Often, when confronted with situations that are unfamiliar or stressful, we stay in our comfort zone to shield ourselves. But that personal bubble might be holding you back from achieving success.
To reach our goals, in sales and other areas of entrepreneurial life, it is sometimes necessary to take actions that might seem daunting, rather than exhilarating. So how can you move beyond your comfort zone and achieve your potential?
I believe the combination of passion and purpose is powerful. Find out how to use them to soar above any personal discomfort and achieve success. More on this, and 14 other strategies and first-hand insights from members of the Forbes Coaches Council in this article on breaking out of your comfort zone.
Learn how to use valuable strategies including:
- Problem-focused interaction
- Practice and presentation
- Setting up systems
- Understanding ‘no’
- Changing perspectives
- Experimenting with approaches
Additional reading you may enjoy: Embracing your Inner Salesperson
How do you know if you’re in the wrong job, or if a new job offer will be a good fit?
Your career goals can change over time, and the wrong job will only delay your success.
There are many signs your job is not a good fit, starting with the company’s values. Know what a company stands for before you accept employment, and make sure it’s a match for your own beliefs. If your existing employer is no longer living up to the values they had when you started, it may be time to move on. Choosing to stay will only delay your success.
Just surviving in a job isn’t enough. You should be thriving. Are you constantly bored or having negative feelings about the work you do? Has there been a change in management or company direction? Are you utilizing your strengths?
I shared my thoughts on this topic, along with other members of the Forbes Coaches Council. Find out our 13 clear signs your job isn’t the right fit in this article on Forbes.
You might also be interested in the top questions to ask before taking a job.
You’ve spent endless amounts of time, energy and resources on developing that plan for success. It could be that you’ve poured your resources into a plan for a successful long-term relationship, business contract, new job, fund raising or even to hire someone to do some renovations in your home or office.
You think everything is going according to plan, then BAM, something happens outside of your control to derail your plan. We’ve all been there at one time or other.
What you decide to do amid the deconstruction of your plan (sounds so scary, but that’s how it feels), will be the deciding factor if you will convert the perceived loss into a win and come out of the situation successfully.
Here Are the Seven To Do’s to Convert Failure to Success:
1. Rationally and realistically assess the situation: Emotions get triggered when we don’t get our way. When things go awry, get in a calm state of mind and rationally assess the situation to determine if there is anything that can turn the situation around or if it’s time to put closure on the situation.
2. Take first things first: After the analysis in #1, it’s important to focus and prioritize the most imminent actions you must take, one step at a time, and not try to solve all your problems at once or out of rational sequential order. This ensures you highest chances of success most rapidly.
3. Stand up for yourself, your rights and your truth: If you have been wrongfully injured, stand up for yourself asap and seek the best support to represent your interests. Many fear this will make the situation worse, but the opposite is true. The sooner you take action, the sooner you will be able to maximally protect yourself and your interests and empower yourself to convert a loss to a win.
4. Know when to cut your losses and move on: After assessing the situation, be honest with yourself if the situation is no longer good for your wealth or well-being. Then move up and out with a strategy that is drama free as possible which may mean you may have to cut your losses by giving something up that ultimately serves to preserve your wealth and well-being in the long run.
5. Stay out of ego: When in conflict with others, stay out of ego and refuse to be baited into a power struggle. Ego will kick your butt every time and prevent you from being rational. Ego causes failure, but humility succeeds every time.
6. Always position yourself to maintain self-sufficiency: The mistake so many make, is to put all one’s eggs in one basket and often that basket is outside of one’s control. Don’t box yourself into a corner by turning your power over to just any one person, place or thing. Strive to keep independent and always to be self-sufficient.
7. Don’t give up on your goal: Failure is synonymous for “new beginning”. Those who succeed understand that failure is never permanent unless you let it be. Don’t ever quit on your goal. It will be achieved if you keep on keeping on. The situation, people or places my change, but your goal stays alive.
The time to quit on your goal is never. Take time to regroup, refresh, restore and then keep on moving forward. That’s how maximum success is achieved.
“I failed my way to success.” ~Thomas Edison
In Closing My Shocking Confession: As a child, I watched women of my mother’s generation suffer emotionally, physically and financially in many ways—at home, work or out in the world because they had been taught to be subservient and that the world was a patriarchal one. They had no voice, and no way to support themselves. They left or were forced to leave the “security” of their homes often to find themselves penniless and without shelter. It’s heartbreaking. And yet, this is still happening in the world today. And, not just among women. I have strived my whole life to stay empowered by understanding that people are human beings. None of us is perfect and people will fail us from time to time. But, if we rely on our faith, our own gifts and talents and ask for help, we can overcome any failure and triumph.
Mistakes happen. That’s just life. No more than now in our time in history, have human beings had more things pinging us, taking up our time and attention and causing us distractions.
Plus, none of us are perfect. We are all perfectly human, which means we are going to make mistakes from time to time. Making a mistake doesn’t have to be a bad thing. But, it does become bad to the bone if you don’t take responsibility for them.
I’ve seen people lose contracts, relationships, jobs, all their money and their own lives, by not owning up to their mistakes early on. The erroneous thinking behind the just say “no, I didn’t do it” mentality seems to stem from a belief that if they don’t assume responsibility for their error, they will avoid any negative consequences. But, nothing can be further from the truth. The fact is that the damage done will compound daily making it harder and harder to make it right and causing the cost of damages to skyrocket.
All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes.
The Top Five Ways to Make Mistakes Work For Not Against You:
1. Remember honestly is always the best policy. If you are tempted to cover up a mistake, just take a moment to reflect on any of the multitude of events in history, whether it be in politics, entertainment or the news that prove the fact that there is no escaping mistakes and that the longer one waits to come clean, the worse the fall-out. Cut your losses, admit the truth and move on with creating success in your life.
2. Tender a sincere apology. There is nothing more disarming than a heartfelt apology and willingness to fix the mistake. Fighting begets more fighting, but taking responsibility paves the way for a better and stronger future with or without the other party.
3. Take stock of how/why the mistake was made. Were you working while too tired, trying to do too much on your own or to cut corners? Maybe you were engaging in a compulsive behavior or did something out of fear rather than out of rational thinking. Get to the bottom of why it happened and learn from it to make yourself become wiser, healthier, stronger and smarter.
4. Have compassion for yourself and others. Don’t beat yourself up for your mistakes. Make an amends, forgive yourself and move on. The more time and energy you spend on dwelling on it, only robs you of opportunities for greater success.
5. Take the 2nd step after sorry. Saying your sorry, is just the 1st step in the making an amends process. To move out of damages and into success, one must make a behavioral amends by taking the action now and in the future to prevent the same mistake from happening again.
If you want to achieve and sustain success, take responsibility for your mistakes and address them head on and early on to avoid losses and potentially permanent failure.
In Closing My Shocking Confession: I had asked my mortgage lender to modify my loan. Simple ask. Commonly done, especially during the great recession. I did it through the proper channels. I was being advised by my attorney how to do it within the proper guidelines of lending practices. Next thing I know, I receive direct contact from the CFO of this National Bank. I think that’s super cool…until…he turned into a predator. But, I didn’t know it until it was too late. All the documents he was requesting via email from me, I supplied easily and effortlessly, without ado. His tone started to become aggressive, argumentative and accusatory. Things started to spiral out of control. He tried to block me from making my mortgage payments forcing me into default. It was a nightmare. What he didn’t know, was that he just messed with the wrong person. I’m a champion of the truth. I had all his emails proving out his lies and when I confronted him with the lies, he just wouldn’t back down. He brought legal action against me. In the meantime, I contacted the lending oversight authorities and the Founder of the bank and supplied them with the evidence. Within a short time, I had a formal apology from the bank CEO, the legal suit dropped and a letter from the Founder letting me know that the CFO had been fired.
This article was originally published at Forbes.com
To attain and sustain success, one must become skilled at the art of persuasion.
When I first entered the sales force at the early age of 19, I learned that I must master the art of persuasion to attain my goal of becoming the top-ranked salesperson. My gut reaction was that learning to become persuasive would mean I’d have to become disingenuous. And there wasn’t anything in the world that could incentivize or induce me to become a fake or a fibber. I wasn’t going to become one of those unethical salespeople you hear about who will say or do anything to get the sale. I shrugged off the advice and went about doing it my way. I’ve always been a hardcore values-driven person, and honesty has always been my No. 1 value. I proceeded to go on sales calls with my hardline honesty approach and though people did appreciate my honesty, I wasn’t closing many deals.
The turning point came for me when quite by accident (or as fate would have it), I came across Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. The book is a basic sales primer, but what enticed me was the book’s description. It promised that the principles contained in the book would teach readers how to make people feel important and appreciated. That resonated with me. Upon further reading, I learned that Carnegie believed that success in life can be attributed to how well one learns to effectively deal with people. As noted in a now out-of-print report, he also believed 85% of a person’s job success can be attributed to interpersonal skills, while the remaining 15% is a result of technical knowledge. These ideas instantly ignited a passion and enthusiasm in me. I set my intention to become adept at the power of persuasion while staying true to myself, and I set a goal to become an inspiring, well-liked and respected top-ranked sales professional.
Over the course of the next decade of my sales career, I achieved my goals well beyond my expectations. In the process, I identified my personal top seven pillars of persuasion that helped me achieve and exceed my goals — including becoming a self-sustaining entrepreneur and self-made millionaire while staying true to my values:
Do prospect research. Gather as much intel as possible prior to the first contact with your prospect. Too many businesspeople neglect to get to know their prospective client or customer, which leaves too much room for creating a barrier right from the start. Having a clear picture of who they are, what they invest in, their company’s core values and any outside interests can help quicken your path to a successful outcome.
Build rapport. Be likable. The art of being likable includes being on time and well-groomed, smiling, looking directly at the person you’re talking to, not over- or under-talking, and looking for and expressing the commonalities between you.
Ask the two most important questions. The answers to these two questions will give you valuable information to become more persuasive. They’ll also make you stand out over your competition and help you achieve your client’s goals, which is the most important aspect of sustainable success. First, what is the most imminent and critical thing for you to achieve? Second, what is the one thing that others have been unable or unwilling to accomplish for you?
Be an active listener. Too many salespeople are stuck in their own heads because they’re trying to remember the facts, figures and presentations that they want to deliver. Remember, it’s more important to build rapport, ask questions and really hear what your prospect is saying than to remember every detail of your pitch. You may find that some of it becomes unnecessary or needs amending so it’s tailored to what you’re hearing. Canned pitches leave prospects feeling unmotivated, like a number, and like they’re not perceived or valued as unique individuals.
Perform a soft close. Do a soft close by asking if you’ve been able to provide them with everything they need to decide today. If they say no, ask them what else you can provide them to help — not only to reach a decision about doing business with you but also to help them in their business going forward. Let them know your goal is to earn the privilege of developing a long-term relationship. Be prepared to go the extra mile and give them some freebies.
Overcome objections non-aggressively. Overcoming objections must be done in a personalized and compassionate way by using the information you gained from actively listening to their hopes, dreams and goals. Using a soft tone of voice, take one objection at a time and illustrate what you personally can do to overcome it. Explain why it’s important to their own success to allow you to do this on their behalf. And, if there truly isn’t a fair or reasonable way to give them what they want, present the facts that illustrate how their objection is preventing them from achieving their goal. Inform them about the payoff of letting go of the objection.
Discern hard-close timing. A hard close doesn’t happen on your timeline. Instead, it should happen when you believe your prospect is fully informed, ready and able, but is delaying their decision. Too many entrepreneurs hold on to their own timelines too tightly to meet a sales quota or out of a sense of desperation. Remember, it’s not about you — it’s about their success.
The art of powerful persuasion begins and ends with always putting your prospects’ best interests and success ahead of yours by being willing to go the extra mile to earn their trust and to make them feel honored, respected and uniquely special. In so doing, their success becomes your success.