Not everyone is born with a natural ability to “hold court,” but implementing the right techniques allows anyone to develop the skills to make selling seem like second nature. Overuse of those techniques, however, could have the opposite effect, according to “5 Ways You’re Unintentionally Coming Off as Fake.”
“It’s extremely easy for these charisma-boosting techniques to backfire,” Aja Frost wrote in the HubSpot article. “Like most things, they need to be exercised in moderation.”
1. Trying (too hard) to find common ground — A discussion of common interests can be a great ice breaker, but if you try too hard, the conversation will feel forced and awkward, Frost wrote. Instead, use the commonality as an opening and then move the conversation to focus on the client.
2. Saying their name over and over…and over — Show warmth and respect by inserting the person’s name into your conversation, but don’t overdo it. Saying the person’s name three times within a three-sentence conversation, for example, is too much. According to Frost, instead of charming and charismatic, you’ll come off as patronizing.
“Every time you use someone’s name, let at [least] one to two minutes pass before you use it again,” he wrote.
3. Mirroring the other person’s body language — Copying another person’s gestures, posture, and facial expressions while engaged in conservation endears them to you, according to research scientists. However, this technique only works if it’s done subtly, Frost noted. The best approach, he suggested, is to wait a couple of seconds before moving to the same pose.
“Let’s say your prospect leans forward — wait for a beat or two, then do the same,” Frost advised. Also, Frost warned, be careful not to mimic unusual or idiosyncratic body language because your movements may be seen as disingenuine.
“To give you an idea, if your boss always scrunches his nose while he thinks, scrunching your own nose right after he does will seem like you’re making fun of him,” Frost wrote.
4. Talking with your hands — Make sure your hand gestures match up with your words and be mindful of how your movements are perceived, Frost suggested.
“For example, showing your palms at a 45-degree angle communicates honesty, whereas putting your palms up at a 90-degree angle indicates insecurity.”
5. Putting on a show — Don’t fake how you’re feeling. Your clients will see right through it.
“Forcing yourself to be friendly and warm when you don’t actually feel friendly or warm is the most likely charisma-boosting technique to backfire of all,” Frost wrote.
Instead of pretending, use visualization techniques to either amp yourself up (right before giving a speech, for example) or help you remain calm.