As the great Ralph Waldo Emersononce said: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm!” And he was spot on. Any sales trainer or manager worth his salt will tell you that “enthusiasm” is probably the single most important attribute of any great salesperson. An enthusiastic person has energy, positive energy, and that rubs off on both customers and colleagues. Likewise, apathy and lethargy is also infectious… As we’ve stated before, several times, customers will often mirror our behaviour. If we nod our head at them when asking a positive question they will naturally nod back. That technique is known as the McCabe Nod and is widely used throughout a pitch and close in order to illicit a positive response and pattern of responses from a customer or client. Think about it this way: would you rather have an enthusiastic customer sat in from of you or a bored, lethargic one? The former, right? Well, the client would answer the same if you asked him or her which type of salesperson they’d rather sit across from them. More importantly, though, if you’re enthusiastic, your customer will become enthusiastic. If your customer is enthusiastic, you’ll find closing them a whole lot easier than if they’re unenthusiastic. Fairly logical, right?

Now keep in mind that each customer, in the first minute or so of your pitch, is sussing you out in the same way you’re sussing him/her out. They’re assessing, consciously or subconsciously, your actions, your words, your voice and your body language and within a very short space of time, perhaps the the first one per cent of your pitch, they’re drawing conclusions and these conclusions are what they will use to decide whether or not they are going to do business with you.

It’s a well known fact that people want to do business with successful people. Again, that’s fairly logical. If you’re successful your product probably works and if your product works then they should naturally want it at the right price. But it goes deeper than that, way into the human psyche. You may not like the following example but for 95% of humans it’s fairly accurate:

Let’s say you’re courting a new client. This is a large corporate investor so you’re wining and dining him and doing everything you can to establish a good relationship with him. You’re on your way to lunch with him and you’re walking down the street in the town you grew up in, heading for the best restaurant around!
Across the street you see an old friend. You grew up together, played sports together, went to school together, hung out and chatted to girls together. Up until about two years ago that is, when he got into drugs, spiralled downwards and is now sat on the street with a card begging for loose change. It is highly unlikely at this point that you’ll drag your new potential investor across the street to meet one of your oldest friends.
Now a few hundred yards later you notice another good friend of yours on the other side of the street. You didn’t grow up together and you’ve only met her a few times but what the heck. Not many people can claim to be friends with Oprah, right? What do you do? You drag your new investor to the other side of the street and introduce him to your old friend, Oprah! Why? Because you want to show success via association and Oprah is a world star. How impressed is your investor now?!

Whether you like the above human nature or not, it’s simply the way things work in most people’s minds. People are attracted by success like moths to a candle and the enthusiasm in your voice, body language, words and actions are a huge part of how your client judges whether he is sitting across the room from a successful person or an unsuccessful person and in turn, whether he or she is going to buy from you.

There are 4 key “areas of enthusiasm”

1. Voice
2. Words
3. Actions
4. Body language

Not necessarily in that order but “voice” is probably the most important of the 4 since it’s the one you’ll use the most and the one that should, therefore, have the most impact on the customer.

Voice. It’s important here to get the right balance and you should practise this alone until you get the balance right. Record yourself on your phone and then play it back until it sounds enthusiastic whilst still maintaining sincerity and believability. If you’re over-enthusiastic you’ll come across as insincere and false. Under-enthusiastic and you’re boring and unsuccessful. So, you need to find that happy medium. I call it “whispered enthusiasm”, which simply means you’re talking almost normally but injecting your voice with a glint of enthusiasm which is easily recognisable but not off-putting. You know when you see these videos of American fitness trainers and you begin to feel nauseous? That’s over-enthusiasm at work. At the other end of the scale, watch some of the inventors presenting a new product for Dragons Den and within a minute you’re convinced you’re watching a corpse speak and you’re own “will to live” is quickly diminishing. Find the medium. Glint in the eyes, glint in the voice, glint in the body language, glint in your actions and your whole being will exude success.

Words. This part is fairly self-explanatory. There are adjectives which will show your enthusiasm for your product or business. Use a liberal sprinkling of them in your pitch to describe how much you believe in what you’re pitching!

Actions. If you’ve read the other articles in this series, you’ll have read about how you should park and exit your car, how you approach the door of a house or company etc.. How we walk, how we shake hands, how we sit down and stand up, all can either show great enthusiasm or apathy. During your close you’ll often actively use all of the above and below to raise the level of enthusiasm of the client in front of you to a certain level before taking out the invoice to make the sale.

Body Language. Again, fairly straight-forward. Your body language can really show enthusiasm or a lack of it. The Spanish and South Americans are great at this. They’re naturally “thespianic” (no, that’s not a word) and as a result they’re hand, head and body movements are incredibly expressional. As salespeople, we can learn from this. Why do they do it? Well, they’re trying (with great enthusiasm) to put over a given point. They’ve learnt over thousands of years that this method works well; and they’re right! So, don’t be a diva but most certainly express yourself, via your body-language, in a way that is both enthusiastic and sincere!

NB. The above is a small excerpt from this section of our training and deals with circa 10% of what we might cover during our full training courses. For further information about attending one of our sales training seminars, please call or email us and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.