Do you need to be charismatic in order to improve sales, or does it help you sign up more or larger clients? Various business owners, especially accountants, recently told me they needed more charisma to help them sell more. Some, particularly those who consider themselves as introverts, said they were hampered by not being as charismatic as others! This post has 4 tips to help you show more charisma.
Charisma: Getting people to do more
What is selling, but influencing? Would being better at influencing mean you had more charisma, or is it the other way round?

What is charisma?

Olivia Fox Cabane’s book “The Charisma Myth: Master the Art of Personal Magnetism” talks about Charisma has having three elements:

  • Presence: Actually being there in the discussion, versus somebody whose mind is clearly elsewhere. I have to admit to having suffered this one when cooking dinner last week. I returned 25 minutes after preparing the food to wonder what the smell was, only to find the packaging in the oven and the dinner in the bin! OK, we’re not normally that bad, but really being present can make a huge difference in how you appear to somebody else.
  • Power: People are drawn to confidence and turned off by insecurity and self-doubt (within limits, hence the next characteristic). Being comfortable with who you are, and are being not afraid to influence the world around you radiates some power.
  • Warmth: The importance of making somebody feel important and looking below the surface to see their good qualities.
You have each of these elements, it’s just a question of how much you show. It’s also interesting that there is a balance between them. Years ago, when I was first dating, I got some feedback that in trying to appear more interested in a girl it was coming across as not having much power and appearing needy. A while later I got the opposite feedback! At least it showed me we can develop these elements to different degrees, even if I didn’t “get the girl” (at the time).

What can you do about displaying more charisma?

If those are the main elements in charisma, what can you do to display more charisma?
  1. Listening. Many people wouldn’t think of listening as being linked to charisma. But think about people who demonstrate warmth; they listen well.  Listening properly (download our paper on active listening, it's free and waiting for you to download right nowClick here for instant access (email address required).) shows somebody you are interested in them. Also, by listening you’ll know they’re inspired by you!
  2. Presence. To increase the charisma you give out, make good eye contact and stand in a way that shows confidence. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and stand tall. If you are presenting, don’t pace up and down as it can look un-confident. Download our booklet on developing your body language, it's free and waiting for you to download right nowClick here for instant access (email address required)..
  3. Talking. Use metaphors and stories. These help people engage with you and understand your point, in their way. Engaging with people helps increase the power and presence you radiate. Asking rhetorical questions helps too, if you leave them time to consider your point. Don’t do what I did many years ago when initially going networking. I got some feedback that I was either uninterested, un-confident or arrogant!  I later talked to the people who gave me that feedback. I had engaged and asked questions, but didn’t leave people time to to consider their answer; simply rushing on was perceived as a sign of non confidence, arrogance or a lack of interest (painfully obvious when I think about it now)..
  4. Bigger picture. Talk about your bigger picture, or vision, this can help people see you have a sense of purpose. This can help unite people as they can see themselves in the picture (similar to NLP’s  concept of “chunking up“). Getting alignment always helps people warm to you and is the opposite of talking about the detail all the time. It’s OK to talk detail, once you’ve got alignment about the less detailed parts.
So, is charisma important if you want to sell more? My initial reaction was “no”, but when I thought about it in more detail – the answer moved to yes. However we can all be more charismatic, if we choose!
What do you think about the importance charisma in business?
Written by Jon Baker The 5-50 Coach. I help professionals grow their firms from 5 to 50 employees, sustainably, profitably and still have fun. Have you got your "next step kitbag yet"? It's stuffed with guides, reports & templates helping you grow from 5 to 50 employees Click here for immediate access