Chin Stroking

The next time you have the opportunity to present an idea to a group of people, watch them carefully as you give your idea and you will notice something fascinating. Most, if not all the members of your audience will bring one hand up to their faces and begin to use evaluation gestures. As you come to the conclusion of your presentation and ask for the group to give opinions or suggestions about the idea, the evaluation gestures will cease. One hand will move to the chin and begin a chin-stroking gesture.

This chin-stroking gesture is the signal that the listener is making a decision. When you have asked the listeners for a decision and their gestures have changed from evaluation to decision-making, the following movements will indicate whether their decision is negative or positive. A sales person would be foolish to interrupt or to speak when a buyer begins the chin-stroking gesture after he has been asked for a decision to purchase. His best strategy would be a careful observation of the buyer's next gestures, which will indicate the decision he has reached. If, for example, the chin-stroking gesture is followed by crossed arms and legs and the buyer sits back in his chair, the sales person has been non-verbally told, 'No'. He would be wise to review the main points of the presentation immediately before the buyer verbalises his negative answer and the sale may be lost.

If the chin-stroking gesture is followed by the readiness gesture (Figure 100) the sales person only needs to ask how the buyer would prefer to pay for the product and the buyer will proceed to make his purchase.

Continue reading here: Variations of Decision Making Gestures

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