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5 In-Person Buying Signals



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

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by Mary-Rose Hoja in EPE, Sales

Continuing on with our series on buying signals, today we’re going to talk about five buying signals to watch for during in-person meetings.

Even if initial meetings are done over the net or over the phone, a lot of the actual closing process for eight-figure B2B businesses is done in person. Generally at some stage during the sales pipeline and the sales process, you will have an in-person meeting. 

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

Here is where you’ll see the key pieces of pheromones and feeling each other out, to see if it’s a good fit or not, and understanding the code, dynamics, and buying signals in in-person meetings is absolutely critical for you to build a phenomenal sales pipeline moving backwards from the point of sale.

You can hide quite a lot in the digital space, but when you’re actually sitting with somebody, there are all kinds of second degree signals and silent communication that you just can’t help showing.  

In terms of understanding who your prospect is and what is going on in their head, there really is no replacement for in-person meetings. When viewed through the lens of psychology, you just can’t hide what you’re actually feeling. It’s really important for you and your team to understand how to be attuned to buying  – and non-buying – signals.

Sitting down face-to-face is so key to really understand your own sales process. You can see exactly what gets the fire in the eyes of your prospects, and where the zone-off points are with them. In the digital space, you just can’t see that in the same way as when you’re sitting and having a human to human interaction.

In order to develop your digital marketing and your LinkedIn presence, it is critical to get in front of the people you’re wanting to do business with in order to study them, and then implement what you find out from that in-person vibe and dynamic.

Buying Signal #1 – Room Dynamics

This is about who sits where. Do they know exactly why they’re there? Why this meeting? Why now? What do we all want to get out of it?

These questions are important to understand and to gauge at the very beginning of any kind of in-person meeting. For eight figure B2B businesses, even if initial meetings are done over digital channels or the phone, the actual physical in-person meeting can often be where the close takes place.

A really great case study of this is when we were giving a pitch to a global client. We positioned ourselves very carefully in the room and, because we took the lead, we actually showed the prospect where to sit. 

We found out some really important things from this meeting, such as who is the boss and who is the leader.  From this seating arrangement, we could very quickly gauge when that leader was zoning out so we could reign them back in quickly by establishing the point where we saw fire in their eyes. We were able to close that deal very quickly. 

Buying Signal #2 – Recognizing Body Language

Watch for body language between the people you are meeting with. Examples of this include:

  • How they’re looking to each other
  • What their mouths are doing
  • Are they leaning away from each other or leaning into each other?

In the case study I mentioned above, you could see very clearly that the contact person (who is actually the boss) was looking very sideways to the person they had called into the room with us and was steadily looking more nervous. This told us very quickly that the boss was not the leader, and that the person sitting beside us, the COO, was actually the leader. 

Buying Signal #3 – What Brings Fire in the Eyes

Some great indicators that things are going well are when your prospects lean forward, really look at you, or look at each other when you’re saying something. Lots of smiling and lots of writing is also very positive.

This is one of our most popular slides when giving talks to commercial teams, and it’s called a conversation curve. You’ll notice it’s actually the same curve as an investment curve. You can see that you  need to enter your pitch very steadily, and there will be a peak when you have them. You then need to exit, segue into your close, and make your offer very quickly as you have lost control of your sales process and are losing your prospect quickly at that point.

Buying Signal #4 – Watch For Drop Offs

Where are your prospects dropping off? 

For example, if the person you are talking to crosses their arms and taps their fingers, this is a drop off signal indicating impatience. If you see this signal in a sales process, you’re in trouble and need to reign that in ASAP. 

Look for indicators such as tapping fingers and people staring out the window. Know when to change gears. I have seen so many presenters drone on and on without any understanding of how their presentation is being received by the key decision maker in the room. 

If you see tapping of the fingers, one tactic that is very successful is to shut your computer and whole hand stop your team pitch, whole-hand point at the leader (whom you have identified earlier on in the meeting) and say, “Okay, Joe, tell me, what is on your table right now?”

What we often have witnessed is that this person has been waiting to be seen. They’re cranky with something else that’s going on in the process, and they’re actually quite irritable. But the minute all of the spotlight is on them and they feel seen, everything comes out. 

Buying Signal #5 – The Non-Decision Maker Leaves the Room

When your contact, or non-decision maker, leaves the room, they have set the stage and transferred the work to you and the decision maker. All that’s left is to formalize the close. 

These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to buying signals and in-person meetings. If you’d like to know more about this, please send us a private message. I’d love to talk to you more about it.  

We do a lot of whiteboard work on this, as it’s like a game plan before a sports match. You’re anticipating the next two or three moves, and you can predict the outcome. So much fascinating psychology around this.

Next week, we are going all in on buying signals on the phone and in video meetings, as this is where a lot of your initial selling can actually be done! 

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