An iPhone is perhaps the most powerful business tool, keeping us connected to the office, family, sports, retail, and more. If you have a question; you can find the answer before your soup cools. The iPad allows us to consume information like never before and make decisions almost instantaneously. But the reality of using all this technology and gaining greater efficiency is that we miss out on the cues from face-to-face interaction.
How many times have you presented an idea to a customer and their facial expression tells the story. Nothing is said, it’s all done non-verbally. You know what I mean if you’ve ever hit a home run or totally missed the mark.
Those one-on-one interactions allow us to interpret the story immediately. The bottom line is you can’t see a client’s smile or nod of approval through the telephone.
Jennifer Wang of Entrepreneur provided some great insight into some non-verbal cues and their meaning.
A nose rub: This motion is often linked with deception. If you notice people doing this while you talk, you could be coming across as disingenuous.
A barrier: “Personal space is sacred in Western business culture, so back off if clients put up a barrier, like a purse,” say Carol Kinsey Goman, president of Kinsey Consulting Services. “I’ve seen managers and salespeople who didn’t pick up on that cue and lost the deal.”
A hand placed under the chin: When you see this, a decision is being made. Don’t oversell if someone looks interested afterward, but if you spot negative signals, bring up your second-best idea.
Feet pointed toward the door: The feet are the most honest part of the body, so no matter how mesmerized people seem to be, this proves they’re actually over it.
With technology capturing the imagination of us all, we need to make sure we stay connected to our clients to interpret the story. Don’t use technology as a crutch or you’ll miss out on the cues that will forge a better relationship.