As a remodeler I visited a lot of potential clients. Each knock on the front door was accompanied by a bit of apprehension. How would it go? Would we connect? Would I get the job?

I was listening to Rex Young, an actor at the Oregon Shakespeare Company, talk about the audition process that actors go through all the time. You enter a hallway crowded with other actors all trying to get the same part. You go through a door into a room when it's your time to audition. And then you try to get the part.

One thing that Rex said really struck me: Often, the decision-makers have made up their minds regarding the actor before the actor even begins his audition! How could this be?

The answer is: Exactly the way it goes with a remodeling contractor. I was sweating bullets about how I would influence the potential client to buy from me, when what was more important were all the different messages I was sending unknowingly.

What was I projecting? Was it interest in the client and their home, or a sense of “when can I get out of here?” Was I engaged or was I remote? And so on.

Pay attention to your body language and the other ways in which you communicate without even realizing it. Sometimes it is the difference between getting the job or not!