Do Your Sales People Have Natural Gravitas?
Every sales person or aspiring sales person should possess natural gravitas – a vital capability that allows you to make your mark with peers, colleagues, clients and prospects.
Gravitas encompasses several things, including tone of voice, demeanour and appearance.
With gravitas you can demand the attention of the eyes and ears around you, make the right impact with your thoughts and ideas and communicate with influence.
People either have gravitas or they don’t. Fortunately, for those that lack it, gravitas can be coaxed and cultivated. Here’s how:
1. Avoid verbal habits and hesitation
There are verbal habits that most people lapse into, such as littering conversations with “umms”, “errs”, “like” and “you know”. This may be fine when conversing with friends (if it doesn’t annoy them) but when you are on the phone in the office or involved in other work-based conversations, they sound like nervous ticks or that you are making something up on the spot and not confident in what you are saying. Other factors that lower your gravitas and affect how you are perceived by others are hesitancy and lots of self-effacing comments.
2. Don’t rush your words
If you look at famous people with natural gravitas, such as President Obama and Hilary Clinton, you will notice that they never speak rapidly. They take their time over what they’re saying, never rushing to get the words out. This creates the impression that they know what they’re talking about and are on top of their game.
3. Adopt an authoritative tone
This doesn’t mean being bossy, more it is using strong and clear language, varying pitch and pace and not speaking in a flat monotone. You don’t have to raise your voice to be heard. Also, be comfortable with pauses and silences between sentences. They can be used to allow important points to sink in.
4. Know what you are talking about
This sounds almost too obvious to mention, but be in command of your brief. In a survey of 268 executives by the Centre for Talent Innovation, more than 60% of respondents said that sounding uneducated negatively impacts how others perceive you.
5. Get the body language right
How you hold yourself makes an instant impression on others. We may have rebelled against our parents when they told us to sit up straight, but boy were they right. When you sit down, sit up straight with your back against the chair. Crossed-legged comes across as arrogant while slouching can either be interpreted as you are not realy bothered or that you are shrinking away from something – the very opposite of the confidence and gravitas you should be projecting. When standing, don’t sway from side to side or rock on your heels. Have a relaxed and confident posture and always maintain eye contact.
6. Be concise
You can communicate gravitas by being clear and concise. This is what good communication is all about. So avoid such stock phrases such as “I’m sorry to bother you, but”, “it goes without saying” and “you know what I mean”. Get straight to the point.
7. Believe in yourself
This is absolutely fundamental. If you don’t believe in yourself, your talents and your abilities to a good job, nobody else will. When you have self-belief it automatically filters through into both your verbal language and your body language.
Natural Gravitas to Maximise Sales
People with gravitas are noticed, listened to and respected. It enables them to influence and inspires others and get things done. In the sales environment, gravitas will boost your credibility among buyers and prospects and thereby help you to increase your sales.
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