How do you think you sound when you sell great products that you believe in? Confident, right? Now think about those salespeople who push products on customers. It’s hard to build the enthusiasm to mislead customers. Those people sound flat and unenthusiastic. Which do you think sells, confidence or lacking it? The research says it’s confidence.
Dr. Alex Pentland, is a professor at the MIT Media Lab. He researches how people use nonverbal communication and wrote Honest Signals. He conducted an experiment where he studied people who were pitching business plans in a competition. These were midcareer, successful business executives. It didn’t matter who they were. You could estimate their success in scoring in the competition just by listening to their tone of voice. The ones who were more excited about their business plans got higher scores. The plan or the people were not important for the result. Now you know why shady salespeople fake enthusiasm for the products they sell.