Motivation in Print Sales!
As someone in print sales this article really hit home for me. I think everyone needs motivation and this outlines ways to help stay on track when times become difficult in print sales.
Author: Joe Rickard
With a steady drumbeat of negativity and business challenges, even the best printing salespeople struggle to stay focused. From motivational books to daily meditation, we have seen salespeople try any or all techniques imaginable. Whatever the strategy, self-motivation is always longer lasting and sustainable than external motivation.
There is no magic potion to ensure salespeople can stay motivated. With the changes taking place, salespeople must stay motivated to embrace change and forge ahead to success.
What is Motivation?
Motivation is a process we develop within ourselves that enables us to meet goals. It is our desire to make sales and satisfy customers. Our motivation levels are often affected by outside influencers such as bad bosses, a rough economy, customer rejection, and relentless competition. Regardless of outside influencers, there is ample research that tells us that salespeople can manage their own levels of motivation.
Since professional selling is a very rewarding and lucrative profession, some printing company owners and production managers ask why salespeople need consistent motivation. Here are the reasons why:
- You are only as good as your last year’s performance. Owners and managers expect salespeople to perform each and every year at high levels.
- In sales, failures greatly outnumber successes. For every 10 new sales calls, a great salesperson may only achieve success in three.
- Persistent rejection is difficult to manage. High failure rates can be discouraging even for seasoned salespeople. The passion and motivation that many have for graphic arts sales is born out of success. I have seen few highly motivated printing salespeople that were consistently below quota.
We have cataloged tips on staying motivated from top printing salespeople. Though there are many, here are the top 10 strategies great salespeople use to stay motivated.
1. Make a plan—and stick to it
Everything starts with an objective. The first thing that should be done each year is to create an annual income plan. Once that is done, the next is to figure out in great detail how this will be accomplished. Keeping it up, making adjustments at least monthly, will help to you to keep focused and motivated.
2. Build a disciplined personal selling process
From picking up emails to returning sales calls, great performance is a result of consistently doing the right things daily. Great salespeople do not need their managers to tell them what needs to be done.
3. Focus on activities versus results
We encourage salespeople to task themselves with daily, weekly, and monthly sales activities. These activities should correlate to the income and sales goals. Determining the number of calls, quotes, and presentations and then meeting them is a self-motivating formula.
4. Participate in war stories
One of the greatest sources of motivation are “war stories.” Hearing the steps and processes used by other salespeople to win big deals opens up the mind to new approaches and applications. Many great sales ideas come after sales meetings and from informal conversations that follow.
5. Align with the best
Winning is contagious. Spending time with great performers is a great source of motivation. Observing and learning what makes others great can lead to great clues on how to improve personal performance.
6. Stay in shape
Sales can be a grueling physical business. Traveling, dealing with stressful situations, and constantly meeting deadlines can wear even the best down. Eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep keep the salesperson alert and energetic.
7. Get outside the business
Working hard is important. However, taking time to learn and participate in activities outside the printing industry sustains motivation. Sometimes the greatest ideas come from sources completely remote from the daily business. Activities that include cultural events, sports, church, community, and education can be a great source of personal motivation.
8. Eliminate negativity
Remove and separate from negative influencers. Nothing can destroy motivation more than a negative coworker or boss. The power of positive thinking is indisputable.
9. Be a mentor
Helping others is a great source of self-motivation. Research tells us that losing oneself in the service of others can make us happy and motivated.
10. Take mental health breaks
Don’t beat your head against the wall. Slowing down can help us see problems in a new light. Take a break and do some quiet thinking to reinvigorate personal motivation.
Top salespeople don’t rely on colleagues or sales managers to motivate themselves. Many managers do not know how to motivate salespeople. Understanding how to self-motivate and then doing it consistently is the best way.