Micro expressions and body language

11 replies
I read this article recently:



https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/enter...-can-tell-what


About a chinese mentalist who did tricks simply by asking questions to the audience.



Choice quote:

Originally Posted by South China Morning Post

To cut a long routine short, Jan not only correctly guessed in which hand each of us held the dice, hidden behind our backs, but also correctly identified the colour.

He did this by asking each person different questions, such as what our favourite fruit is, or our favourite African animal. How did that give away the colour of our dice? I'm not sure - but it's all a part of the mystery of his show.


...

While [in Japan], he "accidentally stumbled" across psychology,as he puts it, and became hooked on the subject.
...
What he says is real, however, is the ability to read cues conveyed by people's words, emotions, gestures and body language - non-verbal signals that he says are often more telling than words.
...
He also picks up on micro-expressions, tiny facial movements that can reveal information about one's emotions in the blink of an eye, too -
...
Jan says the eyes are key to reading body language, particularly when looking for lies. "I can tell if someone is lying, or if they are interested in me just from their eyes," he explains. "When we talk, our eyes move - unless you are intentionally staring at someone - and the direction the eyes move reveals information.


"If the eyes of a person you're talking to are moving vertically between your head and chest, that's a good sign. It shows the person is interested in what you're saying. If they can't focus and wander horizontally, that means they are not interested in you."
...
"During a private sessions with Zhang Yimou, I named his first love," says Jan,..."And I worked out the phone number of [Chinese actor and singer] Li Yifeng. They were both amazed."











So my question is:

Are micro expressions useful in selling?



General body language I'm not 100% sure if it's really that useful: it's pretty obvious stuff and I think it seeped enough in popular culture that most will be somewhat careful about it, if only for the sake of politeness.



In many ways, I think salespeople are already doing it in an ad hoc fashion.


A few years ago, Jason Kanigan told me something like: "The first one who shows emotion loses", but I came to realize the wisdom of this saying only some time later. In my experience, when selling on the phone, you really have to listen to those very small changes in tone.



E.g. if the prospect drops his tone of voice when asking a question, it's often a very strong sign of interest even if it's not stated openly.



If one is emotionally involved in the discussion, it's hard for most to stop themselves from revealing what they think through their voices.



Thoughts? Pseudo-Science or the real deal?Any good books on the matter?
#body #expressions #language #micro
Avatar of Unregistered
  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by socialentry View Post



    I read this article recently:



    https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/enter...-can-tell-what


    About a chinese mentalist who did tricks simply by asking questions to the audience.



    Choice quote:







    So my question is:

    Are micro expressions useful in selling?



    General body language I'm not 100% sure if it's really that useful: it's pretty obvious stuff and I think it seeped enough in popular culture that most will be somewhat careful about it, if only for the sake of politeness.



    In many ways, I think salespeople are already doing it in an ad hoc fashion.


    A few years ago, Jason Kanigan told me something like: "The first one who shows emotion loses", but I came to realize the wisdom of this saying only some time later. In my experience, when selling on the phone, you really have to listen to those very small changes in tone.



    E.g. if the prospect drops his tone of voice when asking a question, it's often a very strong sign of interest even if it's not stated openly.



    If one is emotionally involved in the discussion, it's hard for most to stop themselves from revealing what they think through their voices.



    Thoughts? Pseudo-Science or the real deal?Any good books on the matter?
    Is it useful in selling?

    YES. Is it a psuedo-science, NO, and yes in some quarters.

    Supposedly the hand shake originated as a way to pass strangers on the road, by holding each other's hand, it prevented a going for the weapon.

    PTSD is a condition most often brought on by a terrifying event, which is the first and classic definition of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a trauma occurs. But if that trauma takes place when in a constant state of hyperarousal, the fight/flight response, then the trauma may get further dug deeper, quicker, into neural pathways.

    Hyperarousal is a state of mind which increases the energy, often with negative results.

    Hypervigilant is being ALERT to danger.

    Hyper Awareness is usually turned inward. OK, OK...

    There is a different and opposite state of mind. Tranquility. Calmness. The eye of the typhoon.

    I began with the negative effects because we are aware of them and can clearly see the effects they have on people. We probably all know someone in one of the above categories.

    In the ancient days, where the handshake began, we remained on ALERT for longer periods of time, danger lurked all around. This has been hard wired into us, and anyone who has had the hair on the back of their neck stand up knows the feeling.

    Selling is hardly combat. But early psychologies of selling treated it as combat. A war of the minds. A beating down resistance, an overcoming of objections.

    Even today, there is residual ideas of winning in a sales situation. If you make the sale, you are a winner, if not, you are the loser.

    Just as in nature, when we sense danger, our automatic systems turn on, there is a similar reaction AS SOON AS the prospect realizes they are being sold too.

    When it is no longer conversation, and the questions are no longer benign, they get recognized as "going for the weapon".

    And any good sales person, and almost all new ones, can sense when that moment happens. Scripts are written with little arrows drawn, so there is a READY reply to the moment of being sold something gets recognized (all too often, "I'm not trying to sell you anything")

    To your point.

    Yes. Micro movements, keys, ticks, body language big and small are available to be used against a resistant target, the catch is, when implementing them toward your goal, a sale, there are defenses which counter.

    It takes training, and the key is AWARENESS. And being able to read people works for stage magicians, astrologers, Tarot card readers and any number of people who have studied human behavior.

    It actually is a natural, hard wired ability to "feel people out" when we meet them, and that is the so called first impression.

    Sorry to run around the bush, but the short and sweet answer is, YES, reading body languages can be a boon to a trained sales person.

    GordonJ

    PS Many years ago I wrote a report, COSMIC GAZE, which detailed the methods for doing this, centered around the concept of Total Conscious Awareness. I quickly took it off the market, when I realized one of the gurus of picking up women had ordered a copy. I learned a lesson, anyhow, there are those who use these weapons of influence on us on a daily basis.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11567062].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

    Thoughts? Pseudo-Science or the real deal?Any good books on the matter?
    This may be hard for some to accept.

    Yes, reading mico-movements is real. Yes, everyone does it. Women are a bit better at it than men, especially in recognizing small facial changes.

    But the mind readers that use micro-movements to tell what you are thinking?

    It's a trick. They are telling you that they are reading the person's micro-movements, because that is the trick.....convincing you that that is how it's done.

    No. It has nothing to do with reading micro-movements. In most cases, an assistant is in the audience, or the mind reader has foreknowledge.

    The trick of knowing which hand something is in can be done by seeing the slight whiteness around the knuckles, compared to the other hand.

    Darren Brown is famous for using his observation of micro-movements to give answers that astound people. But none of it is by using micro-movements. THAT is the illusion. The reality is that the situation is set up in advance, almost always using confederates.

    In selling? A person gives away their intentions and interests by tone of voice, rate of speech, and changes in body language. But it's not an exact science.

    Even after 40 years of study and selling, I can only tell when someone is becoming more interested, or less interested by watching micro-movements. If it were on video, and slowed down, maybe more could be seen.


    On a related subject, you can cause a person to react a certain way by using your own body language and micro-movements.....although I exaggerate them slightly, so they will be picked up. Like stage acting, instead of acting on film. You can convey lots of meaning with a nearly invisible gesture, or facial expression.

    The actor Robert Redford was reading a script with lots of dialog. He crossed out most of the lines. He told the director "I can say all of that with a look".. Yup.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11567072].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
      Long, long ago, I used to do an exercise at a local mall, Chapel Hill Mall to be exact.

      It was part of a course I taught to a very select few in Influence.

      The trick, or technique was the ICE CREAM truck. As I walked into a store and engaged one of the people working in the store, I stopped, leaned my head and asked,

      "Did you hear that? Sounded like an ice cream truck?"

      Then, after shaking my head and engaging the person, I would suddenly ask, if they were a chocolate or vanilla person (all distraction, misdirection) and building an anchor.

      Then, leave the store. My student would enter about 10 minutes later, using just the head cock, a quizzical look and a lean in, the person would reenter the ice cream stage.

      This is a brief description, just to demonstrate that people are subject to hidden cues, pick up on body language and assign meaning in their own way to it.

      I've often done the opposite, even with buying a car...took the salesman all the way to the end only to say NO. They are dumbfounded, "But you said..."

      "Yes I did, but I changed my mind."

      All in the name of learning, not just being a total jerk, (that was just a side benefit).

      We can get pretty good with our techniques, our methods, have a high rate of success, close like monsters, hit home runs all day long...

      then we try to use the NLP on the pretty girl wearing her Foster Grants, only to learn she is blind, but not hard of hearing...and what she saw through her ears, made her flee.

      GordonJ


      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      This may be hard for some to accept.

      Yes, reading mico-movements is real. Yes, everyone does it. Women are a bit better at it than men, especially in recognizing small facial changes.

      But the mind readers that use micro-movements to tell what you are thinking?

      It's a trick. They are telling you that they are reading the person's micro-movements, because that is the trick.....convincing you that that is how it's done.

      No. It has nothing to do with reading micro-movements. In most cases, an assistant is in the audience, or the mind reader has foreknowledge.

      The trick of knowing which hand something is in can be done by seeing the slight whiteness around the knuckles, compared to the other hand.

      Darren Brown is famous for using his observation of micro-movements to give answers that astound people. But none of it is by using micro-movements. THAT is the illusion. The reality is that the situation is set up in advance, almost always using confederates.

      In selling? A person gives away their intentions and interests by tone of voice, rate of speech, and changes in body language. But it's not an exact science.

      Even after 40 years of study and selling, I can only tell when someone is becoming more interested, or less interested by watching micro-movements. If it were on video, and slowed down, maybe more could be seen.


      On a related subject, you can cause a person to react a certain way by using your own body language and micro-movements.....although I exaggerate them slightly, so they will be picked up. Like stage acting, instead of acting on film. You can convey lots of meaning with a nearly invisible gesture, or facial expression.

      The actor Robert Redford was reading a script with lots of dialog. He crossed out most of the lines. He told the director "I can say all of that with a look".. Yup.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11567073].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

        We can get pretty good with our techniques, our methods, have a high rate of success, close like monsters, hit home runs all day long...
        One thing I had to be careful of, when selling...was breaking people out of their state. We used to call it "coming out from under the ether".

        We would be going along in the sale, and suddenly they would shift position, change expression...and I knew...I knew...I had just destroyed the flow of thoughts and feelings. I had broken the dance we were in. The sale was lost.

        And no matter what I said or did, that state they were in was now gone. And I've found that once someone starts moving away from you (in selling) you can't reverse the direction.

        A similar experiment. In front of our store is three parking spaces. Almost never does a customer part in one of those spaces, they park out of our line of sight. It means the customer has to walk more.

        Once in a while, I'd ask why they parked in a space that isn't in front of our store. And I have concluded that they don't know. They aren't aware of the mental processes that caused their behavior.

        And sometimes, I'll wonder why I did something...the real reason....the deep truth of it....and usually I have no idea. That part of the process is hidden from me, even when I'm aware that it's there.

        Humans.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11567082].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

    A few years ago, Jason Kanigan told me something like: "The first one who shows emotion loses", but I came to realize the wisdom of this saying only some time later. In my experience, when selling on the phone, you really have to listen to those very small changes in tone.
    Kanigan is right, and it's a deeply insightful statement.


    Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

    If one is emotionally involved in the discussion, it's hard for most to stop themselves from revealing what they think through their voices.
    It's also easy to sell them. I would much rather try to sell someone who is angry (even if they are angry with me) than someone who is indifferent.

    When someone is emotional, it shuts off their pre-frontal cortex. It inhibits their decision making ability.

    And I hate to say this, but in my experience, the reasons someone buys or doesn't buy is nearly always irrational. Rational thinking is almost never at play.

    Even when they are buying from me, I know that the reason they are buying really...makes no sense. But there we have it. We are bundles of prejudices, superstitions, biases, triggers, emotions, unfounded beliefs....with just enough logic added to get us through the day.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11567083].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    We would be going along in the sale, and suddenly they would shift position, change expression...and I knew...I knew...I had just destroyed the flow of thoughts and feelings. I had broken the dance we were in. The sale was lost

    I've seen that when selling - but you don't see it unless you are tuned into the customer (as opposed to thinking about making a sale).


    I've seen the 'parking' thing, too and my belief is it's a subconscious way of saying 'not committed to buy' or 'just looking'.
    Signature
    Saving one dog will not save the world....but will forever change the world of one dog.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11567085].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post



      I've seen the 'parking' thing, too and my belief is it's a subconscious way of saying 'not committed to buy' or 'just looking'.

      I've narrowed it down to some version of "I don't want to be seen going in here".
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11567088].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        I've narrowed it down to some version of "I don't want to be seen going in here".
        I think when I do this, and have caught myself several times, it is me saying, I don't want THEM to see me coming in.

        The them being sales people, who then get alerted to be on their selling toes. Or at least I think maybe this is why I prefer an out of sight parking space. A sneak attack into the store catches them off guard, and they are not ready to sell me. Subconscious? Certainly.

        My analysis of the reason why? Maybe. Maybe not. Like you say, humans, go figure.

        GordonJ
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11567100].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

          I think when I do this, and have caught myself several times, it is me saying, I don't want THEM to see me coming in.

          The them being sales people, who then get alerted to be on their selling toes. Or at least I think maybe this is why I prefer an out of sight parking space. A sneak attack into the store catches them off guard, and they are not ready to sell me. Subconscious? Certainly.

          My analysis of the reason why? Maybe. Maybe not. Like you say, humans, go figure.

          GordonJ
          I meant it both ways. They don't want us to watch them get out of their car and come in....and...sometimes, the people park away from the store because they don't want their friends t know where they shop.

          We used to be right next to a thrift shop...used clothing...that sort of thing. We had people (usually well healed women) park they cars in front of our store because they didn't want their friends to know they were slumming it.

          Now we have a gambling business right next to us, and they want to park in front of our store, so they can sneak in next door.

          I understand why "adult bookstores" have parking in the back.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11567218].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre;

        "I hope you pop in from time to time. ".
        Keep having conversations like this and I wont be able to help myself.

        Hey Social don't forget... "Micro expressions and body language"
        are still present when you're on the phone and with training and practice
        can be heard. Unfortunately, the downside is, it's like riding a bike.
        Once you learn you can never forget. Meaning you cant turn it off.
        It's kinda like the worlds shittiest super power.
        Signature

        Selling Ain't for Sissies
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11567206].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    Rarely come to this forum but was pointed here by the discussion in mindwarriors.

    This is one of the things I have learned and worked on in the last few years . More as a way to communicate with my own body language than fully read or predict others .

    And it was mainly do to street performing in Vegas . Add to a selling situation the factors that you can ask for money or say a figure when some says how much . Or you risk getting arrested and fined like 500$.

    Then with thosands of people walking buy an hour it reading reactions from a distance to pick out who is likely to get a photo
    Signature

    "I just wanted a good job ,but i could not find a good job, So i do it myself"-Jack Ma

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11567106].message }}
Avatar of Unregistered

Trending Topics