Breaking Through The Comfort Zone Barrier

After completing a workshop on personal productivity or time management, we usually find participants react to the instruction on goal-setting in one of three ways:

1. Some workshop attendees really don't want their lives to change nor does a greater level of achievement appeal that much to them. Therefore, they do nothing as a result of the training and their number of sales remains the same as they were before attending the training session.

2. Other trainees get excited about the techniques for improving their lives and begin setting goals that get them fired up for short periods of time. They don't place enough importance on the procedures, however. Without the daily discipline of reinforcing the ideas and methods they have learned, they quickly fall back into a more comfortable routine and soon, like the first group, are doing nothing more to achieve their sales goals.

3. The third group of workshop participants open up their minds to the concepts taught and carefully set new sales goals. They then commit to follow through on them and systematically work through the comfort zone barrier to obtain their objectives. These are the participants who ultimately achieve much higher numbers of sales and improved closing ratios.

Whenever you try to change your attitudes or your habit patterns, you run smack into a personal comfort zone. These are the natural barriers or roadblocks of your mind. It's the part in each of us that silently says, "I like things just the way they are-comfortable thanks!" Once you've settled down for the night in a big easy chair with your shoes off to watch television or read a book, it's difficult to put your shoes back on, get dressed up to go out again.

Selling used to be a whole lot more comfortable. But the marketplace changed all the rules on us. Now you have to sell rather than take orders. You have to set goals and track your progress. You have to get out of that easy chair, put your shoes back on, turn off the television and get going all over again.

If you look closely at why change makes you uncomfortable, you can begin to overcome your natural resistance to it. When you have to change how you do things-learn new behaviors-it will take a lot of practice (spaced repetition) before you feel competent in the new activity. When you feel less confident about your actions, you have a high degree of discomfort-it's only natural. It's the fear of looking foolish.

Think about how employees felt when the company installed a new computer system, or when the government required another form to complicate reporting, or when you first learned about the internet or when PDA's were first introduced. PDAs, the internet and computers still make, some people extremely uncomfortable, even fearful.

Change is a fact of life. How you react to it is a matter of personal choice-a matter of attitude. Unfortunately, fear of looking foolish is not the only comfort zone barrier you face when trying to achieve specific goals. Another obstacle occurs with well-meaning friends, co-workers and relatives. They're the people who often, unintentionally, discourage you from trying to attain our goals. Motivational professionals call them "dream stealers." They're the ones who find the flaws in your character or in your plans. They point out to you all the reasons why something you want to try won't succeed. The barrier they create is one of criticism or fear and it's a tough one to break through. It's a lot easier and more comfortable to go along with the crowd. When dealing with nay-sayers, you must remember that they don't want you to become more successful than they are. The way to get through their barrier is to affirm to yourself that change is possible and that you will allow no one but yourself to control your personal success.

The fear of failing is yet another barrier. This barrier occurs when you think about what you don't want to happen in the future or dwell on what may have happened in the past. To allow this barrier to creep into our thoughts is to misuse your imagination. Your attitude about failure should be that it is merely a stepping-stone to success. If you never fail, it means you have never taken any action.

Your comfort zone barriers-the fear of looking foolish, the fear of criticism, the fear of being successful and the fear of failure-are quite simply attitudes. They are the negative mindsets you allow yourself to have. You can become as successful as you allow yourself to be. So start today to break through your individual barriers. Set your goals and program your mind for success through positive affirmations and positive attitudes.

"What lies behind us and what lies in front of us, pales in significance when compared to what lies within us."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson ?

To obtain dozens of ideas, proven methods, and field-tested systems to help you overcome your own Comfort Zone Barrier, check out my new book, Organizing For Sales Success at: http://www.TheSellingEdge.com/organize.htm .

VIRDEN THORNTON is the founder and President of The $elling Edge®, Inc. an Ohio consulting firm specializing in sales and sales management training, personal coaching, advisory services and publishing. Clients have included Sears Optical, Eastman Kodak, IBM, Service Linen Supply, Bank One, Jefferson Wells International, and Wal-Mart to name a few. Virden is the author of the "best selling" Building & Closing the Sale, Prospecting: The Key To Sales Success and Close That Sale, a video/audio tape series published by Crisp Publications a division of Thompson Learning. He has also authored a client acclaimed Self-Directed Learning series of sales, coaching, telemarketing, and personal productivity manuals. To obtain a substantial discount on two of Virden's latest books, 101 Sales Myths or Organizing For Sales Success, go to: http://www.TheSellingEdge.com/books1.htm.

NOTE: You can contact Virden at: [email protected] or check out his detailed biography at: http://www.TheSellingEdge.com/bio.htm

In The News:

Why Women Are the Future of B2B Sales  Harvard Business Review
How Sales Data Can Help Non-Sales Teams  Harvard Business Review
Sales resuming at Balla Mart  Connaught Telegraph

It Isnt A Sale Until Youre Paid

Back in the days when I sold for CTV and... Read More

Selling - Trade Shows Vs. Regular Sales Calls

Remember those school exercises that started "Compare and contrast....yada yada... Read More

Ten Top Tips for Terminating Telephone Terror

1. Make telephone callsFew things are more terrifying than the... Read More

Ten FAST Ways to Sell Your Products

Always give a reason for the sale for credibility. 1.... Read More

5 Ideas for Writing Effective Sales Letters

Sales letters, sent via e-mail or snail mail, are an... Read More

Want More Sales? Write A Barry Bonds Sales Letter

I'm not a baseball fan. Never have been. In fact,... Read More

Secrets to Buying Without Being Sold

Have you ever asked yourself, now how did I let... Read More

Why You Buy, Part Three

Still more discoveries from the recent studies in behavioral economics:Over-Valuing... Read More

Selling To Your Difficult Person

We all have people whom we find difficult. We don't... Read More

No Regrets

Here's a chilling thought. If you were to die tomorrow,... Read More

Open Source Selling? The Next Evolution? The Next Revolution

"Open-source" is typically found in the Information Technology area as... Read More

Reviving Dead Clients

Most consultants I've talked to don't spend any time trying... Read More

Plan For Your Next Trade Show Appearance To Be A Success

Most people who consider trade show planning think of it... Read More

Writing Effective Sales Messages

A sales letter is a document designed to generate sales.... Read More

Going Back To Get Ahead

Have you ever run DOWN an escalator that was going... Read More

How to Eliminate Objections to Price

Have you ever stepped your way through the sales process... Read More

How to Make Sure You Sell More!

Make sure you target women. It's true for almost anything... Read More

Selling Services

Selling a service isn't the same as selling a product.... Read More

How To Shorten The Selling Cycle And Reduce Buying Stalls

The main reason for buyer resistance and selling stalls boils... Read More

Top 10 Ways to Sell your Product or Service While you Sleep - Part 1

Have you wasted valuable time and money on promotion that... Read More

10 Important Things To Tell Your Prospects

Hello everyone, hope your day is going well! I know... Read More

Ten Quick Etiquette Tips for Business Lunches

Knowing what to do when meeting a prospective client forlunch,... Read More

Two Mistakes That Will Cost You Money

You've met a new prospect, accurately assessed their needs and... Read More

Breaking the Ice and Winning Over the Client

Wherever you turn these days you'll find articles covering every... Read More

Going the Extra Mile and Getting Referrals

Successful salespeople have the ability to turn the customers they... Read More