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I believe all achievement in your life boils down to one simple-to-understand formula.

Performance = Knowledge – Leashes

In my latest book, The Mindset of a Sales Warrior, I dedicate an entire chapter to this idea and include an application that allows you to become aware of your leashes.

Your performance is nothing more than your results. It’s what you end up with at the end of the day. Knowledge is what you know to do as a salesperson. These are the strategies, processes and past learnings you’ve incorporated into your daily behaviors. The leashes are anything inside you that keep you from acting on the beneficial knowledge you’ve acquired. So if you know an award-winning sales process, but you have leashes and don’t believe it will work, your leashes are holding back your knowledge, and therefore your performance.

And there are 4 types of knowledge that you need to acquire in order to remove any leashes you may have.

The first is your brand. Your brand messaging is what makes you unique and unrivaled as a company. It’s vital that you don’t just know that branding; you must own it to truly sell it.

The second is your product. The products, features and benefits you sell are what give your company the unique selling position it currently occupies. Your success and the success of your company often depends on how well you can sell your products based upon the knowledge you possess.

The third is finance. Top sales warriors know the financial side of their products inside and out. You can comfortably and simply explain the financing and payment plan options as well as the benefits and the return on investment your prospects will get when they purchase with you.

The last type of knowledge is selling skill. The most effective selling is 80% process-driven science and 20% individual art. That means having a defined, science-based process that allows you to sell to any prospect, in any situation.

So that’s your knowledge. But if you want maximum performance, you can’t just know how to do something. You also have to work on removing your leashes. Your leashes are the mental roadblocks that stop you from following your process.

There are four types of leashes you’re fighting every day.

1. Self-image

Your self-image as a sales warrior represents your internal beliefs about yourself and your capabilities. For example, “I’m not a talented enough salesperson to earn a six-figure income.”

2. Stories

A story is an assumption based on external circumstances that may or may not be true. For example, people don’t buy my product in a down economy.

3. Reluctances

A reluctance is a fear of selling in a certain situation or to a certain type of person. For example, a fear of closing sales over the phone or a fear of selling to a high net worth individual.

4. Rules

Rules are what you need to see, feel, or hear in order to have permission to engage with your prospect. For example, “I never ask for the close until at least the third conversation.”

 The key is to move through each one. Start with your self-image; build up your belief in yourself and your abilities. Then conquer your stories, reluctances, and the limiting rules you have.

The performance you get on a daily basis is equal to the amount of knowledge you have minus the number of leashes you have. So it follows that true sales warriors are constantly focused on two things: adding knowledge and removing leashes. And both are a never-ending quest to find ultimate performance.

The good news is that you can take steps to increase your knowledge every single day. You can read more books, watch TED Talks, role play selling situations with your peers, or sign up for an FPG training program. The knowledge you have is the behavioral cornerstone of your success as a sales warrior. And the sales warrior mindset firmly believes that the true quest for knowledge never stops.

One thing that will stop your quest for performance are unchecked leashes. These are the negative internal voices that constrain you from reaching your goals and improving on your performance from the day before.

Just think about it mathematically. If your leashes outweigh your knowledge, then your performance score will be a negative. If your knowledge is greater than your leashes, then you’ll get a positive performance score. I believe that gameifying anything is a great way to create self-motivation, and it’s the same with the performance score. How can you take steps to increase your sales knowledge while simultaneously decreasing your leashes? That’s how you reach peak performance.

I came up with this formula because I saw leashes holding people back everywhere I looked. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing someone with the innate ability to succeed held back by leashes they’re not being coached to break.

Years ago, when I first started my training career, I figured this out the hard way. I’d personally trained a client for months solely to give him more knowledge in an effort to help him sell more. I struggled with how I could teach him all this knowledge only to see it never implemented in the end. The answer finally came. He couldn’t follow through because of his leashes. He didn’t need any more knowledge. He needed his leashes removed. That’s when I realized the training industry needed a shakeup, and it was going to start with me.

The heart of behavior change is removing your own leashes so you can become a sales warrior. So what does that mean for you? Maybe that’s releasing your fear around asking for the sale. Maybe it’s your tendency to run from coaching.

Whatever it is, it’s time to confront those leashes and eliminate them.


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