Non-Verbal Communication for Negotiations

By Stephi Stewart,

If you've ever taken a course on communication, then you may recall that something like 93% of all communication is non-verbal...

What this means is that your body language, voice tone, eye contact etc. are just as important as the words that come out of your mouth...especially when it comes to communicating to a wedding vendor that YOU'RE IN CHARGE and mean business.

Honestly, it's useless to "tell" them you require a discount, if you communicate with non verbal cues that you're really "just asking" and won't actually walk away from the deal if they say no.


For instance, if you ask for a discount, but shy away from them with your eyes and "up talk" in a questioning tone instead of a confident and commanding tone, here's the non-verbal message you'll subconsciously communicate: "Is there any way you might give me a discount?

I mean, if you can't, I understand (I don't want to cause a conflict or anything)...I just had to ask!...I'll still consider hiring you anyway."


Now, on the other hand, if you maintain eye contact, speak slowly and confidently, and hold yourself like you're the one with the authority, here's the non-verbal message you're going to express:

"IF you want to have a chance at EARNING my business, you'll NEED to do it for X or I've got a list of 10 other great vendors who'd love to meet my needs (e.g. Love ya...but don't need ya! Bubbye!)"

* Note: you don't actually want to speak this way (try and be a bit more subtle) just want to convince them with your attitude and body language that you're serious and know how to play this game.


Now if this whole idea of negotiating seems scary to you, here's a novel idea - since I recommend that you meet with as many vendors as possible before making your decisions anyway, simply use the bad one's for practice!

Let me explain... What I mean by this is that you'll usually know right away whether a vendor is "for you" or not, so you have nothing to lose by taking some "risks" and "asking for what you want" (even if it feels uncomfortable) with vendors you immediately don't like since you're NOT going to hire them anyway!

By trying out different approaches (like the one's I teach in my book) you'll build up your confidence quickly, learn what works and what doesn't, and figure out the best ways to get what you want when it really counts.

After doing this, go see the vendors you really like or have been highly recommended to you and you'll fare much better when it comes time to negotiate.

Make sense?