1. Appearance

A professional is neat in appearance. Be sure to meet or even exceed the requirements of a professional planner’s dress code, and pay special attention to your appearance when meeting with prospects or clients.

2. Demeanor

Your demeanor should exude confidence but not cockiness. Be polite and well-spoken whether you’re interacting with clients, superiors or co-workers. You need to keep your calm, even during tense situations.

3. Reliability

As a professional, you will be counted on to find a way to get the job done. Responding to people promptly and following through on promises in a timely manner is also important, as this demonstrates reliability.

4. Competence

Professionals strive to become experts in their field, which sets them apart from the rest of the pack. This can mean continuing your knowledge update by a comprehensive CPD (Continuing Professional Development) Programme and being a signatory to Professional Planner Standards.

5. Ethics

Professionals adhere to a strict code of ethics. Even if your industry doesn’t have an effective written monitored code, you should display ethical behaviour at all times.

6. Maintaining Your Poise

A professional must maintain poise even when facing a difficult situation. For example, if a colleague or client treats you in a belligerent manner, you should not resort to the same type of behaviour.

7. Phone Etiquette

Your phone etiquette is also an important component of professional behaviour. This means identifying yourself by your full name, company and title when you place a call. Be sure not to dominate the conversation and listen intently to the other party.

8. Written Correspondence

During written correspondence, keep your documents brief and to the point. Your tone should be polite and formal without being “stuffy.” This also applies to email correspondence.

9. Organizational Skills

A professional can quickly and easily find what is needed. Your work area should be neat and organized, and your briefcase should contain only what is needed for your appointment or presentation.

10. Accountability

Professionals are accountable for their actions at all times. If you make a mistake, own up to it and try to fix it if possible. Don’t try to place the blame on a colleague. If your company made the mistake, take responsibility and work to resolve the issue.

Source material: smallbusiness.chron.com

* Helen Brewer from The MICE Academy, is an independent contributor and articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of The Planner.