I’m going to introduce you to Adrianne Carter who is instrumental in developing cutting edge research methodology to gain insights into emotion and behaviour in the last twelve years. She uses techniques to go beyond what people say or can’t verbalise to get to what they really feel or know.


Hi there this is Dylis Guyan and welcome to the Inspired Selling Podcast the place where business owners and salespeople who sell to bigger businesses discover how to find, attract, convert and treasure more of their ideal clients without any of those nasty pushy sales tactics. I am so excited today because I have got a fantastic guest for you bringing you some wonderful insights about how to decode behaviours and emotions and so on to really read more about your prospective clients, your clients and of course your family and your friends

I’m going to introduce you to Adrianne Carter who is instrumental in developing cutting edge research methodology to gain insights into emotion and behaviour for the last twelve years. She uses techniques to go beyond what people say or can’t verbalise to get to what they really feel or know. Adrianne is actually a friend of mine, she is an absolutely super person most personable, hardworking and she’s super smart and highly professional.

She’s worked with Coca-Cola, Disney, Mars, Kerry Foods, L’Oreal, Tesco and so many more that I haven’t really got time to mention today. Adrianne’s work is taken up all over the world; in fact, I think it’s about seventeen countries that she’s worked in. Here’s what I really love, she was used to help law enforcement and government agencies uncover the truth and she trained U.K. private detectives that were all ex-military and I’m sure she’ll tell us a little bit more about that. So welcome Adrianne I am really, really looking forward to hearing more about decoding. So, tell us…just meat that out a bit for us and give us more context about decoding.

Adrianne: Okay hi Dylis thank you for inviting me it’s great to catch up this way. I am a specialist of the face; so, the face reveals lots of different information if we are aware of it. We’ve all got this innate skill of understanding how other people feel from their face. I specialised in it; I went to California to the University of California in Berkeley campus and studied a facial action coding system and that’s a scientific way to understand how other people really feel.

There are forty-three muscles in the face and those forty-three muscles can make over ten thousand facial expressions and out of those three thousand directly relate to emotion. Well if you think about it, that gives us a little bit of a disconnect because we’ve got approximately one hundred words in the English language to describe how we feel about something, but we’ve got three thousand facial expressions, so we can’t always say how we really feel. Sometimes we don’t want to say how we really feel and that could just be because we’re being polite, it could be because we don’t want the person to know how we really feel but actually the truth is always there on another person’s face and our own faces as well.

So that’s what I do, my day to day life is I stare at people’s faces and analyse how they really feel and sometimes there is a disconnect with what they say they feel and that’s where we get the truth element.

Dylis: So, give us an example of that then Adrianne.

Adrianne: So, I was in Germany interviewing a prospective agency to work alongside us. My main/core business is market research and we do other things as well which I’ll talk to you about in a little bit. I was interviewing a prospective agency to work along with me on a project; they could speak German obviously and I had the analysing skills.

So, I said to this chap, it’s really important to you then to get to the detail and he said oh absolutely. His whole face and everything he said just didn’t match the absolutely. I mean his eyebrows furrowed and you know his head was saying no and there was just so much that I just thought goodness me. That’s stuck with me ever since and we didn’t work together on that project because I just didn’t feel I could trust him.

Dylis: Yeah it interesting actually because I was working with some students actually from Said Business School last week and we were talking about listening to understand not just listening to hear. I was talking about…and of course I have got your knowledge at all and your experience at all, but I do understand about listening to understand rather than just listening to hear. I was saying to them about watching expression and body language and does it match with the words that are coming out? That was a really good example of that and I think we come across that a lot, don’t we?

Adrienne: There are examples all around, you know in my training courses, we’ve got clips of celebrities being interviewed. I’ve got great one of Cheryl Cole/Tweedy I’m not sure which one she is now, but Cheryl and she’s asked about Botox and fillers by Piers Morgan and her face reveals everything. It’s there for us if we just pay attention to it and you know what Dylis really good salespeople are really skilled at this without even trying.

Dylis: Yeah.

Adrianne: They understand other people or pick up the clues. What we do in our training course is actually help people to have the science behind it, so they know why they’ve pick up subconsciously, why they don’t trust this person or why they know they’re not going to get this sale. So, what we do is just give it a little bit of rigor and robustness of why they’ve got these skills.

Dylis: So why do you think it’s important to take it to that next step you know, it’s obviously prompted you to run workshops on this? Why, what does it add and what are the ramifications of not knowing this? What are the problems without it?

Adrianne: It’s time and money which is what we’re all about as business owners and as business people, even if we’re employed it’s about time and money. If you are talking to a prospective client, negotiating and you see elements of fear in your mind that you can’t quantify ‘actually I could see at that point when I mentioned that they didn’t like that’. You can take back control of the meeting, you can take back control of the negotiation.

You see fear, you know their action is that there’s some hesitation there. People often get hung up on the words fear, you’re not going to see full out fear in a meeting but what you will see is a little “ooh” and that tells you everything if you know what to look for it tells you everything. There’s actually some hesitation there, it could be about price, it could be about timings for the project it could be anything at all, but what you understand, what you’re looking for and you know when people reveal these little bits of emotion you know then how to tailor and how to react to the emotion.

So you might see suppressed excitement you know and that tells you…they might not say that they’re really excited, they really want to get going with you but if you can read that you know you don’t have to tailor the rest of your, you know you don’t need to do any more convincing there in. Sometimes you can over convince, and you just needed to stop talking ten minutes ago. So, what it does is save time and money because it enhances all of your communication skills.

Dylis: So what would you say when someone gets to the point where they’ve bought in to what you are selling and of course it’s not always buying in at that point of its describing the product or service itself, it’s generally earlier on when you’re asking some questions and they’re revealing what the problems are and how it’s impacting on them and their business and so on and then looking at the benefits of change through questioning.

Adrianne: Yes.

Dylis: Then what might you see?

Adrianne: So, the most…the best expression to see at that point is when you’ve described all this is, I’m going to show you now is {gestures} which is pleasant surprise. Well that wasn’t great because I’m faking it but pleasant surprise.

Dylis: Let’s do it together.

{Gestures together}

Adrianne: There may be an eyebrow flash, that’s the most optimum time for people. If you see that on someone else’s face when you’re in a negotiation, you’re in a sale, whatever it is in any kind of interaction with another person if you see that quick flash of eyebrow and it’s a along with a smile, they’re in. That’s the one you’ve got them, when you’ve convinced them. They’re really open to ideas, you’ve hooked them in.

Dylis: Yeah and is there something around mirroring people, is that part of this decoding or is that a different issue altogether?

Adrianne: I mean I do understand the aspects of mirroring and building rapport and an absolutely should build rapport. Mirroring is okay and it’s great to do if you’re good at it. If you are obviously mirroring somebody else, it can be a little unnatural. So I would say practice it practice, practice, practice, practice until it becomes second nature so that it doesn’t become forced and…I don’t think this is a word but unauthentic.

Dylis: Yeah.

Adrianne: I’m sure there’s a better word but I can’t think of one.

Dylis: I think it’s inauthentic so it’s the same thing.

Adrianne: Inauthentic there you go.

Dylis: Okay so let’s just take a scenario then, is that something when you scratch your nose? I’m sure somebody said you’re lying when you scratch your nose when honestly, it’s just itchy.

Adrianne: You’ve probably just got an itch. Stuff is contagious I want to scratch my nose. There is no one sign of lying Dylis.

Dylis: Right.

Adrianne: There is no one sign, so it can’t be enforced eye contact, it’s not blinking. The signs of lying are when someone’s behaviour changes from what’s their normal baseline. So if itching…. are you still there? Sorry.

Dylis: Yeah.

Adrianne: If itching your nose is something that you do regular as a habit then that’s fine there’s nothing to be read from that and if someone regularly does this and it’s their habit. It’s when that habitual behaviour changes that’s when you need to be looking at what’s going on.

Dylis: Right so let’s just go back a step then, let’s just say…my nose is really itchy.

Adrianne: Emotions are contagious.

Dylis: Let’s say that you’ve put your marketing out there, you’ve made a phone call and your prospective client has said, “Hey yes I’m really interested in what you’ve been talking about and how you can help solve my problems, come along let’s meet”. So, you’ve got that first encounter and let’s say it’s in a reception area and you’re meeting for the first time. What are the things that people need to be conscious of, to help them with this decoding?

Adrianne: So, a genuine smile is always one of the most engaging things you can do; a posed smile however is not as engaging. So, if you can spot that engaging smile and also have ready yourself a really engaging smile that’s one of the best things that you can do.

Any hesitation on your clients’ part, you know when you get there your prospective client and you see any hesitation in their behaviour, it could just be a really simple question like, you know how are you today? They might have had a really bad journey to work, the kids might be playing up or might be ill you know there could be anything. If you see anything and you think oh actually they don’t look great or they don’t look as comfortable as I’d like them to be. Put them in comfort ask them.

You know I don’t call people out on emotions, if I see something I don’t generally…well you just showed fear then, what’s wrong with you, why are you…. it’s not going to be a winner is it.

What I will do is say you know how you are feeling this morning, did you have a good journey into work and try to find out where the area of discomfort might be. Then you know it might just be empathising with them ‘good grief that roads terrible, you know I have the same journey as well and the school run’s a bit of a nightmare’.

It’s just building that rapport but being aware of what they’re showing you because we cannot not communicate. All of us we’re communicating all of the time and being aware. I would say one of the biggest skills that I have and that anyone can have is awareness; just being aware and watching for it because it’s there if we choose to read it.

Dylis: Yes, and having that genuine conversation, genuine authentic conversation…I remember meeting a lady from Saville’s I was introduced to Saville’s of London. I didn’t know this lady at all, but I knew someone who did know her. I’d looked on LinkedIn and I called the lady who I know, and I said I’m meeting this lady from Saville’s, could you tell me anything about her.

So she told me about the fact that she lived in Devon and that she had grandchildren. Her son was in the Marines and because my husband used to be in the Marines, my husband used to live in Devon and I’ve got grandchildren. So, this I think…I’m kind of just going on developing this bit about being authentic.

Adrianne: Yes.

Dylis: I was then able to have a conversation with her without saying, ‘oh I believe you live in Devon, I believe you’ve got a son who’s in the marines’. I just said to her do commute in every day and she said, ‘yeah do, I come from Devon I commute here three times a week’. So, I said that’s interesting my husband used to live there when he was in the marines. ‘My son’s in the marines’ the connection it was like this, it was like two magnets coming together.

Adrianne: It’s because people buy off people don’t they. It’s about building relationships and you know this more than anyone it’s about building this relationship that we have with somebody else and finding out you know asking questions of them and like you just said waiting for their answers and then finding areas that we can connect on.

Dylis: Yes, so what else then, let’s say we’re with someone who you can see is uncomfortable, is it just about asking the questions to.

Adrianne: Yeah, I think gently I mean appropriate questions that are, you know it’s about being really careful about how you asked them. So, it’s not calling them out to making them feel embarrassed but it’s about you know…What I teach in the training courses, when you see anger, when you see fear, when you see sadness it’s not calling out those words to the person it’s about reacting appropriately.

So, someone who’s angry and they may not be shouting or ranting but they’ve got these deep grooves here and here and lips pressed together; it’s about then reacting in a way that calms the situation down because you can ignite anger and that’s really unproductive.

Dylis: Yes.

Adrianne: So, it’s finding the ways to move through what we can see, into a way that’s better for us all and communicate better.

Dylis: Again, can you give us an example of that, I mean I get what you’re saying about this, the look.

Adrianne: So, I’ve been helping a group of driving instructors actually, they came to me for some training and I’ve been helping them and actually with their students they see a lot of fear. Actually, you know the best way for them to respond to that is ‘how in control do you feel at the moment’ because fear is all about loss of control.

Dylis: Yeah.

Adrianne: I’m scared; you know I don’t feel totally in control of the car. So I’ve been teaching them the questions to ask is, you know, ‘how in control do you feel of car’ and what they’re doing is building those relationship again and making the person feel more comfortable.

You know what fear does to all of us it’s a paralyser; it’s the flight or fight instinct. Actually, that’s really not useful when you’re learning to drive. So, it’s helping people to respond appropriately to what they see and move to people that they need to get through that emotion into a better space.

Dylis: Yeah, I absolutely agree. I was going to pick up on something there and it’s just gone completely out of my mind but yeah, it’s understanding or being aware isn’t it. This is the thing, I think this is the key thing you’re talking about here is just the awareness and being engaged with people, being present with people.

Adrianne: Yes.

Dylis: Again, last week when I was working with these students and we were talking about listening to understand it was about engaging and being present with the person. We did a little exercise one way where they…one person was talking the other person was just disinterested and then you know the person who was talking talked about how they felt when this person was disinterested. Then we did it where they were totally engaged, and the difference was just amazing.

Adrianne: I think that goes back to your point about being authentic you know you can tell when somebody is really interested in you because they want to know and that’s where I think the question of a gentle question not the interrogation style question but the gentle question I call it comes in really useful. Be genuinely interested you know. I listen to quite a lot of podcasts as well and I was listening to one the other day about being curious. Curiosity is an absolutely great skill to have.

Dylis: Yes and a question that I love is could you just help me to understand that a little bit more?

Adrianne: Which one?

Dylis: The question of…

Adrianne: The question yes sorry I thought you were asking me.

Dylis: No, no I’m just using the question to find out more but saying ‘could you just help me to understand that little bit more’ and then people are keen to open up and to tell you.

Adrian: And you know one of the other…so I’m a Samaritan as you know and one of the things that we’re taught to do is use silence. Silence can be great you know, use your great question you just said you know can you help me to understand that more and then just be quiet and let the person speak. Actually, silence is a really great tool to use when you want someone to open up more and you’ve asked questions just be quiet and let them speak and they will, they will fill the silence

Dylis: Yes and so this really all leads to people being committed to being present, being authentic, listening for what’s not said as well as what is being said.

Adrianne: Absolutely.

Dylis: Watching the match of you know, is what they’re saying the same as what is showing  and then responding to that and asking questions and really getting deeper.

Adrianne: You rarely see a facial expression you think I have no idea what that means. Ask these gentle questions now if you’re not sure how someone feels, ask them you know did you like what I just sad about that you know, how does that feel for you, how does that resonate with you, is that something you know you think you might be interested in or is a bit confusing? You know it’s these questions draw people out in a genuine way.

Dylis: The opposite of all of this of course is being self absorbed especially in the sales space.

Adrianne: Yes.

Dylis: You know being self-absorbed about your product or your service or yourself or your company and just talking and doing the majority of the talking instead of asking questions and letting other people talk and then going deeper and finding out what’s really going on. Because it’s something that I read out when I introduced you there Adrianne was using techniques to go beyond what people say or can’t verbalise to get to what they really feel or know.

Adrianne: Yes.

Dylis: That’s kind of the essence isn’t it?

Adrianne: Absolutely and you know sometimes by becoming aware and understanding the emotions that we have ourselves sometimes I’ll pull a face and I’ll be oh I didn’t realise I felt like that about whatever it was I was thinking about. So actually, it helps just understanding and decoding people’s emotions; helps decode our own emotions because we become more aware of what we’re showing on our faces and what we’re revealing. Actually, you know in a sales environment sometimes if we don’t fully believe in our products that will come through, it will come through.

Dylis: Absolutely.

Adrianne: Subconsciously the person that we’re talking to will pick up on it. So it’s being aware do I fully believe in this product, do I fully believe in what I’m trying to sell because if you don’t it will show, it will show. Although they won’t be able to say oh they don’t believe it subconsciously there will be messages given and received.

Dylis: I haven’t a deep knowledge of science either, however one of the things I talk about is exactly that. The mind will move to the most dominant thought whether it’s positive or negative and our actions will follow.

Adrianne: Yes.

Dylis: It’s no good telling someone just to do it differently they have to think differently…

Adrianne: The saying that I like to use is the face is the…hang on I’m going to get this right now. The face is the index to the mind.

Dylis: Yes, absolutely and again it’s something that’s quite fundamental for sales people.

Adrianne: Absolutely.

Dylis: They must believe in what they’re selling. In fact, it’s not just even that they’ve got to believe in themselves, they’ve got to believe in their company, they’ve got to believe in their product because it will come out in the facial expressions or the words that they use, their body language and so on. It’s such an interesting subject and as I said to you before we went live on here, it must be strange for your family, your husband, your children…don’t you decode me.

Adrianne: Yes I’m not always popular at home or at parties.

Dylis: She’s here, she’s here watch. Here’s another example I was running a leadership program and we were talking about the impact that leaders can have on their teams something as small as {gestures} , tut, can have a massive effect on someone. Just that touch and (tut and eye roll) kind of eyes you know.

Adrianne: Eye roll.

Dylis: The eye roll; so, for any leaders that are listening in what kind of tips can you give them?

Adrianne: I would say the one thing…I mean as leaders we need our teams to be brought into what we want to achieve because without that we’ve got nothing, we’re not leading anything if we don’t have that buy in. So, one of the facial expressions that leaders need to look out for and then work on is contempt. So, the facial expression of contempt is that {gestures} one side of the mouth goes up just one side and it can look a bit like half smile; I love the fact that you’re trying to do it Dylis.

Dylis: I bet you catch your students doing this when you’ve got delegates and I bet they’re out doing it.

Adrianne: I actually give them mirrors so they can see themselves doing it as well. That one side of the lip goes up, it can be like a half smile, it kind of looks like that {gestures} yeah that’s it. That means, I don’t believe it, lack respect, that doesn’t apply to me. So if we’re seeing that in our team as leaders, if we’re seeing this sort of smug or contemptuous face I wouldn’t challenge it again out right. I would just say you know, you don’t seem into what we’re trying to achieve how can I help you get there? What more information do you need? Is there anything you’re not sure about?

So I would say for sales people in general and leaders contempt is the one thing to look at look out for because if you’re seeing that expression, the person that you are talking to, selling to whatever, is not bought in and more work needs to be done.

Dylis: What I love about this is it’s being self-aware, as the leader being self aware of how you are with your people. I always talk about, you have to love your people. It’s not bringing people down or making them feel uncomfortable, but you’ve got to be aware and this decoding is just another tool really to help leaders to be effective.

Adrianne: I describe it as another layer of insight. So you’ve got lots of knowledge, you’ve got lots of skills, it’s another layer to add to your insight.

Dylis: Yeah, yeah that’s explained it perfectly or described it perfectly. So, let’s just touch on meetings, so let’s say you’re maybe in a peer group meeting or you’re in a board meeting or maybe you’re at a mastermind meeting. What do we need to be aware of?

Adrianne: Everything. It’s those expressions where perhaps people don’t verbalise, or they may say yeah, I’m fine but actually they look really sad or they look angry it’s those where you don’t actually believe them. The facial expressions say one thing and the words say another. Always believe what the face is telling you, always, because that will be the truth even if the person isn’t aware of it. What they’re showing on their face is how they really feel.

Dylis: Yes, so let’s just encapsulate all of this again then in terms of…I’m going to let you do it the key steps that people need to be aware of, whether it be selling to a prospective client, with an existing client, in a team meeting, with your leader or just generally with people, what are the key elements?

Adrianne: So for me the absolutely key is awareness; that is number one because once you become aware there’s lots of information to be had and not in an unethical way because as you know you and I both are both very strong on ethics. It’s not in an unethical way but it’s there freely given you know. We can tell people’s age roughly and gender from their face. Whether they’re feeling positive, whether they’re feeling negative it’s just taking an extra step and becoming really aware of what people are telling us.

I heard a great quotes a couple of weeks ago you know, if someone shows you who they are believe them because that’s…what they’re showing you, is who they are and that’s what you work with. You can’t change people; you can’t assume everyone is like us. That’s number two actually. Don’t assume that the person you’re talking to feels the same as you. Because what could trigger happiness in me might trigger fear in you. So number one be aware more than you’ve ever done before and number two is don’t assume that everyone will feel the same way as you about something, because that’s not the case.

Dylis: Then dig deeper with questions not in an interrogative way but gentle questions.

Adrianne: Gentle questions.

Dylis: To find out more.

Adrianne: Yes, and the reason we’re find out more is so we don’t assume that it’s how we feel about something you know. I could be really excited about something, but you may not be excited about that. I can’t assume that you will be, so it’s my gentle question then that will draw out how you really feel about it. Your face would have told me something and then I can explore that more with you.

Dylis: Isn’t the outcome of that amazing when you get to that point and you’ve communicated in that way and you’ve been present, that you kind of come together, the relationship strengthens at that point.

Adrianne: Absolutely and that’s what all sales is about, relationships with people.

Dylis: Yes.

Adrianne: We buy from people we like, or we trust or you know we believe in. That’s what we’re buying we don’t mostly as salespeople and business owners and leaders, we don’t just want this transactional relationship, we want this deeper connection. So, it’s our job is to understand how they really feel and have that connection with them.

Dylis: Fantastic now I know that you’ve got a P.D.F. with information and insight would you be kind enough to share that with the audience?

Adrianne: I will yes it’s a P.D.F. of my new book it’s called ‘Face It’ trying to become a facist . It’s just to build on that awareness and one thing we haven’t touched on is the personality of the face and how we reveal aspects of our personality. So there’s loads of information on our face and what the P.D.F. will do is just help you become more aware so I’m happy to share that with anyone that wants a copy of that.

Dylis: Brilliant so how can they access that will you give me a link or how will we do that?

Adrianne: I can do that or if they send me an e-mail so send an email to info@d-coded.co.uk  one of my team will send that out straight away.

Dylis: Excellent and I know you run workshops.

Adrianne: Yes.

Dylis: Can they find that on your website?

Adrianne: We’re just having our website re-updated actually so it’s not on there at the moment but again if anyone wants to be made aware of the dates…we’ve got some dates coming up one at the end of March one in April and again if they send an email to info@d-coded.co.uk  Or actually on our website our current website our contact details are all on there.

Dylis: What’s your website again Adrianne?

Adrianne: www.d-coded.co.uk

Dylis: Fantastic, thank you so much. I was so looking forward to this and it hasn’t disappointed. I really was looking forward to taking a deeper dive into this so thank you very much Adrianne it’s been an absolute pleasure. Anyone watching listening or reading if you would like to hear more about finding, attracting, converting and treasuring your ideal clients please come and join us in the Facebook group Inspired Selling. Thanks again and bye for now.

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