A few years ago, I put my car up for sale with a “For Sale” sign on the back window and an ad on Craigslist, I had sold things through classified ads before but this time was different.
In all the previous instances I couldn’t tell nervousness from excitement and I wouldn’t have known what a lack of interest looked like if it stood up and bit me between the eyes. Then there was a game-changer - I learned to read people’s body language.
My first customer was a difficult man, every time we reached a point in the negotiation where I thought he was about to write out a check he would suddenly back out and then start in again with a different angle.
I went along with him for about 20 minutes until he tried to convince me: “I don’t even like this car that much and there are lots of others I can go look at”. While he tried to convince me of his lack of interest he has his right hand placed palm down and firmly on the roof of “his” car and his eyes looking up and down the hood. His mouth said – “not interested”, his hand said “this is mine” and his eyes said “I like what I see”. That’s when I knew it was time to call him on his ridiculous bluff so I said “all right then – good luck” as I made my way to the front door of the house. Ten minutes later I walked away again, this time with a check for $13,000
Even experienced sales people get caught up in words but if you’re looking for truth, body language always trumps words.
Tip for Realtors: Notice when a client caresses a wall or holds onto something a bit too long and pay attention to couples showing affection while looking at a house, they are showing strong signs of attachment.