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How To Read Your Prospect’s Mind

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Becoming a mind-reader is a dream for most salespeople. To know what your prospect is thinking, being able to react and guide the conversation in a way that builds rapport really quickly, is actually easier than you might think. Especially if you know what you are looking for.

A few years ago, neuro-scientists and psychologists recognised that humans think and react in certain habitual ways, and they feed that information to others through their language. By that, I mean we encode information into our thought processes, identify the meaning to them and then decode how they are going to communicate that information to others.

People filter that information, normally through the senses. They may visualise things, see them in their mind’s eye, view them from different angles and watch from different perspectives. They could talk to themselves, say things that sound right, discuss ideas in detail at four to six times the pace they could discuss it with others. Or they could have an emotional reaction to something, feel good or bad about it, get to grips with it or lose interest in it.

All these reactions are normal, but some people may have preferences for one or, possibly, two ways of assimilating information. How do you know which one or two a person might be using? How can we, effectively, read their minds?

The answer lies in how they decode that information and communicate it to you.

We can use the terms visual, auditory and kinaesthetic to depict how the person is perceiving and collating information. In order to describe how the person is collating their thoughts, they find descriptive words that depict the mode of thinking. And, as you would expect, the words they choose reflect the thought pattern. If they are thinking visually, they use visually-descriptive words. If the thoughts are auditory, they’ll be reflected in auditory words. The reflection of kinaesthetic thoughts would be in words that include feelings and creative ideas.

How is this proven in reality? Well, if the person is thinking visually, the words they choose may include, “I see what you mean…Let’s take a look at this again…From my perspective….Can you show that to me again?….our future’s bright…”

Auditory thoughts are reflected by words like, “Let’s talk about…..can we discuss….from what you’ve said…..it sounds good to me….we’re in harmony with this….”

Kinaesthetic thoughts are shown be expressions like, “I’ve got a good feeling on this….I’m blowing hot and cold….walk that past me again….what I get from this is….let’s lay the foundation here….”

These, of course, are just examples of what might be said. The point is, how do you respond to them?

Your response should be at the same level as they are thinking. If they speak visually, you respond similarly. And the same with auditory and kinaesthetic.

Your prospect says, “Can you show me that again?” You reply, “Yes, of course, let’s take a look and see what it can do for your company”

Your prospect says, “Can you tell me that again?” You reply, “Yes, of course, let’s discuss it in detail and we can talk about how it can benefit your business”

Your prospect says, “Can you run that past me again?” You reply, “Yes, of course, let’s go through it again and I’m sure you’ll get a good feeling about how this will be good for your business”

I’m sure you get the point. By listening to the words that the prospect uses, you can actually read their mind and determine the processes they are using to compute information. And by reflecting  back those words, you are on the same subliminal wavelength as the prospect and have the chance to read their mind and build solid rapport with them.

Happy selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image by David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

 

Sean McPheat

Hi! I'm the founder and Managing Director of MTD Sales Training - we offer sales training solutions for companies both large and small. I'm blessed to work with 25 of the most talented trainers in the UK....well, I did recruit them! ;-) Today, we've delivered training in over 23 countries to over 2,500 different organisations and 50,000 staff. Our clients include Xerox, Friends Provident, Starbucks, Taylor Wimpey, CISCO, Allianz and Lloyds TSB to name but a few.

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