Negotiate Without Speaking: Body Language Tips


Does a competitor know you’re anxious about negotiations the minute you step into a room? It helps to know what your body – and everyone else’s – is subtly saying.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – When agents meet with clients, walk into a colleague’s office or meet with an investor, their body language may say, “I’m very confident” or “I’m really anxious.” That means their simple presence can strengthen trust or trigger suspicion.

Agents should prepare their body language before walking into a room. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy suggests that striking a Wonder Woman pose for a minute or two, with hands on hips, helps to open up the body and assume a power mindset.

To improve body language, agents should check their facial expressions in a mirror, and even practice expressions and find their best angles. The ability to purposefully convey subtle cues can help propel negotiations.

Body language also works both ways, and agents should be alert to insincerity indications in others. Harvard Law School research found that if someone nods as they’re saying no, for instance, may indicate a divergence between their thoughts and their communication.

Chandler David Smith, an expert door-to-door salesman, recommends agents smile and nod to encourage feelings of alliance and positivity with others. They also must keep themselves focused on the conversation and avoid internal negative thoughts, which can appear through body language without them even knowing it.

What critical body language signs should agents look for in other people? Note a red face and/or throbbing neck or forehead, which suggests that a person is angry, embarrassed or both. If a person’s forearms are hardly touching the desk, this indicates that they’re ready to make a quick retreat. Tightly clasped hands or fists, or involuntary hand gestures that deviate from facial expressions usually indicate a negative reaction.

Source: Inman (10/19/22) Murdock, Christy

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