Nodding Her Head Means Something Specific – Just Maybe Not What Salespeople Think it Means
While listening during a conversation, head nods are an automatic mannerism for women. When she nods, that means, “I get it. Keep talking.” Some salespeople confuse nodding and occasional “mmhm” murmurs as agreement or a readiness to close the deal. So, they’re confused when they get to the end of a pitch full of head-nodding, go for the close and get this response: “Oh, no, I’m not ready to buy. I need to think about it.” (And her statement doesn’t mean NO, by the way!)
Selling to Women? When She Stops Nodding, You Stop Talking
When your women customers stop nodding, that’s a very conscious communication. It means that she has something to say and would like space in the conversation to say it.
In male gender culture, when you have something to say, you jump in and say it. Interruptions are okay– and even respected. In female gender culture, that behavior is a social faux pas. You’re supposed to listen and wait your turn.
Here’s an quotation from some of my research with women customers interacting with salesmen:
“He wouldn’t stop talking! He just kept going! I did everything I could think of to indicate I had something to say. I closed my notebook. I put my pen on top of it. I arranged all my papers on my desk. Nothing worked!”
This customer was sending her salesperson all the polite, non-verbal signals she knew to indicate it was her turn to talk. But, since she never interrupted him, he had no idea these signals were meaningful.
Salespeople, remember that female gender culture has its own set of rules and etiquette. And pay attention to her non-verbal cues. They mean more than you think!