Calibrate your customer


A few years ago, I was pulled over by the boys in blue, the police as we call them here in the UK. I hadn’t done anything wrong although I felt strangely guilty. It’s how they handle you. And I knew what they were going to do first.

That’s right, calibrate me.

being able to read your customer’s physiology is essential so you can understand their state of mind and pace them to an influencing position.

You see like it or not, if your state changes, so does your physiology – your body language. They say there is a “tell” for everything and as a modern influencer, being able to read your customer’s physiology is essential so you can understand their state of mind and pace them to an influencing position.

And my new police friend was about to do that by asking me some “yes” and “no” questions. He wanted to observe my physiology which is why he asked me to step out of the car because he wanted to observe my whole body language.

I also knew he’d have been trained on using his peripheral vision. Normally we use what’s called foveal vision or looking straight into people’s eyes – it’s years of conditioning but when you’re influencing, you really want to get good at peripheral vision. My new friend was.

And he began to ask me a series of questions requiring a “yes” and a “no” answer because he wanted to calibrate my physiology for a yes and a no. The reason? Quite simply, because when the real question came in, he wanted to gauge whether I was lying or not. Clever.

Try it yourself. Find someone you know. Ask them to think firstly of someone they don’t like, observe their physiology. Now ask them to think of someone they like a lot, observe their physiology and note the difference. You’ve calibrated them. In selling or influencing you can now use this to present an idea to them, if they like it, you’ll see it in their physiology without even asking them. Useful.

You could ask your customer or person you want to influence about sometime recently when they successfully bought something or took on someone’s idea. Just make it casual conversation. Observe and calibrate them and then move the conversation onto a purchase that didn’t work out. Observe, spot the difference and now you have the key.

I sell training and consultancy and I normally ask my prospective clients about training they’ve bought in the past that really worked out and then training that didn’t. Naturally I’m listening to what they’re saying, but carefully calibrating their physiology because I want to see the same buying signals when I make my presentation.

By the way, it was my rear fog light being on in clear visibility.  I just reckon he was bored.



About Author

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Paul Archer is an Online Sales Trainer, Speaker and Conference Host. He’d be happy to assist you in moving your workshops online during this challenging period. Email him on or LinkIn with him at The world of sales development has changed, many have missed this and boldly go on to run courses in the old-fashioned way. You want to develop your people – professional advisers, salespeople, coaches - and know there is a better way. He can help you. Think about music. I mean the music industry. In 2000 music became free, illegally at first with Napster, downloads became cheap as chips and streaming now cost $10 a month. In the same way, traditional self-development is now free. Everything is available online. Music artists and bands now make their money performing live. The live experience is what fans will pay money for. Recorded music is merely to create demand for the live experience. He brings his 35+ years of sales expertise and experience to you in two ways: Online, on-demand, just in time. He doesn’t run “just in case” training courses, they’re a thing of the past. Development should be “just in time”. Curated video, live videocasts and webinars, podcasts — books, articles and blog posts delivered via his Learning Platforms, YouTube or your in-house systems. Live. He can bring his expertise to your teams in live sessions, but these are rare now and need to be exceptional events. Conferences, seminars and events, he can educate, entertain them with my unique speaking style that has been enjoyed by thousands of sale people and advisers across the globe. Forty-five minutes, 2 hours, maybe a day – you choose. You figured there was a better way to develop your sales teams, you are right, and now you may want to make contact with him so you can talk further. You can Linkin with him at, and he’ll start a conversation or head to his YouTube Channel for more at email him at or phone him on +44 7702 341769, and where ever you are in the world he’d love to hear from you. Paul is a prolific writer and blogger – maintaining three blogs, with attracting thousands of hits from all over the world. He has published eight books. His latest tome "Pocketbook of Presentation Skills” was released in January 2020 and is available from Amazon. The third edition of his book “Train the Trainer of the 21st Century” is also available from Amazon.

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