When a prospect is considering buying from you, they often display buying signals that show their interest. Sometimes, these signals are subtle and require a keen eye to spot them. Other times, they’re pretty hard to miss. To grow your sales and close more deals, you have to be able to pick up on these buying signals quickly and act fast to land the deal. If you don’t, you’re likely to miss your opportunity and miss the sale.
Here are the four main types of indicator that you need to be watching out for if you want to master the art of reading buying signals.
Positive body language
We’re starting the list with the subtlest kind of buying signals, because these are the easiest to miss. They’re the small, non-verbal gestures that indicate a positive reception to your sales pitch. If you can train yourself to pick up on body language cues, you give yourself the best chance at converting your prospect into a customer.
This list is not exhaustive, but will give you an idea of the kind of behaviour you need to be looking out for:
- Head nodding
- Moving closer/Sitting on the edge of their chair
- Leaning forward
- Open arms/hands
- Hand-to-face gestures
- Removing or peering over glasses
- Unbuttoning/removing jacket
- Mirroring of your body language
- Wandering/pacing around the room
These kinds of behaviours demonstrate a prospect is genuinely considering your proposal and is open to the idea of making a deal. They signify an open attitude, which is a good sign. If you see these buying signals, you know that your pitch is working and that you can start to move towards closing the sale.
Quite often, salespeople mistake objections as being a sign of a prospect’s lack of interest, or their dismissal of their product. In fact, the reality is that objections are also common buying signals. When a prospect makes an objection, it’s safe to assume that they’re interested but they have some concerns about one or more aspects of the purchase.
The way you handle prospect objections can totally change the outcome of this situation. A good salesperson will satisfy their prospect’s objections and close a sale, whereas a poorer salesperson may be disheartened at the objections and end their sales pitch early.
For example, if a prospect says to you: “Your product is too expensive for me”, this doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t interested in buying it. You have two options: 1) Accept that they won’t pay your price and quit, or 2) Ask them questions to uncover their concerns, such as “How much is your budget?” or remind them of the value of your product by telling them: “The best products are often a bit more expensive.” There are plenty of responses to these kinds of objections, so don’t quit too early.
The key is to provide the necessary information a prospect needs in order to feel convinced that your product is the right one for them. This is the time to dial back the hard sell and focus on meeting your client’s needs. If you can do that effectively, you’re likely to seal the deal.
A strong indicator of a prospect’s interest is them asking you questions. This shows they want to know more about how your product or service can meet their needs and requirements. Keep an ear out for questions about factors such as:
- Specific products/models/types of service
- Start of service/delivery date
- Mode of payment
- Your company
Although such questions may not sound positive at first, they show that the prospect is considering your product but just needs more information in order to make their final decision. Smart salespeople will answer these questions as effectively as possible, e.g. they’ll answer “When is the delivery date?” with “When do you need it?” in order to maximise their chances of converting their prospect.
Before you say that ‘saying yes’ is not a buying signal, hear us out. Yes, it’s the most obvious buying signal, but a surprising number of salespeople end up talking past the sale rather than closing at the right time. They become stuck in pitching mode and forget that a positive response means that they’ve done their job.
Once you hear anything that even remotely resembles a yes, whether it be “…okay, then.” or “This sounds good to me.”, then don’t waste any more time. You don’t need to keep trying to convince the customer because they’ve already agreed to buy.
The most important thing is to know when to ask for an order to conclude the deal.
One last thing to remember
Don’t forget to watch out for conflicting buying signals from your prospects. You might find that they say that they aren’t really interested in your product right now, but they may also be displaying positive body language and asking questions. This can happen when the prospect is feeling confused, or if they are interested in your product but there are concerns holding them back.
Some buyers are shrewd enough to not display buying signals even when they’re very interested. They do this in order to secure the best price/deal possible. Make sure you read subtle gestures and don’t give the sale away.
This kind of prospect is not a lost cause, and with the right-timed information and answers, you may be able to convert them into customers, too.
Did you find this advice useful? What other buying signals do you look out for? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!