Ready to step out of your comfort zone?

Janet Arrowood

When’s the last time you really looked at your business — especially the way people react to and interact with you? Maybe you need to step out of your comfort zone and into the shoes of your clients and prospects to identify better ways to connect with them.

What you’re doing might work, but could you do better? Probably. Consider the familiar quote: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” My version: “The only good thing about banging my head against the wall is how much better I feel when I stop.”

Have you dropped into the trap of unvarying repetition? Are you mired inside your comfort zone?

How do you step out of your comfort zone? It helps to know your personality type and apply it to your clients and prospects. The internet offers a variety of personality assessment models and quizzes. Take a couple or perhaps have a trained administrator give you the test and assess the results. People are often surprised to see where they land on the personality spectrum. Once you understand the test and its results, consider where your clients and prospects fall on the spectrum and tailor your approach. 

Some of the commonly used assessments include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) with its 16 personality types; the Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness (DiSC) assessment; and Tracom Social Styles Model. You can assess self-administered versions of most of these assessments online. It’s worth taking one or two. Consider taking the assessments twice — once approaching the questions from a personal, outside-of-work mindset and once with your business development and acquisition mindset.

Depending on my mindset when I take the MBTI assessment, my results vary between extraverted, intuitive, thinking and judging (ENTJ); intuitive, thinking and judging (INTJ); and extraverted, observant, thinking and judging (ESTJ) traits. When traveling, I tend toward the ESTJ. At work, I’m ENTJ. Left on my own, I’m INTJ. Knowing where I fit and reviewing what the four letters mean enables me to better understand how my approach to business might or might not work for a client or prospect. 

Four pairs make up these types: extroversion/introversion, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling and judging/perceiving. When I try to slot clients and prospects into one of these types and see how my types interact, some interesting new approaches to marketing and business development arise. That’s especially true when it comes to seeking repeat business or referrals.

Regardless of what assessments you use, knowing your personality type allows you to make minor adjustments that make major differences between closing a sale or remaining stuck in an endless loop of dealing with suspects rather than prospects. The same adjustments can make the difference between enjoying a business mixer or outreach event and watching the clock until you can politely duck out.

It’s easy to fall into and stay in a narrow range of business approaches and environments. But doing so closes off opportunities and limits your marketing opportunities and successful closes. 

Now could be the perfect time to step out of your comfort zone, get to know your personality type, make some adjustments and proceed full speed ahead when we return to more normal working environments.

Disclaimer: I’m not certified to administer or interpret any of these assessments. Consult with a certified professional to enjoy the greatest benefits from these useful tools.