How can a marketing coach use strategic seating arrangements to build rapport?
When a marketing consultant meets with a potential client, does it matter who sits where? The seating arrangement of male to male or male to female and female to female is very important.
Here’s why this is so important…
Let’s talk about the most important aspect of seats first, which is this:
If you’re working with a right-handed person rather than a left-handed person, you’ll want to be on their right.
The reason is that he activates his left brain more when he looks at you. Your left brain is a bit more logical, it’s a bit more linear and can be convinced by logic and rational thinking.
The right brain is kind of a repository for emotional memory, autobiography, feelings, all that sort of thing.
And that’s all great, but you don’t really want to trigger all those emotional feelings and stuff when you meet someone at a sales presentation, because if you do, you’ll probably trigger bad feelings and bad memories. .
The most powerful emotions of most people are negative and that’s a shame, but that’s the way it really is. So the first thing to do, no matter who you are, is try to be to your right, if you’re right-handed.
If you’re dealing with men, it’s probably best if you don’t get too close. Men want to have about 6 feet between them.
So if you have to choose between a small table and a large booth, you should choose the large booth.
If you have a choice between a booth and a table that’s about 4, 5, 6 feet where people are further apart from each other, you want to do that.
If you are at a small table, men will feel very uncomfortable. Men are very antagonistic and so if you can make your presentation at a right angle, in other words the man is in position A and you are to his right at 3:00, that’s ideal.
So you’re at a 90 degree angle and your justification is so you can show him your portfolio or your PowerPoint presentation or whatever you want to show him.
You don’t want to be too close to him, but you also don’t want to be directly on the other side of the chessboard, because men are very confrontational.
Women, on the other hand, women are like relationship creatures. They want to be directly in front of each other and talk and look at each other. They have great prolonged eye contact; they like to be much closer than men.
A woman can be 4 feet from another woman or 3 1/2 feet from another woman if she likes it and there is no problem with that.
Face to face works best.
Interestingly for women they can also be side by side, very close, and you can successfully make a sale from a side by side presentation. You can’t do that with a guy though; It will not work
By the way, this is partially contact dependency.
If you’re in a sports stadium, if you’re at a baseball game and you’re sitting next to a guy, you can talk business and close the deal, no problem.
But if you get a chance to be in a different place, like I could be further away from this guy, I can’t do that in the ballpark. If I go to the Cubs game, I sit in the seat next to him and we can do business right there because we’re guys and we know that’s cool and we don’t purposely sit next to each other.
We’re not too close to each other. But women can intentionally sit next to each other and transact business that way, almost as easily as they do face to face.
As a marketing consultant, you want to create as receptive an environment as possible when giving a presentation. Arrive early to a meeting so you can strategically plan where to sit and set yourself up for success.