Danger! Car Salesmen Now in Possession of “Perfect Handshake” Equation
To seal more car deals, Chevrolet UK looked to arm its salesmen with the perfect weapon of confidence: an unstoppable handshake. Here’s the secret they received from Geoffrey Beattie, Head of Psychological Sciences at the University of Manchester:
PH (Perfect Handshake)= v (e^2 + ve^2)(d^2) + (cg + dr)^2
We hope (and suspect) the training posters and equation, supposedly meant for Chevrolet-sellers, are meant for publicity and are not a real attempt to improve customer relations.
The variables, as outlined in a Chevrolet press release:
(e) is eye contact (1=none; 5=direct) 5; (ve) is verbal greeting (1=totally inappropriate; 5=totally appropriate) 5; (d) is Duchenne smile – smiling in eyes and mouth, plus symmetry on both sides of face, and slower offset (1=totally non-Duchenne smile (false smile); 5=totally Duchenne) 5; (cg) completeness of grip (1=very incomplete; 5=full) 5; (dr) is dryness of hand (1=damp; 5=dry) 4; (s) is strength (1= weak; 5=strong) 3; (p) is position of hand (1=back towards own body; 5=other person’s bodily zone) 3; (vi) is vigour (1=too low/too high; 5=mid) 3; (t) is temperature of hands (1=too cold/too hot; 5=mid) 3; (te) is texture of hands (5=mid; 1=too rough/too smooth) 3; (c) is control (1=low; 5=high) 3; (du) is duration (1= brief; 5=long) 3.
The press release details some pretty common sense advice: avoid sweaty palms; don’t squeeze too hard or hold on too long; make eye contact. But putting the formula into action might be tough; if actually meant to inspire confidence (which the release says 70 percent of hand-shakers are lacking), doing the math before every hand-to-hand may instead lead to more perfect head scratching.