Change your body language and you can improve your chances of landing a client, Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist and associate professor at the Harvard Business School, tells financial advisors.

Body language changes a person’s physiology, as well as attitude, and can have a significant impact on interactions with clients and prospective clients, she says.

Cuddy addressed advisors at the FPA annual conference Experience 2013 in Orlando, Fla., Monday.

Research shows that body language affects the testosterone and cortisol levels in the body and that, in turn, affects a person’s attitude toward life, Cuddy says.

Exhibiting a powerful, open body stance can raise testosterone levels and lower cortisol levels, which makes a person feel more in control and more assertive.

Cuddy gives numerous examples throughout the animal and human community of the affect of body language on attitude and action. The affect is seen across cultures and in both genders, she adds.

It is no coincidence that winning athletes and action figures all take on an open, hands in the air or hands on the hip and feet apart, stance, she says. It is an almost uncontrollable assertive stance.

Preparatory power posing – taking on the stance of a winner – for two minutes before making a presentation, can affect the outcome of a venture capital pitch or of trying to win a new client.

“They are investing in you, the person, as much as in the investment,” she says. “Power posing helps you trust yourself and that means others will trust you.”