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Selling with Noble Purpose: How to Drive Revenue and Do Work That Makes You Proud by Lisa Earle McLeod

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Chapter 7

The Dirty Little Secret about Sales Training

Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose—a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.

—Mary Shelley

Have you ever gotten a feeling about someone before that person even spoke? Chances are, you have. It’s not hard to read someone’s mood. Someone who is scowling or sighing heavily is likely angry or frustrated. Someone who is smiling is probably happy.

We’re constantly reading each other’s moods, intentions, and mindsets. Sometimes we do this consciously, but most of the time, it’s done subconsciously.

Your customers read people, too. They’re constantly evaluating others—especially salespeople. Customers decide very quickly whether or not someone is believable.

In a study for his book Silent Messages (about the implicit communications of emotions and attitude), Albert Mehrabian, professor emeritus of psychology at UCLA, asked the question, “What makes someone credible?” or “Why do we trust someone?”

Mehrabian found that the believability of someone’s message was influenced 7 percent by content, 38 percent by voice tone and tempo (the way the words are said), and 55 percent by body language and facial expressions. The key issue is congruence. If someone’s words disagree with his or her tone and nonverbal behavior, people will tend to believe the tonality and nonverbal behaviors.

That means when a customer is deciding whether or not a salesperson is credible, only 7 percent of the assessment ...

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