1. Thou shalt not covet specific customers.  Too many entrepreneurs are fixated on winning specific accounts that they become emotionally attached.   You pin all of your hopes, dreams, company and brand on that…one…special prospect. Here is a tip I learned the hard way: Don’t. Think instead about the overall quality of your sales funnel and your business plan. “Build it will right and it will come”.
  2. Know the science behind your product, solution, and service cold.  That is a start but not enough anymore.  What do you know about your prospects industry? So many entrepreneurs are absolutely “bullet proof” on their “stuff” but lack basic knowledge of a day in the life of their prospects. Tip: It helps your credibility and you will certainly differentiate yourself from your competitors.
  3. Slow down.  I mean literally slow down! It is not necessary to tell your prospect everything during the first conversation.  It is not that impressive and frankly, they are probably tuning you out.  Sales calls are a delicate balance between educating, informing and building a relationship.
  4. So many entrepreneurs think they are just so fabulous because they are friendly, funny, intelligent and charming.  Reality check?  You are not that special.  Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.  Get over yourself quickly. Tip: Being Mr. Personality is not going to separate you from the herd over the long term.
  5. Do not bad mouth your competition.  It is the first sign that you are an amateur.
  6. Your comfort zone will be one of your biggest obstacles.  In order to be widely successful, you have to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
  7. Quality appointments with real prospects take place within the next 30 days. Nothing beyond that is really a scheduled appointment.  It is a hope.  Actually, hopeless.
  8. Tell the truth.
  9. You are not in the catering business. Be careful, once you say the word entrepreneur, you credit card becomes very popular. Tip: not every meeting has to have a meal associated with it.
  10. Be you. Authenticity is a desirable quality so be comfortable just being you.  The world needs your voice.
  11. Living is giving so get involved with other activities outside work.  A well-balanced life will keep you healthy and provide some much-needed perspective.
  12. Do not take yourself so seriously but do take what you do VERY seriously.  Have fun and enjoy the ride!