Close On The Account:
Tips for Catching Their Non-Verbal Cues (Part I of II)
You’ve done the foot work. You have put together the marketing piece speaking directly to that small business owner in your community, taken calls on it and set the appointments. You have practiced day in and day out your presentation, how you will approach the owner, the questions you are going to ask, and even the inflection of your voice. So you can have the best chance to close the account, get their business, place them on your clientele rosters…
There’s just one thing that you have no clue on. There is no way to get “intel” on it either. What is it? It is the reaction and the responses of he or she you are meeting with. There’s no way to get into their head and be able to take them step by step into the solution that best fits their business… you. Or is there?
Non Verbal SignalsAs only a few can speak one or two languages for others to understand, everyone can communicate something, an idea, or a feeling with just how they hold themselves, by their expressions or their actions during the meeting. As much as they may practice their “poker faces” you will be able to get cues of what they may be thinking right there as you are speaking. Here are a few that you could watch out for.
Windows to Their SoulAs the saying goes, the eyes can have the greatest clues and communication of the person’s intent and interest. Those completely not interested with respond in a stare. Are they looking right at you, do they glance from you and those materials you might have brought to the meeting? The more they look at you, and not at something else within the room will show what’s holding their attention.
Mouth is Moving but No SoundHow someone holds their mouths can also be an indicator for how you may be doing in the meeting. Smiling, frowns, peircing lips, clenched jaw are all signals of what the person may be thinking. Smiling and frowning on occasion are still positive, however if you are seeing the pressing of the lips and the clenching of the jaw, that may signify that you need to stop and clarify some concerns he or she might be having.
Head MovementsHow someone is holding their head is a great signal for you to read. The obvious positive signs of nodding or the tilting of the head to one side while looking at you is also a good sign. Not so good signs are the shaking of the head, the looking down more than up or the looking skyward more than looking at you. Each one of these can give you the cue of interest or non-interest of the business owner.
Body Placement in the ChairHow someone holds themselves: the crossing of the arms usually signifying being closed off; the doodling on the paper in front of them; the crossing of the legs, especially if the cross them close together; the sitting aside in their chair as if they are ready to get up and run. All aren’t signs that you have won them over to doing business with you.
Sitting on the end of their chair; studiously talking notes of what you are presenting; holding the hands on the back of the head with their arms up; back straight, facing forward with legs uncrossed are all positive interest signs you can play off of. Take a moment and think back to the last time you were gathering information to make a decision or if you were just at a presentation for the free food! Notice how you held yourself and how you feel and act when you are interested or disnterested in what is being spoken of.
These are all cues and signals you can use for when you meet with a person, if you want them to stay attentive, communicate to them with your posture, your stance, your eye contact the interest you have in their company and doing business with them. When you portray this, you will notice that those you are meeting with will also join you in the way you are sitting or moving.
You can take these cues and learn from them how you can best read the small business owner when you meet to close the account. Use all that you can to give you the edge in your business.
Next week we will cover the lessons that can be learned from the signals of those we meet with for business either one on one or in groups. Be looking for next week’s edition.
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