STEPPING OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT AREA

The challenge is to reduce the gap between your actual performance (inside the comfort area) vs. your potential performance (outside the comfort area).

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Outside the "Comfort Area" - Potential Performance

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(gap)

Inside the "Comfort Area" - Actual Performance

(gap)

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Outside the "Comfort Area" - Potential Performance

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The Japanese have a term for this called "Kaizen" or the implementation of continuous incremental improvement. Simply put, this is doing what you are currently doing but learning new ways to expand your ability to do it better.

Applying this to yourself, you might look at the two of the basic skills for successfully conducting business over the phone. They are the Planning Arena and the Account Qualification Process. These skills have a number of components with room for incremental improvement once you decide to move out of your "Comfort Area."

Areas for improvement in the Planning Arena might include looking at how you:

Set your call objectives,

Prepare yourself before beginning a call,

Maximize your energy during the day,

Determine the intervals between your calls,

See yourself achieving your goals,

Examine your current pattern of making calls,

Handle your weaknesses once they've been identified.

Account Qualification area improvements may include:

Examining what are the common characteristics of your most profitable or and "ideal prospect",

Preparing questions to find these characteristics,

Planning how you can create a good first impression, build trust and credibility,

Expressing your confidence in a relaxed manner,

Matching and modeling the speed, volume and tone of what how your contact speaks,

Following the 80/20 rule of listening (this rule says we need to invest 80% of your time listening and only 20% speaking).

IMPROVING YOUR "COMFORT AREA" FUNDAMENTALS

"Comfort Area Fundamentals" include improving your:

Abilities,

Education & Knowledge,

Achievement Orientation.

Incremental increases in the "Comfort Area Fundamentals" allows you to expand the way you operate and will, if constantly put into practice, lead to greater performance. This is why it is important for you to consistently focus on and practice improving the "fundamentals" so it becomes easier when you find yourself outside your "Comfort Area."

Abilities

Ability is defined as the power to do. Will your future be a series of goals you've set or a series of accidents? You are a problem solver not a peddler or a pusher. What I hear, I forget; What I see, I remember; What I do, Becomes a Part of Me. Being the best is not as important as doing your best.

Education and Knowledge

Napoleon Hill in his book Laws of Success (published by Success Unlimited in Chicago, IL. And available through ), defines Education as "the development from within, of the human mind, through unfoldment and use". What are some specific ways to increase your Education & Knowledge? Setting aside time to read about your industry and your account's industry has always been a wise investment. Paying attention to the news (the Sales Intelligence Report Email Newsletter is an excellent source of concise news ) and pointing out items that may have an impact on your client's business shows you care about them and the challenges they are facing in their businesses.

Listening to audio cassettes and reading books by successful sales executives is a "sure-fire" way to strengthen your knowledge on how to use the "Comfort Area Fundamentals" to their greatest advantage. Attending user conferences, industry specific events and going through sales training classes on a regular basis also adds to your reservoir of knowledge.

Maintaining an Achievement Orientation

Maintaining an Achievement Orientation requires you remember that action follows thoughts so think great thoughts and focus on the positive. Think of yourself as successful and well thought of and doing more than you are asked to do. Help others as you have been helped and you will be rewarded with the success you deserve. You are what you think. Your attitude determines your altitude.

© 2005 by Accelerated Sales Results, Inc.

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