By Dan Caramanico
Motivation is internal. Sales managers can’t motivate salespeople. They can only help the salesperson to get and stay in touch with their own internal motivation. Some people are able to stay motivated without much effort. They have a high degree of intrinsic motivation. They were programmed or trained to constantly strive to do more, be more effective, reach higher levels, etc. This is not always a good thing as these “driven” people often have trouble relaxing or enjoying the journey to success. For salespeople motivation is more often external. Since salespeople are, in large measure, paid for performance in the form of commission, we set financial goals then work to achieve them. In a sense, we set our own compensation level.
The problem comes in the day-to-day grind of prospecting, rejection, proposal writing, staff meetings, and client meetings. When fighting the daily fight, ,it is easy to lose sight of why we are working and in some cases we lose sight of what we should be doing. Selling is not like other jobs where showing up is half the battle. Most doctors, lawyers, engineers, laborers, customer service people, food service workers and mostly everyone else show up and work comes at them. Salespeople have to be proactive and engage with the outside world. We have to overcome self-limiting beliefs that prevent us from being effective. So it is easy to see why we can get into a rut and just go through the motions to get through the days and weeks. After all, it is never a crisis to prospect for new business today … until it is probably too late to do anything about it that is! Sounds grim doesn’t it? But you can change all of that in a very short time.
When was the last time you revisited your personal goals? For most salespeople I ask, it has been a while. And I am not just talking about reminding yourself that your goal is to get a house at the beach. I am talking about reconnecting with the reasons why you want the house at the beach – the underlying emotional reason. It is important to remind yourself how you will feel when you get to the goal. In a very real sense your motivation to do the things you need to do will come from that emotional connection to the things or lifestyle that you want for yourself or your family. Is it a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment, duty? If it is just a “box you checked” on the goal setting form your manager gave you, it won’t move you to action. But if it is something you and your spouse have talked about, and dreamed about and you can’t wait to host some summer parties for your friends or you want your kids to grow with something you never had. That will get you excited and be a compelling enough reason to put the extra effort in to do the difficult tasks that top earners must do. Re-motivate yourself by reconnecting in an emotional way with your goals.
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Dan Caramanico is a salesforce development expert and he is the author of The Optimal Salesperson® One of Selling power’s top ten books for 2010 and Optimal Selling, Sales Conversations of the Optimal Salesperson.