Earn Trust Through Unconscious Communication

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Way of the Wolf" by Jordan Belfort. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What is unconscious communication? How is mastering your body language and tone essential to completing a successful sale?

Unconscious communication is how we communicate using body language and tone, and it all affects how a salesperson interacts with a prospect. Body language and tone make up about 90 percent of our communication. Words and their meaning are only 10 percent.

Learn how to use unconscious communication to earn trust with a prospect.

What Is Unconscious Communication?

Unconscious communication is how we communicate using body language and tone and it is essential in completing a successful sale. Everything the salesperson does is unconscious communication with the prospect. This is how the prospect will decide whether to trust you. 

There is no combination of body language and tone that’s the golden ticket. It would be impossible to convey your entire sales pitch in four seconds. Instead, think about how you make your pitch: The tone is essential. Our ears are very adept at picking up even tiny changes in tone. Think about when you were little and your mom was annoyed with you—she’d say your name in only a slightly different manner, but you’d know right away. 

If the sale happens in person, add body language or mannerisms to tone as another essential factor. 

This all adds up to unconscious communication. Body language and tone make up about 90 percent of our communication. Words and their meaning are only 10 percent. Words are essential to a successful sales pitch, but they’re important, obviously, only when we’re talking. When the prospect is talking, body language remains important if you’re selling in person. 

A note on the conscious vs. unconscious mind: The conscious mind is constantly trying to make sense of what’s going on around you, so it can only take in somewhere between 3 and 4 percent of your surroundings. 

Meanwhile, the unconscious mind is about 200 million times more powerful. It’s doing everything that’s necessary to keep you alive while also capturing everything not taken in by the conscious mind, that remaining 96 or 97 percent of your surroundings that you’re not paying attention to while you’re reading this summary. It files all that away in your memories. This helps you understand the world better and thus helps you move through new situations without feeling like everything is unfamiliar. For example, when you go visit someone you’ve never been to see before, even if you haven’t been to their specific door, you know how doors work and so can easily turn the knob and get in. This is your conscious mind acting on a gut feeling from your unconscious mind. 

Principles of Body Language and Tone

With only a little training, you should see a 50 percent uptick in sales. And what’s especially advantageous about this part of the training is that if you work in sales, you already know all of the unconscious communication principles and have done them countless times. The system just allows you to put a name to them and use them when necessary. 

The tone principles all have to do with modulation: lowering or raising your voice to put an exclamation point on an argument or to draw someone in closer. If you come off as being sharp from the start, then you can bottle enthusiasm for the product, deploying it to help you move closer to closing the sale.

When you’re deploying enthusiasm, it’s important to consider who you’re convincing, and the difference between the conscious and unconscious mind. The best salesperson will use words to influence the conscious mind and body language and tone to influence the unconscious. 

Body language is just as important as tone when a sale is done in person. 

When a person first meets you, they see what you look like and how you move and make a snap judgment about whether they like and trust you. 

If you have off-putting body language, then no matter how good your pitch or tone, the prospect will be physically repulsed and uninterested in working with them.

Earn Trust Through Unconscious Communication

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Jordan Belfort's "Way of the Wolf" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Way of the Wolf summary:

  • How to sell like Jordan Belfort, the Wolf of Wall Street
  • The 4 steps of the Straight Line selling method
  • The 3 types of certainty you have to create to make a successful sale

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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