Moving Out of Your Comfort Zone: The Key to Improving Your Sales Results


By Chuck and Evan Polin, Sandler Training, The Training Resource Group

Some say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

We meet a lot of professionals who take what seems like an insane approach to sales: they keep right on doing what does not work.

When it comes to expanding your base of business, you will find that the concepts we teach are not very complex. You will find that the biggest sales challenge you face is not mastering some complex new concept, but rather changing your current behavior patterns and thought processes in order to use simple ideas to get different results.

Truth be told, it is difficult for most people to make even simple changes. Most of us, even if we are very successful, get caught in what we at Sandler call a Comfort Zone: a behavioral space where your activities are consistent with your existing competencies, meaning your knowledge, skills, experiences, and abilities. Operating in your comfort zone minimizes stress and risk, but also limits growth.



Here is a true story about someone who found himself caught in a comfort zone. …

One of our clients is an architect named Pete. Long before we started working with Pete, he saw that he had a need to make changes and move out of his comfort zone. Pete decided to begin the process by making one very simple behavioral change. When Pete drove out of his neighborhood every day, he had a choice to make a right turn or a left turn. Both of these turns took him to exactly where he needed to go in the same exact amount of time, but for some reason Pete always made a right turn.

Pete decided that he wanted to make small behavioral changes, and he started with something as seemingly insignificant as making a left turn during his morning commute instead of making a right turn. Pete found that it took about 90 days for this change to become a comfortable one. Every day for the initial 89 days, his impulse was to make a right turn!

It was not until 90 or more days that making a left turn felt natural to him. If it is that difficult to take a different route out of your neighborhood every day, imagine how difficult it can be to make major changes in your business behaviors that might be uncomfortable for you!

In order to change and grow, both personally and professionally, you will need to modify your behavior and do things a little differently than you have become accustomed to up until now. You will need to alter some familiar, preconceived ideas about what is appropriate, how you perceive your role and your value, how prospective clients think and act, what people will think of you, and most importantly, what you are capable of accomplishing.

You must dedicate yourself to the new thoughts and actions for 90 or more days before you begin to internalize new messages. It takes dedication, commitment, persistence and focus to make real emotional and behavioral change. In addition, our experience shows us that the most successful change is internally driven. If you have a strong internal motivation to accomplish new goals, it will be easier for you to change your comfort zone than if you are only being “forced” to change by external factors.

We recommend a training routine that includes both internal motivation and external support, and one that incorporates ongoing reinforcement. This is how adults learn best, and this is how you can make permanent change.


This information was originally published in “Sandler Professional Services the Sandler Way: Nobody Ever Told Me that I’d Have to Sell,” by Chuck and Evan Polin, Sandler Training, The Training Resource Group. It is available for purchase on Amazon. You can view more about The Training Resource Group at


CEO of The Training Resource Group, Chuck Polin brings more than 40 years of sales, sales management, and corporate executive experience to the firm. He has managed numerous sales forces, directed various marketing campaigns and was president of a Fortune 500 Company division.


President of The Training Resource Group Evan Polin joined the firm in 2001 and brings a wealth of training and coaching experience to the firm. Evan is a certified Sandler trainer and his background in the mental health field has helped his clients make permanent change in their behavior.