Selling is about influence. Significant research has been done on effective and ineffective influence strategies.

Here are five common mistakes that people make when attempting to influence others:

1. Not setting a goal. You need to know exactly what you want the other person to do or say after your encounter. Otherwise, how can you know if you succeeded? Too many of us go into meetings without a clear objective.

2. Pushing too hard. If you push too hard, you may or may not achieve your objective, but you will damage the relationship. You will come across as arrogant, coercive, and obnoxious.

3. Avoiding. If you don’t push hard enough, you won’t achieve your goal, and you also won’t gain any respect. In sales, too many of us believe that we are not of equal stature with the prospect, and so we avoid asking tough questions.

4. Scattered energy. More junior people make this mistake quite often. They are very enthusiastic, and say lots of words, but those words lack punch. For instance, they go on and on about facts and figures, without ever saying why those facts matter or what they want the other person to do.

5. Making it about you instead of about them. People do things for their reasons, not yours. Always find the “hook” that will motivate people to act.

Have a fantastic day!


  • transio

    Great points. Also, I strongly suggest Joseph Sugarman’s “Triggers” (again) to anyone interested in selling.

  • dethfire

    good stuff

  • philwilks

    A good, concise piece of advice.

    Is it fair to say that common product selling techniques also apply to services based selling?

  • transio

    ^ “Is it fair to say that common product selling techniques also apply to services based selling?”

    50/50 on that.

  • aneitlich

    In my experience, product salespeople who apply service-based selling principles sell more than those who don’t. That’s because they don’t just sell products, but solutions and an entire experience.

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