Body Language in Sales, Management and Leadership

I was in sales and management for some 20 years and did literally dozens of different sales courses, managements courses, leadership courses and they all had one thing in common, they dedicated a little bit to the subject of body language.

When I say they little did a bit, I do mean a little bit, there was never enough!

Whether it was a one day course or week long we’d rarely spend more 20-60 mins on the Non Verbal Communication aspects of these roles.

20-40 minutes, are you kidding me?

If you ever been on one of the above courses how much time did you spend on the body language of those roles?

And I can say without any hesitation that every single course I went on threw up on flip charts, projectors and white boards, the age old figures supposedly by Albert H Mehrabian, on how much we communicate through the three different areas.

Those figures are 7% of the message is conveyed through the words, 38% is down to the tonality in the delivery of your chosen words leaving 55%, which is put down to body language.

How many of you have seen those figures quoted on a course, in a book or advert, etc.

They’ve become ingrained in communication mythology.

I say mythology because they are not actually true according in the sense that they have come to be known, watch this short video.

OK so those particular figures aren’t the be all and end all but most studies seem to agree that between 50-70% of communication is Non Verbal.

When in my opinion it is between 30-100%

You can give just a nod or a wink to someone and they have 100% of your message, no words no tone of voice just a nod or a wink and they understand.

But how much time do most of the courses give it?

Not enough full that’s for sure.

The truth is if you are in sales, management or a leadership role you NEED to understand the Non Verbal messages you are being sent all the time by your clients and staff for the simple reason that understanding more about them, their moods and attitudes makes for a more positive working environment, which leads to more rapport between people, departments and companies.

This ultimately produces more profit for the organisation, cuts costs in terms of sickness absence as well as general overhead costs because staff and clients will then cooperate more and go that extra mile.


Well we’ve all come across the express “People Buy People” and every business is ultimately selling something, so it makes sense does it not, to have staff who can sell themselves in whatever their role?

This is the true power of understanding body language in sales, management and leadership roles. If you are in any of them then your job is to produce profit for your Company and the Shareholders.

The smoother your operation is the more likely you are to be able to achieve targets and even excel them.

Get some training and don’t stop with just by getting yourself trained, train your staff so they also understand what’s truly going on in your business. This improves communication between individual, departments and management chains.

You only have to keep up with the Business magazines to read piece after piece where the top executives in some of the world’s biggest companies are realising just how important the topic is and are changing the way they do business.

I’m signed up to Google Alerts, (I thoroughly recommend this function) where I choose Keywords and Google very kindly sends me an email every time they come up in stories, research papers etc.

I’ve been using this service for a few years now and over the last year or so the amount of mentions of body language has gone through the roof with regular pieces in Forbes, Washington Post, The Times & Financial Times, Telegraph, Guardian and many, many more.

So do yourself and your company a favour invest in some training, get a trainer who specialises not one that just happens to have a Module or two on body language in their portfolio of courses.

When you consider that human beings have more than 500,000 documented eye signals, facial expressions, hand and arm movements, body postures that carry a meaning it’s worth knowing more than you know now.

If you can’t get your company to bring in specialist trainers then take a look at the sample of my new book – Body Language: It’s What You Don’t Say That Matters.

Amazon UK -

Amazon US -

It doesn’t launch in the shops in the US till March but Amazon have copies now. These are the “Reviews” from Amazon UK

There’s also plenty of other books on the topic and loads of videos on Youtube.

Try to just take in a little bit at a time and change small things in your daily life, observe how they change things for the better or worse and learn what works for you.

If you really want some of the best training in the world on this fascinating subject contact me directly.

You can also follow me on:

Twitter @robertphipps

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