Advanced Sales Training: When Prospects Hide Their Excitement

How can you recognize when a prospective client is pleased with your proposal but doesn’t want to admit it? How do you know that what you’re saying is well-received by the listener? Through reading body language, you can use your knowledge about micro-expressions and look for an expression that conveys happiness.

Happiness is used to describe a positive emotion and includes the emotions of acceptance, joy, confirmation, approval, anticipation, and excitement. When a person is happy, he or she generally smiles to show like or agreement. In a business setting, it is often advantageous to conceal this pleasure in order to negotiate a better position or gain leverage. A salesperson, for example, can use this advanced sales training technique to their advantage when talking to a prospect. Observing when a person shows the micro-expression for happiness will allow you to see if a person approves of your project, presentation, or proposal.

Advanced Body Language Training: Images of Happiness

Observe the following expressions below. The second image is not a micro-expression (it lasts for more than half a second) but still fully illustrates the expression of happiness.

micro curl large smile

To show approval, a client may smile with the eye muscles contracting to show a real and genuine smile. This smile is a macro-expression, staying on the face for more than half a second. It is full expression of the emotion happiness. Eyes that curl at the corners (“smiling with your eyes”) suggests a genuine smile.

The first image is a micro-expression for the same emotion, happiness. A person’s lips will curl symmetrically at the corners. Utilize the sales training technique of recognizing the micro-expression on a person’s face to read what a prospect isn’t saying. If you can understand the words unspoken, you can shape your presentation accordingly.

Imagine that you are in the middle of a presentation, and you see a client nod in agreement while curling his or her lips slightly as the image to the right illustrates. As the executive or salesperson, it would be safe to assume that the micro-expression of the prospect reveals his or her approval of your proposal at that moment. In response, you will likely continue your presentation without much adjustment, perhaps speaking with more enthusiasm.

Recognizing and understanding micro-expressions is an advanced sales training technique. A salesperson or executive can use micro-expressions to determine whether a prospect is pleased with his or her presentation. If a prospect’s face displays an expression that matches either of these photographs, he or she is showing happiness and agrees with what you are saying.

A smile’s easy for all of us to notice. It’s when the smile is being used to mask fear, sadness, anger, even contempt. Will you be aware of how to spot when the smile’s not genuine? If not, your business communications can be weakened. To learn how to spot when a smile’s being used as a mask, make a point to enhance your body language training by learning about micro-expressions.

micro test

Mark Anthony presents sales training and customer service workshops. For more tips or information on training and one-on-one coaching, contact him at