“I understand that you are a motivational speaker and I would like to book you to spend some time with our sales team as soon as possible. We are entering our busy season and we need you to get them really pumped up so they can go out there and sell like crazy,” he explained to me during a phone call a few weeks ago.
“Our guys lack motivation and you were recommended to me as a person who can come in and really kick their butts and get them excited about selling.”
The man on the phone is the sales manager for a large national company and he went to great lengths to tell me how he believed the salespeople working out of the Alberta regional office were underperforming and demotivated.
He felt the solution to this challenge lay in bringing in a motivational speaker who would leave his team drooling with the desire to get in front of their clients and sell. He thought a motivational speaker could fill these folks with excitement that would translate into increased sales.
He was dead wrong.
Yes, I know there are people out there who bill themselves as motivational speakers but, for the life of me, I have no idea what that means or what they do.
The simple truth about motivation is this: it is an internally driven phenomenon.
We cannot possibly be motivated by an external source such as a motivational speaker. Motivation is a feeling, a desire to do something and we, alone, are responsible for our feelings.
Certainly listening to a motivational speaker can leave us feeling inspired and committed to achieving excellence but, as any of us who have been in the presence of such people can attest, those feelings are fleeting and last only as long as it takes us to go back to our “everyday” lives.
Motivation comes from us knowing clearly what we want and, more importantly, from clearly identifying what getting what we want will do for us.
In our goal setting model we call this “The Prize” and knowing your prize – what getting what you want will do for you or provide to you – is a crucial first step in understanding motivation.
Being able to clearly articulate your prize sets you on the path for true motivation. And true motivation is determined by asking yourself this question: “How badly do you want the prize? How important is achieving the prize to you?
Imagine a continuum that looks like this:
Nice To Have _________________________________________________ Must Have
Now think of how important it is to you to win your prize. Where do you place that importance on this continuum?
By selecting where to place yourself on the continuum, you are acknowledging the level of motivation that you will bring to making your price a reality.
If you place yourself close to the “Nice to Have” end of the continuum, the odds are heavily stacked against getting what you want and thereby winning your prize.
If, on the other hand, you place yourself right at the “Must Have” end of the continuum there is barely a force on this planet powerful enough to keep you away from your prize.
Motivation can only come from desire. It will never come from an external source attempting to “pump you up” or “kick your butt.”
If this sales manager truly wants his team to be motivated he needs to find, person by person, a prize for making sales that they simply cannot live without.
And he cannot delude himself into thinking that he knows what this prize is. It will be different for each person.
And if each of his sales-people is able to identify their own “Must Have” prize, he will soon be supervising an unstoppable sales team who may well outsell the capability of his company to deliver.
Which would make for one really motivated team
Till we read again.
My book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours now has its very own website. Please visit us at www.lifesinksorsoars.com and let me know what you think.
P.S. My company, Strategic Pathways, recently introduced our newest Personal Coaching experience called Boot Camp for Your Brain. Please click here and take a peek at our Ebrochure
– I have recently completed a series of radio interviews. If you would like to listen to them, here is a link.
I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas or suggestions once you have listened to the interviews. Please contact me at email@example.com and share your thoughts.
– Robert French – an accomplished author – recently posted a flattering review of my book, Life Sinks or Soars, the Choice is Yours. Please click here and take a moment to read it.
– Here is another review of my book by Actionable Books.