I used to look at my Sales Team and then stress myself out, wondering what I could be doing better to keep them motivated. I used to lose sleep over it. Then I learned a golden rule that changed everything for me. In turn, my hiring improved, sales activity improved, and sales were on the rise in a dramatic fashion. The golden rule:
“THE NUMBER ONE WAY TO MOTIVATE YOUR SALES TEAM IS TO NOT MOTIVATE YOUR SALES TEAM”
The day I learned and fully understood that human beings cannot be motivated was one of the best days of my life. A weight was lifted off my shoulders. I didn’t have to lay in bed anymore wondering if I was doing everything I could to make “James and Katie” work harder and want to crush their goals. The human behavior behind success, drive, and achievement all became very clear to me.
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The definition of the word MOTIVATION is “The general desire or willingness of someone to do something” You see, motivation comes from within. You can’t bring it out, force it out, or hope it out of people. There’s no Gary V video, Tony Robbins speech, or self-help book that can actually give someone lasting motivation. People either have the desire and willingness to be successful and overachieve or they don’t.
This idea became a critical part of my interviewing moving forward. I started asking more direct questions about people’s lives to find out if they had true motivation within them. Questions like, “Give me a time in your life when you were up against the odds in something — what did you do? What were the results? What did you learn from that?” You will find that some people have motivation to achieve in them and some don’t. This doesn’t mean that those without true, deep motivation inside of them are bad people or bad employees. I just wouldn’t recommend them in the sales world that demands a high level of motivation to stand up day after day against some of the brutal beatings that sales people take.
Now, this doesn’t mean your job as a Sales Manager is done. You still have a huge role to play because of this beautiful thing called INSPIRATION.
“YOUR JOB AS A SALES LEADER IS TO HIRE MOTIVATED PEOPLE AND INSPIRE THEM TO DO GREAT THINGS!”
The word INSPIRATION means, “The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something.” As a manager, you should be in constant contact with the emotional side of what is driving your people, and you should know each of your people as individuals. Some people are motivated to work hard because they want financial freedom. Help show them the way to achieve that. Some people are motivated to work hard because they want to feel like they are contributing to a team. Show them how their work can do that. Some people are motivated to work hard because they want to make you or other people proud. Show them how they can do that. Showing people what life can be like if they apply themselves is true inspiration, and works 10x better than attempting “motivation.”
Inspiring someone is a craft that only the few great leaders ever really understand. Sadly, the average Sales Team today is led by people who are stressed out, thinking of different ways to motivate their people — a battle that can never be won.
Put away the motivation bat and spend time with your people. You will be surprised how much they are begging to be inspired.