How to Improve Your Professionalism

BY Jessica Helinski
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Salespeople, regardless of experience and expertise, likely won't get far without professionalism. Those who conduct themselves professionally earn new business, and just as importantly, they earn respect from co-​workers, colleagues, prospects, and clients.

If you think your professionalism could use some improvement, you may want to read a recent article by Bill Treasurer for EyesonSales​.com. In it, he shares seven focal points for one to work on to improve professionalism, and his insights cover a variety of aspects from clothing to composure. Below, are just a few tips from his article:

  • Character. First and foremost, examine your character, ie. who you are and how you conduct yourself. Treasurer believes that character is the defining attribute of professionalism, and integrity is a major determination of one’s character. “[those with integrity are] honest and ethical in all their dealings, not just at times when it is convenient or when they are being watched,” he writes. Integrity is not talking the talk but actually walking the walk. How do you behave when no one is watching?
  • Clothing. As superficial as it seems, if you aren’t dressed professionally, it may be difficult to convince others you are professional (especially when making a first impression). Attention to apparel’s appearance helps craft a professional image and can make an immediate impression on those around you.
  • Customer service. How you treat your prospects and clients can speak volumes for your professionalism. Want to boost your customer service from a professional standpoint? Cultivate relationships: Be friends with clients, stick with your ethics when entertaining, keep track of birthdays, and send handwritten notes, Treasurer suggests.
  • Composure. How do you handle yourself in stressful situations? Or when you’re angry or feeling wronged? This behavior plays a major role in professionalism. “Composure means handling stress maturely,” Treasurer writes. “It involves being level-​headed when dealing with pressure. When in conflict, remember that there are always three sides: my side, the other person's side, and some place in the middle that has pieces of each side. Usually the middle is the truth.”

No matter where you are at in your career, professionalism has an impact. Being conscious of how you are perceived, and how you perceive yourself, can make a world of difference for your sales and relationships.