If you’re a sales professional then you have definitely had a few no-shows even after confirming an appointment the day before; and you probably imagined what it would be like to punch the guy in the nose because you just took two trains into the city and gave up your morning for this appointment. Of course, you quickly drop the image, take a deep breath and leave a polite message with the receptionist.
And then there’s the client who keeps the appointment and welcomes you into their office but isn’t really there at all. They glance at their monitor thinking you won’t notice, they look at the doorway behind you as though they’re expecting someone and they say “aha” and “oh” but they look like they’re somewhere else. Afraid of addressing the issue and suggesting that “perhaps this isn’t the best time” or “let’s meet after you have taken care of (fill in the blank)” we might find ourselves speaking to fill the silence and as a consequence blow the only chance we have with this prospect.
That was me on more than one occasion and then I tried this….
An Executive officer introduced herself to me at a private conference because I was the keynote speaker for the evening and she wanted to know more about what I teach. As you can imagine I was very motivated to connect with her for the big business potential so I brought on my A-game. Shoulders back, head up, big smile, feet apart and entirely focused on listening to her, but then just two minutes into our conversation I noticed her left foot pointing away from me even though she continued to face me. I made a mental note – “nonverbal cue #1” and then a few seconds later there it was – cue #2, her hips started to turn left too. She had just told me loud and clear that she wants to go left and exit our conversation and so I stopped mid-sentence and said “If you need to be somewhere let’s connect again later” and that’s when her jaw dropped. She asked how I knew and then gave a legitimate reason for needing to go all of a sudden.
I explained to her how intention cues work and that because our hips and feet can only take us in the direction that they face it was clear to me that she wanted to go left and that I appreciated that she was being polite and still facing me. She hadn’t even realized that her feet and hips were facing left and was very appreciative that I spared her the awkwardness of having to break a conversation that she had started.
If I didn’t understand her intention I would have continued to talk and her mind would have been elsewhere and the next time we met all she would remember is wanting to escape and that would have killed any chance of future business.
Tip: Stop talking if your client has disengaged, lean slightly forward, make eye contact and ask if they need clarification or if they have concerns.
#sales tips #realtor #sales training #body language