What I Specifically Do To Keep Motivated

MTD Sales - Impossible Made Possible“It’s a numbers game. Keep churning the activity” says your Sales Manager.

That’s easy for him to say, he’s not the one who is 50% of quota for this quarter and he’s not the one who has received more “no’s” than an ugly guy at a Miss World Competition!

Keeping and staying motivated is a key ingredient for your success in sales and in business as a whole.

So how can you stay motivated when all seems against you?

Let me tell you what I do and I hope it will work for you too.

Ever since I was about 18 and I first stepped into the world of self-development I’ve created three things every single year without fail.

Number one, is that I create compelling reasons as to why I want to succeed and why I am doing what I’m doing.

Secondly is that I create goals and third, I create an action plan of how I am going to achieve them.

Now most people in life focus on goal setting and action plans but they miss out the most important part; The WHY.

The WHY is the single most important thing that you can create to keep you motivated.

They are the very reasons why you do what you do and who you are doing it for.

Let me bare my soul and give you a couple of my reasons WHY:

  • I don’t want to be seen as a failure in the eyes of my daughter
  • I don’t want to be old and poor
  • I don’t want to feel that I’ve wasted my life. Have no regrets when I am 60

OK, that’s all you’re getting!

There are 10 others including the next house I want to purchase, the next car I’ll be buying, our vision as a family and lots more besides.

You might notice that the 3 examples I gave you are “move away” motivators. i.e they are things I want to avoid or move away from. Yes, a lot of people think I am motivated by money and achievement but deep down I am motivated more by fear and loss. It’s important that you understand what your key drivers are.

Now, what do I do with these reasons?

Firstly, I create a “WHY BOARD” (sometimes called a “VISION BOARD”).

It’s a collage of pictures and images on a piece of A3 card and it’s stuck on the wall of my office at home. I would show you an image of it but it has a lot of personal information on there.

MTD Sales - WHY Board

Example of a VISION BOARD

Apart from looking at that every single morning to keep me focused whenever I go off track and I do go off track, I get centred again by looking at my WHY board and remember why I am doing what I am doing.

I close my eyes and visualise the pain of not achieving my “WHYs” and the pleasure of achieving them.

My reasons WHY are so strong that I muster up the energy and motivation no matter how down I may feel.

So now it’s your turn. Remember, if you have not got strong enough “WHYs” then this exercise will not help you because you will not create the emotion that is needed to keep your motivated.

You also have to be brutally honest with yourself too. Now is not the time to “flower” up your reasons. Be straight to the point and say what you feel.

That way you’ll stir the emotions and that’s the whole point of the exercise.

There are no right or wrong answers, it’s what works for you.

Good luck and I hope this helps you.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Images courtesy of dollarphotoclub and inkybites.com)

How To Become The Best Salesperson In Your Industry

We get hundreds of salespeople going through our sales courses each year. We often ask them, “What are your goals, hopes, dreams? What do you want to be?”

Among the many answers we get, one seems to crop up more than most. It’s along the lines of ‘I want to be better than I am today. I want to be the best’.

My trainers often ask, “OK, if that’s the case, what have you been doing before arriving here to grow, develop, improve your skills, talents, abilities? What are your plans after this workshop to build your career so you become the best salesperson in your industry?”

Unfortunately, the tumbleweed often makes more noise than the salesperson!

Let me ask the same question of you. Do you want to get better? Do you want to be the best?

I’ll assume that at least some of you reading this thought about it for a few moments, agreed that it might be a good idea, hunched up your shoulders and said, “Yea, why not? I suppose it would be good. I’ll read on and see what I need to do. But I’m not promising anything! It depends how much hard work is involved!”

I don’t blame you if you did think that way. It’s normal. But the fact is you actually choose the level of performance you are currently at.

Author Malcolm Gladwell said in 2008 that he had found out, through research, how to become an overnight success. It was fairly straightforward what you had to do. Although talent is a factor, the willingness to commit to immersing yourself into the area of expertise you are hoping to attain is head and shoulders above any other way of achieving ‘overnight success’

Gladwell was the first to purport that a person has to devote 10,000 hours or 10 years to become an expert. Neurologist Daniel Levitin also tells us that 10,000 hours is the number that continually comes up when he studies writers, pianists, chess players, composers, basketball players, etc.

You may switch off now.

How can you possibly devote that much time when you are working full time? Well, that attitude will mean you will never start.

Consider this: How much time do you spend in your car or on the train every week? 10, 15, 20? More?

Even if you spent half that time listening to sales coaches on CD or ideas from podcasts on your MP3 player, you could contribute towards your personal development.

Add up the time you waste watching television each month. If half that time was spent reading about developing your skills, your knowledge and improvements would be tangible very quickly.

It all comes down to choice. Do you choose to learn how to become the best salesperson in your industry, or do you choose to remain where you are?

Remember, your competitors may be developing their skills more quickly than you. Do you really want to be left behind? Or is it more comfortable to stay where you are?

I’ll let you decide!

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Sales Training


Top Five Reasons Sales People Fail

Sales people can find dozens of reasons for failure, as can many sales managers and supervisors.  However, there really aren’t a whole lot of reasons for failing in professional selling.  The reasons may come in all kinds of shapes and disguises, but the actual reasons are few.

Below are what I believe to be the top five reasons that sales people fail.  As you read on, please stop and think about who the culprit in these cases may be.

#1: Lack Of Belief In The Product Or Service

The easiest reason that sales people can fail is that they simply do not truly believe in what they are selling and doing.  Without true belief in what you do, without passionate conviction that the prospect wins in a sale; it becomes very difficult to be persistent.  Today’s modern and educated buyer will look right through the false enthusiasm and see a self-centered motive every time.

#2: Lack Of A Scientific Sales System

No matter how much hard work, enthusiasm and belief in the product you have, without a data driven, fact-based sales system, most sales people are doomed for failure.   Going out to sell every day without a proven plan of action is like trying to drive a car without a steering wheel. Just hoping and wishing that the car will go exactly where you want it to simply does not work.  Likewise, sales do not fall in your lap by mere chance.

#3: Lack Of Training

Ok, so you have the belief and you have a system. However, without the proper training to work that system, success is very hard to come by.   In addition to the obvious areas of training such as the sales interaction, prospecting and closing skills, sales people must have training in how to follow a scientific game plan.  Management often assume that since they have laid out a plan of action, that their sales people know what to do and that it is obvious how they should approach selling.  But it is not, especially when you have sales people who lack experience in following a detailed sales process.

#4: Lack Of A Consistent Work Ethic

Now, in following that plan, the sales person must get out there and do it.  He or she has to stay consistent in following the numbers.  However, this really comes on the heels of #3 above, because without the proper training to stay on point, most sales people will be lost.

#5: Too Easy In The Beginning

This reason for why sales people fail may come as a bit of a surprise.   However, I know that much of everything depends on a person’s expectations, and this reason for not succeeding happens when those expectations have been poorly established.

When a sales person starts off with a very easy sale, especially a big sale, where everything just went perfectly; it could spell trouble.  Often sales management team will also help or assist a new sales person with the first sale, which in and of itself is not a bad thing.  But when the sales person gets the impression that “this is easy…” he or she is going to have problems.

Many industries do this deliberately, persuading sales people to sell to their family and friends right out of the gate.  But once the sales person who is used to easy successes, begins calling on strangers and reality sets in; they are done.  It’s good for new sales people to see some early victories, but they need to understand that the road is long and hard.

Avoid these five problems, or better yet, avoid the excuses for them, and you greatly increase your chances for success.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat
Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Do Not Take Your Best Sales People For Granted

Ok, when the sales person started with your firm, you thought that he or she was a prodigy. You then invested the time and money to get the sales rookie up to speed. You eventually established difficult, yet achievable goals and quotas.

A Big Deal
Finally, the sales person began to hit the mark. The first few times that happened, you where ecstatic! You clearly demonstrated appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the sales person with congratulatory statements, awards and spiffs. When the sales person began to achieve the numbers, it was indeed a big deal, as you know the work it requires.

The Uncommon, Common Place
Then, after the sales person begins to hit the mark over and over, week in and week out, and even with you constantly raising the bar, you know you have a winner; a superstar.

When that understanding sets in, you must be aware that often you now begin to EXPECT RESULTS that are above the norm from this person. You begin to lose the excitement and appreciation you once felt. The sales person’s uncommon sales results, now become a common occurrence.

The Thrill Is Gone
At this point, usually in sales meetings, the admiration and congratulatory recognition dissipates and it is simply the same sales star doing what he or she is expected to do. It becomes very easy to begin to take this person for granted.

Same Effort
You have to remember, that while the reaching that high-standard of achievement has become common place for the sales person, the effort and hard work remains. It is true that many parts of the sales process may have become easier and more routine for the sales star, continuing to deliver exceptional results, still requires exceptional effort.

Appreciate Every Drop
You have to take precaution about beginning to become lethargic in your appreciation of the achievements of those who constantly achieve. Usually management spends so much time working with and pushing those who fall short, that those sales team members that are exceeding, get little attention.

You must continue to pay attention to, recognise and truly appreciate the achievements of the superstar sales person just as if he or she achieved such success for the very first time.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat
MTD Sales Training

Powerful Advice For The New Sales Person

You can always find a multitude of tips and tricks for sales people. Sales techniques, closing strategies and prospecting avenues abound. However, I have found that usually these pillars of advice pertain to the sales person who has been with their company, at least for some length of time.

I am also guilty of this, in that most of my training and advice, assumes that you have at least some minimal sales experience. Yet, there are those out there who are just jumping into the game, just getting started and face some very different challenges.

Below are some essential tips for the brand new sales person who is just walking in the door.

Become a Customer
If it is at all possible, be a customer or user of your own product or service. Selling at its core, is a transference of feeling. In other words, if I can make you feel the same way I do about this product, then you will want it.

All the training and experience in the world, cannot take the place of true, personal enthusiasm for what you sell. If YOU are personally excited about what you sell, the prospect will see and feel that as well. When the prospect can see that YOU believe…THEY can believe.

If it is not possible to own what you sell, then get with customers. Get their feedback, feelings, and opinions. Get testimonies.

An Advantage Over the Experienced Pros
This is one way that the new, rookie sales person can actually have an advantage over their more experience co-workers. After selling the same product and making the same presentation over and over for years and years, many sales people begin to lose that genuine excitement for their product or service.

Let loose with a childlike passion and joy about representing your product, and you will soar above many experienced pros that have become lacklustre in their sales interactions.

Just Happy to Be Here
In addition to expressing your heartfelt enthusiasm for the product or service, let the customer see and feel how genuinely excited you are about the company you work with. If you have done your due diligence before you went to work for the firm, then you should have confidence and trust that you work for the best company in your industry. Let the prospect know that you believe in the firm, and they will too.

Leverage the Experience of Long-Term Colleagues
Boast of your successful team members. Let the prospect know that yes, YOU are new, but most of the people in your firm have been with the company for years, and have tons of happy, long-term clients. In fact, the longevity of the sales people and their reputation in the market place is the main reason you joined the firm, and you feel confident that you also will be there for the long term!

It Comes From Within
If you are new to the world of selling or just new to the company, there is a lot you have to learn and much growth is in store. There are skills and techniques that you do not know and that you need to know.

However, the old adage is true; people do not care how much you know, until they first know how much you care. Your belief in what you sell and what you do, will carry you as you learn and grow.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat
MTD Sales Training

(Image by  Digital Art)

3 Essential Communication Tips For Building A Successful Sales Team

Communication, communication and more communication. No pun intended here, but for some sales managers, communication is just talk.

Effective and proactive communication is as integral to your sales team as professional training, solid sales support and even good sales people. In fact, communication is the glue that holds all of the pieces of the team’s puzzle together.

Here are three powerful tips to use to help you communicate more effectively and proactively with your sales crew.

#1 – Input
Like anything, you can only get out of it what you put into it. The same goes for your sales crew. You have to set up a system for sales people to give you their input. They must be able to feel confident that they can voice their honest opinions to you without fear of reprisal.

Do not assume that since you have a proverbial “open-door” policy , that sales people know that they can share their feelings with you. You may not be as much a part of the “inner circle” as you think you are.

Set up a system so that you know for sure that sales people can freely share their fears, grievances, wishes, hopes and dreams.

#2 – Listen
If you are fortunate enough to have those conversations where sales people can sit down and tell you the “truth” then you also have to listen, and I mean actively listen.

Be careful not to formulate an opinion or solution in your mind before you have completely heard the sales person point of view. Also, maintain deep and steady eye contact and show genuine concern and empathy.

I know that often some of the “major news flashes” that come from a sales team member, to you may be something as old as the hills that you have heard of a thousand times and been aware of for years. So, how do you listen intently and show interest, empathy and even excitement for something that is clearly old news?

Active Listening Tip
Try this, as the person is talking, take an idea or topic they have just spoken, and interject. Stop the speaker and ask if you understand exactly what he or she is saying. To do this, rephrase the statement in different words and recite it back to the sales person. This will force you to listen carefully and to reformulate the topic you must understand it. Simultaneously, it demonstrates to the speaker that you are indeed in tune and following closely.
This is an old sales technique that you should use in any conversation. Just rephrase the question or topic. Whatever you do—-listen actively.

#3 – ACT
As I mentioned, some communication is just talk. You must follow up what you say and act on anything and everything you say—immediately. To ask for input, listen to the sales team and do nothing about what they told you, is worst than if you never heard them in the first place.

Such inaction will cause team members to shut down and not trust you and create a non-productive, negative atmosphere. Sales people will feel as if you are actually working against them, hampering their efforts to make money. In sales management, action delayed equals income denied.

If you do not intend to do anything about a situation, then let them know. If you DO intend to take some action—THEN DO IT!

Talk WITH your sales team, not AT them
Communication is indeed a two way street, and talk just by itself, really is cheap.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat
MTD Sales Training

(Image by Nirots)


In Sales Management, You Reap What You Sow

Every sales manager, supervisor, director or otherwise frontline sales team leader, wants to have and develop a great sales force. Everyone wants eventually to have a sales team made up of superstar sales people. We all want that sales crew in where every sales person is a high-level, top performing, consultative, executive-level super sales person.

However, I am continually surprised at how many of those same sales managers are not willing to treat their sales crew like that which they want them to become. The fact is that if you treat sales people as if they are low-level, slipshod, unprofessional slackers, what you will get is the same.

At some point, you have to “Act as if.” You have to treat people as you want them to perform. If you want responsible, successful, multi-million pound producers, don’t treat them like irresponsible, £5 an hour, children.

Here are a few tips to help you plant good seed to reap great harvest.

Start by trusting your sales people to do what they say they will do and believe that they will. On one hand, you say you believe in the sales person. You say you have confidence that he or she can achieve the agreed upon goals. Then, you stand watch like a mother hen, or establish rules and regulations that clearly demonstrate that you do NOT trust or believe in the sales person. When you do this, you can easily stifle their potential. If you say you believe, then act accordingly.

Pressure and Time
If you tell the sales person, you truly believe that he or she can achieve a particular goal before the end of the month, then don’t start jumping on his or her back after the first week. You may think you are helping to “remind” the sales person of their goal and commitment.

However, what you are really saying is, “I really don’t believe you can do this, and I must therefore keep reminding you of your commitment every 15 minutes.”

Such micromanagement of good sales people will cause animosity and an anti-productive atmosphere.

To Manage or Not To Manage
Some successful sales people become such due to their sales management. However, some sales people become successful in spite of their sales management. Do not be the latter manager.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat
MTD Sales Training

(Image by Winnond)

Level The Playing Field For A Great Sales Contest

It is easy to spend a small fortune on sales contests and incentive programs designed to motivate, stimulate and reinvigorate the sales team. However, you may have found that such programs meant to motive, can end up having the reverse affect and deflate, berate and de-motivate instead.

Sometimes the problem is not the structure of the contest in itself, but the manner in which you set up the playing ground.

The Starting Line
When designing a competitive sales contest, you have to take into consideration the starting point of each individual sales person. By that, I mean that you have to consider the experience, skills, closing averages and client-base of each sales person to design a contest that is equitable.

If you base the contest purely on bottom-line closed sales, then sales people who have more experience and clients, from whom they can get referrals, have an unfair advantage over newer, less experienced team members.

Over Before It Starts
For many of those less experienced sales people, such a disadvantage can seem insurmountable. When this happens, it creates a situation where some sales team members do not attempt to win or even compete in the contest. In fact, they feel shunned which causes an anti-productive mentality. Simultaneously, due to the lax competition, the top sales people also operate at less than peek performance.

A Handicapping System
Come up with a method to make all sales people equal, for the purposes of the contest. Perhaps you consider the closing averages of each sales person and design the contest so that those with a lower closing percentage can compete.

As an example, for the sales person who has a 20% closing average, perhaps to win or place high in the contest, they have to close 4 sales.

Then, for the sales rep with a higher closing average, like 25%; perhaps he or she must close 5 sales to place in the same bracket.

A Win Win
With such a method, both levels of sales people compete hard, and get better. The sales person with the 20% closing average would have to complete 20 sales presentations or closing attempt to get the 4 sales.

However, the sales person with the higher closing rate of 25% would also have to complete 20 closing attempts!

This creates an incentive for all sales people to put forth a greater effort regardless of their skill level. In addition, it gives the newer sales people an equal opportunity if they work hard enough.

One Step Further
If you decide to use such a system for the long term, then also create a bonus system, award or incentive to give to the sales people who maintain the lowest handicap.

Level the playing field with a handicap system and watch more sales people come in under par!

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat
MTD Sales Training

(Image by Salvatore Vuono)