Many years ago I learnt a powerful influencing technique from my boss. He was a high flying finance director and I noticed how he used it to gain agreement. When I started learning from top sales people I noticed that many used this simple technique too.

I have since learnt that its called ‘The McCabe Nod’ although I struggled to find any references to it on Google and many sales people I have spoken to recently had never heard of it.

It’s really very simple – when you are seeking agreement you nod your head twice very slightly and very quickly, whilst smiling. You would only use it where you have rapport and it just shows that you are expecting them to say yes.

For example, my boss would say something like ‘So I can expect that report on my desk by first thing tomorrow morning?’ and then do the McCabe Nod’, It was totally clear what the expected answer was!

The kind of sales application I would use it for is things like ‘Should I put something in the diary?’ or ‘are you ok to go ahead?’ I would only use it if felt the answer would be yes anyway or they wanted to say yes but were ’sitting on the fence’ so to speak. I would not advise using it where there is no evidence of good rapport or the person seems to have unresolved objections.

Before using this technique in a sales context, it’s probably best to practice the McCabe Nod in a low risk, non sales context. Is that agreed? (nod nod!)