The most important form of communication is not always verbal. In our interaction with business buyers and sellers, it is important to understand what they verbally tell us and what their body language may also be saying. General body language guidelines:
Constant fidgeting, changing positions, touching face or hair suggests irritation or nervousness.
Makes eye contact and smiles – shows interest in the person and what is being said.
Unreceptive – little eye contact, turned away from speaker, clenched jaw.
Open and receptive – arms open, hand on the table, hands relaxed in lap or on arms of chair.
Closed or defensive – arms crossed in front of the chest, hand over the mouth, rubbing back of the neck.
Interested – sitting on the edge of the chair, unbuttoning suit coat, leaning toward speaker, playing with eye glasses, increasing eye contact.
Not interested – suit coat remains buttoned, leans away from the speaker, decreased eye contact, locking ankles.
Reading body language is not an exact science, but it can assist a business broker in determining if the buyer or seller is interested and receptive to the ideas and discussion.Donna S. Dailey ©School of Business Brokerage