Making changes to the way we sell and market ourselves may require us to climb out of our comfort zone and to leave the relative warmth and security to take that path – the other path that is rarely trodden…
“Prince Rabadash’s army lay close behind them, Anvard ahead. If they did not reach Anvard before Rabadash and his horde, their journey, their entire lives, would have been wasted. The horses, Bree and Hwin (both of whom could, of course, talk) galloped. Certainly, both horses were doing, if not all they could, all they thought they could do – which is not quite the same thing… But a lion appeared out of nowhere and, with the spur of terror, Bree now discovered that he had not really been going as fast – not quite as fast – as he could.”
This extract is, of course, taken from The Chronicles of Narnia – that fount of a million simple and usually overlooked truths – and it illustrates perfectly what it takes for some of us to be steered out of our comfort zone.
Survival, let alone reaching a Sales Superstar status, requires significant changes in our worldview, how we think about ourselves and how we think about our relationships with key stakeholders. We are faced with new ways of thinking, many of which directly challenge what has proven successful in the past.
Willy Loman, the hero in Arthur Miller’s classic Death of a Salesman, didn’t become a bad salesman overnight – he just refused to change…
Change is hard for most of us. There is the question of the unknown, the comfort of the familiar. Typically, when we are confronted by change, we become one of the following:
The “Authoritative Critic” – This person quickly dismisses new ways of thinking, rejecting them as ridiculous, foolish and unwise. What is this individual’s motivation? Fear of change, of loss.
The “Authoritative Expert” – This person is one who typically responds to the introduction of innovative ideas by rejecting the reality that the ideas are indeed innovative. This individual is typically thinking, “What’s the big deal? I’ve always done it this way.” What is this individual’s motivation? Fear of losing face, of appearing inadequate.
The “Enthusiastic Apprentice” – This person is curious and is excited by innovative thinking and is eager to learn. This individual may not understand or totally embrace the innovative concepts, but is excited about the possibilities that well-informed change may bring about.
We can think about these three characters as being on a spectrum that runs from outright rejection to eager acceptance.
The more aware we become of our own “spiralling” through the process of change, the more conscious and intentional we can be about choosing to change, choosing growth, and choosing to succeed.
The future is all of ours. We cannot see it clearly, but we can meet it with courage – if we are open to it. We can create a better future for our organizations, our team members, our customers, and ourselves. We must be open and ready to change – our customers and prospects were, and now it is our turn. You will benefit from it and your customers will love you for it!