Until the entire sales meeting or process is not entirely complete, you might catch the customer shifting into the negative zone at some point in time. If you definitely observe the customer displaying congruent signals indicating the same, it is good to be able to spot these. You can then help the customer transform from being totally shut off from the ideas you are willing to offer to hearing you out with an open mind.
- If at the beginning of the meeting the customer is in a closed or defensive position, he will have his arms closed and eyebrows frowning or ankles locked, creating barriers between himself and you. Or he may sit leaning back heavily, trying to be as far away from you as possible. It is important to have him attain a more open position as unconsciously he is unwilling to accept your proposition. There are a few ways to get the customer to open up. One of them is to offer your greeting card to the customer. He will “uncross” himself to accept the same, hence helping your case.
- If the closed position is taken during talk, recall the last discussed point. He probably has an issue with that. You can gently question the customer if he would like to discuss the same in more detail or yourself offer some more clarifications on the issue. For example if you are negotiating the terms of a service contract. There is a condition which you have added under which the contract will be valid. Upon discussing that point, suddenly the customer leans back and folds his arms. You know what troubled him. You need to either renegotiate the condition or offer him more freebies to counter the hostility towards the condition mentioned.
- The feet of any person are a good indicator of his state of mind since people try and control their hand movements but often forget about the feet. The direction that shoes or feet are to is where the customer would rather be in. If this direction is towards the door, you need to engage the customer more. You can try the mirroring technique to get the customer interested once again.
- If customer looking around too much then he is not interested in the product or discussion. Once again you can use mirroring to engage the customer.
- Touching the face too often
In the above picture you can see a couple meeting with a sales person, probably ready to buy a new car. It is the beginning of the meeting and both the male and the female are sitting in an open position. The salesman is explaining features that come loaded with the car and the payment terms.
At some point in the discussion, possibly the time limit by which the payment has to be made, even though the couple is smiling, both of them have individually acquired a closed position. The salesman, guaging this, lets go of this notes and uses open arms to invite a negotiation of the payment conditions.