Canadian Contractor

Dave Gray   

Top Six Selling Bloopers (and how to avoid them) Part 3

Renovation Contractor

Effective selling has less to do with pushiness and manipulation, and more to do with good manners and respect.

By Jeff Mowatt,

Sports bloopers are often about preventable errors that favour the other team. The classic is when players score against their own side. In the world of business, there are similar blunders – particularly during buying conversations with potential customers – that end up favoring the competition. As I explain in my seminars for sales teams, it’s not always a shortfall in your company’s product, price, or service that ruins a potential sale. Often it’s inadvertent comments that put customers off just enough for them to choose your competitor. Unfortunately, sales reps are usually unaware they commit these offences so they keep repeating them. See if you or your team members ever make these selling gaffs.

  1. Being a know-it-all  

It takes time and effort to gain trust. Yet it’s so easy to lose. It happens when we stray out of our own area of expertise and claim to be an expert in politics, sports, raising kids, the weather, you name it. Ironically, one of the easiest ways to gain trust is to quickly admit ignorance about anything the customer seems to know a lot about. Showing respect by deferring to your customers’ knowledge and expertise helps them become more receptive to yours.

  1. Ignoring the influencers  

It’s easy to focus on the key decision-maker – presumably the economic buyer. After all, they are the people who will approve the payment. And yet by focusing on that “bag of money” we are inadvertently insulting the people who may have more say in the matter than anyone. The father of the bride may be paying the bill, but imagine the consequences of a wedding planner ignoring the wishes of the bride and her mother! (We all know the groom has no influence – he just needs to do what he’s told.) The lesson is no one should feel like they’re being ignored.   


 The Bottom line

Effective selling has less to do with pushiness and manipulation, and more to do with good manners and respect. Talk less. Listen more. Allow your competitors to blunder their way out their customers’ good graces and send them into your capable hands. Here’s to you not dropping the ball.

This article is based on the bestselling book, Influence with Ease, by motivational speaker, Jeff Mowatt. For more information, visit

Parts 2 and 3 appeared earlier this week.


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