You Can’t Motivate the Unwilling

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Mar 18, 2015

Dear Barb:

How can I motivate my sales team to produce more? I know they could all do much better, but they seem to be satisfied with average production. They look to me for motivation which I find very frustrating. Shouldn’t they motivate themselves?

Sharon M., St. Louis, MO

Dear Sharon:

You can’t motivate another person especially if they choose not to be motivated. What you can do is identify what is most important to the individuals you employ. If your sales team understands the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me), they will motivate themselves. People do things for their own reasons, not yours.

Have your team write down 10 non-negotiable goals for the year followed by five action items that are dated. Make sure their goals are posted where they can see them as they work. This also assists you greatly when you are wondering what contests to create. If you help them achieve one of their goals – they will be motivated to win the contest which of course helps you increase sales.

In addition, provide your team with numbers, stats and individual ratios. Focus on minimum result standards vs. numbers of calls. When your team knows what results they need each day, they will eliminate slumps. If they need to conduct three interviews daily, they should schedule four to allow for cancellations. If they only conduct two interviews on one day, the next day they need to conduct four.

When you hold your team accountable for daily results, you are helping them achieve their goals while you achieve yours.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

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