Non-verbal communication makes up 93% of all communication[i], according to Dr. Albert Mehrabian, making it a powerful tool you can use to sell your economic development location.
Learn to use non-verbal communication for economic development because what you don't say impacts your sales pitch as much as your words. You’ve done your research. You know what to say. You know your industry and your audience. And, you know your sales pitch. But what message are you sending without speaking?
What is Non-Verbal Communication?Non-verbal communication are the cues that convey your thoughts, feelings, and meaning - without words. And, non-verbal communication affects the way your clients perceive your economic development pitch. This is especially true during the face to face conversations when you're trying to make your economic development location stand out. When your goal is to retain local businesses, or to attract economic development to your region, you can benefit from using positive non-verbal communication for economic development. How to Use Non-Verbal Communication For Economic Development You can tell your audience your location is a friendly area, open to new residents, but it's better to show them. Reinforce your message and remember to stay positive and professional at all times.
Here's five keys for positive non-verbal communication:
- Facial expressions, such as happiness, sadness, or anger, tend to be fairly universal. Keep your facial expression positive, open, and focused on the client. Take the opportunity to clarify or reinforce information. This builds trust as the client sees your expertise.
- Body posture can be used to show respect and attention. Sit/stand up straight and face the client, indicating that you are open to what they are saying. Lean forward to indicate interest. Show you are a good listener, that you care about what the other person is saying, what their needs are. This strengthens your rapport.
- Be aware of personal space.
You want to make the client comfortable. If you both need to look at a map or review a contract, ensure you have multiple copies so that no one feels uncomfortable putting heads together.
- Eye contact is based on where you look and whether or not you appear distracted. Make eye contact frequently, without staring, to show your attention is on the conversation. Look away to view the client’s gestures or something they are showing you on their device, then re-establish eye contact. Be focused on your client, not thinking about your weekend plans. Gauge how the client is receiving your message and make any necessary adjustments.
- Tone of voice conveys emotion. Use it to show how confident and excited you are about your economic development location. Make it genuine. Pay attention to speed – don’t let your enthusiasm make the client feel you are rushing them.
Be aware of how gestures are interpreted according to culture. Research best practices for the country where you are doing business. And, always use a professional handshake upon first meeting. Reserve more friendly touch for clients with whom you have an established relationship. Be conscious someone may misinterpret your actions.
Here's How You Can Improve Your Sales Pitch For Economic Development
Sometimes you only have a few seconds to make the impression that will sell your economic development location. Check out this free guide for more tips to attract economic development to your region and retain local businesses.