Q. I am a salesperson but am not selling very much product. Of course, I’d like to keep my job, so I wonder if you have any tips for selling?

A. Some studies have shown that people tend to evaluate the quality of an organization or service by their social interactions and that it is possible to enhance their perception of quality. I see no reason that this wouldn’t apply to selling products, as well, the caveat being that you believe in the product. If you don’t, that perception will likely come through in your nonverbal.

Here are four things to consider:

  • Know your own sensory preference and learn to recognize when the other person’s preference is likely different from yours. Listen to the type of words they use and include words that match theirs whenever possible. This helps the other brain perceive that it is being understood.
  • Unless you are selling from a “counter” situation, sit rather than stand. People tend to perceive you spent a longer amount of time with them when you sit down, even if it is only for a couple of minutes. This helps the other brain to perceive they were not rushed.
  • Use humor whenever appropriate to elicit laughter. It has been said that laughter is the shortest distance between two people. The brain tends to learn and retain information better when laughter is present and it can promote a sense of rapport.
  • Make sure your words, voice tonals, and nonverbal body language are congruent, everything matches. This can impact your believability and reduce miscommunication. If these aspects of communication do not match, the listener will likely believe the message that is sent through your nonverbal rather than through the actual words.