You’ll Never Win, The Blame Game

Why it’s Important to Take Responsibility for Your Actions

It’s a popular game to play, especially when something goes wrong. Maybe you’ve played it yourself’s the Blame Game. You know pointing the finger at something when a sale goes south.

  • They didn’t have any money
  • They thought it was Free
  • They just didn’t want to buy

It’s easy to do and sometimes these things you blame might even be legit but the question is do you ever actually win when you play the blame game?

On today’s show discover:

  • … how to find the value in a lost sale;
  • … why focusing on those things you can control sets you up for success;
  • …and why you’ll never win the blame game.

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war-ship-146209_640The U.S.S. Missouri was underway and headed to its final destination when sailors on the bridge saw a light in the distance. The Captain was notified and he radioed ahead, “We are headed your way. Change your course 10 degrees south.”

After a short period a signal came back, “You change 10 degrees north.”

The captain, who was more accustomed to giving orders than taking them immediately responded with more authority in his voice…. “Now you listen here…I am the Captain, you change your course 10 degrees south.”

Once again, after a short period the signal came back, “I am a seaman first class. Captain, I need you to change your course 10 degrees north.”

Now The captain was angry, who did this lowly seaman 1st class think he was?… as the crew stood in silence they watched as he roughly grabbed the radio and keyed the transmitter, “I am the Captain of the mighty battleship, the U.S.S. Missouri; and I am ordering you to change your course 10 degrees south.”

Again, after a short period a signal came back, “I am in a lighthouse Captain,….your call.”

This story illustrates a related point… How often do we want the other person to change?

Every Lost Sale is an Opportunity

Take a lost sale for example. It’s appealing to look for reasons outside of your control to explain why your customer didn’t buy.

  • Maybe they had no money,
  • or the shipping fee is too high
  • or the ad wasn’t clear enough…

But unless you have the ability to change these things isn’t it a waste of time to spend your energy on them? It’s just the blame game again….and it’s not a game you can win.  

How do you find the value in a lost sale?

By refocusing your attention on yourself and looking for opportunities to do things differently next time. Taking this approach gets you out of the blame game and helps you find value in any lost sale.

The only value you can get from a missed opportunity is to learn from it and take action to improve.

What Can you Do to find value in your lost sales?

First resist the urge to place blame and ask yourself

“What could I have done differently?”

Now , It’s important to find a good balance. You don’t want to let yourself off the hook to easy and you don’t want to be too hard on yourself either. Sometimes there really isn’t anything more you could’ve done but before you come to that conclusion take time to think about the conversation.

Find the Tipping Point

Generally, there’s a point in every customer interaction,  kind of a tipping point, where either the sale is made or lost. Identify that point  and then look for opportunities just before it.

If the sale went well, what did you do before the tipping point that you should repeat? If it didn’t turn out the way you wanted what would you do differently next time?

Next, take advantage of resources. Revisit training, check out sales articles, listen to podcasts like this one, ask your coach for help, and get the information you need to improve.

Then, put it into practice and don’t give up. Ask your coach to help you make adjustments along the way.  Ask them to support you when you nail it, and help you when you don’t. With good coaching and practice you’ll get better and be more successful.


The ability to sell well is a lifelong pursuit and if you want to win….avoid the blame game. the saying goes find….

“…the serenity to accept the things you can’t change, The courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr 

Today’s one two punch

Focus on what you can change and find success

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