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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Seven-second sales

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  1. Learn non-verbal sales techniques. It’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say it. Ninety-three percent of how you are judged is based on non-verbal data – your appearance and your body language.
  2. Choose your first 12 words. Words only make up 7 percent of what people think of you, but don’t leave them to chance. Express some form of thank you when you meet a client.
  3. Use their name immediately. When you use the client’s name in conversation within your first 12 words and the first seven seconds, you send a message that you value that person.
  4. Pay attention to your hair. Your clients will notice your hair and face first. Putting off that much-needed haircut or color job might cost you the deal.
  5. “Shiny Shoes Sales Technique.” People will look from your face to your feet. If your shoes aren’t well maintained, the client will question whether you pay attention to other details.
  6. Walk fast. A fast walker can be perceived as important and energetic – just the kind of person your clients want to do business with. Pick up the pace and walk with purpose if you want to impress.
  7. A good business handshake. Position your hand to make complete contact with the other person’s hand. Once you’ve connected, close your thumb over the back of the other person’s hand and give a slight squeeze. You’ll have the beginning of a strong business relationship.
  8. Make stylish introductions. Business etiquette is based on rank. When the client is present, he is always the most important person. Say the client’s name first and introduce other people to the client. The correct words are “I’d like to introduce … ” or “ I’d like to introduce to you … ” followed by the name of the other person.
  9. Always have business cards. Have a good supply of business cards with you at all times – you never know when and where you will encounter a potential client. Keep your business cards in a card case, protected from wear and tear.
  10. Use proper body language. The best selling technique is a smile. It tells your clients you are glad to be with them. Eye contact says you are paying attention and are interested in what is being said. Leaning in toward the client makes you appear engaged and involved in the conversation.

Lydia Ramsey is a business etiquette expert, professional speaker, corporate trainer and author of “Manners That Sell – Adding the Polish That Builds Profits.” She has been quoted or featured in the New York Times, Investors’ Business Daily, Entrepreneur Inc., Real Simple and Woman’s Day.