From the October 2001 issue of Entrepreneur

Think back for a moment to your greatest sales calls. What made them so successful? Usually, it's because the sale went so smoothly. You did all your research, you had in-depth knowledge of your product or service, you set your objective for the call, you closed and, voilà, sales success.

But there's another factor that contributed to that success: you. Because you were so well-prepared, you were able to sit back and sell from the heart.

Baseball's Yogi Berra once asked, "How can anybody think and hit at the same time?" My question is, "How can anybody think and sell at the same time?" The best salespeople are those who feel so comfortable with selling that they don't have to think about what they're doing.

When I was a sales manager, I had a rep who wasn't doing very well. At first, I couldn't understand why. He had a great personality; people thought he was a natural-born salesperson. But he wasn't making sales. So I went along with him on some sales calls to find out what the problem was.


He stepped into what he perceived to be "salesperson mode"-and stepped right out of a sale.
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