The best salespeople ask questions, listen, clarify, and look for signals from the buyer, both verbal and nonverbal, that they are now ready to make a decision. This is a critical skill to learn.
- One of the most important skills you need to learn to be a successful sales professional is knowing the buyer's signal when they're ready to buy or not. It's critical that you develop an expertise of truly understanding what your buyer is saying and also be able to read what their body language is telling you. You won't learn this overnight, but if you don't continually try to improve spotting the buyer's signals, then you won't be able to close sales. Buyers frequently state that listening carefully is something that salespeople need to work on.
We must become more aware of verbal clues. There are many, but here are just four examples of situations that are real signals that your buyer may be ready to say yes, and you can try for the close. First, too often we assume price questions are objections. Here's an example. If your buyer says, "Your offering is too expensive, but is there a break at higher quantities?" That is actually a positive question. The same would be try if they ask you to reconfirm your terms and conditions of sale with something like, "You didn't mention any discount if payment is made within 30 days." And there's a good sign with this third example.
When your buyer asks you to repeat something about the features of your product or service, that means they're showing real interest. Review it with them again, let them digest the information, and then look for positive non-verbal signals. And finally, don't think it's an objection if your buyer says, "Is this working well with any of your other accounts?" That's a perfect way for you to tell some success stories. Spotting visual signals may seem obvious, but too often we're preoccupied of thinking about the next part of our presentation that we miss the non-verbal signs such as these four.
To me, eye contact is one of the most telling signals you can get. Are they looking at you, or are they staring at you? There's a big difference. Second, do you see your buyer taking notes, reviewing any materials you placed in front of them, or doing some calculations? All of these signs are good signs. Next, it's a clear signal that you've got to regroup if they start to fidget in their chair, move documents around on their desk, or cross their arms.
Finally, I hope you see them nodding their heads up and down in agreement. That's a clear sign you're moving in the right direction. It's also a sign to stop talking and not oversell. Learning the verbal and non-verbal signals of when a buyer is ready to make a decision is an essential skill for a salesperson, and I believe one of the most important. It goes to the core of understanding and knowing your audience. Learning those signals will increase your confidence and alert you that you're ready to close the sale.