The more I talk with furniture retailers across the United States, the more I realize there is a universal reason salespeople don’t close sales…it’s because they lack confidence. There are 3 real things a salesperson could lack confidence in…

  • The customer’s willingness to purchase
  • The product solution they have presented
  • Their own ability to make a close

In this post, I want to focus on the first bullet – the customer’s willingness to purchase. Trust me, I have been there before. You ask the right questions, you show the right product, but, you aren’t sure that the customer is on the same page. We have all had customers that aren’t very talkative or don’t show strong emotional reactions to a presentation or product.

The trick to closing is encouraging and recognizing buying signals. What is a buying signal? Buying signals are signs or clues that your customer is ready to purchase.

There are many ways you can encourage a buying signal. You can encourage a buying signal by asking a question that gets your customer to visualize themselves using the product. Here are a couple of examples:

  • “Is this a recliner you can see yourself enjoying?”
  • “Can you just imagine what a wonderful night’s sleep you’d have on this mattress?”

There are two types of buying signals, verbal and non-verbal. It’s vital that you learn to recognize them during the sales process whether they have been encouraged or not.

Verbal buying signals are statements or questions from a customer expressing a desire to purchase. Verbal buying signals are often said in statements like:

  • “Yes. It’s so beautiful and this fabric is so soft.”
  • “I like the desk. Will it be going on sales soon?”

The second example may not seem like a strong buying signal…but it is! It shows that the customer has accepted the salesperson’s solution and that they want to save more money with the purchase.

Non-verbal buying signals are much more subtle than verbal ones. They are noticeable in facial expressions and body language. Some non-verbal signals include:

  • A content look
  • Repeatedly looking at a piece of furniture
  • Stroking the fabric on a product
  • An enthusiastic look
  • Smiling happily

When customers are ready to buy, they’ll let you know. You just have to pay attention. If your customer hasn’t given a buying signal then you need to encourage one. Customers will be waiting for you to initiate the close, so don’t be afraid to go for it when they give one of these crucial signals. The signals you see and encourage will give you confidence to make the close.

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