Watching your clients’ eye movements is another way to help detect possible deceptions. When sitting in front of a person and looking directly at them from your viewpoint, a typical right-handed person will look up and to the left when asked about something they are to imagine, or when they are thinking of something in the future (the opposite for left-handed people). They will typically look up and to the right when asked about an image from the past. When asked about an auditory sound they may not have heard, typically they will look left. When asked about a sound or conversation from the past, they will typically look right.
If you presented your price and came back a few moments later and asked how the pricing sounded to the client and they looked left, they might not be truthful in their response. In this case, you might want to further question them to determine if there is an actual perceived issue with your price.
If a person is asked a question about recalling a feeling, smell or taste, they will typically look down and to the left. When someone is having internal conversations with themselves, they will typically look down and to the right. Other microgestures in the nose and mouth areas – such as wrinkling one’s nose (not while smiling) or curling one’s mouth – could also be signs of distrust or dishonestly.
Another gesture would be the fake smile. Typically, when we genuinely smile, the muscles of our entire face work. Our foreheads push down and our cheeks and jaw move up. Our eyes become smaller and wrinkle at the sides. A smile given by someone who is just being polite would only move the muscles directly on the sides of the mouth.
Remember during your sales presentations that you are not the only one who might be noticing body language. While you are evaluating what your clients might really be saying, they might be observing and reacting to your gestures at that same time, so be careful what you say – with your body as well as your words!
While there is no 100% foolproof method for gauging a prospect’s honesty, body language cues are one more tool salespeople can use to help understand a client’s interest level – and potential sales objections or concerns. They could help open the door to further questioning and dialogue that will help you continue to be successful in the selling process.
Bryan Reiss, CMKBD, is an award-winning designer who is President of the Mount Pleasant, SC-based Distinctive Design. Reiss, a 15-year veteran of the kitchen and bath industry, is an active member of the Carolina Chapter of the NKBA who specializes in sales innovations and business stabilization.