Way back in the day, in a pretty good sales course my company paid for, the instructor advised us to be on the lookout for buying signals, and that when they came, be ready to pounce and then close.

Buying Signals:  Little hints from the prospect during the sales process that indicates that the prospect is thinking favorably about your product or service is getting ready to buy.  Something like a favorable comment about a feature or benefit, favorable body language, complaint about a competitor.   Something that indicates they are warming up to a commitment.  It’s time to make the sale.

I think prospects give the same signals today, but I’m doubtful that they are buying signals that are useful to the salesperson.

First off,  the prospect and or customer is in control of the sales process today.  They want to buy, not be sold.  And they like it that way.  Pouncing on the buying signal means they are being sold and being pushed, and sometimes they can take it to mean they are being manipulated.

Second, the prospect already knows most of what they need to know about your product or service.  What they don’t know is how it solves their problem or opportunity.  They might not even know what their problem is, or how extensive it is.

My advice: pay attention to the “buying signals.”  When they come, they are signals to get the customer to dig deeper with you about what their needs really are and what a good outcome might be.  Then if your product or service helps, they can decide to buy.  Or not.  But they won’t feel “sold.”

I’m not a sales expert by any means.  This is just an observation about sales that indicates how things have changed from back in the day.