Meeting with clients face-to-face is an important aspect of the advisor relationship. Having time to speak in person can help you develop deeper connections and build greater trust with customers.
So, how can you ensure that your body language helps you make the most effective use of your face time with clients? The following tips can assist you exude confidence and promote trust in your next client meeting.
It is no secret that a strong, confident handshake is essential for starting a meeting off on the right foot. The University of Chicago published a study stating that shaking hands makes people feel comfortable, promotes an honest environment and can even lead to closing deals¹. So, make sure to never forget to reach for a handshake, whether you are welcoming returning clients back to your office or meeting a new prospect over dinner.
The idea that simply changing your facial expression can change your entire mood dates back to Charles Darwin. His initial theory stated that manipulating your facial expression does much more than give the outward illusion of a certain emotion, but it can physiologically cause your mood to shift at will.
Try to make a conscious effort to smile during client meetings. Smiles can typically trigger a mirrored response from those around us, in turn causing them to experience feelings of happiness, which promotes a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
According to a study done by a University of Massachusetts professor, your eyebrows can say more than you think². Be aware of the expressions your eyebrows are conveying, as furrowed or raised eyebrows can project fear, apprehension or worry.
It is easy to let our faces fall into natural expressions, but try and take the time to stay mindful of the message your expression may be unintentionally sending to clients.
Giving others your undivided attention is one of the best ways to show them how important they are. Make sure to give those you interact with a physical expression of attention by facing them.
Leil Lowndes’ book, “How to Talk to Anyone,” states that pivoting to face another person shows them that you are giving them your full attention³.Body language can have more of an impact that you know, so make sure to keep these tips in mind and stay aware of the messages you are sending.
1. Schroeder, J., Risen, J., Gino, F., and Norton, M. (2014, May 30) Handshaking Promotes Cooperative Dealmaking. Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 14-117; Harvard Business School Marketing Unit Working Paper No. 14-117.
2. Whitbourne, S. (2012, Jun 30). “The Ultimate Guide to Body Language” Psychology Today. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201206/the-ultimate-guide-body-language
3. Lowndes, L. (2003). How to talk to anyone 92 little tricks for big success in relationships. Chicago, Ill.: Contemporary Books.