I really have to watch my behavior sometimes.

I like to think of myself as a well-mannered southern gentleman.  I say “Please” and “Thank you”.  I say, “Yes ma’am” and “No sir.”  My wife’s hand almost never touches a door handle if I am standing with her – for that matter, neither does any other person.  I open doors for people.  As we say in the south, that is just how I was raised.

But there are two areas in which I used to have to constantly watch my personal habits.  The first was in traffic.  In the past, I have found myself less willing to “open the door” for other cars who needed to change lanes.  I believe I have fully conquered that part of me now – within reason. 🙂

The second habit in which I had to watch my behavior – especially early on in my sales career was listening fully to the answers given to me after I asked questions.

I was taught some very strong consultative sales processes by my employer in my first outside sales job.  I took the time to carefully develop some great questions that moved my conversations to a successful conclusion. However, often I would ask the questions from the perspective that I already knew the answers.  As a result, I would sometimes miss some key information as the prospective client shared what their true needs were.  As Stephen R. Covey said, I was listening with the intent to reply – rather than to understand.

One of my favorite sales blogs is written by Lori Richardson. She had a recent post about the questions in the sales process.  It is a good read.


PS: My wife thinks I am still a work in progress on the second habit. 🙂