When a Marketing Consultant is meeting with a prospect, does it matter who sits where? Seating arrangements for man-to-man or man-to-woman and woman-to-woman matters a lot.
Here’s why this is so important…
Let’s talk about the most important aspect of seating first, which is this:
If you’re working with a right handed person as opposed to a lefty, you want to be off to their right.
The reason is that it activates their left brain more when they’re looking at you. Their left brain is a little more logical, it’s a little more linear, and it can be convinced by logic and rational thinking.
The right brain is sort of the storehouse of emotional memory, autobiography, feelings, all that kind of stuff.
And all that’s great but you don’t really want to be setting off all those emotional feelings and all that when you’re meeting somebody in a sales presentation because if you do, you’re probably going to set off bad feelings and bad memories.
Most people’s most powerful emotions are negative and that is a shame but that’s the way it really is. So the first thing you do no matter who it is, is you try to be off to their right, if they’re right handed.
If you’re dealing with men, you’re probably best to not be too close. Men want to have about 6 feet between each other.
So if you have a choice between a little teeny table and a big booth, you should choose the big booth.
If you have the 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’re at a small table, men are going to be very uncomfortable. Men are very adversarial and so if you can make your presentation on a right angle, so in other words, the man is in position A and you’re off to his right at 3:00, that’s ideal.
So you’re on like a 90-degree angle and your justification is so you can show him your portfolio or your PowerPoint presentation or whatever it is you want to show him.
You don’t want to be too close to him but you don’t want to be directly across the chessboard from him either, because men are very confrontational.
Women, on the other hand, women are like relationship creatures. They want to be directly across from each other and talking and looking at each other. They have huge long eye contact; they like to be much closer than men are.
A woman can be 4 feet across from another woman or 3 1/2 feet across from another woman if she likes her and there is no problem with that at all.
Face-to-face works the best.
Interestingly for women they can also be side to side, very close, and successfully you can have a sale made from a presentation side to side. You can’t do that with a guy though; it’s not going to work.
By the way, this is partially contact dependence.
If you’re at a sports arena, if you’re at a baseball game and you’re seated next to a guy, you guys can talk business and close the deal, no problem.
But if where you have a chance to be in a different location, like I could be further away from this guy, I can’t do that at the baseball stadium. If I go to the Cubs game, I’m sitting in the seat right next to him and we can do business right there because we’re guys and we know that’s cool and we didn’t purposely sit ourselves right next to each other.
We’re not too close to each other. But women can intentionally sit next to each other and actually transact business like that, almost as easily as they can face to face.
As a marketing consultant, you want to create as receptive an environment as possible when making a presentation. Arrive early to a meeting so you can strategically plan where to sit, and set yourself up for success.