You’ve likely heard the line, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”  I’m not sure who first penned the phrase, but it’s applicable not only to horses, but also to people.

Watch this short video clip from a keynote at Dreamforce I did on this subject:


The best any of us can do is to be able to create an environment where people can motivate themselves.   Now think about this also from the standpoint of a salesperson and customer.  A salesperson can’t make a customer buy. All they can do is create an environment where the customer feels it makes sense to buy.

It all comes down to the environment we operate in.

If those we want to be motivated, customers included, don’t see the value in what we have and can’t see an outcome from which they would benefit, then why should they do anything?

Sales and leadership have many parallels, and I see a major one around this whole issue of motivation. This is why communication, not just to be heard but to be understood, is so important.

When we fail to measure what we say by asking questions, we will find ourselves trying to force feed our message.  This is the same with people we manage and customers to whom we sell.

The more we realize we can’t motivate anyone, customers included, by forcing them to accept what we have to say, the sooner we will be on a path of creating a culture they will thrive in.

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Copyright 2018, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results

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