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The "You Can Motivate Your Sales Staff" Myth


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In my first management course at the City College of New York over 30 years ago, I learned an important truth-you can't motivate anyone except yourself. As a manager, all you can do is “create a climate" in which your sales team members motivate themselves.

It's true that you can motivate your staff with fear-the fear of management's anger, the fear of looking foolish or even the fear of losing their job. Fear motivates human beings for short periods, but eventually this tactic fails, because most people will only accept this type of negative incentive for a short time and then they quit.

Setting a climate for self-motivation by staff members is a full-time job for successful sales managers. As suggested earlier, setting a climate starts with hiring the right people with the right attitudes and then training, coaching and helping these staff members achieve their personal and professional objectives. Setting a climate for success is developing the right support staff, support tools and support systems. Setting a climate is making sure that your products and/or services meet or exceed the positive description your representatives use to sell them. Setting a climate is setting up an upward communications system with your sales team and then consistently following-through on what you learn from the field. Setting a climate is acting as an advocate for your sales team members with upper management. Setting a climate for success is in avoiding the sales management myths outlined in the pages of this manual by applying the methods for success that are suggested here.

Your staff will motivate themselves to improve their sales success, if you consistently provide the climate for them to do so.

Virden J.Thornton Was the founder of The $elling Edge®, Inc. an international sales training and personal coaching firm, specializing in the areas of sales presentations, closing skills, prospecting (business development), and sales management techniques. For the past 26 years Virden trained, coached and advised literally thousands of employees in hundreds of client firms, including Sears Optical, Eastman Kodak, Deloitte & Touché, Smith Barney, First National Bank of Arizona, City Laundering, Co, ShopKo, Electronic Sales, Inc. and Wal♦Mart, to name a few.

Today Virden continues to train sales and service industry professionals through a unique and powerful telephone/e-book coaching program. Sales Success Strategies is a field-tested and proven coaching system-that gives Virden's clients what can only be described as a $elling Edge!

Virden is the author of over 20 books and manuals including the “best sellers" Closing; A Process, Not A Problem and 101 Sales Myths.

Virden and his first wife Barbara live in Johns Creek, Georgia. They are the proud parents of 10 children and grandparents to 16 spoiled but awesome grandchildren.

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