Perhaps you’ve been struggling to see results in the workplace and you can’t quite put your finger on the reason for your lack of ability to motivate others. Or maybe it just seems impossible for motivating a group of sales professionals to sell your company’s product. There is a good chance it has something to do with a lack of vision.
An ancient proverb goes like this, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
Vision is the single greatest motivating instrument on the planet. It is especially significant when addressing the issue of employee motivation. No, it’s not money. If you were asked to do this or that for a million dollars you would say, “Let’s see the money first!” If you can’t see it, there’s no deal. You need a motivating factor and the vision to see your goal, to get what you want.
This is true in sales as well. Whether you are selling to a customer or leading a team of sales professionals, you must help others to see your vision and how what you are asking them to do helps achieve that vision. Seeing is the essence of believing. Believers are the best salespeople and buyers can become believers if you are motivating them properly.
Vision is defined as both “the faculty or state of being able to see” and “the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.” Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart says, “Capital isn’t scarce; vision is.”
So if the key to motivation is vision, how can you create an atmosphere at work that fosters the development, acknowledgement and resulting benefits of vision? Here are a few pointers.
Help your sales team members realize their personal visions.
Sales managers make the mistake of trying to get their salespeople excited about a product. If that happens, great; but how exciting is, say, sheet metal? It’s not! Start by motivating and helping your sales team members to see what part of their personal vision they can fulfill, by completing their duty as a salesperson. Help in this regard can sometimes lead to employee goodwill promoting loyalty… yes, even when sheet metal is involved!
You will be surprised at the reaction you receive from your staff if you call them into your office individually and ask them how you can work together to help them reach their personal goals. Here are a few examples of how this works:
- One employee wants to get in shape. You make a deal that if sales reach an agreed goal, the company will buy that employee a gym membership for a year.
- A group of your employees unanimously agrees that they want more time at home with their families. In response, you create Family Friday; if your sales team meets all their goals from Monday through Thursday, they can enjoy Friday with their families.
Now you’ve done something that is foreign in the workplace. You have motivated your employees to work for you in order to meet some of their personal goals—goals other than just receiving a paycheck.
Now do the same for yourself.
Gently march into your boss’ office and share with him your own personal motivating vision. Ask if the company is willing to help you get to your preferred future. A fantastic way to present this is in written form. Include your commitment to the company, along with your own personal dreams and goals. Here is an excellent example:
A young woman worked a secretary’s position at a small charter airline. She had family that lived in a less fortunate country and, since she had spent her childhood there, she was quite aware of the needs of her community at home. In her new home, a lot of clothing and footwear was being thrown away, and she knew that it could be of use in her home community.
One day she thought, “I wonder if I could get my company to fly to my home country and deliver some much needed supplies to the people living there?” She submitted her vision in writing to her boss and proposed a deal. If she could meet a group of set work goals, would he charter a plane to her home country to deliver supplies to her people?
To make a long story short, that company now makes a yearly flight to deliver clothing, footwear and other supplies to the young woman’s community.
Don’t be afraid to take this motivating step with your superiors. You’ll be breathing fresh air into your workplace. The truth is that most people love to help other people. It’s in our nature to keep a good feeling.
Today’s business people realize that we spend a large chunk of our time at work. So if your sales team or company is having trouble being motivated, the best way to get motivating others is to let their personal vision add color to the company. Vision is the key to motivation.