What Motivates You?

Carrot-and-StickMany times in the course of everyday life when I travel, attend a business conference, or some other type of function, I am often asked what I do for a living. When I tell people I work with a company that provides training for people who work in sales and customer service, people usually respond by saying; “Oh, so you do motivational type stuff?” “Well…” I respond, “not exactly.” Then I am usually greeted with a blank stare, a look of bewilderment, or some other awkward state of confusion.

Why is it that as soon as I utter the words sales training people think about motivational stuff? I did say sales training, did I not? If I said we provide training for people who repair computers, or drive tractor-trailers people would not respond in the same manner. Why is it when I say sales training people automatically assume sales people need to be constantly motivated?

Many of us in sales forget, or take for granted, that selling is a skilled profession, and an honorable one at that! Why do people who aren’t in sales think we have to be motivated all the time? Don’t truck drivers get discouraged? I can hear it now “Gosh, another 1,500 miles to go. I don’t know if I can do this or not.” What so many people who don’t sell for a living overlook is that to succeed in sales you must have command of some critical selling skills.

I think the reason people on the outside of our enlightened profession believe sales people have to be continually motivated is because we have to overcome enormous amounts of so-called rejection. My retort for this is, “Who doesn’t?” Don’t baseball players go through slumps? Don’t writers sometimes suffer from writers block? Yes, it may be true that after ten or fifteen fruitless calls life can seem a little bleak. This challenge is the hidden gem that makes selling so compelling.

Think about it. After fifteen calls without the sound of the pen hitting paper, a sharp look in the eye, a firm handshake and a smile of approval, even the most seasoned sales professional can get a little dejected. Remember though, this is where the real magic is. Selling is still a numbers game. So, what motivates you to make that sixteenth call? If you have been trained well in effective strategies and tactics, you will eventually come upon someone who buys. This seems to happen just about the time you wonder when you are going to close your next deal. So, if you are hitting that proverbial dry spell, more business could be just one call away.

“Few things are impossible with diligence and skill” – Samuel Johnson