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Feb 25

How to Motivate Your Sales Team for Consistent Success

By Dr. Jack Singer | Sales Professionals

by Jack Singer, Ph.D.

Professional Clinical/Sport Psychologist

How to Motivate Your Sales Team for Consistent SuccessAllison is a very successful sales professional.  Last year her income was higher than she ever imagined that she would earn.  But, Allison came to see me because she dreaded going to work each day.  It was not the process of selling that she dreaded…it was the fact that she was struggling to motivate herself. You might wonder how someone making a great income could be unmotivated regarding her job.

Research on motivation began with the pioneering work of Dr. Abraham Maslow, who determined that people are motivated according to a hierarchy of needs, and money happens to lie near the bottom of that hierarchy.  Consequently, once someone makes a good income, the higher order needs become paramount in driving that person’s passion.  Earning more money does not satisfy a deficit in higher order needs, such as  a feeling of belonging and a sense of accomplishment.

In Allison’s situation, she didn’t trust her sales manager, believed he didn’t genuinely care about her, played favorites, and rarely gave her verbal recognition of her success. As a result, Allison didn’t see a future with the company, regardless of her sales success.

Another pioneer in the research regarding job-related motivation was Frederick Herzberg, with his two factor model.  Herzberg’s research showed that salary or commission rarely motivates people; instead, having not enough money will make them dissatisfied with their jobs. Earning more than they need is nice, but will not motivate them or enrich their jobs.

So, what motivates a sales force?

It’s an age-old question, of course. Money has always been the big carrot for sales people.  But, as both Maslow’s and Herzberg’s research showed, financial compensation is an important determinant of job satisfaction only when a person doesn’t have enough for her/his needs.

David Joyner, executive vice president of sales for Caremark Pharmaceuticals describes it this way: “Salespersons in general have more needs than simply getting a paycheck. That is part of the reward, certainly, but once you have a fair compensation plan in place, then the real work of employee motivation begins.”

To create satisfaction, a sales manager needs to provide job enrichment by addressing what motivates his team to do their jobs, then finding out how to make it better and more satisfying for each of them.

My own research into job stress showed there are marked individual differences in the way working people are motivated. However, we can generalize from the vast number of motivational studies conducted with thousands of sales professionals in hundreds of working situations.  Survey data shows that beyond a good income, most sales professionals need to feel a sense of trust, for both their colleagues and managers, a real sense of achievement, and recognition of their hard work.

  • Creating a culture of trust. Sales professionals need to trust that their supervisors want them to succeed, not just to hit quotas and the monetary rewards. They need to feel that their supervisors genuinely care about them.  As a sales manager, it is critical to take the time to show a genuine interest in the families and lives of your sales people.
  • Creating a culture of achievement. Setting individual and team sales benchmarks is fine, but it is even more motivating to show your sales force how their performance has enhanced the image and success of the company.  They need to feel as if they are important ingredients their company’s success. They need to buy into the important role that their products or services play in the lives of the end user.  All of this ties into Maslow’s need for a sense of belonging and feeling like an important a part of a successful group.
  • Creating a culture of recognition. Sales professionals feed off of recognition.  This means that managers need to be personally recognizing them frequently.  A common misconception by some sales managers is the belief that “their paycheck shows them how well they are doing, so I don’t need to pat them on the back.”  This notion is absolutely wrong.  Everyone loves a pat on the back.

There are other forms of recognition that are just as important.  A sales manager at Nortel Networks emphasizes this kind of recognition and states, “There are two things that Nortel has never stopped or changed, even through challenging economic times. One is our annual sales conference, where we bring our sales team together, both to interact with each other in a forum setting, but also to do peer recognition. You get the sales team up there on stage and you reward them in front of their peers. That is hugely important to them.”

The other way to feel recognized is to belong to an exclusive group…such as the high producer’s group that is invited to attend seminars with powerful speakers at lavish locations, at company expense.  This feeling of being a member of this elite club is the ultimate in personal recognition.

Sales Performance= Sales Skill + Knowledge + Motivation  Minus Distractions.

This simple formula tells it all.  The more the distractions, the less the sales performance, regardless of skill, knowledge and motivation.  And, the number one distraction is negative thoughts and beliefs about feeling unfulfilled in terms of trust, belonging, a sense of achievement or recognition.  Sales managers can certainly eliminate these distractions from their sales professionals by consistently providing these powerful motivators to them. Frequently ask them for feedback to get a pulse on how they are feeling and what you could be providing that is missing for them.  You will be rewarded greatly with a highly motivated team!

Free 20 Minute Telephone Consultation with Psychologist Dr. Jack Singer

About the Author:

Dr. Jack Singer is a professional speaker, trainer and psychologist. He has been speaking for and training Fortune 1000 companies, associations, CEO’s and elite athletes for 34 years. Among the association conventions which Dr. Jack has keynoted are those which serve financial planners.

Dr. Jack is a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, FOX SPORTS and countless radio talk shows across the U.S. and Canada. He is the author of “The Teacher’s Ultimate Stress Mastery Guide,” and several series of hypnotic audio programs, some specifically for athletes and some for anyone wanting to raise their self-confidence and esteem.

In his speaking presentations, Dr Jack teaches sales and financial services professionals the exact same skills he teaches to elite and world champion athletes to Develop & Maintain the Mindset of a Champion!

To learn more about Dr. Singer’s speaking and consulting services, please visit and or call him in the U.S. at (800) 497-9880.

Jun 22

How to Develop Confidence in Yourself

By Dr. Jack Singer | Blog , Confidence

Do you struggle with doubts that hold you back from reaching your dreams? Are you timid in situations that may present roadblocks to your success? Instead of settling for a mediocre life, learn a few simple strategies that will help you to feel confident in every situation. Confidence in your talents and abilities is closer than you think. You were created for a purpose, and you’re the only one who can fulfill that purpose.

Each one of us has a lot to offer the world. All you need is to discover the passion inside of you and agree to leave your comfort zone in favor of a life filled with joy.

Try these tips to begin developing self-confidence today:

1. Get to know yourself better. And be VERY HONEST with yourself. One big obstacle that holds you back from living the life you deserve is often a lack of knowledge of who you are. Sit down with a pen and paper, and ask yourself these questions:

  • What would you dare to attempt if you knew it was impossible for you to fail?
  • What are your dreams? What did you dream about doing and becoming as a child? What have you always wanted to attempt?
  • What are your talents? What do your friends and family say you’re good at? What abilities have you received compliments on?
  • What are your soft skills? What are your hard skills? And where can you use these skills to help yourself and serve your family, friends and community?
  • What are you excited about in your life right now? What’s great about your life?
  • What area or areas of your life do you wish to improve? What steps can you take to improve those areas? Whose help could you enlist?

When you begin to get clear on who you are, what’s important to you, and where you’re headed, you’ll begin to feel empowered and in control of your destiny. This confidence seeps into every area of your life. Allow your passions to fuel your confidence and stir you to action that will move you forward in the direction of your dreams.

2. Fake it. One of the quickest ways to gain confidence is to pretend you’re confident already. It may seem silly at first, but if you begin to move your body and speak like you would if you were confident, you’ll quickly gain self-confidence.
 If you find yourself walking around most of the time with slumped shoulders and looking at the cracks in the sidewalk, you are not feeling or behaving in a confident manner.

  • How fast does a confident person speak?
  • At what volume does he or she speak?
  • How does he or she gesture with his or her hands?
  • How fast does he or she walk?
  • How does he or she move his or her body body?

Pretend you’re confident by moving your body in confident ways. Your emotions will follow the movement of your body.

3. Learn from someone who’s already successful. Confidence breeds success. As you accomplish the things you set out to achieve, your confidence in your abilities will grow. You can experience this increasing confidence by trial and error. Or, you can shorten the learning curve dramatically through a mentor.

  • Find the person who’s the best at what you’re trying to accomplish. Approach that person and ask them to show you the ropes. Ask them to show you how they arrived at their success and how they maintain it. With a mentor, your chances of success increase dramatically, thereby strengthening your confidence.

Confidence in yourself and your abilities is within your reach. Starting today, you can begin to feel the ease that comes from faith in your own abilities and talents. By applying these three strategies today, you can take seemingly small steps that lead to a giant reward. Increase your confidence and begin to experience the successful life you deserve.