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Have You Ever Really Thought About Motivation?

By James Olsen

We are in the motivation business. We try to motivate others to say yes to our idea, our proposal or our deal. Most of you reading this are pretty darn good at it. What about self -motivation?

I work with salespeople and sales teams who want to increase their sales. Some of these teams have technique challenges; their approach to sales has fundamental flaws that are inhibiting their growth. These problems can be fixed, improved, and accelerated in a short time.

Some groups have motivation problems; these are a quagmire of frustration for anyone trying to impact sales growth in a positive way.

The non-motivated think, “We aren’t saving babies… sales isn’t that important.” They are correct and not at the same time. Yes, we are not saving babies, but no… to some people sales is very important. We are not competing against people who are thinking about saving the world; we are competing against those who are passionate about their (sales) work.

Saving might be a little dramatic but we are definitely helping ourselves, our families, our coworkers and our customers—and they are counting on us!

Why Aren’t People Motivated?

I think the answer to this question might be akin to “Why doesn’t he/she get married?” We are motivated by different things at different times in our lives. We’ve all heard about or lived that perfect match that we just met at the wrong time in their or our lives. Love is grand but motivation is King.

This is why hiring talent is only one criterion; is this the right time in this person’s life to buckle down and sell for living? I’ve never met a salesperson who wasn’t smart enough to succeed in sales. I’ve worked (and it’s work…) with the non-motivated genius or charismatic class president. Give me a motivated meat-and-potato salesperson every time.

How Can We Get Motivated?

  • “Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.” Motivation is contagious; if we need to “catch it” the best way is to work with and be around other motivated people. The opposite is also true. Shun negative people.
  • Read: Reading is a way to get motivated. Read books about how to sell, but also about successful people you admire. Successful people are self-promoters. We can learn from them while they inspire and motivate us.
  • Exercise: We are animals. We need exercise. When we feel strong we are strong. It makes us feel like taking on the world.
  • Goal Setting: I can hear you saying “ugh” from here. I used to hate goal setting. On the years when I don’t have a written plan with specific goals, I do fine, sometimes great, but the years when I do set action specific, written goals, I accomplish more and faster and you will too!
  • Pictures: Humans are visual. Pictures of family or things we desire are constant and subconscious motivators.
  • Vision Statements: I encourage all my clients to write a vision statement. Look into the future or the present and see the world, your world, as you want it to be. While goal setting is strict, our vision statement should contain our wildest dreams. We write, in detail, how we want our lives to be. This can be intimidating but exhilarating. Big dreams provide big motivation.
  • Gifts & Treats: “If I produce $40,000 in profit in June, I’m going to take a three day vacation to San Diego with my wife.” Treats can be simple, “If I sell two this morning I’m going out to lunch, if not, it’s the yuck-truck and eat at my desk.” They can be elaborate and long term. We should have both.

Hang out with winners, play games, plan, treat ourselves. Motivation makes life interesting and makes us more profitable.

James Olsen owns Reality Sales Training,

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