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Life Health > Running Your Business

How to read your prospect like a book

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Are you aware that your body language reveals your deepest feelings and hidden thoughts to total strangers?

Top producers recognize the importance of nonverbal communication in the selling process and have learned to “listen with their eyes.” They understand that one of the most effective ways to close sales is to be aware of their prospects’ “buy signals.”

Research indicates over 70 percent of our face-to-face communication is processed nonverbally. In fact, studies show that nonverbal communication has a much greater impact and reliability than the spoken word.

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. Create a favorable first impression and build rapport quickly by using open body language. 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.

Establish harmony by matching and mirroring your prospect’s body language gestures. Matching and mirroring is unconscious mimicry. It is a way of subconsciously telling another that you like them and agree with them. The psychological principle behind matching and mirroring is that people want to do business with salespeople that they believe are similar to them.

You can build trust and rapport by deliberately, but subtly, matching your prospect. For example, if you notice that your prospect is crossing his or her arms, subtly cross your arms to match them. After you believe you have developed trust and rapport, you can verify it by unfolding your arms into an open gesture and see if your prospect will follow suit. If they do, congratulations, this indicates that trust and rapport has been established. Conversely, if your prospect doesn’t follow your lead, trust and rapport has not been developed and you need to continue matching and mirroring them.

As a professional salesperson you must continuously monitor your prospect’s body language and adjust your presentation accordingly. By understanding your prospect’s gestures you will minimize perceived sales pressure and know when it’ appropriate to close the sale.

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