Buying Signals

buying signalsThe ability of a salesperson to identify buying signals is an important skill, yet they are often missed. Positive signs that the customer is interested in buying need to be acted upon as they give the salesperson the opportunity to gain commitment and close a sale.

There are three types of buying signals which are questions, statements, and non-verbal signals.

Buying signals in the form of questions are ones that indicate that the customer is giving serious consideration. For example if the customer is asking about delivery timescales, it indicates that they are interested in buying, however they are now thinking about how long they might have to wait.

Another example question that is a buying signal is when the customer is asking about the price. However in this situation they might not be yet fully convinced that it is worth paying the price and therefore there might be more selling required to close the sale.

A further example is when the customer asks to clarify certain details such as specification. This often involves going back over some information that you have previously covered. Lastly, when they are looking for reassurance such as asking “which option do you think is most suitable?” or “do you think it will work well in our situation?” such questions indicate the customer is serious and is thinking of buying.

The customer may also make a statement that indicates they are seriously considering purchasing. They might say something that shows they are thinking about owning the product or service such as “I will be able to process items more quickly using this system.” Any verbal agreements they make such as repeating or reinforcing your statements are also buying signals. Some customers indicate their readiness to buy by using possession language such as “I think the machine should be installed by the entrance.” They may also make positive noises such as “aha”, “ok”, ”right,” “yes,” or affirmative statements such as “really” or “that’s what I need.” Going over things more than once is a buying signal as is debating the options available.

Typical non-verbal physical signals include: facial expressions that imply approval such as nodding, an open body posture. Sometimes there is a change in posture for example leaning forward which is often a sign of interest. Thinking and / or evaluation gestures such as chin stroking, forehead rubbing, head scratching may also be observed. When a customer is deep in thought they can often place an object in their mouth such as a pen or their glasses. If they are deep in thought, this shows they are taking the matter seriously. Another positive non-verbal sign is showing interest with eyes wide open, pupils dilating which indicates attraction, and head tilting which indicates intrigue. All of these buying signals are an opportunity for a salesperson to attempt a trial close and progress the sales process.