NCET helps you explores business and technology
By Alexanne Stone
You’re telling a prospect something completely exciting about your product and you notice that their eyebrows are tightly knitted together. You’re not sure what is going on, but you keep talking just in case they haven’t gotten how exciting your service really is.
If you did notice that the eyebrow scrunch flashes across your prospect’s face in a microsecond, you may have noticed a “fleeting facial expression of disbelief.” Did it register? Or is it something that you didn’t even notice.
As you get to the part of your presentation where you ask for their business, your prospect delivers that drawn out, “Well…I’m not sure….”, and you can’t imagine why. You’d done such a great job delivering your product pitch. Now you have to figure out what it is they are not sure about and which of your “overcoming objections” questions do you pull out of your pocket to get back on track for the close.
What if you were adept enough at reading and understanding body language that you noticed that “micro-expression of disbelief” the moment it flashed across your prospect’s face? What would happen if you were able to stop your presentation right at that moment in time and find out what your prospect was thinking. What if you knew the right questions to ask to uncover your customer’s disbelief, address it right in the moment, and move on?
More than that, what if you knew enough about the non-verbal communication your customer gives to you …and…what if you knew the unconscious communication message you send to your customer. What if you were able to tailor your presentation to address that fleeting moment of disbelief right there and then.
It just might change the response when you ask for the business!
There is controversy over the number of standard facial expressions of emotion. Original work by Dr. Paul Ekman, professor emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco, and commonly known as the definitive expert on body language today, has published that there are only seven basic facial expressions: happy, sad, fearful, angry, contempt, disgust and surprise.
Recent researchers at Ohio State University have now published that there are 21 different facial expressions that humans can make which are combinations of the seven basic expressions originally established.
These twenty-one include variations of the original seven, like happily surprised, fearfully angry, sadly angry, and angrily surprised to name a few. However, if you begin to look more closely at the muscles in the face and the myriad ways each of those muscles move, there are far more expressions of emotions than simply the suggested twenty-one. Some eyebrows move up, some move down, some are able to move only one eyebrow at a time. Does someone talk out of the corner of their mouth, do both sides work together, is the smile typically crooked?
These variations suggest different responses, especially when you are striving to understand a prospect, client or customer. Again, what do you do unconsciously and what message does your body language convey?
Learn about changing your body language at NCET’s Biz Cafe on September 18 at Rounds Bakery. NCET is a member-supported nonprofit organization that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology. More info at NCETcafe.org.
Alexanne Stone is a sales & body language expert and author of “Kick-Ass Networking.” Learn more about Alexanne at AlexanneStone.com.