I've been reading a lot lately about 'the science of subtle signals'. Admittedly not a subject to fire your imagination, but one that I think is going to be big - really big.
Imagine if you could predict within 10 seconds of the start of a sales conversation whether you were going to get a sale or not? Or if you could predict within 45 seconds of a conversation between a hospital consultant and a patient whether that patient would end up suing the consultant? And imagine it has nothing to do with the words you use and everything to do with your body language and voice tone.
That's why 'subtle signals' matter.
For me, 'subtle signals' represents a fascinating interface between social psychology, behavioural economics and customer service. For a great guide to the present state of the art see this. Marketers should be better trained in reading subtle signals than any other business discipline. It might even help you the next time you go into a meeting with the financial director to suggest a budget increase ...