It won’t happen by accident; wishing or hoping won’t help. Do you offer a bonus, start a contest or bring in a motivational speaker? Conduct a ‘whack on the side of the head’ meeting in which you read the riot act?
Any of these strategies might provide a temporary bump in activity and sales, but they offer only a quick shot in the arm and will not induce changes in behaviour or produce long-term results. There are three ways to motivate a change in behaviour:
- A carrot
- A stick
- Internal motivation
Carrots and sticks are temporary. Once you have one carrot, it is questionable whether you are motivated to get a second. After you’ve been beaten with a stick often enough, you leave.
Internal motivation is different. People change their behaviour because they want to; they have identified something that is really important to them and they are prepared to work for it. In his book, The Common Denominator of Success, written many years ago, Albert Grey posited that, “…successful people do the things that failures don’t like to do” and went on to suggest that:
“Perhaps you have wondered why it is that our biggest producers seem to like to do the things that you don’t like to do. They don’t! And I think this is the most encouraging statement I have ever offered to a group of [salespeople].
But if they don’t like to do these things, then why do they do them? Because by doing the things they don’t like to do, they can accomplish the things they want to accomplish.
Successful men are influenced by the desire for pleasing results. Failures are influenced by the desire for pleasing methods and are inclined to be satisfied with such results as can be obtained by doing things they like to do.
Why are successful men able to do things they don’t like to do while failures are not? Because successful men have a purpose strong enough to make them form the habit of doing things they don’t like to do in order to accomplish the purpose they want to accomplish.”
Coach your salespeople to help them identify:
- Their purpose
- A written goal
- A strategy for getting there
- The action steps that will make it happen
Then help them by holding their feet to the fire – achieving the pleasing results that are more important than the unpleasant activities required to get there.