Sometimes one makes a sales call, as I did this morning, and one comes away, (as I did this morning) with an agreed way forward, an expressed need and an ability to address it, agreement on costs, budgets and timescales and a clear and quantified understanding of the value to the business. But there was something missing, and I couldn't quite work out what, until I bumped into an old friend, who shook me by the hand, and looked me in the eye, and asked me how I was.
And suddenly I realised that despite the firm handshake, the agreeable coffee and the business-like discussion of my previous meeting, the man had never once looked me in the eye. Now, there may be valid reasons for this, I'm no oil painting, he might well be aware of my notorious hypnotism skills, but it drove home the fact that face-to-face, much of our communication is non-verbal, intuitive, and hard-wired. And now I'm by no means sure that I'm comfortable doing business with him or his company.
Watch out for the subtle signals, the ones you give, the ones you receive.