First impressions are based not on what you say, but what you project through non-verbal signals. Many studies suggest that body language and non-verbal communications have a greater impact in a discussion than the words you speak.
When meeting a client, a lot depends on how one comes across to the other person. Here are a few tips that will help you develop a powerful body language:
Have a confident posture
Having a good posture makes you appear more confident. It subconsciously suggest to your client the kind of person you are, how you do your job, and how others respond to you.
Make sure you walk into a business meeting with an erect posture. Stand with your feet hip width distance apart, hands on hips, chin tilted slightly upwards – this will give you an air of confidence.
When sitting, keep your shoulders back and relaxed, posture erect and head slightly up. Make sure you don’t slouch as it may create an impression that you are disinterested or lazy.
Smile to trigger positive vibes
When you smile, you are viewed as friendly, approachable, cooperative and trustworthy. Most importantly, smiling influences how other people respond to you. When you smile at someone, they smile back at you, and it changes that person’s emotional state in a positive way.
Smile while you enter the meeting room and greet your client. Also, address his/her queries with a smile on your face to share friendly vibes. But remember not to overdo things – smiling too frequently might give off the wrong impression.
Watch your hands
Hands can add a lot to your body language and how you are communicating with a client. Keeping the hands in front of you, or on the side and relaxed, with fingers together, indicates you are calm and collected. You can use hand gestures while giving a presentation and get your point across more effectively. It will help you to avoid fumbling, and also keep the listener engaged.
Remember, to keep your hands off the face. Scratching, touching your face, lips, or head is a symptom of anxiety and uneasiness. Appear confident and truthful by keeping your hands away from your face.
Maintain friendly eye contact
Maintaining eye contact when you talk to your client is extremely important. It indicates that you are interested in what they are saying and creates a sense of comfort. It also conveys confidence and helps you to build trust.
Always make sure to use more eye contact when you are listening than when you are speaking. Avoid staring. Too little eye contact indicates you lack interest, and too much can make you seem too eager, which can be disastrous. So make sure you get the balance right – make eye contact only half of the time.
Also, you can get inside a client’s mind through the eyes. Example: If a client avoids eye contact, it means the person is uncomfortable. If the eyes dilate, it means he is interested. And if he looks at some brochures in your office, it means he wants to know about it.
Mind your tone
The tone of your voice makes up a large part of the impression you make on your client. If you're trying to convince someone of something, make sure your voice goes down, not rise. A shrill pitch can make you seem aggressive whereas low tones exude dependability.
When giving an opinion, start with an even tone, raise it a little through the sentence and drop down at the end. Take a deep breath before speaking so you nervously don’t let out anything too high-pitched. Also, listen closely to the other person, pause for a while to show that you are thinking about what they said, and continue calmly and slowly. This conveys respect and confidence in your position.