The Coaching Effect Blog

The Coaching Effect Blog

    Secret to Sales Team Motivation. The Answer Isn't Money!

    by Kristi Shoemaker / November 21, 2011

    Today's post is written by our friend Larry Kahaner. He writes for the McGowen Blog on Business Leadership and Ethics. His article bolsters a growing, albeit not fullyLarry Kahaner accepted, belief among managers that money may not the best motivator of sales people. In fact, more money has never been the prime motivator of workers but most sales managers still don’t want to accept it. Why? Because it is easier to give sales people more money in the hopes of lighting a fire under them than to do the hard work of figuring out how to motivate them.  Larry's message aligns with our message around the important difference between being a sales coach versus just a sales manager.

    Read the full article "Why You Can't Motivate Workers"

    Enjoy today's guest blog post about Sales Team Motivation!

    Money has always been the traditional carrot dangling from a string in front of a sales rep. Enlightened sales managers go beyond money and find the inner drive of each sales person and speak to that, but traditionally it’s been money as the reward and job loss as the punishment.

    Every once in a while, though, I see someone who gets it right. In his new book The Best Damn Management Book Ever: 9 Keys to Creating Self-Motivated High Achievers, Warren Greshes presents the notion that people cannot be motivated, that motivation only comes from within and savvy managers give their workers the tools, ideas and techniques to motivate themselves. As someone who has sat in on my share of motivational speakers, only to see attendees be pumped as they leave and back to their old habits by the next day, I can attest that the only successful motivators are those who offer a framework for self-discovery instead of those who merely get people excited and stoked.

    In a recent blog Warren Greshes writes: “Most people are not self-motivated because they themselves don’t know what motivates them. They have no goals or plans for their lives or careers. Therefore, they’re working to help make the company more successful, not themselves: That’s de-motivating.”         

    He continues: “One of your most important jobs as a leader is to help your people …  put together a set of goals and plans detailing what it is they want to achieve out of their lives and careers, much like you do for your company or clients. Then show them how to use the job as a vehicle toward getting them what they want. Now they’re working for themselves. They’re working harder and coming in every day with a great attitude, because they understand that every day they come to work and do well, they’re getting that much closer to what THEY want.”           

    Greshes is not alone in understanding this concept. One of the first questions that archetypal motivator and life coach Tony Robbins asks in his presentations is “What gets you excited?” He understands that motivation comes from within and is not dependent upon external stimuli. Robbins’ programs are designed to help people discover their own passions instead of having others dictate or guess what they are. Once identified, people can ride that passion in their work and a personal lives.

    Dale Carnegie understood this, too, saying:  “There is only one way... to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it.”

    Sales Managers, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that motivating sales employees takes time, effort and thought. It can be difficult and you may feel more like a psychologist than a boss. The good news is that once employees discover their motivation, they will be the world’s best workers – and you will look like a star.


    Learn motivation skills at the Sales Manager Book Camp and Sales Coaching Summit  on April 10 and April 11-2, 2012 in Austin TX.  Add your name to the invitation list and be the first to receive all the details.


    Larry Kahaner has been a business journalist for more than 20 years, a former Business Week Washington correspondent, and the author of many books about business ethics including: Values Prosperity and the Talmud: Business Lessons from the Ancient Rabbis; Competitive Intelligence: How to Gather, Analyze, and Use Information to Move Your Business to the Top; and Say It and Live It; The 50 Corporate Mission Statements that  Hit  the Mark, (co-author).


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    Kristi Shoemaker

    Kristi Shoemaker

    Kristi is a marketing communications and public relations expert with over 30+ years of experience in a variety of industries. She was an integral part of EcSell's go-to-market strategy and execution from 2008 - 2012. Kristi enjoys taking a holistic approach by integrating all the key marketing disciplines to create synergies that generate maximum results. She is currently the president of KLS Consulting in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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