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Delivering the Ultimate Sales Warrior with Jason Forrest, CEO and Founder of Forrest Performance Group
Episode 3512th November 2021 • Revenue Engine • Rosalyn Santa Elena
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How do you create and deliver the “Ultimate Sales Warrior”? Jason Forrest, the CEO and founder of Forrest Performance Group helps organizations recruit, assess, and train the Ultimate Sales Warriors to drive results.

Jason is a well known speaker, the author of several best selling books, and a pioneer in recruiting and training top sales and management talent. In this episode of The Revenue Engine Podcast, Jason shares how to create the ultimate sales warrior, how to create a winning 90 day onboarding plan, why you need to hire “GUMPs”, what are - and how to release - the 4 mental leashes, and so much more.

Grab your headphones and a notebook and learn what you can start doing today to optimize your revenue team’s performance to exceed your revenue goals.

Connect with Jason on LinkedIn or visit Forrest Performance Group's website.

Connect with Rosalyn on LinkedIn.

This episode of the Revenue Engine was powered by Sales IQ Global.

Transcripts

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How do you create and deliver the Ultimate Sales Warrior? Jason Forrest, the CEO and Founder of Forrest Performance Group helps organizations recruit, assess, and train the Ultimate Sales Warriors to drive results. The FPG philosophy is comprised of mindset, winning the mental war language, communicating persuasively and process adopting proven processes to join the top 1%.

Jason is a well-known speaker, the author of several bestselling books and a pioneer in recruiting and training top sales and management teams. And this episode of the revenue engine podcast, Jason shares how to create the Ultimate Sales Warrior, how to create a winning 90 day onboarding plan, why you need to hire what he calls Gumps, what are, and how to release the four mental leashes. And just so much more. Please take a listen to this insightful and inspirational episode of the revenue engine podcast.

So super excited to be here today with Jason Forrest, the CEO and founder of Forrest Performance Group for risk performance group helped organizations recruit, assess, and train the ultimate sales wires to drive results. So welcome Jason and thank you so much for joining me. I'm so excited to just unpack your story and learn more about the Ultimate Sales Warrior.

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And then my Sunday school teacher was Zig Ziglar. And so I just kind of grew up in this debate, speaking sales, motivational world. When I was a kid, my dad was always in. Stuff like Silva, mind control and Jim Roan, and just kind of grew up with all that. And so I knew I wanted to be in sales my whole life.

And but when I became the head of, of sales training for a fortune 500 company, I realized that there was just not a lot of sales training companies out there that I thought did the way they train the way they should. So so we've really disrupted the sales training industry by combining three things.

Number one, a. A program based approach. So most sales training companies are event based and you wouldn't get on a plane with a pilot that said, Hey, I went to a one day event on how to fly up all for safety, but yet we, we ask. Yeah. But we ask, you know, sales reps to have a million dollar quota and we give them a book to read or, or, you know, a seminar.

And so I thought that was, that was nuts. And so I think a program based approach is important. And then the second thing is teaching the mindset company. There's a mindset element of everything. A book that I wrote is called the mindset of a sales warrior, and it's about removing the resistance, the mental resistance to hold people back.

And then the third is teaching them a language and a process, which I think is important. I think a lot of times the training out there is very too high it's, too high level. It teaches people kind of what to do or why to do it, but not how to do it. And so. So again, we want to disrupt all of that by, by doing things very different.

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So if you try to just, you know, start with that concept of what is our vision? Well, we, we do that in several different ways, so, so how do we deliver the Ultimate Sales Warrior? And again, it's training obviously is one of them. But one of the things that I learned when working with organizations on the training side is that there's, there's a few components that need to happen to create.

The, the, the revenue that accompany is looking for. And that's what this whole podcast is all about is increasing revenue. And so there's a few things that need to happen. So, number one, you have to have culture cultural buy-ins whenever you're trying to create a new initiative, a new strategy, there has to be cultural buy-in from the C-suite.

Number two is you have to have managers that are coaching, whatever that behavioral or behavioral strategy is in the field. Managers acting like a Nick Saban or a Pete Carroll bill, bill check, and really coaching those concepts. And then number three is you have to have a training program that's relevant to what's happening in the real world.

So, you know, adapting to selling the zoom now versus face-to-face. And then the fourth thing is you have to hire correctly. And, and I call them Gumps. So I get the hire, the right, the right people. And what I found, yeah. What I found is is that my company could do a great job of, of helping people on the training side, the management coaching side, as well as the culture side.

But if, if it was left up to them, And they hired incorrectly. Our training program just didn't have the same impact as if they hired the right person. And so so that led us to disrupting the recruiting industry as well, because we, we couldn't find a third-party sales recruiting company. Would hire the way that we wanted to hire what we thought was best for our clients.

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They're unleashed their fears. M stands for motivated to keep prospecting. Even when they get ghosted. A lot of times people have goals in life. They don't have the energy to follow through psychologically and physical. And then last is P for procedural base. So one of my backgrounds is in neuro linguistic programming.

Neuro is brain linguistics is our speech pattern. It must have been proven by science and psychology is the way we speak is a window into how we think, how we think drives how we feel and how we feel our emotions connect or control our actual behaviors. So we do, we do things very simply and it's based on how we feel about it.

We feel confident or scared. And so the, one of the meta patterns in the brain is procedural or option based. So procedural means this person is, is willing and able to follow a step-by-step procedure or process that leads to predictable success. A lot of salespeople are not, they they're kind of more mavericky in their approach and that leads to inconsistent or unpredictable.

And so, so I think it's very, very important that you hire correctly, you know? And so again, we, we, we use a very, you know, we use outside assessments and we use a very strict hiring process protocol that I developed through NLP questions to make sure we hire scientifically. Correct. And then when they don't make it, it's very important to always Kind of, you know, if you had this hypothesis of, of the hiring process, you're going to use, you need to test it and then if it doesn't work, then you need to pivot and make little adjustments and tweaks from a scientific perspective.

And I don't think, I don't think most organizations really put enough discipline into. Into their hiring process.

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But like, literally this is a very scientific method to approaching how you hire, how you onboard, how you train. So what, what do you see organizations, I guess, you know, doing wrong when it comes to, you know, train your onboard.

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They don't have a clear onboarding program, period, as far as you know, like right now, everyone write this down, you know, what, what do you want to, what do you want to see, feel and hear in your sales professional? We come almost sales warrior. So what do you want to see filler here and your sales professional by the end of week one, by the end of week two.

Week 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 that's 90 days. So what you want to see filler here by the end of blank, that's that defines the outcome. And one of the things that we know separates successful people and unsuccessful people is they have a clearly defined outcome. And so right now, if you're not liking, you know, the results of your onboarding process, why I would, I would assume.

You don't have a clearly defined outcome as far as what you're trying to accomplish. So once you figure that out then of course, the next question is, will you know, what's important to you about that? What's important to you about wanting to see Fleur here that by blank. And then the third question would be would be, you know, what's your strategy on how you're going to get there.

And then the fourth question would be, you know, what additional resources do you need to make it happen? Internally or externally, maybe the other departments to help you out. So like, let me give you an example, like in our company and we recommend our clients to the same thing. You know, when I do, I dealt with the onboarding onboarding process, my own organization.

This is where every employee, not just salespeople, but I made a list of all the things that, you know, all of their, all the reasons why salespeople fail. Like, what are the key attributes of why sales people fail in an organization? Why did they succeed? You know, and then what I, what I figured out is, well, what if I could just tell a salesperson this like all in week one is that instead of like, instead of them letting them figure out through experience, why sales people fail or instead of waiting until they get, until they get, until they make a mistake and writing them up and telling them, Hey, don't do that in the future.

What if I just like tell them what if I just like, tell them all the rules of the game, like in week. And be brutally candid with them. Like brutally honest of this is why people fail. This is why they succeed. And so like, that's what we do so now to make it easy on us. So cause sometimes I think leaders kind of, kind of get they kind of chicken out and they don't want to be really honest with people.

And so, so we actually instruct, or we create those questions. So like, so when I have a new employee, they'll sit down with me and they'll say, Yeah. Tell me why salespeople fail in this organization. Tell me, tell me what you need to see in me to say that I'm going to make it here. Tell me, you know, why why salespeople have been fired here in the past.

Like they asked these brutal questions to me that are pre-written in their onboarding guide so that we give them the rules of the game. Very transparent, very simple.

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I think in our world today. I think we're, we, we maybe are scared of being so transparent with people. Yeah, maybe. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know why that is, but, but, but again, I, I think it's, I think there's a lack of integrity issue. If we don't tell people, you know, again, how to win the game and how people lose at the game.

And I think it's important to let people know that. So that's what. You know, I think so that, that would be something that I would, again, there's so much you can do when it comes to onboarding, but I would say that's critical. The other thing that I would say is critical when it comes to onboarding as the direct manager.

So in this case would be the sales manager needs to meet, be meeting with them on a daily basis. I call it a daily huddle that huddle, it can be with that person, or more importantly, like a group of two or three people. And it's just going over. Hey, what's your focus for today? Why is it your focus? What's your strategy?

How are you going to get there? And what resources do you need right now? Where are you stumped those four simple questions and then they need to have a weekly one-on-one with them as well, too, for the first, at least for the first 90 days to go over what they're supposed to do, remember, right? Number that earlier.

What do you want to see filler here? So as a leader, you need to figure out what you want to see flare here. Well, then you need. You need to share that information with your employee and then you need to meet with them every week to go over. Are they on track of what you want to see filler? So you fill in here, look, it's real simple.

It's real transparent, real simple. You know, and, and, and so I'm very big on. You know, you need to manage the contract, not the person. So the contract means this is what they've signed up for. This is what they want. Right. So I'm going to manage to the contract.

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Right where each week you're actually going through the results, actually talking about the expectations. Why do you think that is? Do you think that, you know, part of is that sort of being transparent, maybe, sometimes people are afraid of doing that, but do you also think they just get caught up? Like, they're get busy, they talk about business, there's just no focus.

Like, what are some of the reasons you think that, you know, sales leaders aren't doing that?

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And then, and then number two is we, haven't actually shared that information with, you know, with the, the, the candidate, with the employee. And the number three is just, it's just not scheduled. You know, it just needs to be a reoccurring meeting on the calendar. You know, every Friday at two o'clock, you know, we're going to meet for 30 minutes and we're going to go over, you know what we need to see filler in here.

But the reason this is so important as well is because the research says that a sales, a sales warrior the performance that they give you or the activity or who they are that they give you on day 19. As an 80% correlation to where they're going to be on month 12. So that's the research, that's the science, that's the stat.

So, so that, that's why I'm so big on, you know, don't, don't, don't you know, kind of half baked the first 90 days. Like you, you really got to put everything into the first 90 days, because at the end of day 90, you have to ask yourself a very important question. That is, you know, if they don't, if they don't really change that much.

For the next nine months then am I going to be happy with who they are? Right. And if the answer is no, they need to change dramatically for me to be happy with who they are. They're way behind with what they're doing right now. Then you probably should start over and cut them. Cut them. But the mistake most people make is that they, you know, they, they, you know, they don't, they don't make that adjustment until let's say, you know, month 16 or 17.

And then you, you meet with them and you go, well, you know, did you, did you know all along that they were going to be like this? Like if you were to go back to like day 19, And say, you know, did you think this person would have made it, are you surprised that like, did something change from, you know, month, three to month 15 and majority of the time the answer is no majority of the time the answer is no, I knew it back then.

I just felt like I needed to give them some more time. Okay. You don't need to give more time. You need to need to get everything you got in the first 90 days, and then you gotta, you know, you gotta decide.

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You talk about these mental leashes, right? That whole people back. I believe there's four and I think they're around stories with. Reluctance and self image. I'm not sure if I got all of those. Right. But hopefully I got those. Right. But can you share more about these four leeches? You know, this is super interesting to me when I was reading a little bit about it.

And I was really looking forward to kind of diving deeper into this with you, because I think this really applies not just to salespeople, but to anyone, right. To really be successful. You know? So how are these leashes? You know, preventing salespeople from being successful or any person and, you know, what should individuals be really thinking about to sort of overcome.

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And a leash is any mental resistance that holds us back from doing it. So for example What did you learn so far today on this, on this PA, this great podcast you learned that you need to immediately, you know, create a, what do you need to see filler here? And the first night. And you need to give that information to your new recruit and you need to have a weekly conversation with them to figure out if they're upholding the contract.

So there's a lot of things we've gone over so far. So that's the knowledge. So it should be performance equals knowledge. But the nice thing about the human race is that we are human and we have free will, and we can decide if we're going to do it or not. So if you, if you decide, if you go, you know what, I really like what Jason said.

I think that stuff's really great. Then my question is a week from now, what stops you from. And I'm proposing right now. My hypothesis is it's one of those four leashes is that you would say you know, there would be, well, I'm not doing it because I don't know. I just, I feel, I feel maybe a little bit awkward kind of being that candid with a new person.

And that would be, that would be self-image this, I don't really identify with that style of leadership. I feel I'm a little more, you know, my my style of leadership is a little bit more. Kind of mentoring and they're like, okay, what do you mean by that, Jason? Well, I'm a mentor style leadership, meaning that I'm, I always let people know that I'm here for them, but I don't like directly coach them.

You know, I'm just, I'm just there. If they need something, they can come to me. But I don't like prescribe anything to them. Like that's a leadership style of someone that's a self-image leadership. Okay, well, that's in congruent with what I'm asking you to do. The second one will be a story and a story is something outside of me.

Okay. So why didn't you, so tell me what stopped you from doing what you learned today? Well, what stopped me is that I just haven't done. I mean, there's this, I've got all these other, it's the end of the year, end of the quarter. And there's this, all these are priorities and, you know, I just, I think it's really good stuff, but I haven't gotten, I just, I just, other other fires have kind of gotten, you know, gotten a gun over me.

And so I'm just not, I just want, I'm going to do it later. That's a story. A fear would be the third one's or a color of reluctance or. The reluctance would be, you know, well, I just, I don't want to come across too pushy. I feel like that's a, it's a very, maybe it's a little too aggressive for me. I'm a little more gentle and my style, so that could be a fear or I really want, you know the person I'm working with right now that I just hire, that's a new recruit.

They're also like a friend of mine. And I just feel like, you know, being a friend of mine, I need to treat them differently. Or, you know what, this person's like been doing this for 40 years. And I just think it's kind of silly to be that kind of micro-managing with that. Person's been doing it for 40 years.

And so I'm just gonna do it differently with them too. Okay. That's a reluctance. And then last is a rule and a rule as anything I need to see filler here to, to engage and you go, okay. So what stopped you with that? With what stopped you use it? Well, you know, I, I can't, I definitely will use this information, but only when the person makes a mistake.

So as soon as I make a mistake, I need to see them make a mistake and then I'll tell them how they're making them. But my, in my perspective though, I don't need to tell them what the problem's going to be before. There's a problem. I need to tell them, you know, only if they make a problem. Okay. Well, that's your.

So it's self image, story, reluctance, and rule. Well that's to your point, it's it's I didn't invent this stuff. This is just what everyone, this is what, all the great psychologists and NLP masters and you know, performance, the Bernie Brown's of the world. I mean, they all talk about these different things.

Self-image story reluctances and roles. I just combined all of those together and came up with these four main categories of what I call leashes and then applied it specifically to sales. But to your point, it applies to anyone. Simone Biles. Let's just, let's just, let's just talk about that elephant room.

Right? So Simone Biles, you know, she choked, she choked at the Olympics. Okay. And that's a harsh word, but that's the, that's the reality of it. She choked at the Olympics. Okay. Well, why did she choke? Well, she said it's because of, of, of, of this thing in her head. Right. But that's. There were some kind of self-image story reluctance or rule that got in the way of her performing.

She knows how to do it. I mean, she's done it before, not a problem, but she choked. And, and, and so now what about Sunni Lee? Sunni Lee was the. And SUNY Lee, you know, the conversation was, Hey, Sunni, not going to believe this, but you know, Simone is completely choked and she's out of the, out of the thing, you know, and, and she, she, you're the, you're the runner up, and you've got to do this now.

And, and Sunni Lee jumps in there. Now they both have been taught exactly how to perform this routine. They both have the right knowledge, but SUNY had less leashes in that moment. Therefore she prefers.

Well, that's the reason why I use that metaphor is because that's an, that's an, that's a sales person thing. Salespeople are, you know, every single time they are talking to a prospect, they're having a Simone Biles, Sunni Lee. Do they choke and blame it on something or do they step up and take care of it?

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I think it's always been challenging. Talent, but even more so right in the market now. So what are some of the things that you think leaders should be thinking about, you know, in today's environment when it comes to recruiting and hiring for sales? Like, do you have any sort of tips for them or anything that they really should be top of mind?

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I think that's important. I also think it's important to constantly analyze and assess your top producers versus your middle versus your bottom, because you need to see trends. The trend is your friend, and you need to look at your players. Like a baseball team looks at. They're athletes, you know, you need to look at those stats and you look at what are, what connects the dots.

I'm a huge fan of assessments. We use a behavioral assessment. If you contact us at FPG, we can actually sell you the assessment as well. And, and if anyone's interested, I'll give you a free assessment just to test. Because I'm such a fan of it, but it will measure behaviourally it will measure 16 different types of reluctances.

So it'll measure the actual fear that people have. It'll measure their goal, clarity, their motivation, their fear. But I mean, that's important because the mistake that most recruiters make is they've got their own fear. They have their own leashes. And so if you're a recruiter or let's say you're, you know, an HR person or.

Salesmen, whomever you are, and you you, you yourself have a certain reluctance or a leash. Well, you're going to project that on the people that you hire, which means you potentially could be hiring the people you don't want to hire. And that could, that could be a mistake. I mean, I've got a lot of people that will say, you know, Jason, you know, like for example, this is a point I was making a lot is we'll say, well, Jason, you know, I, I just don't know if I'd want you to work for my culture.

I mean, you're just, you're, you're just, you're a very, you're a very assertive salesperson. And I'm just not sure if that would fit with well with us. And my next question back would be, but what if I sold against you? And then your answer would be like, well, that would be horrible. Okay. Well then I think we need to look at who's hiring.

You know what I mean? And, and that's important. Right? So but, but, but what happened, what I'm presupposing right now is the recruiter. That's making that hire probably has some sort of intimidation about salespeople. And so someone like me might be kind of weeded out. And that happens a lot. And that's why we've created our own recruiting company to kind of kind of solve that or fix that problem.

Which I think is huge. So I think third-party assessments are huge. It takes the biases out. I think having structured interview questions as you. Most, you know, so many times when we recruit salespeople, we kind of just, again, kind of wing it. But you need structure, interview questions because you want to test it, you know, ask these 10 questions to 10 candidates, look at their answers, type out their exact answers.

So you can scientifically see, I ask question a here's the, here's the answer I get. And then if you decide to hire that one candidate out of those 10. Then you need to track them and are they a top performer? Are they an average performer? And then go back, Hey, what did that person say? Well, you know what?

That was a top performer. Great. Okay. Now we know the kind of responses a top performer is going to say to compare to maybe an average performance. Now you have these old cheat sheets and now your now your recruiters can see, Hey, ask these 10 questions. And you're looking for these types of responses that they answer.

This there's a predictive quality about it that we think they're going to perform at a certain way. Because of how they think number. Cause my presupposition is how a person speaks is congruent to how they think and how they think controls what they do. That's my hypothesis. And that's why I'm trying to connect the dots to their words and to their belief systems and those beliefs drive their behaviors and drive the results.

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They're afraid. And I think that's an important question. Yeah. I think another question would be, would be how much coaching is really happening, you know, are your, are your salespeople improving? You know, are they are their, is their conversion rate improving? Is their absorption rate improvement? Is there profit per sale?

And if it's not, then what's stopping that from happening. And maybe you need training to, to help them. Maybe you need some sales managers to coach. Maybe you need the sales managers need to learn how to coach. Most managers have never been taught how to coach. That's usually a, you know, there's more, there's way more meat.

Very few companies will ever train their salespeople, how to sell, but even fewer companies will train their managers, how to be leaders in coaching. So, so that's, I think those are some critical thinking things that you should be thinking about. And then, you know, I'm always a big fan of being productively paranoid, which is from the book great by choice.

And the productive, paranoid concept is, is, you know, what if, what if the economy goes down by 30%, what am I going to do? What if, what if, what if my biggest competitor decides to slash the price by 20%? And now I'm in a different situation. So am I prepared for that? You know, what am I people saying out there right now?

nd I think. I don't think the:

So my question is, are salespeople prepared for that?

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Speak my truth faster, you know, I I'm 43 years old. And I think, you know, I think as people get older, I think they speak their truth even more. Like, what's really true to them. What's true. Like, what do you believe? What do you really believe? That's why the older people are always into the politics and the other people are not, you know older people have values and younger people don't.

And so I would just say, you know, if I could go back it's it's Hey, be bold, be bold and speak, speak. What's true to you. You know when you're twenties and maybe you don't wait to your thirties before you open your, open your mouth and speak. It's important to you.

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Jason, but as we wrap up and before I let you go, I was asked two things. One is, you know, what is that one thing about Jason Forrest that others would be surprised to learn? And two, what is the one thing that you really want everyone to know about? And sometimes they're the same thing when I asked these two questions to the guests, but something that's something that people would be surprised to learn and something that you would love everyone to know about you.

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I was more into sports and, and so it wasn't until I went to college that really had this kind of new apifany, you know, of, of, you know, growing my brain more than growing my body and and you know, the, the, the, the philosophy and the value of that. And so so I think that's, that's probably, you know, some something that, you know, if people aren't reading and aren't studying, I mean, Just got to start, start doing it.

Right. And then I mean, I think, I think the other thing would be that again, you know, my, my personal mission has always been this way and that's to ignite the pride purpose and respect professional professional selling. And I just think that, you know, there are too many people out there that are not.

You know that we don't, we don't, we don't, we always kind of frown upon salespeople, you know, but my belief system is that the reason we frowned upon salespeople is because they haven't properly been trained. You know, I don't know if you know this or not, but there are there are more jobs on the marketplace for sale.

There is any other single job, but less than 3% of colleges teach Sally, there's, there's a more demand. There's a greater demand for the, for the profession of selling than any other single profession, but yet less than 3% of colleges actually teach it. So, so I, so that's what I'm trying to do is just bring back that break night, that professionalism.

You know, that, that, that is what sells peoples, you know, what sells.

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