The simple act of smiling at another can change the perspective on an individual’s entire day and influence them for hours afterward. A winning smile is a secret weapon in sales and salespeople should take care that the smile they present is genuine. Potential clients can detect a fake or insincere smile a mile away.
A smile on behalf of a salesperson will influence the customer in a positive way and make them more amenable to a sales pitch or making a purchase. Smiling at a client is an invitation to interact at a personal level. It’s an action that encourages “mirroring,” a natural response within the human psyche that makes an individual respond to another with an in-kind gesture. It places a client in a more receptive frame of mind.
A smile directly affects the customer’s attitude toward the salesperson and how they respond. There are many types of smiles and each has the ability to illicit entirely different responses in the recipient. The “smile” may or may not reach the eyes, an essential element for a genuine smile. Salespeople also need to observe and recognize the smile that the prospective client makes in return.
- Tight-lipped smile – It’s a smile that exposes no teeth and stretches the lips in a straight line. It’s most often seen in people who are hiding their real thoughts and can be interpreted as a sign of rejection or disapproval.
- Turned Away Smile – A tight-lipped smile made while looking upward and turning the head slightly down and away is an action that others often find intriguing. It’s been referred to as a coy or flirty smile, but one that salespeople shouldn’t use.
- Lop-sided smile – This is a smile in which one side of the mouth is slightly higher on one side than the other. Typically used to show irony, sarcasm or embarrassment, it’s usually delivered with the lips together and others may feel that the individual is hiding something.
- Drop jaw smile – This is a favorite of those who are frequently in the limelight. It’s a practiced gesture in which the bottom jaw is lowered to indicate pleasure, surprise or happiness and can be viewed as being “over the top.”
Smiling is a non-verbal way of bonding and it can be even more compelling when a salesperson smiles when they talk. Not everyone is a natural “smiler” and for those individuals, it can be useful to practice an open, genuine smile in the mirror. An individual makes purchasing decisions based on emotion, not logic, and a shared smile goes a long way toward creating a positive, magical environment conducive to sales.