“Fortify the bridging hands with deliberate sensations of timely, compelling emotions.”
Nostalgic from my kindergarten years in a parochial school, a handshake would spare us from the rod of visiting the principal’s office with our summoned parents every time a quarrel erupts between me and a fellow brat (I am not that notorious though. My seatmates are). When I used to be in debate championships in my last two years in high school, a handshake with an adjective of “traditional” is always requested every before the adjudication is exposed. Both depicts the same essence of handshake from an archaeological remnants of the ancient Greece. It suggested that handshakes are originated as a remark of peace to prove that both soldiers’ hands aren’t any more in possession of any war weapon.
In the sales world, handshakes generally signal a done deal. Exhibit that both parties have no objections to raise any more, just like weapons metaphorically and thus both ends are at peace for the consensual choice. Nice to imagine right? I guess all sales people would love to end every pitch with a closed deal handshake, but as they said everyday isn’t Christmas and not all prospects are Santa Clause. Realistic.
Also realistic though, but not every persistent sales person know is that, handshake is actually an intra-pitch sales tool gesture. It is a tactile commitment thermometer. Yes. Fortify it with deliberate sensations of timely, compelling emotions. Here are some.
1. Handshake of Warmth : (fully grasped, snappy gentle press that moves briefly up then warmly down)
The default handshake during the meet and greet. Yes. Contrary to the conventional too constricted grasp in the first meeting, a snappy soft press that moves briefly up then warmly down shake is an irresistible prelude to a promising emotional encounter. A nonverbal starter of how much you care for every person you meet. Remember John Maxwell said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
“Mr. and Mrs. Filo? I will be in charge of you today. I’m John, how will I call you? the way your friends call you perhaps. (longtime friend smile)? (When they’ve given you the nickname, Offer this handshake smoothly then,) Kindly follow me “nicknames” so we could start?
Never be extreme yet on the first palm to palm. Too constricted grips signal dominance and negative appeal. Remember like in the 1st round of boxing, you are still trying to gauge the kind of personality you’ll be dealing with and that the safest approach is to assume that humans love to be greeted with a felt welcome. Offer an emotional hand first – that is the rule of thumb.
HOW THIS LEADS TO GENUINE COMMITMENT: So, you have just meet your prospects. A pre-pitch handshake. That means, you don’t mean the buying commitment directly yet on this shake. What you wanted to achieve here is to establish a commitment conducive preamble. Being sincere in your welcome makes the prospect feel valued. Their time, their presence, their commitment which they adjusted to see you for the appointment. This helps them feel comfortable of the atmosphere they are in for the rest of your talk. When they are just rightly comfortable, they feel the encounter is healthy, that meeting with you was a right choice to do. Subconsciously validating that the time commitment they established within their mind of meeting with you, was worth doing so. Thus, collaterally, preconditions their confidence and trust, a precursor for the later commitment you will be asking from them – the owning commitment. Just don’t be too warm that they may speculate you have something to get from them that is why you are too accommodating. All of us has that reptilian part of the brain that alarms paranoia and that’s too unsurmountable to fix when activated this early in the encouter. Don’t be too sincere to be genuine. Use this shake with a smile from an old friend.
2. Handshake of Control: (firm, fully grasped, whole grip shake with the brief up and steady down movement)
The so called anaconda constriction is obsolete. Treat this as the millennial version though. Done to emphasize an agreed point, make it just a fully grasped firm shake with the brief up and steady down movement. Note that as you drive the meeting to a closed deal, you have to precede that with series of trial closes. This shake is the trial close ender. The most shake you shall do to increase agreeability and test the owning commitment. This is the gesture thermometer of how much the prospect means the commitment they are showing. Reciprocally, this also shows the prospect how much you mean business, correspondent to their affirmation. Do this shake every after response of you prospects from these sample of closes.
“Does that corner of the unit makes your children more comfortable when they play? So when we can modify the terms to be more breathable for you, would you love to own this house?”
“Aren’t you glad your knowledge about the potential earnings of this concept is clearly laid out versus the compensation plan of other MLM concept you have listened to? Which do you think is more lucrative?”
“It must have been self-assuring to feel that you have known a way to actively sustain your family’s welfare from this day on. No one would want to be guilt ridden in this lifetime, would you agree?
Use this shake too as ender of your intent statement or rules of the game before the start of the pitch as ritual of agreement which too reflects your trustworthiness and professionalism. Do this shake after intent statement like this:
“Our company have proven that inviting couples like you tonight for a personal presentation is far more cost effective than airing our hotels in the mainstream media advertisement. I have deliberately planned to make your time worth interacting with me by customizing my presentation to be efficient. This how it goes… obviously I have been flexible to my pacing specific to my guests every night. I could actually fasten it according to your comprehension but undoubtedly, my presentation shall never be hurried. Don’t you think that’s fair for both of our time?
HOW THIS LEADS TO GENUINE COMMITMENT: The aim of the grip’s firmness is to send a mark to your prospect’s side, that such grip means business and commitment. It is an imperative to let them feel the difference of this handshake to the others. You don’t intend to be warm here or any, you intend doing business. This works as a professional intimidation for “Strokers”, the all-yes, ends-no prospects. You may spiel after this shake, “I’ll hold on to what you just have affirmed”, “You said so” or a sharp third part story of, “My guest yesterday also affirms perfectly the way you do with that handshake, but ended up still not really meaning it. I wonder how people like that still possess credence with their face lifted high. What do you think of those kind of people?” Let the good and the bad in them go out. You wanted to extract which is the genuine and the masked behavior your prospects has. When you are able to identify then manage those, you’ll definitely have veracity, a heart to heart talk. A stellar moment for genuine affirmation. Handshake of choice for a fellow sales professional, businessmen and corporate executives every time you agree to a point during your pitch.
3. Handshake of Empathy: (soft compassionate grip, with brief up but the down movement sticks a second or two to the prospects hand while looking straight to the eyes)
A detector of the authenticity of an objection. Like the Warmth Handshake but with the probing eye contact straight to the prospect’s soul. A soft compassionate grip, still with brief up and down movement that sticks a second or two to the prospects hand as you gaze through their guilt reflex. This simply senses for a sincere heartbeat. Prospects are seasoned in masking objection to stall you from involving them, especially when you haven’t establish the need and had pitched prematurely. Probe for the sincerity and never be sold to their Mystique moves. Mourn with them but still qualify the truth. Regardless of finances, prospects will all purchase when they are sold. You have to detect should they are lying so you can detour to another approach. Ask. When they seem hopeless of availing the offer, find out the truth behind. Apply a negative trial close to further your probe.
“When it is affordable, why you aren’t seeing your family enjoying such benefits?” Ask then wait for the response. Whatever is their concern, consider it but don’t believe it yet as true. Empathize by offering this shake so you can feel the guilt-freeness of their reflexes.
HOW THIS LEADS TO GENUINE COMMITMENT: They aren’t saying more YESES. Treat every first objection of its kind as genuine and empathize with it. Then probe its believability and proactively overcome it. Handshake of Empathy is two faced. (1) Whenever they are honest enough base on your probing prowess that it isn’t affordable to them, it is proactive that you treated that with compassion. You could then offer a more affordable package and terms, then close. That works to all objections too. Empathize. Then, be compassionate on their concern. Overcome. Then sense and probe the prospects’ reception. (2) When their objection seem deliberate just to stall the closing, isolate where is really the hump of your game plan. You may not be real friends yet, you haven’t really establish their need to your product or your pitch just tend to sound so pushy. Detour. Do something strategic as soon as you sense this so you can achieve a genuine sales commitment. Note too, that there are minor objections specific to your guests’ concern which just simply warrants empathy and could be set aside. Just be meticulous.
4. Handshake of Regret: (fully grasped compassionate press with a sad-for-them affect)
The Take-away close handshake. It is like you too through this shake, conceded that your offer is too nice for them. That they feel they are one of those who isn’t for the benefits. A shake of take away to the still negotiable prospect and a shake of goodbye especially those kinds of prospect who are really close minded after all the time you have got for a head to head (Admit it, there are really prospects like that.). The least is, you never appear pushy or a loser.
Shake hands with pity, tap their shoulders, with sad affect looking at their eyes. “I knew this is not really for everyone who liked it.”
HOW THIS LEADS TO GENUINE COMMITMENT: So the prospect said NO. This too is two edged, the “now it’s deal” and the “still no deal”. (1) You wanted to pose a take away. Inflicting a fear of loss over a hope of gain emotion. Let them feel that you who let them feel the benefits were beneficial to them through your involvement during the pitch is the very same person letting them realize those weren’t really for them. Let them feel their dreams and aspirations were robbed in front of them. Trigger their gratification and ego whether they would do actively about it and save their dreams as you offer them a more breathable customized package. (2) The flip is, they said no since they didn’t really appreciate the benefits you were painting and remained resistant. All are exhausted this time. Both your time and the ways you could’ve done to sold them. Your mission here is to retain pride for yourself and for your offering. Don’t let them bring home an image of you begging for the benefits for them because that appears like you begging for a commission. Have pride that your product isn’t really for everyone but it is your passion to let every breathing pocket appreciate the worth of your product. After all your plans has been consumed, it is then their call. Still, head’s up!
5. Handshake of Belongingness: (Firm congratulatory shake)
The done deal with a pulse. A firm shake which congratulates their educated choice of availing the benefits you have already knew that they deserve. The shake which you envision to do every after you ask for the sale. The most shake you will do every sales week. Be collected not to be so overwhelmed and proud. Contain the euphoria later on the after wave meeting. Appear like you have expected the deal, yet be happy for your prospect’s ownership.
“What if I could stretch the offer like this, isn’t it more comfortably affordable? (Wait for response) Who shall be the principal owner? (Affirmed with either’s name) How would you settle that, card or cash? (Card) Offer this shake and ask for the paper works.
HOW THIS LEADS TO GENUINE COMMITMENT: So they finally said YES. Definitely this seals the genuinity of all the commitment-gathering handshakes you did throughout the meeting. So how this leads to genuine commitment of your next prospect? Remember the entire responses you have experience from the very first handshake you did for this now-owner and use it to calibrate your next handshakes for the next prospect. This is then the start of you commitment in the post sales care and owner referral optimization. Be ready then on your next handshake partner, your next close.
Bridge hands over the sales table. Be sensitive with the closing intuition every time you grasp a prospect’s hand so you can articulate strategic modulations to let your message reach across the hugging palms. It takes practice to be an expert (I don’t intend that you will nab the Guinness Book record of Stephen Potter from St Albans Round table who shook 19,550 hands at the St Albans Carnival in 1987), so score yourself on your daily pitch.
As you ornament motions along the pitch, include handshakes which are pertinent to the emotion you wanted to trigger along the course of the presentation. The impact is strategically deafening. An impact which prospect essentially feels what something isn’t told – – because the message is meant to be uttered simply the way you hold. That impact is a closing silencer.
Handshake with eye contact. Look through the eyes not to the hands.
Don’t shake with not same hands. When guest is left handed, re-offer a shake with your left hand.
Don’t shake half or digital reach. Offer a hand again. Full grasp. Whole grip.
If sweaty, have a table side hanky. Be self-deprecating enough to orient them before hand in the meet and greet.
For Islam clients, exempt the wife from the handshake and start your connection stating that you have known from a previous Islam couple that handshake isn’t really ethical in their custom.
Asians prefer weak handshake. Scandinavians shake firm.
Instances when you were offered with a handshake, stand and shake hands stating your full name.
Hand wash every after presentation. Have an alcohol or hand sanitizer at table side always.