I recently sat in on a sales presentation where the person doing the pitch spent all of their time looking… wrong. They were looking at their paperwork and, in a sense, reading aloud to the prospect.
They were looking up at the ceiling as they pondered a question the prospect had, as if the answer was going to fall out of the sky. They were looking down at the floor as they explained how the program they were pitching was going to work. They were looking everywhere…
Except at the prospect.
Chances are, if the prospect wants to buy something without the benefit of a little human interaction, they could make that purchase online. But what they can’t get in an automated transaction is the human element.
Here’s why eye contact is so critically important:
- It tells the prospect you are listening to her or him.
- It tells the prospect that you know what you’re doing.
- It makes the prospect the focal point of the meeting, rather than the research or proposal you are working from.
Certainly, you have to glance down at your notepad to refresh your memory about critical points, or to write down needs and notes during the needs analysis. But make it your habit to focus—as much as you can—on the most important thing in the room: The prospect. Force your eyes to keep your prospect your focal point and you’ll find yourself in a more engaging, meaningful conversation.