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Five Ways to Recognize Buying Signals in Video Meetings and on the Phone.



Simple, Cost-Effective Approaches for 8-Figure B2B Businesses

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by Mary-Rose Hoja in EPE, Sales

Since so many of our meetings today take place over a video call or phone call, today we’re going to be talking about strategies to recognize buying signals when using two technologies. Let’s ensure that these sales calls are a success!

When interacting with prospects in this way, it’s really important to remain flexible. You might have a video meeting scheduled in, but the tech gods are not with you and you’re required to quickly switch to the phone (or vice versa).  Remember to be prepared for either scenario so you won’t be thrown off your game. 

Prefer a video version of this post? We’ve got you covered!

Buying Signal #1 – Recognizing Body Language

The phone is great for initial meetings, especially if you’re nervous about phone meetings. You can use the phone or the video meeting and just switch off the webcam.

I personally prefer video meetings because you can bond with your people in an entirely different way. On the phone, you miss the physical component of seeing how they’re holding their body, and, if there’s several people in the room, the dynamic between them.  

These expressions of their body language are key for your buying signal understanding and how to read people.

Buying Signal #2 – Understanding Who is the Boss and Who is the Leader

Video is so great for understanding who is the boss and who is the leader. 

You can close deals on a video meeting – we do this regularly. There’s no need to meet in person.

In our Expert Profit Engine world, we never, ever send a proposal, because then you’re handing over control of your sales process. Their eyes go immediately back to price, and you haven’t had a value discussion yet.  

This is really the reason why you must get the leader on the phone or video meeting, as you have to be understanding what is on their table right now. What is urgent, pervasive, and expensive for them right now. Since they are the decision-maker, the buying signal really has to be coming from them. 

Buying Signal #3 – What Brings the Fire in the Eyes?

This signal is really about conversation dynamics. You want to be on the lookout for the kind of questions they ask and the information they offer.

In our experience, when we have identified a leader in the room and they say something like, “We don’t have a budget for this massive big thing that our contact person has brought you guys in for, but in three weeks’ time, we’re going to be having a meeting of all our country managers and we have to tell them about how we’re going to spend our budget next year”.

Now that is something that is really keeping that person awake at 3 a.m., and it’s something that you’d never have found out if you didn’t have them on the video call.

You want to be doing a lot of listening here and asking, “What else is going on?” That’s when you’ll get your buying signals.

Buying Signal #4 – Where Do They Drop Off?

This is the flip side to buying signal #3.  

You’re looking for impatience, and for what they’re not asking.

If they’re not asking “How will this work in practice?”, if they’re not asking about you, if they’re not asking some key questions that really would be natural to understand, know, and discuss when you’re in the closing phases of the sales process, that’s a key indicator that you’re not at a close position.

If you or your people are giving a pitch and the identified leader in the room is staring out the window or is on their phone, they’re kind of not there anymore and you are losing the pitch.  

That is an awesome negative buying signal for you. You should immediately stop your presentation and switch your energy to the leader and ask them, by name, “What is on your table right now?”

Buying Signal #5 – Use Pauses

In our Expert Profit Engine methodology, we have an amazing sales call formula, which we take prospects through every time we get on a phone call with them. 

There are five very concrete phases that we keep people moving through, and this guides them towards understanding what is urgent, pervasive, and expensive for them. They will begin to understand what are the gradient consequences of not taking action, and you can really get them to a point where you see if this a fit or not.

So in these five concrete phases that you lead prospects through, you use their pauses. Know when to shut up. Knowing when to not say anything is a key sales tactic. 

It’s not about being like a tugboat, trying to pull them into you. In our methodology, we are all about positioning you as the lighthouse. You’re impassive, you can illuminate the rocks on either side for the ships – or prospects – that are coming in to shore. 

You’re illuminating:

  • The reality of their situation and problem
  • The reality of what will happen if they don’t fix that problem, and 
  • The reality of why this will be a great solution for them, and a vision of what that solution would look like.

This lighthouse vs. the tugboat analogy is really what we’re all about, and what inbound marketing is all about.  It’s guiding people toward you rather than you being out there trying to convince, persuade, and push – which is beneath all of us. 

Another great example of someone who really understood how to use their transformative value and how to use pauses in order to get the sale was when we recently had an electrician come to our house.  

One of the lights on our stove panel needed changing. He remarked that he could change it, “but it’s going to cost you a little bit more”. He then just stood there and let me think it through. I’m sure he could almost hear the wheels turning in my mind. I contemplated whether I was going to be “dumsnal”, as we say in Swedish, which is stupid-stingy or stingy to the point where it becomes counterproductive. And, of course, he got the job.

You can see this same effect on the phone and on video meetings. You can hear the cogs working when you make a proposal and someone is thinking about it. You need to allow those pregnant pauses, and it’s a critical part of the sales process.  

Mastering how to use this in a process-driven way will skyrocket your confidence and the level of your deals. 

I would love to hear your experience from buying signals on the phone and in video meetings. Drop them in the comments below!

Mary-Rose Hoja here, where my team and I help eight-figure B2B businesses build cost-effective sales pipelines. If you found this content useful, please leave a comment or share this with someone who you feel will benefit.



Simple, Cost-Effective Approaches for 8-Figure B2B Businesses