some ideas on devising your questions:
- Plan your questions. By planning your questions you increase the chance of asking something that really resonates with the other person. Being curious and brainstorming possible questions with a colleague will also help.
- Ensure it is authentic. Resist asking a question simply to lead the other person to your point of view. This is often ‘obvious’ to the other person and can come across as manipulative
- Leave silence. Once you have asked a good open question, resist the urge to dive into the silence that follows (which often results in you giving the other person a multiple choice answer for them to pick!) and be comfortable with the silence. Silence is a sign that the other person is truly considering your question and giving it thought
- Using framing. Make a question ‘safe’ or prepare the other person to answer it. Framing is a technique where you give an explanation for why you are asking the question before you ask it. This gives the listener the context and reason for the question along with a little time to think making it easier for them to answer. For example, instead of asking: “what has led you to that conclusion?” in a situation where the question might be taken negatively, you could frame it as follows: “In order to understand your thinking so I can give you what you need (this is the frame), could you explain what has led you to that conclusion?”
You can find out much more about how to build your credibility in The C3 Model of Influencing™ Field Guide, available on Amazon. It teaches our simple Influence Model that will enable you to be more confident, more credible and connect more easily with your sales prospects.
We were very excited to hold our first webinar Masterclass recently on High Stakes Influencing.
It was hosted by James Lavers, internet entrepreneur and former producer to Tony Robbins, renowned US motivational speaker. We talked to James about our business journey and how we have used ‘high stakes’ influencing to build our two businesses to generate six-figure incomes.
By ‘high stakes’ we mean those situations where the outcome is really important to your business – usually around sales or business development activities.
During the Masterclass we talked in detail about selling, pitching, presenting and negotiating. We explained how we used C-cubed Influence in these ‘high stakes’ influencing situations to make a real step change in our businesses and cross a threshold to get more higher-paying clients.
We are passionate about sharing what we teach our corporate clients with small businesses and entrepreneurs, as we know the massive impact C-cubed Influence can have. That is why our corporate clients pay over £6k a day to have both of us work with them. They know that the benefits of having highly effective influencers in their teams are well worth the investment, and they know that they will reap the rewards many times over.
During the Masterclass we shared some of the C-cubed Influence techniques we use and in case you missed it here it is again for a limited time only:
This is because we all influence in our everyday interactions, whether we are aware of it or not, and of course we often try to influence consciously in many of our business situations.
So Tom was excited to be invited recently to talk to Nick Peters, journalist and Editor of Business First magazine, on his weekly programme on Share Radio.
You can listen to the interview here.
The show, called “Shop Floor”, is all about work and the workplace in all its forms. Nick was interested in the idea of sales as a culture, not just something that someone who has the word SALES in their title does. He wanted to explore how influence can be used to empower everyone in the organisation to ‘sell’ the company every time they deal with a customer.
Tom had a great time talking to Nick about C-cubed influence, how mindset effects our ability to influence, and how C-cubed influence is having an impact in organisations around the world.
Share Radio is one of London’s newest radio stations, and you can listen to the radio interview here.
We do a lot of work with individuals in sales and business development functions. We find we are often asked by managers to ‘clone’ the highly successful individuals: to teach a group how to become like someone who is held up as an exemplar. But this is a dangerous request and in our experience it just doesn’t work.
People are individuals and trying to clone someone who is highly successful and tell others that this is how they need to be implies they need to change their personality. But influence is not something that can be easily detached from personality.
Our definition of influence is to ‘produce an effect on an individual or group by imperceptible or intangible means’. It’s about being a compelling force to produce an effect on the behaviours, actions and opinions of others. At its simplest, influencing is about putting your point of view across in a compelling way that motivates another person, or group, to take the action you desire. The root of the word influence comes from the medieval English word ‘influent’ meaning to ‘flow in’. So influence is about a flow rather than simply something you ‘do’ to someone.
In most situations that you will encounter, influencing is subtle. It takes place outside of conscious awareness and is a combination of what you communicate and how you communicate it- verbally and non-verbally. You might want them to:
- take a certain decision
- buy a product or service
- agree with and commit to a course of action
- simply to hear your point of view.
You will be using your voice, body language, and the power of language to either create a compelling message – or one that falls on deaf ears.
Whilst some people seem naturally and easily able to influence, it is a skill that can be learned by paying attention to, and developing, the right things and by putting your awareness on your current preferences in how you influence, so that you can be more flexible in how you communicate with different people.
We created our C3 Model of Influencing™ to give you the framework to do just that. What’s more, it’s based on research and has been proven to be effective in a wide variety of influencing contexts and situations.
The C3 Model of Influencing™ Field Guide is available on Amazon.
Our offer on Amazon ends at midnight on Thursday 18th December. The C3 Model of InfluencingTM Field Guide is THE blueprint for how to influence in ANY situation.
Here is what people have been saying on Amazon:
“A refreshing and powerful way of examining and developing influence”
“An amazing piece of work”
“I have gained a lot of personal insight from reading this”.
We cannot NOT influence. It is part of what we all do every day both at work and in our personal lives. Sometimes we actively try to influence a situation and sometimes we do it subconsciously through our body language and signals. But whatever we do, if we are a powerful influencer we WILL be more successful in getting the result we want.
If you are a sales professional or an entrepreneur, a corporate manager or you work in a professional service firm, this book will teach you the secrets of C-cubed Influence, a tried and tested influencing model that we teach around the world. It focuses on skills in the areas of confidence, credibility and connection – the foundations of effective influencing.
SPECIAL OFFER – SPECIAL OFFER
Starting midnight today, Thursday 11th December, The C3 Model of InfluencingTM Field Guide will be on 7-day SPECIAL OFFER on Amazon. The Field Guide teaches you the secrets of C-cubed Influence, based on our behaviour, the way we think and how we communicate – which means it becomes a natural part of who you are. This is THE blueprint for how to influence in any situation.
What can becoming a world class influencer do for you?
Being highly skilled at influencing will impact both your business and personal life. It will give you more success in getting the outcome you want when meeting a potential client, networking, leading a meeting, making an important presentation, motivating a team or having difficult conversations. C-cubed Influence is based on principles of truth in the core areas of confidence, credibility and connection.
Here are two truths that we quote a lot:
Few people like being sold to but most people are open to influence. We can all think of a time when we were buying something, perhaps a TV or white goods for the kitchen, and the salesperson came on too strong. They didn’t take any time to find out what exactly we were looking for or whether the product suited our needs but just went straight into a sales pitch. This makes us feel as if we are being sold to and we can become minded NOT to buy. In fact if you ask a room full of people who likes being sold to less than 5% will put their hand up. So being able to influence is a crucial skill in selling
The second truth is that it is easier to behave your way into new thinking than to think your way into new behaviour. By behaving in the way we want to BE that behaviour then starts to become a natural part of what we do and how we feel. For instance if we are not feeling confident in a situation we can use surface tactics in our behaviour, such as body language and voice tone, so that we appear to be confident, and the more we do this the more we find that we actually do feel and become more confident.
If you would like to find out more about how C-Cubed Influence can give you success in 2015 then buy The C3 Model of InfluencingTH Field Guide and learn C-Cubed Influence. Its on offer from midnight on Thursday 11th December until midnight on Thursday 18th December.
We know it can be really tough finding new customers in today’s market. Buyers today may be far more advanced in the buying cycle by the time you reach them and may already have a good idea of what they think they need – which can make it tough to even get a foot in the door!
But if you aren’t able to influence early on in the buying cycle what can you do to improve your prospecting and your chances of a successful sale?
We believe that “few of us like being sold to … but everyone is open to influence”. It is so true. By focusing on your confidence, credibility and connection and how you come across to people, you are giving yourself the best chance to be taken seriously when you make a first approach, to be listened to, to persuade, and to sell. Check out the slides below and visit www.c-cubedinfluence.com to find out more about any of the topics covered.
Imagine this scene. You have just finished a lengthy sales meeting with your boss. You have been left in no doubt that you have to hit the quarterly revenue target. In fact you spent most of the meeting discussing the revenue number and the prospects and how likely they were to close this quarter. Your boss is under pressure and therefore so are you, so the focus was on ranking and likelihood of deal closing. Does that sound familiar? This meeting is about results only.
It is often said that ‘sales is all about results’. In a real way this is true, but the only problem is we can’t ‘do’ a result. If the sole focus of our attention is on the number, target or sector penetration percentage then we might know when we have got there (because it is measureable) but in order to ‘get there’ and achieve that objective we will need to focus on performance – those things that we can control or do and which either contribute or detract from achieving the result.
Contrast this with a meeting that outlines the result (you need to hit the number) and then discussed your specific action plan for each account. Perhaps for one the focus is on the next meeting and how you can plan and prepare. Maybe for another it is brainstorming how you can reach the decision-maker and what you can do to influence them the most. This meeting is focusing on different aspects of performance that will help to maximise the chance of achieving the result or objective that you want.
What makes a focus on performance so effective is that YOU are in control of it. If you think about an Olympic swimmer training for the 400m freestyle event, clearly the result he or she wants is to win the event. But the swimmer can’t control the outcome because there will be seven other swimmers in the same pool. But the swimmer can focus on his/her own performance and set a challenging performance goal which acts as the focus.
There are many things that contribute to performance in sales and you need to keep focused only on these things that you can control or things that you are able to influence. A big part of what can make the difference is being able to influence in ALL sales situations – whether it is a telephone conversation, a first face-to-face meeting or a key presentation – and not just those situations in which we feel comfortable.
We have developed ‘C-cubed influence’ to focus on 3 areas that we can all control – confidence, credibility and connection – in order to become highly influential in any sales situation. We regularly teach C-cubed influence to our clients around the world, and if you are strong in all these three areas then you will become a highly skilled influencer.
We were delighted to be invited by Nicola Cairncross, successful internet marketing entrepreneur and creator of the Business Success Factory, to take part in one of her regular podcast interviews with global entrepreneurs.
In the interview Nicola probed how we have got to where we are in life, how we built up six and seven-figure businesses, how we work together and our thoughts on selling through influence.
You can listen to the interview now (below), or you can download it from I-tunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud here.
Podcast – Tom and Jerry talk to Nicola Cairncross about their business mind, business marketing and business money: