You've been in the house an hour and are midway through your presentation. Where do things stand? Are prospects with you or are they just biding time until you leave?

Body language says a lot. Prospects who lean forward, clearly listening, are serious. Those who stare away or cross their arms, probably aren't.

Key Questions Questions about product color and style are a strong buying signal, many sales managers say. “If they're asking [those questions], you have their full attention and they aren't worried about the price,” says Dan Merrifield, vice president of Lakeside Exteriors, in O'Fallon, Mo. Jon Jones, sales manager at Sun City Replacement Windows, in Las Vegas, says “if they're laughing during the presentation, it's a sign of approval and trust.” Another sign: That prospects are willing to share particulars of their problem, whatever it may be. “Then you have some pain,” Jones says, “something to work with.”

Rodney Gibbons, a sales rep for Lakeside Exteriors, says inquires about when crews can start means prospects “are pretty ready to make a decision.” Dave McKeehen, a sales rep for Pacific Builders, in Sacramento, Calif., says questions about financing are a strong buying sign.

Take Nothing For Granted Brian Campbell, vice president and co-owner of Illinois Energy Windows & Siding, in Lombard, Ill., says “all those things are great, but it doesn't mean [prospects] are going to buy.” He advises salespeople to “not get too emotional or excited about a buying sign.” Instead, he suggests, “Never let your guard down, and put your energy into the close.”