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Motivating Factors, Budget Blues and Positive Thinking

Finding Motivation

Every salesperson has a particular “lens” he or she looks through when interpreting their job and accomplishments, according to Theresa Gale and Mary Anne Wampler, authors of Wake Up and Sell and founders of Transform Inc. (, a specialized training and consulting firm based in Laurel, Md. What motivates one person may not even begin to entice another, Wampler said. And the old-fashioned notion that money is the only motivator for sales people just simply isn't true, she added.

Transform uses a personality system called the Enneagram, which describes nine distinct patterns of thinking, feeling and acting. Unlike the Myers-Briggs, The Big Five, and other personality systems on the market today, the Enneagram takes companies one step further—to reveal the motivation behind behavior, the executives said. They maintain salespeople are divided into nine categories as to what motivates them, from a desire to achieve perfection to keeping peace and avoiding conflict.

The Budget Question

Asking for a client’s budget can be tricky. Clients may feel that if they give a figure, the advertising agency or media outlet may use every cent event if the project doesn’t call for it, according to Vivienne Quek of Versa Creations. It takes a level of trust to alleviate that issue.

This generally isn’t a problem with big companies, but it’s more common with smaller firms, Quek writes in her blog at Quek suggests asking the client for their budget but that if they choose not to answer the question, ask another: “What’s the least you will spend and still be happy about it.”

Be Positive

Focusing on creating a positive sales environment within an organization is probably one of the best staff motivators around, said Comcast Spotlight Colorado vice president/general manager Kurt Kennedy. “Good sales people motivate themselves,” Kennedy said. “They need the office to be a safe house where they come for support and the resources they need to do their job. If you have to ride them to get them out on the street, you don’t have the right person.” His best sales tip for AEs: Ask for the order. “I am always surprised at the number of sales people who don’t naturally move to close the deal at the end of a call,” he said.