Insurance Broker Blog

How Can You Read Body Language to Make The Sale?

As a health insurance broker, you’re pretty good at getting to the root of your clients’ benefit needs. But deciphering how your client is thinking can be very tricky.

Whether you are meeting on a video call or in person, your short interactions with your clients are just a small part of their day-to-day. They’re juggling a lot of different things between their work tasks, interactions with their staff and their home life too. There’s a lot going on in their heads – and showing empathy for their needs is important. Since you’ll spend a lot of your meeting reviewing material, observing body language is a fantastic way to quickly gauge what your client is really thinking.

Here are four body language cues to watch out for that can help you decide if it’s time to close the sale!

  1. Openness: When someone keeps their posture open, like keeping their palms open and shoulders relaxed, it is a good indication they are comfortable and open to what you’re saying. You can judge openness really well in video calls too, since the giveaway is in the shoulders and arms – which are generally in focus on a webcam. Keep an eye out for closed posture, like rolling shoulders in, crossing their arms, or hunching over, which can all be signs that your client is uncomfortable or has some hesitation. But our bodies often have bigger concerns than nonverbal communication. Someone being cold, sore from their morning workout, or several other factors could affect their posture. So, take posture into consideration – but don’t be immediately alarmed if you don’t see open posture. If you notice your client has very closed posture, ask them what they’re thinking. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get feedback on how things are going and how they feel about the benefit packages on the table!
  2. Gestures: A lot of people use colorful gestures along with their speech when they are excited or disengaged. For some people it is a conscious way of showing you they are enthusiastic, and for others, it is unconscious. But either way, if you see your client making gestures when speaking and it’s in line with other positive body language cues, then it might be time to close!
  3. Eye Contact: There’s an overload of advice out there about eye contact in sales. Are you making enough eye contact? Is your client making enough eye contact, or are they just not an eye contact person? Eye contact is a really important nonverbal cue – but everyone has a different threshold for it. Not to mention with video calls, making eye contact means looking away from the person on the screen and up to your camera – which makes it a challenge for everyone. Video chat or not, it can be hard to judge the “right” amount of eye contact and use it as the main metric for judging if someone is engaged with you. The biggest thing eye contact tells you is that someone is comfortable enough to make eye contact with you. That might sound obvious – but it is a key piece of information. If someone is comfortable enough to make prolonged eye contact, their other body language cues will probably be pretty accurate as well. But if they are less comfortable, you may need to pay closer attention to their body language and your communication to pick up on how they are feeling.
  4. Smiles: Smiles are one of the most complicated nonverbal cues to interpret for insurance brokers. Sometimes people smile and nod along with what you are saying as a way to show they are comfortable and engaged – but other times a smile can be an intentional response to cover up other emotions. Because people smile differently, it can be hard to determine which smile is which with a new client. So, be sure to judge smiling in conjunction with other nonverbal cues to get an accurate reading of how receptive your clients are to the benefits you’re offering.

It’s easy to get carried away when analyzing your clients’ body language. But remember that nonverbal cues aren’t a standardized rubric. Just because your client isn’t making eye contact or using excited hand gestures doesn’t immediately mean they aren’t engaged with what you’re saying. Everyone communicates with words differently, and the same goes for their body language. Body language doesn’t exist in a vacuum either. What your client says and how they respond to your questions are just as important as their nonverbal cues. Always make sure you are judging verbal and nonverbal cues with each other to get the best picture of how your client is feeling – this is a key part of how emotional intelligence can help you make the sale.

Verbal and nonverbal communication are only one part of closing the sale though. You also need to be offering high quality benefits to keep your clients excited about their healthcare coverage. One of the best ways to keep your clients engaged is with dental and vision benefits! Click the image below to learn about the big value Solstice’s ancillary products bring to your clients!

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