How to Read the Body Language of Buyers And Sellers
Nonverbal communication, otherwise known as body language, is just as important as the words that are being spoken in a conversation, particularly during a sales meeting or presentation. Professional buyers and sellers know this. They can tell when something is amiss or not right by studying the approach of the vendor or the client as he walks into a room and takes a seat. You don't think it's possible? Read on.
In majority of sales meetings, one party often assumes an "I am going to crush you" attitude; this eventually leads to misunderstanding and premature judgments. Often, nothing good comes out of meetings like this one. If one person starts out with a haughty attitude, the other will likely take a defensive stance and a subliminal battle of wits ensues.
For example: The buyer enters the room briskly, sits back on his chair with some distance from the table, folds his arms over his chest, crosses his legs and then blurts out, "So, what is it you want to discuss?" The seller could respond to this by moving to the edge with his feet in a sprinter's stance and body leaning toward the buyer in a take-charge manner. He might also use his index finger with his hand gesticulations to drive his point across. This response could arouse suspicion on the side of the buyer, who likely hates a hard sell. As a result, the buyer puts up a defensive wall. Now both parties are edgy.
Instead of discussing the product or idea congenially, the seller starts to feel insecure because the buyer does not seem to be listening to him, and is instead trying to find faults in what the seller is saying. This frustration could be the seller’s undoing. He might be compelled to ask no-no sales questions, such as "Don't you understand? What's wrong with you?"
It doesn't take a genius to conclude that nothing good will come out of this situation. In fact, hostile feelings could even be produced and both parties are likely to walk away shaking their heads in annoyance.
But this is just scratching the surface. While the above example might tell you a thing or two about how you and other human beings behave, it does not help you develop the skill of reading gestures and body language at the onset, so that situations like this one can be prevented.
A lot of purchasing agents like to assume an ogre-like attitude with novice salespersons, because it gives them an air of authority and they enjoy watching the novices squirm. These persons are hard to sell to, yes. However, if the salesperson can ask effective questions that address the agent's particular interests and needs, this cool veneer will eventually fade. Conversely, if the agent takes off his glasses and puts it on the table, it means the meeting's over and you need to get out.
If, during the sales pitch, the buyer leans closer and assumes a defensive gesture (like crossing his hands), this means he is not pleased with what you are saying. You can counter this by going back to your original position on the other side of the table and laying off your aggression slightly. There are those types of people who want to always maintain authority and will not appreciate having you over to their side of the fence.
Selling is no easy task. In fact, it can be one of the most unglamorous professions in the world (that depends on your skills and attitude of course) – and not many people regard sales people very highly. You can prevent this impression from taking over you by knowing how to read body language before defensive body language is thrown at you. It's a hard job, but since you're already there, you have to do it – and do it well.
About the Author: Michael Lee is the author of How to be a Red Hot Persuasion Wizard... in 20 days or less, an ebook that reveals mind-altering persuasion techniques on how to tremendously enhance your relationships, create unlimited wealth, and get anything you want...just like magic. Get a sample chapter and highly-stimulating "Get What You Want" advice at: http://www.20daypersuasion.com. He is the Co-Founder of http://www.self-improvement-millionaires.com and is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant.