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There are four Mental Leashes that are holding you back from being a top-performing salesperson. Sales is a mental game and mindset is everything.
Jason Forrest, CEO and Founder of the Forrest Performance Group, is back for the last two mental leashes—Rules and Self Image. Jason defines rules as anything that you need to see, feel, or hear in order to give yourself permission to engage. We are never going to have one prospect that meets all of our wishes. We need to be flexible, and like Jason said, we need to let those rules go because they are blocking our performance. The last mental leash is Self Image. It seems like a no brainer but sometimes as salespeople, we forget how important it is. Jason walks us through an easy to do exercise that anyone can do to gain perspective on their own self-image.
A special gift for all the conquerers out there from Jason, a copy of his new book—The Mindset of a Sales Warrior—visit book-salesmindset.com.
Jason is a winner of four international Stevie Awards for his Warrior Selling and Leadership Coaching training programs. He is an award-winning author and has written five books. Jason lives on the leading edge of the sales industry. As a behavioral change expert and maverick entrepreneur, Jason believes the only way to break your sales plateau is to completely change the way you look at sales. And that means an extreme focus on pulling the future of sales into the present. Jason’s mission is to give every sales professional, manager, and executive the tactical, real-world knowledge so they can remove any limiting beliefs keeping them from breaking their plateaus. In the course of that decades-long mission, Jason’s trained billion-dollar companies and everyone from high-powered CEOs to frontline salespeople to increase their effectiveness by driving more profit.
George: Welcome to the Conquer Local podcast. This is George Leith. As promised, we have Jason Forrest back this week in studio to give you the last two mental leashes. But first, let’s do a quick recap of the first two. Number one was stories. When Jason told us about stories being a mental leash last week, he explained it as all the stories we give are excuses. Stories are anything external that you believe that can be true. It’s if only the customer was interested. If only I was given better leads. If only I had a better product. Those are the stories. Those are external stories. It’s outside of them. They’re using it as a reason why they can’t perform and do their jobs.
George: Some great insights in last week’s episode and then we got into reluctance. Jason told us that there are 16 different types of sales reluctance that people have. Arranging payment, I don’t want to come across too pushy, raw rejection, I don’t want to sell to friends and family. And the list goes on and on and on. It’s a fantastic list. Jason Forrest, founder of the Forrest Performance Group is coming up next with the last two leashes on the Conquer Local podcast.
George: I want to continue our discussion around these four leashes because I am completely enthralled in what we’re discussing. And I want to get to number three of your four leashes. And that’s the rules. What do you mean by rules? Is it the rules that our operations department puts on us and how we have to fill out the forms properly or is it more than that?
Letting Go of the Unicorn: Step Away From Internal Rules
Jason: Well, it’s, yeah, those are rules too. Those were more external rules that I, it’s more of a different conversation altogether. These are internal rules. A rule is defined by me that it’s anything I need to see, feel, or hear in order to give myself permission to engage. It’s anything I need to see, feel, or hear in order to give myself permission to engage. Let’s give an example, is if I was to do a workshop, which we do it all the time and we put on a flip chart and say, “Hey, let’s just kind of brainstorm guys. Hey, what are the characteristics that you need to see, feel, or hear that tells you this prospect is going to buy from you right now? Let’s just start the brainstorming. Hey, do you want to have all decision-makers present or do you want to have just one?”
Jason: I want all. Hey, do you want to have them smiling or do you want to have them frowning? I want them smiling. Do you want them asking questions or do you want them kind of just kind of stuck there? I want them asking questions. Hey, do you want to be the third person they’ve seen in the process or the first? I want to be the third. Hey, do you want them to kind of be in the market for a month or six months? Oh, six months. Hey, do you want them to be pre-qualified and real clear on their budget and what they’re wanting to afford? Yeah, pre-qualified. I just make this whole list and go, this is a unicorn. How often does this happen?
George: I was like, that’s the perfect customer.
Jason: That doesn’t happen, right?
George: No, it never happens that way.
Jason: It doesn’t happen. And so I just, the point is, is that every customer, I’m sorry, every sales professional out there, they’ve got some or all of these rules. And clearly, if they have all of these rules, there’s no chance they’re going to make it if they have all of these rules. Most salespeople don’t have all of these rules that are listening right now. They have some of them though. And so what they’ve got to do is let the rules go. And this concept came from actually Tony Robbins. Tony Robbins first taught me this in the sense of our quality of our life is equal to the amount of rules that we have. Meaning that you look at your religion or you look at your career or your health or your relationships, your civic and others. It’s what are the rules that I need to have in order to feel loved? In order to feel like God loves me or my company loves me or my kids love me or I’m doing a good job as a father or a mother.
Jason: I took it and said that’s a great general concept. I just now apply it to, from a sales perspective, which he didn’t do. But it happens though. And we all can relate to this from a dating example. I can pull someone from the audience all day long and say, “Hey, so raise your hand if you know someone that has dated a 1,000 guys or girls that hasn’t found the one.” And then I’ll pull them to the front of the stage and we’ll list their criteria. And it’s crazy. It’s like I want them to be older than me. I want them to make $200,000 a year, but I don’t want them working too hard where they don’t spend time with me. I want them to be fit but not too fit so they don’t spend time with me. I want them to be healthy but not too healthy because then that gets kind of creepy. I want them to have kids, but I want the kids to be old enough that I don’t have to mess with them anymore. They just get nuts.
Jason: And I look at them in the audience and go, “Is this person ever going to find the one on Tinder?” No, of course not. And they’ve got too many rules. The same thing happens with sales. We just have too many rules. We got to let them go.
How Do You Define Yourself? The Basis of Self-Image
George: Well the final item in this list of four leashes, and I’m learning a lot right now. I know our listeners are too, is self-image. Is this you put on your armor and you get ready to go to battle and you look in the mirror and you’re like okay about a 4.5 when really today I’m only about a 3.75 because I’m still jet-lagged from my trip? What are we talking about Jason with your number four in the four leashes of self-image?
Jason: Yeah. There’s a lot of again, a lot of strategies. We talk about self-image in the book, but the self-image is again, how do we define what ourself? What is our self-efficacy, our self-confidence, our sense of worthiness? It’s amazing how I can ask a salesperson and get them to be vulnerable with me and say, “Okay how much right now do you believe you’re actually worth? How much? What’s the dollar sign on your head that says this is what I have to make?” And what’s amazing is, then I’ll go back and say, “Hey, let’s look at the last two years of your sales performance and your sales career.” And that number is very close. Within several percentage points of what they’re actually earning. The number they define themselves as ends up becoming this mental leash, this self-image, this barrier for them.
Jason: And they don’t define themselves as a salesperson. They defined themselves as something else. Maxwell Maltz was the one that really brought this to the table. He’s the godfather of self-image and the, I think it was the 50s, 60s, he was a plastic surgeon and he had these cool stories in the book called Psycho-Cybernetics where he would give a young patient a mirror and the person just got in a car wreck and it was say a young female or male and had a complete disfigurement. Well, he completely changed her face and got her face back to looking the way it should. Gives her a mirror and says, “What do you think of your new nose?” And she says, “I don’t see anything different.” And what we realize at that moment is that our perception, our reality, well it actually affected her. It affected. We can change everything on the outside, but if we don’t see anything different on the inside, it doesn’t matter.
Jason: Which is, look it’s the reason why any human being that ever wins the lottery, majority of those people will blow all the money and they’ll go back to pre-lottery wealth after they blow it because the amount of money they made on the outside is way greater than their self-image of what they believe they’re actually worth. And when it’s out of congruence, we will always shrink to our kind of belief system.
George: I think that we all understand we need to get the book, but give us just a quick breakdown of how you would go about helping somebody improve that self-image.
Jason: Yeah, so that’s good. That’s great. There’s a lot of things that we can do. One is they can do individual exercises on themselves as far as looking at their, a simple thing would be, hey, list out the positive attributes. List out the things that you believe are your strengths. And then get some people that are close to you and say, “Hey, so I need you. I’m doing this exercise and I want you to share with me, what are the reasons why?” You can ask your boss, “Tell me five reasons why you hired me. What were the reasons that I stood out above the other candidates in a sales position?” Ask your friends, ask your family, “Hey, what are the attributes?” Ask your customers, “Hey, specifically, what were the reasons why you chose me over everyone else? What did I do?”
Jason: Well, that’s a good place to start because what I would do is let’s take that list of, I don’t know, 20 different things and then I would go through each one and say, “Is this personally true to me? Do I feel strengthened by this? Is this how other people see me almost in that metaphorical mirror? But I don’t see myself like that.” And then that’s where the work begins. And again, there’s a lot we can do from the book perspective to help them through that. But that’s a good place just to see if there’s a cognitive dissonance between how the world defines you and how you define yourself.
Improving Self-Image Through the Challenges
George: Well, one of my favorite authors is Jocko Willink and the Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win piece, but he’s got this new thing where it’s called Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual. And in it it’s a lot of affirmations. And I’m reading through this book and I read it on an ongoing basis. I pass it around to a lot of people. What you’re saying is to figure out what items you need to address, you get that from your peer group, including your customers and your, maybe even your employer or your friends or people closest to you. And then start to see if you really believe that. Now what happens if we have the inevitable, which is our mental toughness erodes, and we start to backslide or we start to get in a rut? What would be some suggestions you would have on how I can break free of some of these leashes and get myself back to that state where I’ve got very strong mental toughness?
Jason: Great question. We actually have a transformation cycle that we talk about. And so it’s number one is awareness. Number two is purge. And then number three is the new strategy. And so, but it’s all around this idea of compassion. And so the biggest mistake that people make is they don’t give themselves enough self-compassion or enough gratitude. And so what I would say is, look, we’re all going to go through slumps. The thing about sales you have to recognize is that look, you’re working 20 day, 20 business days a month and a top sales producer is actually going to fail the majority of those 20 days. No other career do you actually not win every single day. And so one, I would just notice the fact that, be aware of the fact that you have chosen a career that if you work 20 days, business days a month, you’re going to fail the majority of those days and still be in the top percentage. No other career has that so one, be aware of that.
Jason: And then number two is give yourself compassion on the fact that you are noticing that you are having moments where you are backsliding because that compassion, that noticing I’m having backslide moments, then you can start kind of doing the work. You say, “Okay, well what’s a strategy I can pull myself out of this?” And look, I agree with Jocko. I think the things we talk about in the book are anything you want to strengthen your life, you want to create affirmations around anything you want to weaken, you want to question. And so for example, if, let’s say the leash is, you know what? I just can’t sell anything this month. I just, no one’s going, we speak in generalities, no one’s buying this month.
Jason: Well I would question that and I would say, “Well is that true? No one is buying? No one, no salesperson that you compete against or in your territory has sold anything this month? Not a single buyer has actually bought in your city this month? Well, that’s not, yeah, a lot of people have sold.” Okay, so a lot of people have sold, you just haven’t sold anything. Well just even that process right there of noticing and questioning that overgeneralization and putting it into reality. Okay, well now some people have sold, what have they done specifically that you haven’t done? What are some things that you have stopped doing that you can start back doing it again?
George: From a coaching standpoint, for our managers in leadership that are listening to the podcast, you’ve got to have ways to stimulate your reps and to have those discussions. But Jason, correct me if you don’t agree, but I believe this is something that we need to learn as individuals because it affects all of us. It affects everyone out there. We have to be able to do that self-assessment and then walk through those steps.
Jason: You do. This book is all about self-work. It’s we’ve all heard the concept of you got to work on your business and then in your business. What we’ve missed out on life though is we got to work on yourself first. Really the new way people should say it is, work on yourself first, then work on your business and then work in your business. And that’s what this book is all about is just put yourself first every single day and the score will take care of itself.
George: Well, I’ve really appreciated spending this time with you. I knew that when I was doing my research on having you as a guest that we would go way over time and that’s fine. I’m sure that everybody listening is really enjoying it as well. Let’s find out a little bit more about how people can work with you and your organization if they’ve liked what they’ve heard today on the podcast.
Jason: The book is coming out in October and so definitely be the first to get a hold of the book. If they go to a book-salesmindset.com right now what we’re offering, I’m not sure for how long, but we are offering this and that is you can buy the book for free and just pay shipping and handling. And there’s all kinds of other perks that they can, and other tools and resources. There’s an audiobook in there that has some deeper dive discussions. I’ve actually created an affirmation track that people can start their day to with the belief systems. I’ve created some meditations that people can go into a trance and kind of work on this stuff. Again, all the applications, assignments, it’s all from my background in NLP coaching that we do and getting people unstuck and so that’s it, book-salesmindset.com.
George: All right, and we’ll definitely put that link inside the podcast, inside the text for people so that they can utilize it. And what if someone wants to employ you and have you come in and do some training inside their organization?
Jason: Sure. They just email me directly at Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org.
George: Well, Jason Forrest, the CEO of Forrest Performance Group out of Fort Worth, Texas. Really appreciate you joining us today and we’re looking forward to that book and it’s been just a great conversation and I’m sure that all of our listeners enjoyed it.
Jason: Thank you.
George: Well, we got the last two and they are definitely true rules. I like how Jason defines rules. He defines them as anything that you need to see, feel, or hear in order to give yourself permission to engage. We’re never going to have that unicorn. You’re never going to have one prospect that meets all of your wishes. You need to be flexible, and like Jason said, we need to let those rules go. They’re blocking our performance.
George: And then we’ve got this self-image. Now we all know that self-image is important, or we should know that, and Jason’s exercise has incredible value. It’s definitely something I’m going to be implementing in our sales teams. Listing out their positive attributes that they believe are their strengths, and having a conversation about it. Having those vulnerable conversations with friends, family, coworkers, and their team leads or supervisors. It won’t be the easiest thing, but I agree with Jason, it’s incredibly valuable as a place to start. The importance of how the world defines you versus how you see yourself, what a fantastic exercise.
George: I can’t thank Jason enough for bringing his insights to the conquerors, but I’ve got something for you. If you go to book-salesmindset.com, you can get the book for free. Again, it’s book-salesmindset.com, a special gift for all the conquers out there from Jason Forrest and the Forrest Performance Group. Thanks for joining us this week on the Conquer Local podcast. My name is George Leith. I’ll see you when I see you.