“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:
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.
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.
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(Images courtesy of dollarphotoclub and inkybites.com)
What’s the best part of the day for you? Be honest!
Some answer that question with ‘the call where I get an expected yes!’ or ‘the time where I have the time to catch up on important things’.
Others will say ‘the time when I pack up and go home to the people who are most important to me’ and that is, for many, the real reason why they do what they do.
Whatever the answer, you have to believe you made the right decision to come into sales in the first place and your clients have better businesses and greater profits, plus clearer futures simply because you are there.
Attitudes are key to how well you perform in sales. You don’t need me to reiterate that fact. And our attitude can be affected very much by our state of mind. So let me ask you…How do you feel at the end of the day when it’s time to think about packing up and finishing? Do you have the energy to do just one more call? Make one more contact? See one more prospect?
The reason why I ask this is, if you decide to do just one more, and you treat it in a relaxed but confident way, it can prove to be the best part of the day for you.
You know you’ll be finished after this conversation, so it will help you relax and be yourself. It also opens up an opportunity for you to be on the same wavelength as the prospect. It can actually make it easier for you to make contact and plan for the next appointment.
It can go something like this. “Oh, hi, Mr Prospect, I know it’s late in the day and we’re probably both getting ready to wrap up, but I have something of real value that I really wanted to share with you. I know your company are looking to expand soon, so can I send something across to you that will help in that regard? Thanks! The information will be in your inbox when you get in tomorrow, and I’ll give you a call to discuss it further.”
This enables you to get hold of the client, quickly build value and get permission to contact them again.
Remember, if you did this every working day, that’s 20 more calls every month, over 200 in a year.
Imagine if you had this relaxed attitude for each of those 200 calls! What results could you muster?
Make the last call of the day the one you really look forward to. Make it a call the client remembers too, and you’ll have a good journey home, a great evening and a new opportunity you might have otherwise missed out on.
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(Image by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
You know the feeling. It seems that after all of the training, the teaching, the sales contests, rewards and prize money; still there are too many on your sales team who routinely turn in lacklustre performances and barley survive.
Sales contests, incentive prize money and recognition will cost you a bundle, and if it does not provide a significant return on the investment, it spells trouble. Below are three very effective sales coaching tips that will help keep your team on track, but will not cost you a single pound.
#1 – Reward Hard Work, Effort and Work Ethic
Usually, only the top sales people receive all of the money, rewards and recognition. Basically, it is they who get all of the motivational backing. If you think about it, those “20%-ers” actually need the motivation and positive reinforcement the least.
If the only reward is for the closed sale, then those who worked hard and did everything right, but DO NOT close a sale, feel slighted. Sales people who need more time and attention and those who have a lower closing average also need recognition for their effort. In addition to sales, reward for effort and work ethic. Recognise when someone has run a dozen extra appointments, or knocked on 100 extra doors. Such activity will pay off.
#2 – Have The Top Sales People Teach
It is very easy for the top sales pros and the most experienced sales people in the room to begin to lose interest when the sales meetings turn to entry-level topics.
One way to prevent this and show recognition for top sales performers is to let the top sales people do some teaching. Have top sales reps teach some of the basic points to their newer team members. Have the top rep of the month, talk about how he or she closed that big sale in front of the whole room.
#3 – Involve Sales People In Company Decisions
One very effective way to uplift and motivate sales people is to seek their advice on matters that may concern them. Too often management totally forgets the people who will be affected by decisions they make. In addition, sometimes the sales people on the ground actually know more about the situation anyway.
Just let the team know that they and their opinions count. This does not mean that you have to act on everything they tell you or change anything. However, sales people perform at much higher levels when they feel that they are important to the company.
Before I sign off, here are some more tips on becoming a great sales person:
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(Image by Keerati at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
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.
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.
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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!
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(Image by Salvatore Vuono)