“You/I/We are all addicted…to comfort.”
According to sales authority and author of Be Bold and Win the Sale: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone And Boost Your Performance, Jeff Shore, this tendency is the driving force behind every behavior that keeps us stuck in our own status quo. It’s the malady that keeps us from reaching our potential in all areas of life, including sales.
He believes the remedy for this is boldness. And, he sees this as much more of a skill than a characteristic; one that can be “honed and perfected.”
The outcome, according to Shore, “Is to give you renewed vitality and increased confidence in your ability to face every sales challenge and to produce amazing results.”
He defines Boldness as: “Taking action to do the right thing, despite the fear and discomfort.”
Of course, by “bold” he does not mean pushy, slick, or manipulative. It’s much more about believing in yourself and the value you bring to others through taking the correct action…even when that correct action is outside your present comfort zone.
As he explains, it’s a “‘humble boldness’, a mental paradigm that suggests boldness is something to be exercised in the best interests of others. Humility and boldness are two traits that work together quite nicely.”
And, “winning the sale” means you both win; especially your customer.
Plan In Advance
One of the many excellent and helpful tips he provides is understanding the “decision before the decision.” Essentially, this means that — just as an athlete trains their muscles to respond automatically to the task at hand — we retrain our brain to automatically respond to a normally uncomfortable situation in a way that we’ll make the correct decision rather than the emotionally more comfortable but incorrect one.
To put it simply, you would move the decision-making process from:
Picture scenarios regarding the uncomfortable situations you often face. Even feel what it feels like. Decide what the correct action is and that the next time it occurs you will do it. Shore suggests making up a new and positive story. In other words, imagine it playing out in the perfect way. Now, feel exactly what it will feel like as it does. And, go through this scenario again and again and again.
You’ve now created the context for bold and definitive action when the actual event occurs.
When the decision is already made in advance (and that is key) you won’t have to think; you’ll just take the correct action. That’s not to say it’s easy. it takes commitment and practice.
However, to paraphrase the author, you are now identifying those small Moments of Discomfort and reprogramming your auto-responses.
Give it a shot. No, actually commit to doing so, and to doing what it takes to master this.
And, if I may suggest, purchase his book. Above was merely the tip of the iceberg. The entire book was filled with helpful, comfort-zone expanding wisdom.
One more thing: while this book was not so much about “how to sell” but rather how to get past your own limitations in order to be able to sell, the final section happens to contain some of the very best sales teaching I’ve ever read!