Are You at the Edge of Your Comfort Zone or in the Danger Zone?
Let’s take a quick look at the three zones in which most people operate: comfort, growth and danger:
Now, let’s take a look at how these zones apply to your sales efforts.
In sales, the accounts that we are most knowledgeable about are in our comfort zone. We are comfortable with their size, and with the job responsibilities of our customers or prospective contacts. Typically, in the beginning of our careers in this industry, our comfort zone tends to be smaller customers.
Since it’s true that success begins at the edge of your comfort zone, I would encourage you to consistently call on customers who are in your growth zone. These accounts tend to be somewhat larger than those in your comfort zone, and perhaps your contacts have job responsibilities just beyond your knowledge and experience.
Continuously stretching yourself into your growth zone is a great way to grow yourself, your skills and your business.
However, there may be some sizable accounts or certain job responsibilities of your prospects and customers that are way outside of your comfort zone. It’s possible that these accounts and prospects are also outside of your growth zone and into your danger zone. Typically, these would be very large accounts or C-level executives.
If an account is too large, or your contact’s role in the organization is too far beyond your experience, they will be in your danger zone. Here’s why: The larger the account and the higher in the employee ranks a prospect is, the more easily they can tell if you are uncomfortable, unqualified or just not ready to be calling on them. The larger the account and the higher the employee ranks, the longer their memory is. Trust me, larger companies and higher ranking executives tend to take great notes and have in-depth archives of supplier and prospective supplier history.
It is possible that if you call on too large of a prospect or too high of a ranking employee (especially at the C-level) before you are ready, you could significantly limit your opportunities in that account or with that person for a very long time.
Go ahead. Stretch yourself. Stay at the edge of your comfort zone. Continuously be learning and improving. Just take caution to avoid your danger zone.