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The inner drive that pushes you to fulfill your goals can propel you far in life if you point it in the right direction. Whatever you call it: your one reason, your thing, your motivation in sales; it keeps you going when nothing else is working.

The past few years have pushed people to tap into their motivation so much more than ever before. Between losing jobs, working from home, trying to pivot their roles to fit new standards, or just dealing with political or personal unrest, people have had to stay really motivated. 

All of this motivation has led to some amazing things! Incredible art, voices being heard like never before, and togetherness and kindness, which doesn’t happen enough on the internet.

But motivation in sales can go from helpful to harmful quickly if it’s misdirected! 

The Wrong Motivation in Sales

Motivation and intention are directly linked. If your only goal when meeting a new prospect or making cold calls is to close as many deals as possible, you’re hurting more than helping yourself.

People can sense a desperate salesperson from a mile away. Desperate people are hard to trust, so building the rapport you need to qualify and close the deal will be almost impossible to achieve.

Furthermore, some might try to take advantage of a desperate salesperson. They may attempt to get a deal, ask for freebies, or just stretch out the time before they finally say no. If they ever do. Some will leave you chasing forever.

On top of that, the wrong motivation in sales will come across as pushiness or manipulation. The stigma of pushy salespeople is terrible enough, and it’s a stigma each one of us has the opportunity to rise above. 

A Better Direction for Your Motivation in Sales

That’s why you should direct your intention and motivation toward helping people make the best decisions, not to make as much money as possible.

Yes, money is essential, especially when you have quotas to meet. But for most salespeople, that’s the wrong prize to keep your eye on.

If you’re in a sales role where:

  • relationships are important,
  • qualifying matters,
  • and selling takes longer than a 5-minute phone call…

…then motivating yourself with the number of deals you close will make your life harder. 

There are exceptions, of course. Maybe you work in a fast-paced, ‘turn and burn’ sales situation where you just have to make 100 calls a day. In that case, sure, motivate yourself by how much money you might be able to make.

But those sales jobs are dying out, and most of us have longer sales cycles. That means that communication is key.

What is Your Motivation in Sales?

So when you’re talking to a prospect or client, do you only think about the money you can make, or do you want to understand their problems and needs?

If you answered money, there’s a problem.

Everybody could benefit from listening more. But if your mind is stuck in the vault of money you’re going to nose dive into after you close the deal, how are you going to ask the right questions and listen to what they need?

However, if you’re motivated by finding the right solutions for people, those conversations are going to be infinitely more meaningful for you both.

Your prospect will develop a level of trust that will allow them to open up, and your healthy skepticism will make it easier to dig deeper to find the root of their problems. Then, when they make their decision, you’ll both feel secure that it was the right one. 

And you’ll feel more comfortable being held accountable for their results.

But nobody is perfect. Even when you have the best-directed motivation, it can be challenging to keep it up all the time.

Motivation in sales wains, and then it’s harder to ask the right questions, listen to your prospects, or even pick up the phone to call them. 

How to Keep Your Motivation in Sales Up When You’re Down

When you’re struggling, that’s when you should turn your motivation towards your KPIs and goals. 

Having and tracking KPIs will keep you moving forward even when you’ve lost your drive. You got where you are through those steps, so you can look at those even when your goals seem impossible or too far ahead to think about. 

Thinking about the big things you want to achieve can be overwhelming. Motivation starts high, but it can begin to dip if it’s a long-term or difficult-to-reach goal. But when you focus on one step at a time, it’s easier to keep going. 

Another solution to overcoming low motivation in sales is to create rituals around the things you need to do. Performing each step in a sales process lets you focus on completing one task at a time. The smaller and more habitual it is, the less drive you need to get through it.

This is especially important in times of struggle or turmoil.

We all need motivation in our lives, and the more we have, the farther we can go.

As salespeople, this is a good thing as long as we direct our focus toward the right goals. You’ll close more deals with prospects who trust you.

And your motivation in sales will give you the confidence to help them make the best decision for them, even if that means sending them in another direction. 

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