Don’t settle for mediocrity. It won’t always be easy, but sometimes, so as to not completely sabotage your success, you’ll have to step out of your comfort zone. This means that if your current plan of action, no matter how comfortable it is, isn’t producing increased success in your sales and/or marketing … change it up!

In sales, getting out of your comfort zone may be as simple as pushing yourself to become more disciplined in making cold calls. We all can easily come up with reasons (actually excuses!) why we can’t take time from our very busy days to make cold calls that we know will ultimately pay off. However, once you get yourself into a routine, which should only take about three weeks to do, it will be one of your most valuable success decisions.

There are two essentials in getting motivated to make cold calls: developing a good list that is demographically selected and up to date, and getting your head completely in the game.

You can’t expect the results you want from your cold calling if you’re not totally into it. You must be enthusiastic and have this resonate in every call you make. And you must believe that every time you pick up that phone, you are on your way to a fabulous outcome. Of course, we all know that every call won’t turn into a sale. But because it is definitely a numbers game, every time you dial, you’re laying the groundwork for success.

And remember, because it is all in the numbers: keep dialing. Set a specific time every day that you will make your calls, and don’t stop calling during this entire period. After you finish a call, start your next one. When we put the phone down, it gives us time to get distracted with other things, like checking e-mail, doing paperwork surfing the Web, etc.

If you stay dedicated to this routine, you are not only working toward setting appointments right now, you’re also gathering information from potential clients for future appointments. Both of these bring you closer to your sales goals.

Editor’s Note: The preceding excerpt was taken from Kim Meli-Lovett’s feature, “Maximizing your marketing and sales,” in the March 2008 issue of Life Insurance Selling. Click here to read the complete article.

Kim Meli-Lovett is executive vice president of The Directory Inc. She joined the company in 1996. She has more than 17 years experience in the marketing industry. Her expertise is in integrated database direct mail with a special focus on senior market products.