Let’s pretend you’re the client and the salespeople talking to you has their eyes locked on yours, like a first grader in a staring contest.
Now imagine they start doing the complete opposite.
They’re looking down at their feet or shifting their gaze away from yours.
Would you continue doing business with this person? I’ll assume that’s a “heck no” and keep going.
Good eye contact is a sign of an adept communicator, and if you’re successful in sales then you’re like a ninja when it comes to interpersonal skills. You’re phenomenal at silently listening to your client’s needs and you’re swift to explain how your service will benefit them.
Sounds extra? Well, according to Psychology Today, “We rely on eye contact to communicate and connect with one another on a conscious and subconscious level.”
Eye contact could be the reason someone remembers you, engages with you, or, better yet, buys from you.
The University of Wolverhampton and the University of Stirling did a joint study on the effect eye contact has on retention.
In the study, a person presented information about two made-up soap products while on camera.
During the first presentation the host gazed directly at the camera for 30% of the presentation. This gave the participants the impression that they were gazing at the viewer’s direction. In the second presentation, the host did not gaze at the camera.
The study found that the viewers could remember information when the host gazed at the camera more.
Eye contact, even in a video, has a dramatic effect on your audience and can improve message retention. With the lack of face-to-face interactions in the workplace, people start to crave personal connection. Use video to send more meaningful messages that make your recipients feel valued.
An article called “Look ‘Em in the Eye: Part 1 – The Importance of Eye Contact” discusses the urge people have for face-to-face interactions and sincere listening.
Sincere listening is expressed in subtle ways, it typically lets someone know that you heard and understood them. This is described as “background acknowledgements”, which is when you nod your head and maybe throw in a few “mmm’s” and “yeah’s”.
Eye contact is also another form of background acknowledgement. For example, have you ever been in a conversation and the person you’re talking to is looking around the room, glancing at their phone, or maybe their eyes tell you that they are completely zoned out?
That interaction probably didn’t make you feel great because the person wasn’t acknowledging you— and that’s just rude!
Eye contact communicates that they have your undivided attention and that can lead to a deeper relationship.
A crucial part of sales is building trust with a prospect, and good eye contact can contribute to that process.
Developing trust with a buyer through plain-text email isn’t impossible, it’s just dull and impersonal. A video email allows your viewers to see you and this can build familiarity and entrustment.
Whether you’re interacting with a client in-person or through a video, your eye contact remains an important factor when communicating with any individual.
Eye contact can affect our perceptions of one another by triggering our conscious and subconscious.
With the right amount of tact and confidence, you can use eye contact to improve how much people retain your message and build trust with your buyers.