Article – Nod Your Way to More Information

victor antonio sales trainer atlanta georgia

Victor Antonio, Sales Influence

Any salesperson will tell you that in order to increase your chances of getting the sale you have to know everything about the sale and what’s going in the background. Much like the Wizard of Oz, we as salespeople need to know how the decision is being driven by the people behind the green curtain.

Let’s go back to the premise that the best salespeople are usually the best listeners and analyze more closely why that might be so. We’ve all know that person who was able to squeeze out more information from a prospect and we’re left wondering how.

One study in particular may provide us with a clue of why that might be so. Research conducted on human behavior has revealed that using a head nod encourages the other person to talk. It’s our way of saying, “Go ahead, you’ve got the floor.” It has also been shown that by simply nodding your head in intervals encourage the other person to speak. Another study showed that individuals will talk three to four times longer just by encouraging them with repeated head nods.

Allen Pease in his book, “The Definitive Book of Body Language” took it one step further by putting together a formidable one-two punch for priming and pumping the prospect for more information. “After you’ve asked a question and the listener gives his answer, nod your head during the answer. When he finishes speaking continue to nod your head another five times at the rate of about one nod per second. Usually, by the time you have counted to four, the listener will begin speaking again and give you more information.” To further encourage the prospect to speak, stroke your chin in an evaluative way. This signals the prospect that you are listening intently and would like to hear more.

The psychology of why this works is rooted in need to satiate our ego and validate ourselves to others. When you’re listening intently and agreeing with what the speaker is saying, you are validating what there are saying. That validation is hard wire to their ego (i.e., their need to demonstrate their authority on the subject) and helps their self-esteem. When self-esteem rises, the speaker is ‘embolden’ to continue to pontificate or share information. The person speaking gets a good feeling when others listen and care about what they have to say. The attention paid to them further encourages them to keep speaking which is why they can’t keep themselves from talking.

The next time you’re speaking with a client, try encouraging them to speak with repeated head nods. When you ask a question, go silent and wait for them to start speaking. When they start talking, encourage them to continue on by adding in some frequent head nods and some pensive stroking of the chin for good measure. So you see, not only are the best salespeople in the world good listeners, they’ve also master the art of nodding their heads and stroking their chins!

Victor Antonio, Sales Influence
“Finding the Why in (How People) Buy”

Copyright © 2009 by Victor Antonio – Atlanta, Georgia GA. All rights reserved. This article MAY be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, as long as the author’s name, website and email address are included as part of the article’s body. All inquiries, including information on electronic licensing, should be directed to Victor Antonio at


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