We’ve all heard that it’s not about what you say, but how you say it. Well, for many financial advisors, it may be more even important to think about what your body language is saying. The unspoken word often speaks the loudest to clients, and when you have the uphill challenge of working in a notoriously cold and calculated industry, portraying an aura of trust is critical step in warming your prospects toward you and your service.
So how do you keep your verbal language from saying one thing, and your body language from saying another? Here are a few basic do’s and don’ts.
DO Smile!: It’s the easiest thing to do, but it’s also the easiest thing to forget. Throw in a smile, especially when making eye contact with your prospect.
DON’T Overhead Gaze: Maintaining eye contact is important, but when you do look away, do not glance behind or over the head of your prospect. It makes them feel like you’re distracted or disengaged.
DO The Triple Nod: According to experts, one of the best ways to show engagement or encourage a prospect to continue to open up is three quick nods indicating that you understand and would like to learn more.
DON’T Cross Your Arms or Touch Your Face: An arms crossed posture makes you seem closed off or cold, while touching your face can indicate perception. Keep your posture natural and arms relaxed.
DO Mirror and Match: This is a common strategy in any meeting, but it works well when speaking with prospects, too. Mirror their posture, match their intensity of speech. Essentially you want to reflect their mannerisms back to them in order to make them feel comfortable (but be careful because if you take this too far, things can get creepy).
DON’T Fidget: Chances are that this meeting is in your office, you are discussing your business, and you are confirming your ability to help these prospects. You should be pretty confident with each of these. Fidgeting makes you seem nervous, and there is no room for nerves in the planning of your prospects financial future.
DO Engage with All Parties: Most of the time you will be meeting with both the husband and wife, and it’s important to maintain eye contact and sit with your body open to both of them. Even if one is doing the majority of the talking, you need to make them both feel included and comfortable.
DON’T Forget to Smile: I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. A little smiling can go a long way, and it will likely put you in more comfortable mood as well.
So next time you meet with a prospect or client, don’t forget to check your body language. You might be saying the right things, but prospects can’t hear a word over everything that your body language is shouting at them.