Richard Branson, the eccentric founder of Virgin Airlines and multiple other businesses is the epitome of "unconventional" businessman. He does things HIS way, he does things the way he feels are right...and with a billion or so in the bank, he's been more right than wrong.

How he lives and manages his businesses are by making massive goals, taking massive action and doing things "unconventionally" to achieve those goals. When everyone zigging...he's zagging. One of his famous quotes:

"My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unconventional challenges and trying to rise above them...from the perspective of wanting to live life to the full, I felt that I had to attempt it."

This unconventional style is how you need to think and act as a manager who craves top sales results. The truth is that there are so many management gurus who have written tomes and dissertations on exactly how to motivate people, all in search of the "one thing" that does it all with minimal effort. The real truth is that there is no ONE way to do it. Motivating to trigger explosive sales growth is the sum of hundreds, if not thousands of decisions that you make on a daily basis.

Here's the tricky thing: since motivating salespeople effectively does not amount to any ONE thing, you need to know how to coalesce all these actions into a cohesive, well-oiled machine...and when this is all done precisely right, it will result in a motivated salesperson who is willing to "go through walls" for both herself and for you.

Do you blindly follow "the Golden Rule"?

Because, "the Golden Rule" says that you should "treat others as you would like to be treated". It says that "being fair" and treating everyone the same is what being a great sales manager all is about. Makes sense, right?

For example, when you were a salesperson, you were primarily motivated by money. So conventional thinking would dictate that this means that ALL your salespeople are all driven by money too, right? This is precisely the kind of flawed thinking that the average sales manager falls into. But you are striving to be far from average...

Instead, the extraordinary sales manager knows that each person is truly different, and if you treat them all the same, then peak performance is impossible to achieve.

Do you "motivate" your sales team around the very same objectives that YOU felt were important when you were a salesperson? THAT is conventional sales management...and "conventional thinking" is what we are trying to avoid.


Conventional thinking = Conventional (quota-hitting) results

Unconventional thinking = Unconventional (quota SMASHING) results

Here's the thing...people are different (this hopefully is not a newsflash for you) why "motivate" them all the same?

What you really need to do is get to know them and realize how different each one is, then celebrate these differences! Just because you are motivated in a certain way, (and we have to assume that you did it pretty well, because you are the boss now after all), it doesn't mean that your salespeople are motivated in the exact same ways that you are.

Don't lead and motivate the way you do just because its always been the way...go your own way, think on your own. And motivate your sales team how Richard Branson lives and manages his businesses.

To find out more about how to motivate a salesperson, visit my blog about sales management motivation at

Author's Bio: 

Ralph Burns, a consistently top-performing sales manager with over 20 years of sales and sales management experience.