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One of the most important aspects of membership sales in a community rec setting is communication. This, of course, includes your pitch and how you speak by volume, tone and pace. Often forgotten and just as important as the words you say is your body language.

“According to Psychology Today, communication is only 7 percent verbal and 55 percent body language, with tone making up the other 38 percent,” said Jason R. Stowell, the division director of fitness and wellness for the JCC of Greater Pittsburgh.

This places a large emphasis not only on how we appear to others by the way we dress and style our hair, but in how we carry ourselves.

To exemplify the importance of body language in sales, Stowell explained, “When you finish ordering from fast food, they will often ask, ‘Would you like to upsize that?’ When we say, ‘no,’ the person across from you does not try to close the sale by describing the tremendous added value of why you should consider biggie-sizing that meal.”

Stowell continued to explain that often a membership sales employee is running a generic script given to them by management to increase sales, but lacks the vital sales technique of body language.

Stowell recommended the use of role playing so you are more clearly able to see how you appear to others when pitching a sale. “When role playing with your team or in the mirror, you need to not only think about what you say, but how you say it,” he said.

According to Stowell, this includes things such as volume, tone, cadence, visual appearance and eye contact.

“You could have the perfect sales script, but if you don’t listen intently you will be perceived as insincere,” stated Stowell. “If you stand too close, you are perceived as creepy. If you speak too fast, they may think you are hiding something, etc.”

Stowell believes body language is about being aware of yourself and others to “subconsciously communicate” your point.

Another example Stowell provided is how he interacts with clients during personal training tours. In the first 15 minutes, he takes on the persona of a therapist, sitting back in his chair and listening intently.

“In the second 15-minute block though, I want to switch gears and project the body language of a game-winning coach who will inspire change in your life,” said Stowell. He is louder, leaning forward and much more animated. In this instance, he is portraying both sincerity and inspiration to sell with his use of body language.

“Whether you are just starting out as a salesperson or you are a seasoned closer, everyone can benefit from planning out an intentionally designed process to address the nonverbal parts of communication,” said Stowell. “Very few utilize all the toys in their tool box. Leave nothing to chance and the sky is your limit.”

Brittany Howard

Brittany is the editor of Community Rec Magazine. Reach her at brittany@peakemedia.com.

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