What if you could tell whether a prospective customer is going to buy something just by looking at them? Some buying signals are clearer than others: the customer at the cash register is going to make a purchase. The customer walking out the door isn’t going to buy. But what about the customer who is picking up the watch, putting it back down, and picking it up again? What decision will that customer make?
The reality is, recognizing buying signals is like a secret language with potential for misinterpretation. As a business owner or as a salesperson, the last thing you want to do is miss a signal and lose a sale. So how can you improve your ability to recognize buying signals and make more sales?
Here’s a true story about what you shouldn’t do as a salesperson. I was in a store in Hong Kong, looking for a wealth trigger to put into my office. I like to collect wealth triggers, items that I would associate with money and prosperity when I look at them.
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 about what I was going to buy. 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 left the store. Although my intention was to return later, in the end, I didn’t have time to return and make the purchase. The salesperson actually talked me out of the sale because he didn’t recognize the buying signals.
How can you avoid making the same mistake? The next time you have a prospective customer, pay close attention to their nonverbal cues and gestures, and listen closely to what they say. Look for these five buying signals which I’ll share with you.
Watch this video about the five buying signals.
Signal 1: Nodding Their Head or Touching the Product
When deciding if a prospect wants to buy, 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 buying signals.
If you’re explaining your product, asking questions, or demonstrating the product, and they’re saying, “Hmm. Interesting. Let me see that,” that’s a buying signal. They want to know more about your product.
If your prospect is looking at the merchandise, playing with it and touching it, that is another buying signal. They are imagining what it’s like to own your product and use it.
If the prospect is not interested in the product, they would just say, “Okay.” They want to end the conversation and walk away.
Signal 2: Asking About a Specific Product
If the prospect is asking specific questions about the product, they are giving you buying signals. 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
A strong buying signal is the prospect will make 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 sign. They are already visualizing the sofa in their home when they are talking about your product as if it is theirs.A strong buying signal is the prospect will make statements about what life would be like after they own the item. Click To Tweet
Buying signals can also be more indirect. If the CEO says, “I’m going to send four of my managers to this training,” that’s a signal. They haven’t said that they are going to buy, but they are already imagining the logistics when they send their staff to take the course.
Another sign is discussing how the prospect would feel after making a purchase. The prospect is already imagining what will happen after they start using your product. For example, 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.
When your prospective customer makes comments about using your product, or talks about how your product will improve their life, those are signals that they are 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 if they can’t afford the full price.
They may also ask about discounts or about the best price. It’s a sign that they’re interested in your product or service, but they want the best deal possible. These questions about price are all signals that the prospect is ready to reach for their wallet.
However, pricing questions can also be misleading. 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’s a signal that they are going to buy soon.
Signal 5: Asking About Delivery and Start Date
Another buying signal is if your prospect is asking you when or how soon they can start. Any questions about logistics is a sign that they are ready.
For example, they’ll ask how soon something will be delivered to their office or if there is express delivery to their home available. They may want to know how long it will take for a service to be implemented or who they can contact if they have more questions in the future.
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. All of these questions about details are buying signals.
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, it may sound like they are raising 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.When a prospect asks about guarantees and return policies, it may sound like they are raising objections, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they will be bad clients. Click To Tweet
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. For example, they may be asking about your warranty because something they purchased in the past was faulty and troublesome to return. They just want some assurance that they won’t be repeating the same experience.
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. Always listen, observe, and be alert.
I teach salespeople and business owners the newest methods for closing sales. These techniques include getting the prospect to imagine themselves with your product, and how to handle objections from your prospect.
Recognizing buying signals is one method for closing more deals. If you want to learn more strategies to increase your sales, click here.