How many times have you gotten up in the morning and headed out for your first call without a clear idea of what you were going to do once you arrived there? Or how often have you arrived at a sales call and realized that you didn’t have everything you needed for that call? Has your manager ever asked you for a monthly plan, and you didn’t have any ready response?

All of these are indications of one of the field salesperson’s most common tendencies: to act before you think. It’s a frequently occurring malady from which even the best and most experienced salespeople suffer.

It is a symptom of a deeper condition—the inclination toward action, which is a personality trait typical of field salespeople. We like being active, we like confronting the ...

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