Every sales person will, from time to time, suffer a dip in motivation. Often this can follow a dip in sales, maybe the loss of a particularly important deal, or perhaps you’re currently struggling to get back into things after your summer holiday. Whatever the reason for the loss of motivation, the quicker you can re-discover it, the less impact it will have on your numbers. Below I’ve shared some tips to help you re-discover your sales mojo.
- Identify where the problem lies. If we assume that you have you have all of the tools you need to do your job effectively then, rather than a lack of will, a lack of confidence is most likely to be the cause of low motivation in sales people. Prospecting, questioning and negotiating are all common areas in which sales people can lack confidence which, as a result, makes them more reluctant to do these things and asking for help doesn’t always come naturally to sales people. If you are struggling with a particular sales process or skill, don’t ignore the problem hoping things will improve. Things will only get better if you do something about it. I would always advise talking to your manager about this but, if you don’t feel this is an option, use the many resources available to you; go online, read some sales books (I’m very happy to make recommendations, please just get in touch), try out different approaches to see what gets you the results you’re looking for. Other people can act as a great inspiration and resource too; if you have a colleague who’s particularly strong in an area you’d like to develop, ask if you can accompany them on a customer visit, or simply spend some time talking and learning from them. Even changing the language you use to think about the areas you’d like to develop can help to re-ignite your motivation, rather than “I can’t do that” or “I don’t know how to do that”, instead think “I’m going to improve that”. If none of this rings true for you and you simply feel like a little ‘out of love’ with sales, read on…
- Remind yourself ‘why?’ Ask yourself why it was you took this job in the first place? Naturally, in sales, many people are motivated by the financial bonuses and rewards that come with the job. Of course, there are others who genuinely love selling and the good feeling that comes from being able to help your customers. Being part of a great team and/or company can be the driver for many. Or maybe it’s a combination of these reasons. Even if you regard it as simply the job you do to pay the bills/go on holiday/drive a particular car, these are all sources of motivation that you can use to help you rekindle your sales mojo. Set yourself goals that are attached to your sales performance, these can be work or personal-related goals. For example, perhaps if you hit a particular target, you’ll be able to take an additional holiday, upgrade your car, or move house. If you’re an especially competitive person, use the top performers as your benchmark target or, if you are the top performer, push the bar a little higher. It doesn’t really matter what your reasons and goals are, as long as you have them and, if you can’t find anything that you enjoy about your job, it probably is time to start looking for a new one!
- Think like an elite athlete. To be successful and reach the top of your game in any sport takes an incredible amount of motivation. Success in sport is measured by wins and losses and, to get to the top, athletes must endure no end of losses but still get back up every day to train hard and prepare for the next match/race/competition. So, how do they do it? Firstly and crucially, elite athletes set goals. As I’ve suggested above, it’s those goals which can help you stay on track, even when you don’t feel like doing so. Once they’ve defined their goal, athletes will build a detailed action plan, designed specifically to lead them to the achievement of that goal. The 5am training session in the middle of winter is a step on that action plan and the athlete knows that by missing just that one step, they’re pushing the goal that little bit further away. Secondly, to be successful in their field, athletes need a Growth Mindset. A Growth Mindset is characterised by the ability to take accountability for failures and use the experience to learn and grow, to push yourself firmly outside of your comfort zone, to learn from others and to see performance as something that can be developed and improved, rather than assuming it to be innate and unchangeable (for more on Growth Mindset, take a look my blog ‘The Biggest Barrier to Sales Success‘). In selling, this kind of perseverance and tenacity is what sets great sales people apart from their average counterparts.
With any problem, the best way to set about solving it is to determine the cause. Hope is not a strategy for success so, whatever you do, don’t push it aside and assume it will get better, it is far more likely to get worse. Be more Growth Mindset – admit the issue, tackle it head on and put detailed plans in place to help you achieve your goals.
As Salestrong we offer sales coaching to leaders and their teams to help improve performance. We can also up-skill your sales leaders to coach their people more effectively. If you’d like to find out more about this, or any of our other sales programmes, please get in touch.