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6 Sales Tips to Hone Your Listening Skills and Read Your Prospect's Body Language

Updated: May 2, 2022

When it comes to sales, your prospect is the key-and listening to what they have to tell you can significantly improve your ability to make sales or prevent you from wasting time with a prospect who won't ultimately make a purchase. Check out these tips to help improve your understanding of what your prospects really want from you as a salesperson..

Tip #1: Watch the Eyes

Your prospect's eyes will give you a solid idea of what they're thinking about throughout the entire sales process. Where are your prospects looking? If they're looking at you, they are likely engaged in what you have to say. On the other hand, if they are looking at the product or the paperwork, they may have other concerns. Learn to gauge what your prospect is paying attention to and shift your sales presentation accordingly.

Tip #2: Look at the Feet

While the eyes will tell you what your prospect is really paying attention to, a look at the feet will tell you how they're responding to you. Are the feet pointing toward you? If so, they're likely open to what you have to say and listening to the conversation. On the other hand, if your prospect's feet are pointing the opposite direction, you may find that they aren't engaged with your presentation at all--and it may be time to move on.

Tip #3: Examine the Face

Facial expressions will tell you a great deal about what your prospect is thinking. Are they agreeing with you? You'll see smiles, nods, and an open facial expression. On the other hand, if your prospect has lowered eyebrows, facial tension, or a tight jaw, they may disagree with what you have to say--and that means you probably aren't winning any bonus points.

Tip #4: Pay Attention to the Questions

Your prospect will tell you what they're most concerned about or how they need your product to fit their needs, but you have to listen to them. Listen to the questions your prospect is asking. What are they focusing on? What element of the product is the most useful to them? You'll hear their interest as they ask more questions. What are they most worried about as they consider this product? Their questions will tell you that, too. By carefully listening to your prospect, you can tailor your strategy to soothe their fears and make your sale.

Tip #5: Give Your Prospect Time to Talk

One of the most vital skills you will learn as a salesperson is when to stop talking. You need to let your prospect talk, too. They'll tell you what you need to know to help close the sale--but in order to discover that key information, you have to listen! A little silence can go a long way toward encouraging your prospect to share information. Ask open-ended questions that encourage them to share. You'll be much more likely to get that vitally-needed information that will help you close the sale.

Tip #6: Check the Torso

Look at how your prospect moves during your discussion. If they are in agreement with you, they will tend to stand in an open position and mirror your movements. On the other hand, if things aren't going well, you will lose that mirroring--and they will probably face away from you, hunch in, or grow rigid.

Tip #7: Be Aware of Fidgeting

Fidgeting can indicate boredom or distraction in your prospect--which is something that you want to avoid. While some people fidget naturally, you should be wary of a person who suddenly begins fidgeting with items on your desk. An engaged prospect will often set those fidget items aside to pay more attention to your presentation.

Do you need more help developing the right sales strategy and learning how body language can impact your interactions with your customers? Contact us today to learn how we can help.


Alexanne Stone has been a certified trainer in Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) since 1991. With 30 years of clients, certification trainings, and personal and professional growth, Alexanne's greatest joy is watching someone else step into your own greatness. Along with NLP came the in-depth study of body language. Through workshops, public speaking, podcasts, blogs and any other way she can think of, Alexanne's focus is to share this information with anyone who is open to know more about themselves and their ability to transform both personally and professionally.

A decorated U.S. Air Force Vietnam-era veteran, Alexanne lives in Reno, Nevada, with her husband Tim Tarvin.

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