Everyone has a smart phone. It’s hard to do your work outside the office these days if you don’t have one. It’s like a second brain isn’t it?
Everyone is so used to carrying their phone around that often they don’t think twice about what to do with their phone when meeting with other people. Let alone when meeting with prospects or clients.
And that’s where things can go wrong.
Even if you put your phone on silent.
Looking at your phone creates negative reactions
Recent research published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology has identified that people feel like they are being ignored, or excluded to some degree, when the other person:
- Keeps holding on to the phone, or fiddling with it
- Places the phone where it can be seen
- Glancing at the phone during the conversation
- (and worst) Checking the phone during a lull in the conversation
The study investigated the social consequences of “phubbing” – the act of snubbing someone in a social setting by concentrating on one’s mobile phone. Phubbing is linked to poorer communication and lower relationship satisfaction, the study found.
How to avoid being a phubber
Ignoring someone in a social situation to look at a phone threatens people’s fundamental need to belong. It is a form of social exclusion, making others feel invisible and eroding their self-esteem.
Clearly those outcomes are not helpful in any sales context. So the best practice is to ensure your phone is not only turned off, but also out of sight during the meeting.
Keep your phone in your pocket, handbag, or tucked away in your compendium (if you use one). Only pull it out in view of your client if it is needed to arrange something with the client, or to check information as part of the conversation.
Remember, your phone is a tool of your trade, and should be used appropriately. It’s not a toy to have on display. Improper use of your phone can cause distraction and feelings of anxiety, so it’s worthwhile to have a procedure for having your phone at client meetings that works for both you and your client.
Need further assistance?
If you’d like to discuss how to assess and implement suitable sales meeting best practices within your team you are welcome to request a complimentary consultation.