to Read Your Prospect Like a Book!
Top salespeople and the most successful
managers recognize the importance of nonverbal communication in the
selling process and have learned to “listen with their eyes.” They
understand that one of the easiest and most effective ways to close
sales is to be aware of their prospect's “buy signals.”
Are you aware that your body language reveals your deepest
feelings and hidden thoughts to total strangers?
Body language is a mixture of movement,
posture and tone of voice. It might surprise you to know that research
indicates over 70 percent of our communication is done nonverbally. In
fact, studies show that nonverbal communication has a much greater
impact and reliability than the spoken word. Therefore, if your
prospect's words are incongruent with his or her body language
gestures, you would be wise to rely on their body language as a more
accurate reflection of their true feelings.
the Competitive Edge Get started on the right foot. Research shows
that we decide in the first few moments whether we like someone or
not. Yes, we also judge a book by its cover too. There is absolutely
no substitute for a positive first impression. Create a favorable
first impression and build rapport quickly by using open body
In addition to smiling and making good eye
contact, you should show the palms of your hands, keep your arms
unfolded and your legs uncrossed.
Create harmony by “matching and mirroring”
your prospect's body language gestures. Matching and mirroring is
unconscious mimicry. It's a way of subconsciously telling another that
you like them and agree with them. The
next time you are at a social event, notice how many people are
subconsciously matching one another. Likewise, when people disagree,
they subconsciously mismatch their body language gestures.
You can build trust and rapport by
deliberately, but subtly, matching your prospect's body language in
the first ten to fifteen minutes of the appointment. For example, if
you notice that your prospect has crossed his or her arms, subtly
cross your arms to match them. After you believe you have developed
trust and rapport, verify it by uncrossing your arms and see if your
prospect will match and mirror you as you move into a more open
If you notice your prospect subconsciously
matching your body language gestures, congratulations, because this
indicates you have developed trust and rapport. Conversely, if you
notice your prospect mismatching your body language gestures, you know
trust and rapport has not been established and you need to continue
matching and mirroring them.
Language Basics: Be mindful to evaluate the flow of “gesture
clusters” rather than isolated gestures taken out of context. Listed
below are some important body language gestures that will help you
close more sales in less time.
Postures: There are two basic categories; Open/Closed and
In an open and receptive body posture, arms
are unfolded, legs uncrossed and palms are exposed. In a closed body
posture, arms are folded, legs are crossed and the entire body is
usually turned away.
Leaning back and closed = Lack of interest
Leaning back and open = Contemplation and cautious
Leaning forward and closed = Potential aggressive
Leaning forward and open = Interest and agreement
Head neutral = Neutral and open attitude
Tilted back = Superior
Tilted down = Negative and judgmental attitude
Tilted to one side = Interest
Eye rub = Deceit, “see no evil”
Eye roll = Dismissive gesture that indicates
Looking over top of glasses = Scrutiny and a
Nose rub = Dislike of the subject
Hand or fingers blocking mouth = Deceit, “speak
Chin stroking = Making a decision
Thumb under chin with index finger pointing
vertically along the cheek = Negative attitude and critical
Are you missing your prospect's buy signals?
As a professional salesperson you must continuously monitor your
prospect's body language and adjust your presentation accordingly. By
knowing your prospect's body language gestures you will minimize
perceived sales pressure and know when it's appropriate to close the
Keep this article handy and read it again just
before your next client appointment.
Before you begin matching and mirroring the body
language gestures of your prospects, practice first by matching
and mirroring family members, friends or associates.
During your appointment, make a mental note of
your client's three most frequently used gestures.
Identify your three most frequently used gestures
and work on eliminating any negative or intimidating gestures.
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about John Boe.
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