Have you ever had a conversation in your personal life when someone refused to make any eye contact with you? How did it make you feel? How about, during a business meeting when the other party refuses to make eye contact? How does that make you feel? However, do you refuse to make proper eye contact with your friends/prospects?
To understand the importance of eye contact we have to go back to our caveman days, where eye contact, being part of the 93% that make up nonverbal communication, could have been the difference between life or death and even attraction and indifference. Remember, there was really no language, words, back then.
Even as infants, according to an MIT study done in 2002, we were more likely to follow an adult’s eyes instead of their head, or any other movements.
As the old adage goes: ‘the eyes are the windows to the soul.’ Do we not come to some conclusion about certain individuals by simply looking into their eyes? Are we not cautious when we meet people for the first time where our gaze goes? We judge based on the eyes. It goes back to our caveman days and it will forever be embedded in our DNA.
Eye contact says a lot about you without you uttering a word. However, not only does it have a great number of positives it also has some negatives and everyone should know about them in order to make not only your personal, but also your business life, a lot less stressful.
It has been proven scientifically that the more and deliberate the eye contact the more likely that person is lying. Therefore, make sure that your eye contact does not turn into a concentrated, uncomfortable, creepy, stare. Steady eye contact will motivate people and may convince them to take a position. Every 10-15 seconds look away for a second or two and come back. If you are making eye contact for 30-seconds or more, you are now just ‘creeping me out.’
Eye contact makes you more memorable and understood. In other words, not only will they remember you, but they will remember a great more of what you said. Memory, impression and eye contact are deeply connected. Who does not want to be memorable? In business, it is an essential trait for those that have moved from salesperson to sales professional.
Not making eye contact makes you look less authoritative, less believable and less confident. If that is not enough for you to make more eye contact; when you do not look at people, they will not look at you and their mind starts to wander and you become Charlie Brown’s teacher: “Bwa, bwa, bwa.” Would you rather have your prospect concentrate on what you have to say, or working on their shopping list for the weekend?
We are always talking about bonding and rapport and the importance that it plays in the relationship phase of the business cycle. The quickest and easiest way to establish this essential step is through eye contact. Without it, there will always be an amount of mistrust brought into play. After all, if you have nothing to hide, why are you not looking at your prospect? Are you concerned that they may be able to see your ‘snow job?’ Eye contact leads to likeability, trust and lets us not forget, memorable.
Love, at first sight, does exist and it’s all in the eyes.