I met with a friend of mine who is an absolute genius. You know the type, a kindof Bill Gates clone that has peculiar habits but is as smart as they come. What struck me as surprising is that he is an avid reader of cold reading books. Surprising because I would have thought that he would think body language books are a bit beneath his 'genius'. Obviously not.

Actually, he reads cold reading and body language books in the dozens. The other week, he bought a whole host of new body language books and has no doubt already read them from start to finish. Sitting with him for a chat is extraordinary because he is so bright, but also because he is absolutely fascinating with his passion for knowing more about why people do what they do. He likes the idea that he can read people which no doubt has made him a lot of money over time. Important if you are in the business of dealing with people and you need to know what they are thinking to make better decisions yourself.

Not long ago, I also met an economist who is one of the best in the business. He is an expert in astrology. He read me like a book, which was quite eerie. His passion for astrology is handy because when he meets people and is interviewed by media around the world, he quickly works out how to best communicate with them to get the result he needs for his business.

Both of these people got me thinking.

They say psychology degrees helps marketers better understand target audiences - however, every psychologist I have ever met is a bit on the nuts side, so I have shyed away from learning too much in that direction relying more on research techniques to help fine tune marketing campaigns. Many of my marketing counterparts do the same.

However, when it comes to business to business marketing, it's another thing. When you meet with a prospect, being able to understand them better can only help the sales process.

Alan and Barbara Pease write great books on Body Language and a great book to read of theirs is "The Difinitive Book of Body Language".

Understanding body language means holding the key to clear communication. For instance, knowing that arms can act as the doorway to the body and self, and when someone has them crossed, they form a closed defensive shield, blocking out the outside world - can help a sales person change their course of communication so that they can perhaps recover from a situation which may be going downhill fast.

Cold reading books are equally as beneficial. Psychics, fortune tellers and mentalists use this technique to determine or express details about another person, often in order to convince them that the reader knows much more about a subject than they actually do. Perhaps this isn't such a bad way for sales people to conduct their business? Something to consider, perhaps.

By using body language as a guage to see how receptive a customer is to your key messaging on your product or service, you are able to identify what in fact they are looking for and how best to sell your product or service to them.

The more we know about our customer, the more we are able to make sure our sales and marketing messages resonate with their needs and wants.

So why not go out and buy some body language books for your sales and marketing teams. You never know what result you will end up with!

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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.

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