By: Greg Williams

When you seek to improve your sales process and presentations, do you consider the role negotiation strategies play in that procedure? Do you take into account the function body language will have in your attempts to sway your client or prospects? If you wish them to perceive the value of your offerings, you should. These are very important questions to address before entering into a presentation and/or sales process, because they lend credence to the enhancement of your potential success.

To increase your presentation skills and improve your sales process, observe the following steps.

1)    Positioning:

Prior to making your initial call on a prospect, your product or service should be positioned such that your prospect realizes there’s value in your offering and one that can genuinely enhance her environment. There are many ways to enhance her perception, but you need to know what motivates her to invest in your offering before you can tout the strongest points of value contained in it. Once you know the source of her motivation, sell from that perspective combined with how you’ve positioned your services.

2)    Consider what your product or service really addresses:

When you consider what problems your product or service solves, give that thought process serious consideration. The reason being, if you position your product or service inaccurately, based on the needs of your prospect, you’ll be positioning your product against a background that’s not appropriate for that prospect. As an example, if a cellular company only positioned itself as a company that offers its subscribers a means to make phone calls, it could possibly miss increasing its sales by offering texting services. If instead it positioned itself as a communications company, texting would be a logical extension of its product offerings.      

3.)  Fear factor:

Fear plays a major role in a negotiation and a sales presentation. Thus, to utilize this strategy, consider the role that fear will have in your presentation. There’s a fear of loss, a fear of missing an opportunity, and a fear of making the wrong decision. All of these fear factors should be taken into consideration when using fear to motivate prospects. Explain how your prospect or client might be road kill in a global economy, if they don’t use your product or service. Also understand that some people are more motivated to move  towards achieving a goal (positive motivation) compared to those that want to move away from something (negative or fear motivation). If you apply the appropriate stimulus at the appropriate time, you’ll have a greater chance of motivating your prospect or client to move in the direction you suggest.

4.)  Body Language:

The image you project during a sales presentation and the way you’re perceived is conveyed via your body language. Therefore, the way you’re perceived is conveyed even more than the words you use to express your thoughts. As such, in order to be perceived in the most positive light by your prospect or client, match the image that best suits their perspective of what a successful person looks like, related to your offering. You can accomplish this from two aspects.

a)   To establish and enhance rapport, dress, walk, talk (paralanguage), and reflect (imitate) the appearance and actions of the person with whom you’re speaking.

b)   To create the impression that rapport may be declining (i.e. a strategy used during a negotiation to send a subtle message that you’re not as enamored with the current position as you’d been previously), shift from the style of dress, speech patterns, and pace you used previously. By doing so, you’ll send a subliminal message indicating you and the other person are out of sync with one another. This strategy works best with someone that wants everything to be in harmony and someone that wants to be led.

5.)  Paralanguage:

As a subset of body language, always consider the manner in which people process information. To a great degree, they do so based on the way certain words are pronounced and the words used to make such pronouncements. The way words are spoken, pace tonality pitch, can alter the meaning of a word; this can cause the listener to perceive or misperceive your intent correctly or wrongly. Suffice it to say, what’s more important is what’s heard versus what’s said. Pronounce your sentiments in the way the listener wants to hear them and you stand a greater chance of influencing them.

6.)  Assumptive Questions:

Assumptive questions are questions that give the impression to the listener that you may know and/or contain more information than reality dictates.

In a negotiation and a sales presentation, the questions you ask determine the degree of information you receive. Likewise, as indicated in the section on Paralanguage, the phraseology, pace, and tone used during your presentation has a profound effect on how well your presentation is received. Hence, you should use assumptive questions strategically and only when such positioning is beneficial to your overall goal (i.e. at points when the questions you ask discloses the greatest potential for what you might know and net the maximum return).

One example of an assumptive question might be, I understand that you’ve purchased services like ours at $2,000 per hour in the past, correct? Then you’d wait to see and hear what response you receive. To gain the most usage from this strategy, you should observe the body language that accompanied the response (e.g. no, we never paid that much – accompanied with a passionate shaking of the head versus sheepishly stating, I’m not sure). By observing such body language, you gain additional insight from the words used and are better positioned to determine to what degree such words have validity. In either case, you will have gleaned additional information about the prospect’s environment and what they’ve been accustom to in the past.

By adding the above suggestions to your sales and presentation processes, you’ll become more dynamic when making presentations and you will close more sales … and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!


Greg Williams is known as “The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert”. He’s a Fox TV News Contributor that comments on the body language and Negotiation Tactics and Strategies used by politicians and others that are in the news. When commenting on body language, he gives commentary on the body language exhibited by those in the news that highlight hidden signals they emit; he draws attention to the body language signals that those individuals would rather not have the public be aware of.

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