I believe that the quality of your life is equal to the number of rules you have. Think about the dating world. We all know someone who has a laundry list of requirements for their significant other: must love dogs, must be physically fit, must have a certain political affiliation, must be a teacher, must have certain hair color.
It’s no surprise that the more rules you have, the more single you are.
This doesn’t just apply to the world of dating. It’s a universal truth. If you go into a car-buying situation with 400 hard rules for your car, you probably aren’t walking out with a car that day. If you expect someone to act according to a long list of rules you’ve set, and they violate your self-imposed rules, then you’ll inevitably be disappointed in them.
In my latest book, The Mindset of a Sales Warrior, I dive into this concept to explain how rules just create leashes around your process.
This doesn’t mean you don’t get what you want. It just means you remove the rules you’ve created for yourself so you can see the bigger picture and get exactly what you need.
In a selling sense, rules are what you need to see, hear, or feel in order to have permission to engage with your prospect.
As a salesperson, these rules take a number of forms. Here are a few examples of common rules I’ve seen salespeople use as an excuse for why they did things a certain way.
1. “I only go for the close if they’ve said they want to buy from us.”
2. “I only follow up three times because anything more than that is annoying.”
3. “I only decide to sell to people who express an interest in what we sell.”
4. “The right time to ask for the sale is after the third conversation.”
Every one of these is an example of a rule influenced by programming. Maybe that salesperson made a sale one time after the third conversation and then created a rule around it. Or they successfully sold a prospect who showed positive body language once and created a rule around that experience. This is how the brain naturally fills in the blanks for you.
“Freedom and rules don’t mix.”
We’ve talked a lot about freedom as it relates to your leashes, and that’s for a reason. The number one thing humans desire in life is freedom. A recent three-university study found that the reason people want power in life isn’t because they want to control – it’s because they want freedom; the freedom to make their own choices, the freedom to decide their fate, the freedom to create their own journey.
Freedom and rules don’t mix. The more mental rules you add to your life, whether consciously or unconsciously, the less freedom you have to choose your own path. The rules you create are the mental handcuffs that keep you from achieving your goals. Logically, you need to decrease the number of rules you have in order to increase your own personal capacity for freedom.
Richard Tiller is an award-winning sales coach and author, and he tells a great story of a salesperson he coached named Brad who was tripping over a sales rule. Brad would only close people when they seemed obviously interested in buying, and that never happened on the first interaction. He wasn’t making his quota, and since he believed nobody wanted to buy that soon, he never tried to close them that soon.
So Richard made a calculated guess. He asked Brad, “I’d bet you’re pretty meticulous when you make buying decisions. You start with 10 items, then narrow to 5, then narrow to 3, then choose which is best, right?” Brad responded, “Of course! How else would someone be able to make an informed decision?”
Here was the problem. Brad was so set in his own rule that he sold to his prospects as if he was selling to himself. So Richard gave Brad an assignment: sell to your prospects as though you were selling to someone who didn’t need all that time and energy to make a buying decision. Sell to them as though they wanted to make a purchase that very day.
When Richard checked in with Brad three months later, he’d quadrupled his sales. He didn’t set out to change his process. Instead, he just changed his perspective around his rule, and instead of limitations, he saw possibilities. He eliminated his rule.
A sales warrior has one primary rule around selling: their prospect is breathing. Other than that, a sales warrior isn’t handcuffed by the rules they’ve created for themselves. They believe everyone wants to be sold to. They believe there is no wrong time to ask for the sale. They believe no external source is keeping them from selling more. And that’s because they have no rules beyond three simple criteria.
1. Is it legal?
2. Is it moral?
3. Is it ethical?
So going forward, stay within these criteria, and you’ll break leashes every single day.
About Jason Forrest
Jason Forrest lives on the leading edge of the consulting industry. Jason established his speaking and training career as a top 1% sales professional, but as he trained others, he realized something the rest of the training industry had yet to understand: the sales techniques widely taught at conferences and seminars were installing mental limitations in others, not removing them. That’s when Jason took matters into his own hands, completely disrupting the training industry by becoming the first training company to actually change behavior.
This philosophy is what led his Warrior Selling ® and Leadership Sales Coaching programs to be ranked in the top 10 World’s Top Sales Development Programs, by Global Gurus. His transformative and one-of-a-kind training programs have rightfully earned him his spot in the top 5 of the World’s Top 30 Sales Professionals for 2021, alongside Grant Cardone, Brian Tracy, and more.
Jason’s success in his sales and leadership coaching programs has pushed him to explore beyond ordinary training by adding a recruiting arm to his company. By using the world’s premier workplace behavioral assessment, FPG finds the most dynamic, culture-fitting, goal-oriented, motivated, and unleashed sales candidates.
His mission is to give every sales professional, manager, and executive 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.