As we celebrate our 50th anniversary this month, we thought it would be fitting to look back at the first Sales Stars column Brian Offenberger wrote for SDM back in 2015. Here, read about nine things you should never do on a sales call, and find the full original article with 16 tips on our site.

Would you buy a security system from you? Here are nine things you should never do on a sales call.

1. Say the same old things. Most sales presentations are filled with words that have been promised so many times by so many salespeople that they no longer have any impact — words such as “best prices,” “friendly service” and “top quality.” Best practice: Tell prospects how you are different.

2. Talk too much about your company and products. People don’t care about your company or products until they know you care about them and can help them. Best practice: Talk about solving client needs, problems and desires.

3. Fail to capture people’s attention. The attention span of a customer is worse than an eight-year-old boy hopped up on Halloween candy. You need to grab people’s attention right away. Best practice: Be exciting. Be entertaining. Be different.

4. Talk rather than listen and interact. Stop talking, and listen to your customers. You’ll gain the intelligence needed to close more sales. Best practice: When talking, ask questions that will give you insight into your customers such as, “What do you wish to accomplish during our meeting?”

5. Fail to give people reasons to act now. If you allow customers to procrastinate, they’ll never take you up on any offer. Best practice: Give prospects reasons to act now and work to get decisions — not “maybes.”

6. Forget to measure results. How will you know if you’re succeeding if you don’t measure results?  Best practice: Schedule times to regularly measure your sales results.

7. Not have a plan in place for consistent prospecting. The best football teams always have a great game plan. If you want to be good at prospecting you need a plan in place. Best practice: Create a sales plan; implement your plan; give your plan time to work.

8. Treat everyone the same. When it comes to sales, everyone is not created equally. Some customers are going to buy more than others. Best practice: Segment your customers into logical groups and spend time on those with the greatest earnings potential.

9. Fly by the seat of your pants. The gunslinger mentality has to go. If you want to succeed, you need to follow your sales plan. Best practice: Slow down. Don’t always be in a rush to get things done.