Next to applying for a job, the most common scenario where you really need to have your body language signal reading antennas up is when you are applying for a loan. You need to read the signs a loan officer is sending out so you can position your application or emphasize the right parts of your application the right way.
While your loan, for the most part, will be accepted or rejected based on your numbers, the way you present yourself and argue your case can make a difference in cases where your application falls in the ‘maybe’ list or the ‘gray area.’ This area is bigger than you think. The current financial crisis has really knocked many otherwise financially stable households and individuals off their perches. As a result, more and more people fall in the ‘maybe’ list.
If the loan officer is talking to you with crossed arms, you have your work cut out for you. It doesn’t look good. The loan officer is defensive and is signaling that the information on your application doesn’t look good. If you are dealing with someone with crossed arms, you need to establish eye contact, talk in soothing tones, and refocus the conversation on the strongest parts of your loan application. The key is to get the loan officer to open his or her mind by focusing on your strongest suit. Keep hammering away at your strongest suit and always relate it to how reliably you can pay off the loan.
When you’re dealing with someone who has stretched legs in front of you, this body language shows that your application might have legs, but you have to work harder at convincing the loan officer. The person is open to the idea of giving you a loan, you just need to close him or her. The best way to do this is to focus on your application’s strongest points and double back on the other details of your application. You are trying to draw everything in together so you can appear as a ‘complete package’ to the officer.
Chin on hand
If you are talking to someone with their chin on their hand but they don’t look bored, they are interested in some parts of your application. They are inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt but they need more clarification. At this point, you need to prompt them for as many questions as possible so you can fill in the gaps they have regarding your application.