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TV Quick Guides / For Sales Pros / Jan 20, 2018 / Posted by Leigh Ashton / 829 

Secret to Motivating Your Sales Team

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Motivation—the driving force shooting you into action! It triggers what you stand for and ultimately who you become. If we all have the same motivational direction, we enhance it mutually with close to no effort.

But what do you do if someone’s motivation is focused another way? A labyrinth of dead-ends grows from generalization. The same words for different people won’t work. Be concrete and personal—no bulk emails to the whole company. Instead, try to break everyone into two groups, and communicate to each differently.

The first group is motivated towards. The “towarder” wants to be first in a line, outperform the sales quota, earn a lot of money. They want to get something!

The second group is motivated away from. “Awayers” don’t want to explain themselves to managers, don’t want to finish last, don’t want to feel weak. They want to avoid something.

In practical life, you have exactly half-to-half chances that the person in front of you is either pure “towarder” or “awayer.” Only 20 percent of the people you’ll meet fall into the mysterious group of shapeshifters, who equally use the motivational approaches from “towards” and “away” back, and forth.

So how to you find out which type of person you are talking to? It’s hidden in the language. The “towarder” will always use phrases like, “I do want to hit the target!” or “I want bigger provisions!” While the “awayer” will choose exact opposites. “I don’t want to miss it.” “I don’t want to be unprepared.”

Get to know them, and the hard part is done. After that, just stay within their language. Because “towarders” always want. What really triggers them is to hear what they’ll get. So motivate them by saying, “Imagine yourself when you hit the target!” And they are already set for the voyage!

With “awayers” it’s a bit trickier. It may sound harsh, but they need to be reminded about all the threats they fear. So tell them, “Imagine what will happen if you miss.” This will get them going.

As the approach is different, so are their values. With “Towarders,” show them the target, and they are already halfway there, having the gift of the tunnel vision, and thus ultimate focus. Yet with this type of focus they tend to never look around, and ignore input variables, like donkeys following the carrot on a stick and ignoring possible problems. They tend to not look back, nulling the whole concept of self-reflection. They rarely learn from their own mistakes.

“Awayers” can be proud of wide vision which foresees, avoids, and eliminates dangers. They tend to be problem-solvers, able to satisfy customers’ needs and wants to a great extent. And they are ruthless in reflection, which also predestines them to cons such as escaping from challenges, never really reaching their full potential, and ending up satisfied with required bare minimum.

So what are the takeaways here?

Listen and pay attention to diversity of your people.

Be specific in motivating your people, and adjust your communication.

Use strengths from both types by assigning them opportunities that fit their type best.

A good leader will always know to whom they are speaking.

Do you use other approaches in your work? Do you think this approach would also work with customers? Let us know in the comments section below. Or learn more about managing sales teams at SalesPOP! online magazine.

    About Author

    Leigh is an author, speaker, trainer and coach. She is a 20 year veteran of inside sales, and has served as Director of Sales and Director of Training while traveling the world to launch inside sales teams. She has worked with in-house and outsourced sales teams, selling outbound and inbound.

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