Motivate Your Direct Sales Team – It’s a Tricky One

As a long-term training consultant, I’ve had the pleasure of presenting quite a few Leadership Seminars. I discovered early on that the liveliest and most productive sessions are ones where I contacted each leader a couple weeks in advance to get a feel for her personality and find out what she hopes to gain from the experience.


The Questions to Ask

I ask questions like, “What drew you to the company?” or “What do you enjoy most about being a leader?” and “What are your long-term business goals?” But the most telling of questions is, “What is your biggest challenge as a leader?”

Many people answer with some version of, “I want to know how to motivate my team.” And it comes from a broad range of personality types; from the sincere lady who says, “I just want them to be successful,” to the straightforward woman who says, “They just don’t do what I say. I don’t get it. It’s so easy and it frustrates me to no end!”

The Secret

No matter what the leadership style, the answer is the same. You can’t motivate a consultant to act. You can’t make them start texting a lead or book an event. You can, however, identify their motivation and give it to them. For example, most everyone enjoys recognition, but for some, it’s a particularly strong driver. You’ll want to shower those people with praise in a variety of ways. That’s an easy one, though.

Types of Motivators

Typically, people have several motivators. Look for those, too. Maybe it’s the satisfaction of being a part of a team or the love of a challenge. Some are motivated by contests, while others enjoy the feeling of being in charge. Income is usually on the list, but oddly, it’s not always at the top of the list. And motivational factors are tricky ones. They can change over time and far supersede the originals.

In short, the key is to identify the motivation and make it happen. If a consultant most enjoys the satisfaction of helping others, telling her how much money she’ll make just won’t cut it. But if you remind her how many people she’ll reach if she gets more involved, you’ll be speaking her language. And it just might be the spark that gets her going!



By: Lori Moser from Strategic Chice Partners