The Motivation Spectrum For Salespeople

Did you ever have one of those days where you lost your spark? Your sense of purpose, passion, and focus diminish for what you think will be only a moment in time, but it’s a little hard to get started again. This is something every salesperson will experience and for some, this happens more often than not. We want to help, but motivating others assumes that we understand what they are going through and what will get them kick-started. If only it were that easy, but maybe it isn’t as hard as we think it is. Don’t get me wrong; there are a lot of nuances when dealing with different personalities, but there is a process that everyone can apply to help out their team and even themselves. Proper motivation brings determination, creativity, persistence, focus, and momentum. Isn’t that what we want for ourselves and our team? Motivation is always a work in progress, but we must first understand the spectrum of motivation where salespeople will find themselves.

We, as salespeople, at any given moment are somewhere on the motivation spectrum but rarely do any of us stay in the same spot consistently. That’s because things can and do change and we all react to change differently. There’s certainly a big difference between someone who is just a little off and having a bad day to someone who has lost all sense of hope, but we have to find a way back to our balance. Our balance is knowing how to take both our good and bad in stride while continuing to work towards our purpose and goals. We call this balance the Motivation Spectrum Sweet Spot which includes discouraged (down but not out), motivated (hungry but not starving) and successful (accomplished but still accepting new challenges). Being defeated and complacent are the most difficult places to motivate out of, and we will discuss this in a later article, but for now let’s take a closer look at The Salesperson Motivation Spectrum.

  1. Defeated – The salesperson has hopeless regard towards their expectations and the expectations of others. Is it really over? Is there no chance for them to be successful and it’s time to move on? This is one of the most difficult areas to successfully motivate others. 
  2. Discouraged – The salesperson is feeling disconnected from their goals. They may have taken a couple of hits and, with the proper motivation, they can get back on track.
  3. Motivated – The salesperson is inspired to elevate above their current circumstance. There is a hunger for success but may not always know the way to get there and can use a little help from others. 
  4. Successful – The salesperson is achieving goals and maintains a desire to continue achieving more. Since this is probably a self-starter, encouragement may be more impactful than motivation. 
  5. Complacent – The salesperson feels they have achieved enough and no longer pursues challenges. Although they have achieved a level of success in their own view, it usually is not consistent with the expectations of others. Does their perceived level of success satisfy the needs of the organization and its leadership? This, life Defeated, is the most difficult area to successfully motivate others.

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