If a customer walks up to the cash register, wallet in one hand and a store item in the other, it’s pretty clear what he or she intends to do. But if your customer is just looking at the item on the shelf, you need to think fast and say the right thing or you could lose a potential sale.
Recognizing buying signals seems to be a secret language with so much potential for miscommunication. How can you recognize buying signals and increase your chances at closing a sale?
Here’s a true story about what you shouldn’t do. I was in a store in Hong Kong, looking for a wealth trigger to put into my office.
(A wealth trigger is an item that makes me think of riches, like a photo of a luxury car, an expensive pen, or gold ornaments.)
While I was browsing around the store, I found something I liked, and I was ready to buy it. The salesperson noticed my interest, took it from me, and started talking. I tried to signal him that I was ready to pay, but he kept talking in an attempt to sell me what I already wanted.
I was in a rush to get to a meeting, so I thought I would go back to get it later. In the end, I didn’t. I left the store and actually I didn’t have time to return and make the purchase. The salesperson actually talked me out of the sale.
If he had recognized the buying signals, he would have made the sale!
So what are some of the ways you can recognize buying signals? I have five signals to share with you.
Watch this video about the five buying signals.
Signal 1: Nodding their head or touching the product
When you’re explaining the product, asking questions, or demonstrating the product, and they’re saying, “Hmm. Interesting,” that’s a buying signal.
If your prospect is looking at the merchandise, playing with it, touching it, that is another buying signal. If the prospect is not interested in the product, they would just say, “Okay.” But if they say, “Let me see that. Interesting.” That’s a buying signal.
Study their body language. If they are nodding, leaning closer to see the product better, looking more relaxed, or sounding increasingly excited, those are good signs.
Signal 2: Asking about a specific product
If the prospect is asking specific questions about the product, they are signalling they want to buy. Questions they may ask include:
- What sizes do you have?
- Does it come in blue?
- How many do you have available?
- Do a lot of your customers use this feature?
These questions indicate interest.
Signal 3: Using possessive statements
The prospect makes statements about what life would be like after they own the item. If a couple walks into a furniture store and they say, “This would look very good in our living room,” that’s a buying signal. They are already visualizing the sofa in their home.
If the CEO says, “I’m going to send four of my managers to this training,” that’s a buying signal. They haven’t said that they are going to buy, but they are already imagining the logistics after they buy.
Discussing how they would feel after a purchase means the prospect is already imagining what will happen after they start using your product. If a company employee walks into your store and says to her coworker, “This software would make our life so much easier,” she’s already visualizing the product as if she owns it.
These possessive statements are all signals that the prospect is going to buy.
Signal 4: Questions about price
When the prospect is asking about price, it’s a signal that they are ready to make a purchase. The most common way to ask is, “How much is it?”
Sometimes they’ll say, “Do you have financing available?” They’re thinking about how they can make it work.
Maybe they will ask about discounts or about the best price. These questions about price are all signals that the prospect is ready to reach for their wallet.
Pricing questions can be misleading, however. If they ask about pricing and discounts at the very start of the conversation, they might be more concerned about cost than the value of what they are buying. If they ask about price after asking many other questions about the product’s value, then it might be a signal that they are going to buy soon.
Signal 5: Asking about delivery and start date
When your prospect is asking you when or how soon they can start, that is a buying signal. Any questions about logistics is a sign that they are ready.
Maybe they’ll ask how soon something will be delivered to their office. If there is express delivery to their home available. They may want to know how long it will take for something to be implemented.
A prospect that isn’t ready to buy won’t be interested in details. They won’t care about information on shipping or how they can contact support if there is a problem.
Signal 6: Asking risk minimization questions
Here’s a bonus signal for how you can tell if your prospect is ready to buy.
Prospects may ask risk minimization questions based on their fears.
That’s when they ask questions like, “What’s your return policy?” or “How long is the warranty?” or “How soon can you get back to me?” All of these are buying signals but the prospect is concerned.
When a prospect asks about guarantees and return policies, they may sound like objections, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they will be bad clients. It has nothing to do with your products and services. They may have had a bad experience in the past.
In this scenario, if you can make them comfortable and at ease, they will buy. If your products and services are good and you over deliver, they will become loyal customers.
Those are six buying signals. Maybe you didn’t recognize them before and you lost some sales, but from now on, you will recognize them.
And finally, when you know your prospect is ready, they will ask you something like, “Where do we go from here?”
At that point, be prepared to close the sale.
Final Thoughts On 5 Ways to Recognize Buying Signals
Knowing when your customer is ready to buy is sometimes a bit of a delicate dance. You need to be aware of signals that they are giving you about whether or not they are ready to buy.
For example, watch their body language. Listen to the questions they are asking you about the product. Are they talking about your product as if they are picturing themselves with it in their life?
Also, understand that even if the prospect is asking questions that sound like they don’t want to buy, you can put them at ease so they will be more comfortable about buying.
If you want to learn how to close sales, check out my 4 day free training where I show you the high-income skill that I’ve taught to thousands of my students.