Jean-Pierre Lauzier, consulting expert, sales consultant and author of the book “Le coeur aux ventes”, regularly gives his advice on personal and business development on Isarta Infos. Today, he reminds us how important first impressions are during a customer meeting.

As a customer, would you buy from a seller you don’t like or who has no affinity with you? Probably not. As a general rule, people like to do business with people who look like them, whom they appreciate and make them feel good about themselves. The more you are able to build a strong relationship with your customer, the greater your chances of success.

Have you ever wondered why you get along very well with some people in the first few seconds and, with others, you have a totally opposite feeling, that you do not like that person? The answer is that you connect with people who look like you or with people you want to look like.

As a salesperson, can you work to better connect with your current and potential customers? I hope you will answer yes to this question and that you will be actively working on it, as this is an essential and crucial element in your success in sales.

The importance of first impression

Before going any further, it is essential to understand that the initial impression you create in others is crucial, as this impression will be difficult to change afterwards. To securely and quickly connect with your customer, your overall appearance is more important than the depth of your words.

According to the renowned psychologist Albert Mehrabian, words represent 7% of communication, voice communication (intonation, sound, etc.) 38% and visual communication (facial expression, gestures, etc.) 55%.

1. Words used

Even if the words represent only 7% of the communication, it is important to use the same vocabulary as the client. Do not use an acronym that the customer does not know, it is up to you to adjust to the customer and not the opposite.

Use customer language: first, talk about the benefits the customer will gain from doing business with you and not your products or services, which would lead to distancing.

2. Voice communication

  • Energy in the voice: is your customer calm and speaks softly or is he/she rather excited and energetic? You will have to adjust according to each customer.
  • Speed of words: does your customer speak quickly or slowly? Adapt to each customer.
  • Does he/she speak loudly? If your customer speaks loudly, then you must speak loudly, and the opposite is also true.

3. Visual communication

  • Visual contact: have appropriate eye contact, always depending on the customer, look into their eyes the same way they look at you.
  • Your actions: there is a theory about the “mirror effect” of imitating the gestures of the person in front of you in order to properly tune in. When you are well tuned with the customer, this synchronicity appears all by itself without even thinking about it, but it can be provoked to establish a more solid level of communication.
  • Your facial expression: openness and empathy – your expression must be appropriate to what the other person is saying to ensure that you are there and that you show them that you find what they are saying interesting. Smile to show that you like the person in front of you.
  • Proximity: sometimes it feels like some people are getting into our “bubble”, they’re too close to us, and we find that offensive. A connection will be difficult to make if you get too close to the customer: respect each other’s bubble during your exchanges.
  • Touch: how do you give a handshake? Do you tend to crush the other person’s hand or give a light shake? Again, it is the customer who decides. Follow their touch, adapt to the customer.

With these suggestions, one might feel like they are manipulating the person in front of them, but if this is done with the noble aim of establishing a solid contact with the person, the result is that all will come out winners.

The more connected you feel with the customer, the faster trust will be established and the more you will be able to help them achieve what they are looking for.

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