Marketing / Sales strategies

Do you recognise buying signals?

Now I don't want to cause alarm, but to put this article about recognising buying signals in context I need to tell you that I started my working career as a used car salesman.


Trust me, I was honest. No really. 

While this was quite some time ago (Stevie Wonder cleaned up at the Grammy Awards that year), I learned some skills that continue to serve me well. One was to always be aware of buying signals. 

Buying signals are signs that may just indicate your prospect is close to making a purchase. Here are some classic examples which may help you recognise buying signals when they come your way:

"When the talk shifts to start times and program duration you're pretty well home and hosed and the magic words "What do we do next?" is a good indication the sale is in the bag!"

Visualising language abounds

In the car business this came across with phrases like: “I wonder what my neighbours will make of the colour?” or “I can just see the kids in the back.”

Going over things more than once

This may be repeating something that’s just been discussed or getting you to go over precisely how your fees are charged. “Can you break down exactly how much it was again, including all costs?”

Nudging your boundaries

Questions that challenge aspects of your procedures often indicate pre-sale playfulness. “You asked for a deposit of $2000. Would you accept $1000?”

The cheesy salesman’s response would be “If I did, would you take delivery on Thursday?”

Want more articles like this? Check out the sales strategies section.

Almost all references to money

If your prospect tells you it’s too much, surprisingly this often indicates a near-readiness to buy…subject to some more convincing on the basis of value.

Your response to questions of this kind may be something like “If my involvement resulted in a three-fold increase to your bottom line, would that be good value?”

Questions about timing

When the talk shifts to start times and program duration you’re pretty well home and hosed and the magic words “What do we do next?” is a good indication the sale is in the bag!

So what do you make of this and what buying signals do you have to share? Spill the beans below.

Robert Gerrish

is the founder of Flying Solo and helps soloists stay upbeat and energised. He’s recently published The 1-Minute Commute, is a presenter and facilitator and works one-on-one with those needing a refresh. Find out more about his skills and services and his Olympus Trip 35 camera side hustle or connect on LinkedIn.


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