Listening to a customer with both the ears and the eyes will lend a hint as to what that customer is really thinking or feeling. Nonverbal communication is considered one of the most significant forms of communicating. Facial expressions, gestures, and body language are important factors in nonverbal cues. Learning to recognize what the client’s eyes say can make or break a sale.

Nonverbal Body Language

Nonverbal communication is sending and receiving messages that are on the visual side versus the spoken side of communicating. Nonverbal cues can be made through gesture, touch, body language, facial expressions, clothing, hairstyles, or voice pitch and quality.

For those working is sales, marketing or business management, positive nonverbal body language, according to Entrepreneur Magazine can be indicated with a brief touch of the hand which indicates building a relationship or placing the hand under a chin indicates a person is trying to make a decision.

Negative body language is often indicated by crossing the arms, a nose rub which is linked to deception, feet pointed toward the door indicating the person is done with a discussion, or one of the most common- invading one’s personal space by getting physically too close to a person.

Facial expressions are generally emotional indicators and can last only a small amount of time but can give great insight into what a person is truly thinking.

Nonverbal Trumps Verbal

The website for Performance Learning Systems which provides training for teachers and educators, quoted a nonverbal expert, Patrick W. Miller who said that if there is a difference between verbal and nonverbal communications, “nonverbal will win hands down.” Glenn Ebersole, a strategic thinking business coach, wrote that “nonverbal behaviors make up a large percentage of our daily interpersonal communication.” Regardless of the type of business one is in, reading nonverbal communications is vital to successfully enhancing one’s own communications skills.

Nonverbal Communications is Two-Way Communications

While learning to recognize nonverbal cues from customers and clients is critical to the entire sales, marketing, and communications process, it is also critical to remember that communications is a two-way process. Professionals working with customers will want to learn to keep their nonverbal communications in check.

Reading Nonverbal Language

Ebersole recommended several ways to reading nonverbal behaviors including training oneself to look for the nonverbal communications that don’t necessarily match the person’s words, keeping appropriate eye contact, and becoming a lifelong learner on learning to recognize and interpret nonverbal communications.

Listening to what the customer says is important but watching and picking up on how the customer reacts with nonverbal communications is just one more way to enhance the sales process.