Customers often say one thing and mean something entirely different — and expect you to satisfy some unsaid need. Fortunately, you can read intent in body language. Here’s what to look for.
Often, gestures speak much louder than words. While it’s important to always listen closely to customers — and colleagues, for that matter — you should also pay attention to their actions and reactions, according to recent research.
Then, if something doesn’t seem on the up-and-up, ask more questions to clarify the person’s intent.
When people genuinely smile, they get crinkles around their eyes (almost regardless of age). If they’re faking a smile – perhaps to appease you even though they disagree — they won’t get those crinkles
If you doubt sincere happiness, gauge it. Ask, “On a scale of one to 10, how pleased are you with this solution?”
People’s voices rise and fall as they get interested in or excited about something. Men might drop an octave, and women may take on a sing-songy voice.
When you notice the changes in infliction, it’s probably a good time to gain commitment to a sale.
When customers raise their eyebrows, it could mean one of several things — but they’re all related to some level of discomfort. When the eyebrows go up, customers might be worried, surprised or fearful, even if they say they’re “OK.”
So if you see eyebrows go up, take steps to raise the comfort level. Say something like, “Tell me about the biggest concern you have with this.”
When customers or prospects do the same things as you do, it’s likely good news. People unintentionally mirror others’ body language when things are going well.
Bottom line: The conversation is going in a positive direction, so maintain it.
This form of body language speaks in two degrees. If someone looks into your eyes for an uncomfortably long time, it’s an indication he’s lying (often because he doesn’t want to look shifty eyed). On the other hand, someone who avoids eye contact may not be interested in the conversation.
Try to engage people who either hold the gaze too long or not at all. Say something like, “What do you think about …?”