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Body language and the art of the sale

By Adrian Bo
11 March 2022 | 12 minute read
Adrian Bo reb

I am certain every agent reading this can tell if a buyer is genuinely ready to purchase or at the early stages of their buying journey or perhaps even a suitable fit for another home listed.

Call it intuition, call it experience, or perhaps buyer profiling. Whatever you call it, at the end of the day, it comes down to reading body language. Some say it’s a science. I say it is a handy tool we can harness to give us the edge when it comes to securing a listing, closing a difficult sale or qualifying at what stage buyers are at in their buying journey at open for inspections. 

We all use body language every day. In fact, we use it with every interaction, every day. From our family, clients, friends, and even standing behind someone while in line grabbing our morning coffee. It is essential to how we react to everyone with whom we come in contact and, just as importantly, how they react to us.

Actions speak louder than words, especially when it comes to the complex world of real estate. Understanding what someone’s movements say about their thoughts can help you identify genuine buyers.

You don’t need me to tell you real estate is a sales business and selling is a delicate art. One of the major challenges can be picking up on what people are thinking. 

You must be pretty good at it or you wouldn’t be in the dream-making business, and one thing we do very, very well is making dreams come true. Facilitating a buyer into their new home is arguably the key highlight of their life, as is representing a seller who is moving on to the next stage of their lives.

Some of you may think what I am saying here is darned obvious; others may not have looked at it this way, but I think everyone will benefit by giving it a go.

First of all, take a look in the mirror. Do you radiate confidence and trustworthiness?

Way back in 1936, Dale Carnegie wrote a book called How To Win Friends And Influence People. In it, he had a list of six ways to make people like you. I think they are not so much about “like” but about how people will react to you in a business or social situation.

Here they are:

1. Become genuinely interested in other people.

2. Smile.

3. Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

4. Be a good listener.

5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.

6. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

All great tips. (If you have a few minutes to spare, get hold of the book. It has some terrific life lessons.)

When you are doing all these things, make sure you have eye contact with the people you are talking to. They can see you are interested in them, but more importantly, you will be able to tell if they are taking you seriously and absorbing what you have to say. However, know the difference between eye contact and staring.

The old saying is that the eyes are the window to the soul. I say the eyes are the window to qualifying your next client!  

While on the subject of eyes, if a potential buyer is looking towards a particular feature in a house, take a genuine interest in it and trigger a conversation about its benefits. This will certainly assist in building trust and rapport. Don’t forget to smile. Not a smirk like some politicians but a genuine smile. It is infectious. Try it today. Now, don’t get angry with me, but there will be times you will be talking away to a buyer, and they will glaze over. Believe me, it will happen, and it has happened to me – both ways. You know, the time in a conversation when you can see from the person’s eyes they are no longer taking things in. I’ve seen it, you’ve seen it. You can get back on track by using an old speaker’s tip called “the pause”. 

The pause allows you time to think and the listener to digest what you are saying. It also provides you a few seconds to either change tack or move on. Silence could perhaps be your most noticed point.

It is essential to remember that in every, and I mean every, conversation you have, the people you are speaking to will be watching you every inch of the way. They may not consciously know it, but they will be watching your eyes. They will be watching your body language. We’ve talked about what you should do so I’ll finish on some things to avoid.

1. Too little or no eye contact. You will not come across as a trusted adviser 

2. Covering your mouth

3. Rubbing your eyes

4. Scratching your nose

5. Touching your face

6. Getting too close (or invading someone’s space)

7. Speaking too loudly or too softly

Take all these things on board and you are likely to secure more listings, make more sales and develop a larger database of raving fans.

A final tip from television presenters: practice in a mirror or get someone to videotape you in action. You may be surprised at how others see you.

Adrian Bo is a licensed agent and auctioneer, founder of a sales training academy adrianbo.com and author.

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