Nearly every sales organization has motivational sales meetings, company picnics, awards, recognition, company songs, sales slogans, and annual conventions. Do these work, and why? Have you ever worked as a salesperson in a large sales organization? If you have, you’ll remember the rah rah sales meeting complete with company songs, slogans you repeated in unison, and the big sales contest. Sales organizations rely on these events far more than any other profession.

Do doctors, dentists, plumbers, engineers, CPAs, teachers, electricians, retail store owners, truck drivers, or florists
have rah rah meetings before each day of doing their job? No. Why? Because they are fully trained. They are completely secure in their ability to do their job. In most cases (but not all) sales motivation is a substitute for real training. Sales company CEOs love these types of meetings because they think motivated salespeople sell more, and they do, for about a day.

Sales motivation doesn’t last for the same reason laughing at a joke doesn’t last. The emotional connection to the moment lasts, well, for only a moment. What lasts? Comradery. Feeling like you are a member of a close knit group. Company picnics help in this area. Soldiers will fight in battle a little because they are defending our country and a lot because they never want to let their fellow soldier down.

One of the smartest investments I ever saw was a company weekend in Texas. There were 1,500 company reps there. The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders entertained us. (They are tiny girls, all the exact same size). There were “on time drawings” for $1,000. New cars were given to top producers. And there was beer and barbeque for the whole weekend. They filmed highlights of the event, and sent all attendees a copy, complete with Texas music, and full of shots of virtually everyone having a great time with their group. We left bonded to our fellow salespeople. The stories that we told about that weekend echoed for a year. A few million dollars well spent, I think. Do you know who wanted to go the next year? Everybody. The motivation that meeting provided, lasted.

A reality for most of us is that selling is something contrary to the way we were brought up
. For many of us, trying to get someone to give you money, even for a fantastic, needed product, is an unnatural act. So companies try to motivate us past that uncomfortable hurtle. Here is an exercise I used in a sales meeting that made a big difference. Try it. I had every salesperson in the room write out a list of features that our product (we only sold one product) had. We all joined in this discussion. The list was long, maybe 150 features. I then had everyone privately list all the benefits to each single feature.

Personally, I came up with more than 500. Almost everyone had 200 or more in total. I then asked everyone to check off the single benefits that would, by themselves, justify buying the product. In other words, if the product gave only that one benefit, I would personally buy it. I came up with six. The answers were private. I then had them count groups of benefits until the group of benefits would persuade them to buy. I think I personally had thirty or so groups of benefits that would justify my buying.

Then I said “Now you are armed. You now have more reasons to buy than any prospect has to not buy.” I told them to keep this list (most were several pages) and look at them often if they don’t feel motivated to sell that day. I helped well enough to include it with every group of salespeople I’m training. Activity replaces the need for quick motivation. I always paired up a new salesperson with an experienced one. The experienced rep could brag about how he did things (a genuine need in some people), and he would show the new guy that selling wasn’t dangerous, evil, dirty work. The new guy made the experienced guy actually work. The older rep had to work, to show the new guy how it was done. Win-win.

Selling is also a pro-active profession. Making cold calls
isn’t fun for any of us except the purest sociopath. Making calls is fraught with rejection. More people say “No” than say “Yes” if you call on them. And the national Do Not Call lists make calling strangers harder. So we designed our marketing so that prospects called us. You may not have the motivation to pick up the hone to make a call, but you have to pick up the phone to answer it, no matter how motivated you are. And when they call, you just about have to make an appointment, or you would be rude. Sales success is practically forced on you. And when prospects call you, it’s a completely different dynamic. It’s vary hard to hang up on you, if prospect call you.. They can’t call you a “Pushy Salesman” if they called you.

We just offer a great gift if they will take a look at our product. They call, and we set the appointments...for when it was convenient for us. We found that the more in demand the gift is, the better our sales. The better the referrals, and the more money we made. Learning how to qualify prospect changes everything in the selling world. Instead of you trying to figure our how to sell your product, you ask questions to decide if you want to show your product.

Learning how to show the prospect how your product or service fits them perfectly is a key to generating a high volume of sales. I would simply point out every feature that applied to them, and show them the benefits that applied to them. I would either ignore or just briefly state the features that didn’t apply to them directly. A truth is, if the product is everything they want, and they sit on the edge of their seats because if fits them so well, and the value they see is twice the asking price, closing is an afterthought.

Salespeople need skills. The motivation comes after selling becomes easy.