I’m asked frequently if I am a motivational sales speaker, and whenever I’m asked, I respond, “No.”

Let’s get real for a moment.

What is a motivational sales speaker?  Whenever I hear that, I can’t help but think of the Saturday Night Live skit from years ago featuring Chris Farley and his line, “…living in a van down by the river.”

Yes, people say what I do is motivate salespeople, and I suppose if you interpret the definition loosely, then you could say that’s what I do.

However, I challenge it with one simple fact.  Nobody can motivate anybody!  The best anyone can do is to create an environment where the person will motivate themselves.

The confession every motivational sales speaker then needs to make is the fact they can’t motivate anyone.

People simply will not do anything against their will unless held under duress, and I don’t think holding someone under duress qualifies as motivating.

Another confession is that the impact a motivational person can make is going to be permanent.  You can throw that one right out the window too.

Motivating someone, or as I say creating an environment for one to motivate themselves, is only going to last as long as the person wants it to.  For some people that might mean one day; for others, one month and, unfortunately, for some it might only be one hour.

If you’re wondering why I’m sharing this with you it’s for one reason.   You have to be the one who is in control.

I’ve had far too many salespeople turn to me in desperation asking if I could motivate them.  I’ve had sales managers ask if I can motivate their team.  Nothing is going to happen as long as anyone thinks it’s the responsibility of someone else.

Responsibility and control is a personal thing. If the individual wants to be motivated, they will.

About now you’re saying I must not be wanting to speak to any sales groups on motivation.  No, that’s not the case at all.   I’m always happy and honored to speak to groups on the subject.

I just want them to realize that in the end, it’s their job — not mine — to be motivated.  If anyone says otherwise, sorry — don’t buy it for a minute.

The best any motivational sales speaker can do is to help create the environment and provide people with ideas to allow them to motivate themselves.

Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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