Sales Leaders: You Can’t Motivate Anyone, so Quit Trying!

Recently, while working with a client, I was talking with a very successful sales manager/leader.

His track record in developing salespeople was amazing.  Bigger than that was his ability to take average salespeople and turn them into high-performing salespeople.

As you can imagine, we spent quite a bit of time exchanging ideas about how to develop salespeople.  I shared with him my philosophy that a sales leader can’t motivate anyone.

This is something I share with sales managers/leaders all the time, and the response they initially give me is something that borders on, “You’re kidding, aren’t you?!”

The sales manager I was talking with had the complete opposite response.  His first words were, “You’re 100% right.”

He then made the comment that he thought he was the only one that believed that.

What he and I were in complete agreement on is how sales motivation is not something one does to another person. Rather, motivation is what comes from inside the person.

The only thing the manager/leader can do is to create an environment where the employee will motivate themselves.

The vast majority of managers seem to make it a crusade to try and personally motivate people.  They do it as if there is a magic pill they can give them or some sort of perfect mantra they can repeat incessantly to get motivated.

The only thing they’re doing is wasting their energy.

A manager/leader’s role is to focus on creating an environment that allows for the individual to motivate themselves to achieve things they did not think were possible.

When I explain this to managers and leaders, it’s amazing how there is a deep sigh of relief. There should be.  People are unique creatures. There is no one who can successfully diagnose every person.

Focus your efforts on creating the right environment and you’ll find your efforts having a much better ROI.

The rock-star sales manager/leader I was speaking with understood this and his results prove it.

Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

Click on the below book cover for more info on boosting your profits!

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