stock habits

All salespeople think that they’re great. Have you ever met one 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. Still, the best make mistakes – but they recognize them and know how to correct them. In other words, they know what behaviors to keep and what behaviors to lose.

Let’s divide this lesson into two parts.

Habits to break

Making stuff up: The true pro knows the product or service. A 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?” Pretend you are a physician and you are responsible for the patient’s health. Know your stuff.

Shuffling papers or goofing off or driving way too much: 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. They ask lots of questions and then begin the diagnoses.

Generating little scraps of paper everywhere and timeliness: Get organized and use a calendar. The best sales reps or business people are highly organized. Also, if you are running two minutes late, call or text ahead to explain why.

Wearing brown shoes with a tuxedo: I don’t speak on dressing for success. Nevertheless, look presentable. Even if you wear a polo shirt with your company logo on it, make sure that you are dressed neatly. Class is class. Sloppy is sloppy.

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 week, keep it simple and stay on course with distractions at a minimum.

Generating empathy and 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 with them. Be humble, genuine and honest. As time goes on, your reputation is really who you are.

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

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 workout once a month and perform 2,000 push-ups. You start at 10 to 25 per day. Sales calls are the same. Don’t burn your self out. Just do a normal amount every day and stay consistent.

Thinking in terms of questions: Anything you can say, can be asked. 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.

Hal Becker is a nationally known speaker on sales and customer service. He is the author of numerous business books including two national best sellers “Can I Have 5 Minutes Of Your Time?” and “Lip Service.” Hal’s newest book on sales is titled “Ultimate Sales Book.” He can be reached at


Letters, commentaries and opinions appearing in the Cleveland Jewish News do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company, its board, officers or staff.

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