Build Sales Muscle by Expanding Comfort Zones

Think like an athlete: You’ll never improve your game if you don’t push yourself a little.

March 21, 2014

Whether you’re an agent or a broker, one of the biggest opportunities for personal and sales growth is to expand your comfort zone. Agents who are willing to push just a little further will have more success and be a welcome addition to any team. Likewise, one of the most valuable contributions brokers can make to the success of their team is to encourage and push agents to stretch their comfort zone and thus expand it. 

Everyone’s comfort zone changes over time. If you stay inside your comfort zone, it will shrink. On the other hand, if your step outside of your comfort zone, it will expand to re-encompass you. That’s just the way comfort zones work. Understanding this principle is important to continual growth.

Athletes are aware of this principle and embrace the vigorous training that continues to push them to greater achievements. No pain, no gain, right? For them, it’s always about stretching—stretching muscles, endurance, skills, and knowledge in order to keep improving. Athletes know that if they stop training, they will regress to their old achievement levels very quickly. The sports world is too competitive for them to let that happen. 

The housing market is competitive, too. In order to keep winning, we need to have the same mind-set as a star athlete. We must approach comfort zones like athletes do; they don’t start benching 300 pounds in the first session. But they don’t quit when they reach their current limit, either.

Brokers, if someone on your team has a hard time with follow-up calls, start small. Work together to make a goal of a certain number of calls in a day and work up from there.

Agents, start with a skill set that you want to grow. Once you’ve mastered it, you can add more “weight” (so to speak) and move on. Aim to expand your comfort zone 20 percent at each step.

Don’t go too far, because that causes burnout. But don’t settle for less, or you’ll end up stagnant. Push far enough for long enough, and you’ll be benching (and selling) more than you ever thought possible.

Jason Forrest is a sales trainer, management coach, member of the National Speakers Association’s Million Dollar Speakers Group, and author of three books, including his latest, Leadership Sales Coaching. Learn more at