Swing Out of Your Comfort Zone

Three steps to finding your two millimeters that will drive sales

By Chad Sanschagrin

My golf instructor, Joe Plecker, taught me one of the most profound sales lessons I ever learned. In the world of golf, the difference between a great shot and ending up in the weeds is just two millimeters. A slight change in angle makes all the difference because what starts as two millimeters when the club face hits the ball multiplies once airborne. Good golf pros teach amateurs to improve their game by finding the two millimeters that keep the ball heading straight toward the goal.

When I first learned about this concept, I started looking for that two-millimeter difference in my career that would produce exponentially better sales results. The common mistake that most humans make is believing that doing the same thing over and over again will eventually get different results. Even worse, they settle for repeating the same process over and over and getting the same results. This is mediocre—not outstanding.

Most sales professionals stick with what they know because they think it’s safe. Just like a new golf swing, trying to find those new two millimeters may be temporally uncomfortable, but the fight always pays off. Eventually, you find a new comfort zone, along with another opportunity to improve more.

Here are three steps to finding and implementing your “two millimeter” change that will drive big sales results.

1 Be Self-Aware.

Take a cold hard look at what you know you should be doing, but aren’t. For example, at Forrest Performance Group, we assess thousands of new home sales professionals from all over the world, and more than 80 percent have a fear called “tele-phopia,” which is the fear of using the phone to call prospects back. If you are a sales professional who refuses to call prospects back, then it pays to dig deep and learn why. Take a good look at yourself. Realize that you have enjoyed a level of success without even following up with potential buyers. Now, imagine what the results would be if you followed up by phone—not email or text—with every person who walked through your door. You already know something you could do to make a slight tweak. This two-millimeter change could pay huge dividends, but you have to start by recognizing these behaviors and being honest with yourself.

2 Fight though the uncomfortable.

If you stay in your comfort zone, you won’t make change—so commit to doing something each day that makes you uncomfortable. Most people take the approach of doing more of what they are already doing. Although that approach might yield incremental results, we want substantial, long-term growth and change, and the only way to grow exponentially is to expand your comfort zone. Maybe doing Realtor presentations is hard for you because you don’t like public speaking. Although you know the value of Realtor presentations, you just can’t get over that hurdle. This is your chance to commit and fight through the excuse of not liking public speaking. Get on the phone and schedule four Realtor presentations for this month. As you step into it, you’ll gain experience and confidence, expanding your comfort zone and ultimately, your sales growth.

3 Be All In.

As with anything in life, you must be all in to see maximum results. Most people have great ideas and desires in their heart. They sit and think about the amazing life and success they could have, but the “Tyranny of the How” holds them back. The Tyranny of the How is when negative thoughts keep people from taking steps toward their dreams and getting things done. The how is the easy part—the challenge is overcoming the barrage of negative thoughts. Don’t let these thoughts derail you from achieving your goals and finding your two millimeters. Be all in. Stay connected to your heart—where the best part of you is found. If growth is only in your head, then growth is dead. You need to be connected to the heart and soul of why you’re doing something rather than simply sitting down and trying to figure out how to logically commit to a new behavior. But writing a pros and cons sheet, trying to find the time in your schedule, etc. will not be enough to sustain the behavior. The EMOTION (heart) of why you want to do is the fuel that will keep you going. It’s what provides the energy source to fight though the uncomfortable.

You don’t need to reinvent yourself or to change your entire sales career. The solution is simple: Find your two millimeters and commit to expanding your comfort zone. It’s time to swing.

Chad Sanschagrin is International Trainer and Speaker at Forrest Performance Group. He may be reached at www.forrestpg.com

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