Body Language Buying Signs

When it comes to recognizing body language clues from prospective clients, you must be like a detective. You ask questions relating to their situations, their needs, their likes and dislikes. But it is so important that you not only listen to what they are saying and how they are saying it, but are also aware of what they’re telling you with their body language as you talk with them.

In selling, body language works in both directions. You “speak” with it, using your own body language to get your message across and you “hear with your eyes” when you watch the body language of the clients. In using it to speak, for example, when you want to be listened to, make strong eye contact. If you look at a person eye-to-eye, he or she will focus more intently on what you are saying. Many people in sales don’t make good eye contact. The more you look around and away from the client, the more they’ll do the same. Without that eye-to-eye connection, few sales will be made.

In establishing eye contact, if you have two people at the vehicle or at your desk, be sure you are not giving one of them too much attention — or too much eye contact. Spread the eye contact between both parties. In most cases, you need “buy in” from both parties before a purchase decision can be made. If you alienate one by giving too much attention to the other, no matter how much they like the vehicle, they may not like you well enough to consummate a sale.

What if the person does not make eye contact? What’s happening is that he or she either doesn’t like you or doesn’t like something you’ve just said, or you struck a nerve which may have triggered a past fear. What should you do about it? Smile. Try to gain eye contact and reiterate your last point by asking if it bothers him or her. Get them talking by asking questions about their past car buying experiences. Relate your desire to fulfill their needs and to make them happy with their vehicle purchase.

If you notice that your clients tend to lean on the vehicles you’re showing them or lean against an outside wall or railing, adopt a similar posture of relaxation. There are times we can mirror our potential clients in order to relate to him or her. It has been proven to be a simple method for connecting with your clients…a posture of common ground, if you will.

It’s critical to your demonstration of any vehicle to get your clients’ hands on it. This includes opening and closing the doors, hatches, windows; adjusting the seats and mirrors; playing with the radio or “experiencing the sound system.” A buying cue is when they do it a second or third time. Their actions are telling you that they’re trying to get comfortable in the vehicle. If they do eventually settle, that’s a buying sign.

What do you think the body language cue is if the client who is now sitting in a chair at the table scoots in closer? What if they put their elbows on the desk or table? What’s happening is that  trust is increasing. He or she is ready to come to an agreement. It’s time to review the financial details of exactly what needs to happen for them to drive away in that vehicle they enjoyed so much on the lot or test drive.

If they suddenly sit back in their chairs or cross their arms, you need to brace for an objection. Sit back yourself, relieve pressure and ask questions about the point you just covered. It could be they don’t like the numbers. It could just be that they don’t understand some of the terminology you just used. It’s so critical that you watch to “hear” what they’re saying.

If the clients are facing you directly and intently following what you’re saying, even if they tilt their heads or touch their chins, they’re with you. They’re taking it all in. When you see these body language cues, don’t change your pacing or abruptly move on to closing. Just smoothly transition to a test closing question directed at the more favorable party, if there are two parties in the decision. For example, you might say, “John, how are you feeling about all of this so far?” If John is excited and is ready to own the vehicle, Mary will either go along with him or try to slow things down with a question or comment. Either way, you’re still in charge and moving toward the sale.

Body language plays a big part in the selling process. By studying and trying to understand people’s emotions through body language, we can help them overcome or work through any areas of concern they may be having, but not expressing verbally. Mastery of body language will help you put more bodies into the vehicles you sell!

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

How do you know when it’s time to start your presentation?

clockHow do you know when it’s time to start your actual sales presentation? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was specific time such as 12 minutes into the conversation? You could set a timer on your phone to vibrate in your pocket when it’s time to move into the presentation. If only it were that simple. But it’s not.

We’re selling our wares to people. And no matter how much scientific knowledge we have about human beings, no two selling situations will be identical. Therefore, we have to feel our way along during some of the stages of the sales process. With experience, you’ll get to where you make the transition intuitively. But until then, it’s wise to use a mental checklist of what needs to be accomplished before you’ll have enough information to proceed.

Here’s a list of what I recommend. It’s time to move into your presentation when:

  1. You’ve established a comfortable level of rapport with the potential clients. This could happen quickly in retail situations. It could take up the whole initial visit if you’re selling high-end products.
  2. Your buyers have told you about their basic needs regarding your product.
  3. You have discovered that you’re speaking with people who can make ownership decisions.
  4. The funds are available for a purchase to be made today.
  5. You know which your buyers are most concerned about: value or price.

The last four items above are all part of an effective qualifying process. If you’re in doubt about how ask for that information without seeming abrupt or pushy, you’ll want to read chapter 8 of When Buyers Say No. The information you’ll have gained when all five of those things have been accomplished will tell you how you might need to adjust your presentation, or your product offering, and what negotiation points to expect to use when it’s time to close the sale.

If you jump into your presentation before gaining this knowledge you may end up presenting a product or solution that’s just not right for the buyer.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

Buying is Not a Spectator Sport

Operating their mouths at high speed, some salespeople put on amazing demonstrations. They flip levers, punch buttons, zip stuff around. And out of the machines they’re demonstrating come a flood of perfect parts, data, copies, or whatever. But they don’t sell much with these superb performances.

Why not? Because apathy rushes in where involvement fails to tread. [Read more…]