Buying Signals. Listen With Your Eyes!

Would it surprise you to know that, during a typical sales presentation, 7% of the message coming back to you from your prospect is in the form of words? Would you be shocked to hear that 38% of the message your prospect is conveying to you is in the tone of their voice? This means that 55% of the message your prospect conveys to you is in the form of Body Language. What is this message? I am referring to BUYING SIGNALS. Yes, a full 55% of a prospect’s buying signals are coming in the form of body language, not spoken words. Knowing this as a sales professional gives you an edge. To take advantage of that edge, you must be able to interpret your prospect’s body language. Here’s how!

As you move through the sales process, keep an eye on your prospect’s posture. Generally speaking, as you are delivering a presentation, your prospect will be in the receiving position, relaxed and sitting back in his or her chair “receiving and taking in” your message. As you start to move into another phase, watch for changes in positioning. The first is what we call the “Tea Kettle.” In the Tea Kettle position, as the prospect is sitting across from you, they will lean forward with one hand on their hip and the other hand on their knee. With their head leaning forward in this position, your prospect resembles a tea kettle. This is the ready position. Your prospect is engaged in everything you are saying. He or she is making decisions internally and visualizing what favorable outcomes will come from this decision. At this point, Mirror and Match your prospect’s position. Lean forward and test close, “Would you like us to ship this week or next week?”

At some point during your presentation, watch for your prospect’s hand leap to their chin and start what is called “chin rubbing.” According to research, this has a 99% predictive value. When the hand goes to the chin, stop talking. Your prospect is thinking and not listening to you. He or she is not seeing you or hearing you. They are lost in thought, processing how their life will be improved with your product or service. At some point, the hand will go down, the head will lift up and they will make eye contact with you again. This is the time to deliver a closing statement. “We could ship on Friday or Monday.”

Remember, not all buying decisions come in the form of words. Watch your prospect’s body language to gain insight into how you are doing in the process.

About the Author

With more than three decades of experience in all facets of sales management, customer service, business growth, and staff coordination, Certified Business Coach Greg Emslie is a focused professional with the tools to help you grow and manage your business effectively. 

Driven by his ability to implement proven business concepts and help improve teams, Greg affects all areas of the companies he works with, including sales, leadership, profitability, and decision-making. He focuses on improving efficiency and processes for his clients while helping them grow their revenue base. 

Ready to begin finding other ways to make your company more productive? Let’s get the conversation started.  Contact Greg Emslie for a business strategy discussion today