Have you ever met a salesperson who said, “Hey, I stink. I just make things up as I go along, really don’t sell a lot, and don’t even like people.”? A true professional salesperson can balance incredible skills with sincerity and a friendly approach. The best make mistakes, but they know what behaviors to keep and what behaviors to lose.

Habits to break:

Making stuff up

The great salesperson doesn’t lie. If you are not sure about something or can’t answer a question, simply say, “Can I call you back with the information?”

Shuffling papers or goofing off

Being busy doesn’t mean that you have had a successful day. How many people have you seen today? And how much rejection or reception was part of your day? Aim to make at least six hours of your day productive. You will be amazed at the returns.

Talking too much

Salespeople talk too much. Your job as a pro is to listen and ask questions. Remember, the physician doesn’t give the diagnosis as soon as you walk into the office. He asks lots of questions, listens, and then diagnoses.

Generating little scraps of paper…everywhere

Get organized. Buy a planner or a PalmPilot. The best sales reps or business people are highly organized.

Being late.

Even if you are only three minutes late, call ahead to explain why. If you don’t have a mobile phone yet, get one. It is a necessity in today’s business world.

Wearing brown shoes with a tuxedo

Look presentable. Even if you wear a polo shirt with your company logo on it, make sure that you are dressed neatly.

Habits to Keep:

Working the plan

A goal without a plan is a wish. Do you plan your success or just let things happen to you? Be in charge of your day or your week. Keep it simple and stay on course. And keep distractions to a minimum.

Generating empathy & sincerity

Do you always put your customers or clients first? If not, you should. We will buy from whom we trust and respect. Don’t be cute or cocky; be humble, genuine, and honest. As time goes on, your reputation is really who you are.

Liking what you do

It’s easy to sell something you enjoy. If you get up every day and say, “This job sucks,” go into your boss’s office and say, “Hal told me to quit.” Do something you enjoy. You and everybody around you will be much happier.

Rejecting dieting

Diets don’t work. Lifestyle does. When you go off the diet, you gain weight. When you stop making sales calls, whether they are existing clients or new business, prospects disappear.

Taking baby steps

You don’t work out once a month and do 2,000 push-ups. You start at 50 to 100 per day. Sales calls are the same. Don’t burn yourself out. Do a normal amount every day and stay consistent.

Thinking in terms of questions

Anything you can say, you can ask. Don’t believe me? Try it. Try to go a whole day not making statements and only asking questions. The first day it will be tough. Each day after will become a little easier. After two weeks, congratulate yourself. You now understand the power of questions.