Understanding the fundamentals of motivation will create remarkable transformations within you. To motivate yourself in sales depends more on the way you think about motivation than the results you deliver.
Every sales rep experiences highs and lows in their career. It’s easy to let this discourage you and lose motivation.
A lack of motivation is actually a lack of direction.
How to Motivate Yourself In Sales: Start By Creating Your Vision
The first step is creating a vision. A vision that is vivid, ambitious and easy to understand. An impulse, a drive, a motion towards a destination. Vision creates motivation.
Create a picture in your mind of what you want. Don't discount the value of the picture. E.g. “I want to sell more” is a vague picture. Therefore, it needs to be a detailed picture in which you set precise goals. Building a vision is a process.
Once you have decided on your specific vision, the rest will follow automatically. To achieve your vision you need to set goals and take action to achieve them. This is the first step to motivate yourself in sales.
The Defining Moment Decides Who You Are
You'll face many obstacles and resistance as you pursuit your vision. Those are defining moments: the point where you confront an obstacle and either work through it or give up.
Your mind would rather give up than overcome the obstacle because your mind prefers staying in your comfort zone. When you give up, your mind reverts back to the status quo, which is usually an unconscious process.
Successful people master and accomplish skills and practices by reframing the defining moment. Ordinary people prefer the easy way and give up.
When you start creating something new, you work hard and experience early successes. The farther you go, however, the stronger your obstacles and resistance become. The brain sends signals of discomfort because you are advancing out of your comfort zone. Even if you are advancing in positive directions, your brain will send these signals to stay within your comfort zone. When people hit these boundaries, most of them make excuses and give up. But you must realize that this is a normal process and keep going. Every journey has its roadblocks.
This all comes down to how you react during defining moments. When you fail to meet your sales quota, you might feel a dip in motivation and get discouraged. This is the moment you get enthusiastic. This dip decides who you are. You have to reframe your mind and understand you have reached a defining moment. The dip creates you, makes you better, and leads you to the top. See the defining moment as positive, which shows how committed and motivated you are to your vision. This is your opportunity to advance.
The KEY to Overcoming Obstacles
Get excited when you feel discouraged. Why? Everyone that aims for the same goals faces the same obstacles. You have to think “If I overcome this obstacle, I’ll burn a large portion of my competition.” Life is competitive, especially in sales. Every extra mile you run, is a mile someone else gave up.
You have to think “What if I make it through?” Try to estimate the chance of people making it through. If you estimate 90% of people will give up at this moment, you belong to the top 10% of people who keep going. You have to see the potential.
“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile” - Roger Staubach
To advance consistently, you have to change your psychology - your inner game. Most people try to change their lives but can’t sustain the change. Consequently, they fall back into old habits. They don’t understand that they need to change the inner game first to reap the benefits.
Your inner game are your beliefs, mindset, ways of thinking, emotional control, and level of discipline. Think about old beliefs and emotions that hold you back and the actions and situations that create change and which don’t. To create change, you often have to challenge beliefs you’ve been holding for a long time.
Sustainable change and success comes from mastery of your emotions and psychology. This is a crucial mindset to motivate yourself in sales.
How to Develop Sustainable Motivation
To develop sustainable motivation, you need to change your extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation.
- Extrinsic Motivation: Engaging in specific behaviour to earn tangible rewards, such as money, titles, grades or praise. E.g. salary, performance bonuses and sales contests.
- Intrinsic Motivation: Engaging in a certain behaviour because you find it internally rewarding. E.g. feeling of accomplishment of exceeding sales quota or being part of something bigger than yourself.
Most people grow up with extrinsic motivation. They get rewarded when achieving something. Unfortunately, this kind of motivation is only temporary.
Intrinsic motivation is what you should strive for, because it is sustainable. Stop chasing external rewards and focus on intrinsic incentives, instead. How do you find your intrinsic motivation? Redefine your goals and values and fight for what you really want in life. Base your sales activities on intrinsic motivation, the proper way to motivate yourself in sales.
Find your external and internal purpose. External purpose refers to what you want to create in life and internal purpose to personal development. What motivates you? Is it performing well, getting promoted or motivating others? Find out what is meaningful to you and what you are willing to sacrifice to achieve that. Don’t forget that change is a lengthy process. If you’re persistent, you’ll develop personally and professionally.
Build your vision. Find a purpose, a calling that is significant and meaningful to you. As long as YOU believe it’s worth fighting for, your vision will help you overcome any obstacle. Your motivation will inspire the people around you.
Why People Lose Sight Of Their Vision
Understanding the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is the first step in developing sustainable motivation. Internalizing the difference between negative and positive motivation marks the difference between achieving your vision and failing to do so.
- Negative Motivation: Behaviour motivated by the anticipation of pain or failure. E.g. fear of losing your job if you don't meet your sales quota.
- Positive Motivation: Behaviour driven from passion and things you are drawn to. E.g. the feeling of fulfillment of selling.
Negative motivation only inspires people to a limited extent. At a certain point, the pain won’t be significant enough to motivate you. For instance, you have found a job, so you have overcome the threat of being poor. However, you don’t necessarily strive for more.
Positive motivation, on the other hand, is a long-lasting, sustainable spur. That’s because you truly follow your passion and do things that fulfill you instead of just preventing a negative event from occurring. The closer you get to fulfilling your vision, the more motivated you are. You’re eager to strive for more and grow into a bigger and better version of yourself once you see and feel the first results.
A huge change occurs when you shift from negative to positive motivation. The common problem-solving mindset is essentially nothing different than negative motivation. Instead, seek positive motivation to motivate yourself in sales. See life as a blank canvas where you decide what you want to create and who you want to be. You are the artist without any limits.
How did big companies like Google or Apple become so successful? Not because of negative motivation but by continuously being inspired and developing their vision.
Your actions become effortless when your vision aligns with your deepest values.
How to Come Out Your Comfort Zone
The path to success is rocky. To overcome obstacles you need to step out of your comfort zone. This requires effort and confidence. Coming out of your comfort zone is one of the main indicators to motivate yourself in sales.
The reason why people are not confident is because they have limited their beliefs in themselves. You've convinced yourself that your potential is limited or you allowed your environment to do it for you. Examples of limited beliefs are; staying with your current job, instead of going for a promotion because you believe you will have too many responsibilities or feeling uncomfortable when meeting a new customer, holding the conversation and trying to persuade them. In both cases your limited beliefs direct you to the easy way and prefer staying in your comfort zone.
If you want to be more confident, work on these beliefs. Start with identifying areas and situations where you lack confidence. Then, use the visualization technique to picture yourself in a moment of insecurity and analyze your behaviour and feelings. A pattern will emerge.
If, for instance, you want to be promoted, you need to come out of your shell. Think of all the steps you have to take. Ask yourself what a confident person would do, the way they think, talk and control their body language. To master confident and effective communication skills in sales, it is crucial to know that how you say things is more important than what you say. Becoming more confident is a matter of practice and patience.
It’s true that "Life begins out of your comfort zone". Each day is a new opportunity to practice leaving your comfort zone and challenging yourself. Your actions outside your comfort zone are what inspires and encourages you to strive for more.
If you want to get promoted in sales, you most certainly attract disapproval or envy from colleagues. If you are confident, their disapproval cannot bring you down, but makes you stronger instead.
"Top salespeople understand that they must learn to feel comfortable doing the uncomfortable" – Tim Sales
So how to motivate yourself in sales?
- Create a precise vision.
- Understand defining moments as an opportunity for personal development.
- Change your extrinsic to intrinsic motivation.
- Change your negative to positive motivation.
- Come out of your comfort zone.
The more motivated you are, the bigger your results will be and the more you will inspire others.
If you're a manager, check out these tips from Badger's CEO Steve and other leaders on how to motivate your team!