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3 min read

Relationship Building Presales Tools: Non-Verbal Communication Cues

Relationship Building Presales Tools: Non-Verbal Communication Cues

The presales tools we offer at 2Win are about more than delivering demos that advance sales velocity; we are looking to also advance your ability to make deeper connections more quickly. We are looking to build sturdy business relationships with our clients that withstand competitive threats posed by the latest software with the bright and shiny features. One way that reinforces messaging during meetings and builds relationships is the mastery of non verbal communication cues. 

Non verbal communication cues can: 

  1. Gain or reduce attention 
  2. Influence the meaning of verbal communication 
  3. Signal Dominance and authority 
  4. Reduce the need for words 

While these cues do not sound like they would build a relationship, so much as manage one, we wanted to show some of the more nuanced cues that drive positive impressions. We offer a number of other resources viewable here to gain more from interactions using non verbal cues, but here is our best relationship advice. 


Manners are non negotiable in building business relationships. They show respect and deference and are the first step in empathic communication. Empathic communication shows that you are understanding of a persons position. We discuss cultivating professional empathy in our coursework a good deal, and part of this is through showing manners in non verbal communications. 

You should be opening doors, deferring to others exiting and entering a room, picking things up when they are dropped, and being conscious of your body in relation to others through keeping a comfortable distance. It is very important if you are having an engagement where you know that members in the audience are from another culture that you look up cultural customs in advance. It may not always be appropriate to shake hands and showing that you have respect for another person's culture is an excellent way to deepen understanding and build relationships. 

Active Listening Signals 

Listening is active and non verbal and essential to building professional empathy and building relationships. Clients show up for a presentation, but they need to be heard and for their needs to be addressed at each juncture of the engagement. To show a person that you are both listening and understanding, you need to master active listening skills. 

Direct your attention towards the person talking and maintain eye contact. Do not have your hands where they are not visible. Tilting your head and nodding shows that you are comprehending what the speaker is also saying. Avoid the temptation to fidget or make movements that can be distracting to your audience, and give the impression you are not listening to them. 

Facial Signals 

One of the most powerful ways we can deepen relationships and show understanding is through facial expressions. Facial expressions are generally universal, and where we may be unsure of what the demographic composition is, using facial expressions can be unifying. Smiling, frowning, eye rolling, and scowling are all ways to use your face to speak volumes without uttering a word. One of the unconscious uses of facial expressions to build relationships is where we tilt a head a furrow slightly a brow in a face of concern. This can signal empathy and understanding that we understand. We will also frown or smile depending on where we are in an engagement and following the conversations of the audience. It is really important to be mindful and present in your expressions. We have to be very careful that our expressions are not exaggerated in professional scenarios so as not to seem disingenuous. 

Non Verbal Cues to Avoid  

We are looking to build professional empathy, get buy-in from our audience, and get consent for us to deliver our solutions as pre-sales professionals. The last thing we want to do is inadvertently distract our audience by issuing non verbal cues that detract from the engagement or send mixed signals. Fidgeting, frowning, yawning, looking away from a person, stretching, or other activities can be very distracting for an audience. They can signal many things from a lack of interest to coming across as disingenuous. 

When your non verbal cues sync with your verbal cues, you can build trust, rapport, and clarity around your messaging. Having a pre sales tool that builds trust is absolutely the most important one. Where you do not have prior connection with a client and you are couched between customer success and account representatives, you need to be able to gain trust to present your solutions and to advance the deal the audience needs to believe that your solution is the one to choose. Ultimately, deals built on trust lead to a long life cycle of clients and referrals. If you would like to learn more about the soft skill training that 2Win offers, which includes various modalities of trust building and communication, contact a member of our team.