Problem: As salespeople, we sometimes struggle breaking out of our comfort zones. You know when you should be or even need be to trying something new to get to things moving in the right direction. Triggered by having an anemic pipeline of good opportunities we try to create sales momentum with a flurry of short-term sales activity. If you have ever done this before, you realize that this approach rarely creates any lasting results. It is not just in our sales role where this approach does not work. It never works in our diet program, exercise routine, or financial planning.
Analysis: We all come back to our comfort zone. Think about when you been away on a trip. How much more comforting is it to come home and sleep in your own bed? Wrapped in the security of what we know – we are comforted.
Solution: First, recognize that getting out of your comfort zone is a journey not an event. You will not get out of your current comfort zone until you create a new one. Envisioning success beyond the bounds of our current reality is difficult for most of us. In fact, when we say, “this is what I am going to do,” we’re often blinded by our past. We are all held captive by our past experiences.
How to Break Out:
Whenever you state what you want to do and your brain comes back to tell you all the things that will get in your way, just understand that the brain is informing you of the obstacles, roadblocks and/or challenges. It is not saying you cannot do it… that is your interpretation of what it is telling you. So the next time you get the long list of challenges of obtaining what you want, listen as if your brain was giving you a checklist of things to go to work on.
With your list of challenges, develop a strategy for each one. For example, you know you need to be making more prospecting calls. The reality you created is a day full of interruptions. You allow customers, managers, co-workers, family members, friends, email, texts, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. to interrupt your prospecting time. You say to yourself, “I’m just so busy.” The solution is to create a non-cancelable appointment with yourself to make the prospecting calls you know you should be making. Turn off all the electronic distractions, get agreements from co-works, bosses, receptionist, etc. that you will not be taking any incoming phone calls, pages or request for “got-a-minute” conversations. This is your time to work on prospecting.
Will it be hard at first? Yes. Will it be tough to maintain? Yes. Is it worth it? I don’t know that is up to you to determine. How do you want to define your role as a sales professional? Do you want to be known as “Comfort Charlie” or “A-Player Allen?”