Sales Training Tip #386: What Does Eye Movement Reveal?

Eye movement can reveal a lot about a person’s level of confidence and commitment. Rapid movement of the eyes many times will indicate the person is not confident about what they are saying — or what they are hearing.

We simply do not pay enough attention to the eyes, whether it be our own eyes or those of the person to whom we are talking.  The eyes reveal a significant amount about a person, and yet over the past 25 years as a society, we’ve learned not to focus on eye contact.

I’m not sure if this is because of the percentage of our conversations that occur on-line and on the telephone — both scenarios where there is no eye contact — or if the decline in eye contact is due to something else.

If we can learn to give people good eye contact and, at the same time, use our eye contact to study them, I believe we can learn a significant amount about how they think and may react to what we’re discussing.

Rapid eye movement is but one indicator, but that in itself is huge, as it can tell us their level of confidence.  Confident people are calm, and calm people have stable eye movement. This is why many police officers use the eyes as a leading indicator when they’re talking to somebody.

Eye movement or eye contact also can tell us if the person is engaged with us or pre-occupied.  Yes, it’s very easy for people to pick up a person’s lack of interest if they are not giving us eye contact, but we can also tell by their level of focus.  When people are attentive to what you’re saying, their eyes will have far more focus than the aimless stare of the disengaged person.

What I find amazing about all of this is these are not complex insights. They are very basic.  Yet that’s what makes them so good, because so few people truly learn from the other person’s eyes. Raising our awareness to this one cue can open doors where we can gain valuable information.

One final thought — I may have shared this all in the context of watching someone else’s eyes, but don’t forget the same observations apply to your eyes as well.  So pay attention to what you are doing with your own eyes too.

Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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