You might not know it, but social dynamics are a part of everyday life. They’re happening all around us at any given moment, whether we notice it or not.
When something is such an important part of daily living, it makes sense that it needs to be employed in every facet of business – especially customer-facing roles like sales.
Right now, you might be thinking, “Okay, sure, social dynamics are important, but I don’t know what they are.”
Of course, we know that being social means interacting with people and opening a dialogue, but social dynamics actually go a lot deeper than simply having a conversation.
In fact, conversation doesn’t necessarily have to come into the equation.
What are social dynamics?
Social dynamics refer to the science of using non-verbal, sub-communication methods to influence others and send out a specific message. This includes aspects like body language, the tone of your voice, how much eye contact you maintain, and the movement of your body.
We’ll dig deeper into some of these in a moment. But first, let’s take a look at why mastering and then incorporating sales dynamics into your sales strategy is important.
Why learning and incorporating sales dynamics is important
Because social dynamics are such a vital component in life, the consequences of not using them properly can really affect your business in a negative way.
The hardest part?
The vast majority of us don’t even know we’re doing something wrong; we aren’t even aware that we’re sending out the wrong message to our customers. This is because we’re not overtly taught the ins and outs of social dynamics.
It’s not a subject taught at school and it’s not something we necessarily think about on a day to day basis.
But, by not tapping into your social dynamics and leveraging them to your advantage, you can give away the power of the sale to the prospect – which, let’s face it, isn’t what you want.
You might think you’re giving off a confident, trustworthy air through the words you’re saying, but in actual fact you’re giving prospects that feeling in their gut that they shouldn’t buy from you.
And it all goes undetected.
In this day and age, building a rapport with customers is so important because they are becoming less and less passive to advertising methods and old-fashioned sales tactics.
This means starting a conversation with them that ensures you are on the same level. According to research, a social and relational approach to sales is built primarily on these characteristics:
- Intuitive, gut-thinking
- Care for how decisions affect people (and not just bulldozing customers with a sales pitch)
- A collaborative, team-focused approach that includes everyone and makes all parties feel involved in the decision-making process
- Orientation towards relationships. These days a lot of sales are made by building loyal communities, and to do that you have to start with the very basics – building relationships from the ground up
Once you get your head around the ingredients involved in making up the social dynamics of sales, you can start implementing them into your process via a number of different methods.
Let’s take a look at these now.
1. The Art of Conversation
I mentioned earlier that social dynamics don’t necessarily refer to the “talking” component of a relationship, but it still plays a huge part in building rapport and, therefore, increasing your sales success.
To nail the art of conversation, you need to be actively listening to your customers to determine and understand what exactly it is they are looking for. You can tailor questions to get the responses you need and dig deeper into their pain points – so you can leverage your product as the perfect solution.
- Tap into feelings
At this point, you want to tap into feelings and the power of emotions. You can do this by asking questions like, “How do you feel about it all?”. Leave questions open-ended so that customers can fill in the gaps and provide you with more information that you otherwise would have gleaned.
- Think personal connection
Personal connection should be at the forefront of your mind in any sales negotiation, and you can enhance this by choosing the right questions and incorporating the right phrases into your pitch. These are things like, “I’d love to connect more” and “Have we talked through this enough?”
Implement it in your sales strategy: If you’re leading a sales team, encourage them to consider the emotional impact of buying and how they can build a rapport with customers.
It should be less about the hard sell and more about asking questions to direct the line of enquiry down a path that the prospect is comfortable with – a comfortable prospect is much more likely to make a purchase than one who isn’t.
Once you’ve mastered the art of asking the right questions and holding a conversation that is connective, it’s time to start looking at your body language and the subliminal messages you’re sending out to prospects.
2. Body Language
Without knowing it, we are giving out subliminal messages to everyone we talk to through the way we position our bodies and the movements we make with it. Mastering social dynamics means mastering how to stand when you’re talking to customers, and how you can influence their decision-making process by using gestures and specific movements.
Let’s take a quick look at how certain body language affects thought patterns.
- Don’t lean inwards
If you lean into prospects while talking to them, this indicates weakness and submission – a trait you don’t want to show off when you’re selling. Instead, lean back to give off an air of confidence and show that you are in control. Customers will then be more willing to follow your lead and buy your product.
- Don’t face a prospect head on
Tip number two: don’t face a customer more than they are facing you. For example, if they are standing slightly angled away from you, mimic their stance so as not to sub-communicate neediness. Once the customer has turned to face you directly, then you can go ahead and do the same.
By allowing your prospect to face you first, you are giving them the opportunity to place themselves in a submissive role and, ergo, will be much easier to sell to.
Implement it into your sales strategy: If you’re leading a team, it can be hugely beneficial to run body language sessions and role plays to encourage your team to practice powerful, confident stances.
Practice definitely makes perfect in this respect, so encourage your team to focus on their body language every single day, even when they’re not selling. This will help them become more aware of how they’re holding themselves as well as the reactions they get from the people around them when they send out certain subliminal messages.
3. Use Your Voice
Voice is an important part of the sales process because it makes such a big impact on your prospects.
Think about the successful sales people you have met. I’m willing to bet good money they had confident, even voices that were commanding and gave the distinct impression they knew exactly what they were talking about. Am I right?
Just like a firm handshake denotes confidence, an impressive voice communicates authority and leadership which, in turn, makes prospects more likely to listen to you and what you have to say.
Implement it into your sales strategy: If you’re in charge of a sales team, encourage your staff to practice speaking louder in everyday situations, whether they’re buying something from the shop or on the phone at work.
Again practice makes perfect, so encourage training sessions that focus on role plays and using voice to sub-communicate. It’s important not to be overbearing, though. Instead, the voice should be worked from the abdomen rather than the throat, which will result in a more commanding effect.
Social dynamics are a really powerful tool to master in the world of sales. So much of our decisions are made off the back of our reactions to others, which depends on their body language, their voice, and how comfortable we feel in their company.
Encouraging your sales team to buff up on these points and really hone in on the subliminal messages they’re sending out to customers can do absolute wonders for your business.
And it doesn’t have to be as complicated as it sounds. Just focus on the key three areas that count:
- The conversation, including what questions are asked and how to really listen in response
- Body language, and the signals you’re sending out by the way you’re standing
- The voice, and how the tone of certain words and phrases can reveal underlying thoughts and feelings
If there’s one thing you focus on this month with your sales strategy, make sure it’s brushing up on social dynamics, as this is one of the most important parts of selling in any industry.