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Sales Conversations From Behind The Screen: How To Read Nonverbal Cues


Sales conversations have changed in many ways over the years. Perhaps no change has been bigger than the move away from face-to-face dialogue to digital interaction. With such a shift in how you communicate with your prospects, you’re losing valuable “data” that you would’ve picked up had you met in person. 

Sales relationship building is incredibly dependent on reading body language, tone and other nonverbal signals. But from behind your computer screen you don’t see if your prospects are sitting up in their chairs, making eye contact and nodding at points that resonate with them. Whether you’ve realized it before, these cues tell you more about what your prospects are thinking than the words that come out of their mouths. Since you don’t have access to such information nearly as often these days, it’s imperative that you learn how to gather intelligence from digital “body language.” The underlying question to ask is this: Are my prospects engaged with my content? 

Because sales conversations occur over email, on social media, in the blogosphere and beyond, there are several different ways to determine if your prospects are engaging with what you provide: 

  • Speed of responsiveness is a great indicator for how captivated prospects are with your sales assets. The speed in which a prospect responds to an email is very telling. While a slow response might simply mean they’re busy, the faster a prospect gets back to you, the more likely they’re ready to close. On the flipside, a lack of response is a red flag. A sales content platform helps you determine if prospects even opened your emails. If they haven’t, they’re about as disengaged as possible. 
  • A request for more content is always a good sign. It may not mean the prospect is close to an agreement, but they valued what you initially provided them enough to request more information. Whether you’re educating them or helping them form a decision, you’re positioning yourself as a credible voice and worthwhile consideration. 
  • Are prospects asking insightful questions? What they’re asking tells you a lot about how well they comprehend the information you provided. A thoughtful question is a good indicator of engagement and that you’ve successfully communicated with your prospect. 
  • A customer referral to one of their contacts is a tremendous sign that they’re engaged with what you’re offering and value your solutions to the point that they’re willing to present you with new leads. These customer relationships are the model and the best asset to starting lucrative sales conversations. 

What’s the key to encouraging engagement? For starters, be engaged with your prospects and their interests to help build reciprocal relationships. Retweet or “like” their content, comment on their blogs when they’ve done the same with your media. Should you come across an article that’s valuable to them, send it. 

Also, show your prospect that you understand their interests and needs. The more you prove this, the stronger your relationship becomes. 

The Tellwise Nutshell (TTN): It’s more challenging to read prospects with the prevalence of digital communication and lack of nonverbal “data.” However, there are ways to gain insight into their thinking, even from behind your computer screen. Become more aware of your prospects’ mindsets by noting how quickly they respond to your emails or assets, if they request more content and what the nature of their questions is. The more you know, the better you’re able to sell. 

Learn how a personalized sales collaboration platform helps you gain valuable insight into your prospects.

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