So you think she agrees with you? Think again!

August 26th, 2009 by elizabethpace Leave a reply »
Nodding does not mean she agrees

Nodding does not mean she agrees

Observe a group of women talking. They look like the most agreeable group of humans ever. Each nodding her head in agreement as the others expound. Oh, so you think. When a woman nods it does not mean that she agrees.  It means that she acknowledges your point and that you should continue expressing your thoughts. She is giving you the permission to keep talking.

What happens when the nodding stops? You have gone thirty seconds over your allotted time and you are now rude.  Here’s the way you can recover. For men this may be the most important advice in my entire book—making you more successful in sales and marketing … and relationships.  As soon as you realize the nodding has stopped in your female prospect, say, “Enough about my thoughts, I want to hear how you feel about this.” Then hush up and listen to what she reveals.

Incessant nodding is not a female conspiracy to give men mixed messages.  Complex communication is what sets humans apart from all other species. And it has always been a woman’s job to teach children to speak.  But listen to a child learning to express herself.  One thought can take minutes to complete. A mother constantly encourages her child to talk—patiently nodding whether or not the child makes any sense at all. Women are hardwired to encourage others to continue to communicate by nodding.

To my female readers, take note.  If you are a nodder, and most women are, don’t nod with your male prospects and clients unless you are agreeing. You do not want to be misconstrued as supportive and then verbally disagree. This is the essence of a mixed message. A woman nonverbally nods and then verbally disapproves, and the man either thinks she has trouble making decisions or worse that she is setting him up and cannot be trusted.

And men, you must remember that just because a women is nodding doesn’t mean that she is ready to ink the deal. Old school sales training has taught us to move in fast when customers indicate they are ready to close the deal. Men, instead of moving in for the kill when you get the nod, ask, “Can you see how implementing our solution will provide your department with the efficiencies that you need to meet your strategic objectives?” The question (or another one like it) requires verbal clarification of her thoughts. Half the time, what she tells you won’t line up with the equation: nod=yes.


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