Advanced Sales Training: Micro-Expressions Defined


It’s 9:55am, and you’re all set to meet a prospective client for a 10am meeting. You take a deep breath, and from the elevator walk to the receptionist’s desk. “Hello,” she says, with her lips slightly curled not yet into a smile. In response, you smile and say that you have a meeting with one of the members of management. She directs you to the waiting area, where you sit and wait in anticipation for the manager to come and greet you, your face neutral, ready for all that today’s meeting will bring.

Can you name the one micro-expression that was present during this interaction between the salesperson and the receptionist? When the receptionist curled her lips slightly, her face was communicating a micro-expression for happiness, and the salesperson intuitively responded with a smile.

Recognize Hidden “Tells” With Body Language Training

What is a micro-expression? A micro-expression is a subtle involuntary muscle movement of the face that expresses an emotion that a person feels at that second. It communicates a person’s true feeling, THE EMOTION THE PROSPECT OFTEN WANTS HIDDEN. It is half a second long or less. Micro-expressions are caused as a result of the brain processing emotion. These small expressions cannot be controlled, are biologically innate to every human being, and are found in every culture.

micro curl

All of our micro expressions show in any of the seven universal emotions:

  • Anger
  • Contemp
  • Disgust
  • Fear
  • Happiness
  • Sadness
  • Surprise





Through advanced body language training, you will be able to better communicate as a salesperson by recognizing the micro-expression on a prospect’s face, an expression that often “hides” what the prospect is really thinking.

The Science of Micro-Expressions

This subject has been explored in great detail since the 19th century. Microexpressions were discovered by Duchenne de Boulogne, a French neurologist. In his book “The mechanism of human facial expression” published in 1862, he combines his knowledge about photography and facial anatomy along with his skill in using electricity to stimulate movement in facial muscles to illustrate how the face shows emotion.

10 years later, Charles Darwin published “The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals” showing that facial expressions were universal and found in both humans and animals. In 1976, Paul Ekman took Darwin’s ideas a step further in studying the connection between facial expressions and human emotion. His research showed that facial expressions were found across cultures and that humans are born with a connection between facial expression and emotion, meaning that all human beings have an innate ability to produce micro-expressions based on their emotions.

Advanced Body Language Training: Micro-Expression an “Unfair” Sales Advantage


As a salesperson, understanding what a micro-expression is serves as the first step to taking a more nuanced approach to effectively “reading” your clients and prospective clients. Use this advanced sales training method to improve your presentations and the reception you receive from others by understanding these minute expressions.

By understanding how to recognize your prospect’s real emotions, the feelings they don’t want disclosed, you gain a significant advantage over the competition. Prospects frequently want to mask their thoughts thus feigning one emotion when they actually think and feel the opposite.

Master the sales training technique of recognizing the micro-expression and you gain the upper hand in presentations, negotiations, and numerous interactions.

micro test

For a uniquely customized workshop with your team on Micro-Expressions and advanced body language training call us at
888-792-5128, or Google+.

E-mail: info@salestraininganddevelopment.com