The difference between sales performance above expectation and sales performance below expectation is largely determined by small things that a sales manager can do every day to keep his sales team at the top of their game and highly motivated.

If you are a front line sales manager, or an owner of a business, or maybe even in a sales training department, you are not out with your sales people all of the time, so you need to have them motivated even when you are not there.

We have talked about a couple of different ways to motivate, specifically about these motivational profiles which we have spoken about that you can get inside the Sales Management Mastery Academy. For our paid members there’s a motivational questionnaire which creates a sales motivational profile for each of your sales people, you end up motivated each one slightly different although they do overlap in the 5 metrics that we talk about.

And today we are going to talk about a common way that a lot of people are motivated:
“The need to feel important”, or prestige, as we call it within the Sales Management Mastery Academy.

This type of sales person after you fill out your questionnaire, and get good idea was to where their motivations are, has a profound drive to feel important.

Dale Carnegie once said that we all have profound drive to feel important.
With sales people, there are varying degrees of this. There are certain characteristics that this type of sales person shares that will help you uncover those deep profound motivations and get them to a sales performance level that is above expectations.

One of the characteristics of this group is that they depend heavily on the feedback of others. One of the major feedback mechanisms that a sales person has is through their front line sales manager. We have many members in the academy, who historically have not been front line managers, but are switching over from other fields because of economic conditions.

We also have lots of business owners who have many sales people out there, but who have never actually managed sales people.
The sales people that you may be training typically they are looking for any type of feedback and/or reinforcement as to whether what they are doing is correct, or not.

This is a very popular and common motivational profile; the need to feel important.

I would surmise that if you have 10 sales people, chances are 9 out of 10 of them have this profound drive to feel important. Some probably, maybe 1 or 2 have it more than the rest of them.

They have a very strong need to show evidence of their achievement to others. This might be perceived as an attempt to show superiority. Sometimes these people are ridiculed by their co-workers because they have the need to feel important and to have the need for others to recognize them for their tasks.

A lot of people may feel that this type of sales person is extremely egotistical. In fact it really masks the profound feelings of inferiority, the opposite end of the spectrum.

As a result of that, they may suffer from poor self esteem. This is the value that the sales rep places upon them, which is the way that they feel about themselves. Making this kind of sales person feel good about themselves is the key to motivation and it heightens their self esteem and it increases your chances of sales success both with them as a sales manager as well as them as your sales person.

The level of self esteem that each person has must be assessed by the sales manager primarily by observation. You have to be able to pick up these cues that show whether your sales person has high, or low, or moderate self esteem.

And this is somewhat tricky to do, that’s why we give you the questionnaire. You can use the questionnaire in conjunction with your own observations. You have to be tuned into the highs and lows of your sales people and look at whether this person has a profound need to feel important. There may be some insecurity that they have, and a good sales manager will pick up on this.

The good thing about sales people in general is that the sales rep that generally feels good about themselves usually succeeds. Poor self esteem leads to approaching some tasks with an expectation of failure, which reinforces these feelings of insecurity.

Not that we want to get into Psychology 101 here, but you are dealing with humans so you need to be careful and in tune with these highs and lows. Feelings of self esteem can lead to poor performance. We’ve all had times when we’ve entered a new venue and we haven’t really felt good that day, or whatever the reason is, and we end up being not as successful as we are when we are brimming with confidence.

This is not only a sales person sales manager principal, but it is a human principal as well.

Failure to one area of a job might lead to failure in other multiple areas. With the prestige driven sales rep, it is hard for them to compartmentalize their areas of weakness. They want to be perfect in so many different ways, because they have high expectations for themselves; they might over- react to failures. You must safe guard against this as a sales manager.

Now with this type of sales rep you have to be careful with criticism and sarcasm with this sales person. This typically isn’t the type of person that you can joke with and make fun of because it goes the opposite way. You can joke with someone who has good self esteem about their failures or ways in which they are deficient because they can deal with it because their self esteem is good on the whole. A prestige driven sales person that you denigrate will end up feeling poorly the whole day, and they take it much more personally then someone who has higher self esteem.

Everyone wants to feel important, we all do, but if you have 10 or 12 sales people probably 1, 2 or 3 of them have this kind of profile that you have to be careful not to criticize, especially publicly. Make sure that you do it in private.

The best way to motivate this group of sales people is to use the Talents Based Motivational Model. This boosts their self esteem and their performance. It is very simple to implement.

We have talked about talents in other shows here at Sales Management Mastery. It is important to differentiate between these two things called talents and skills. Marcus Buckingham in “Break All of the Rules” was the first person to talk about.

Talents Motivational Model is an effective way to get the best way to get the most out of your sales people. Talents Motivational Model is the best way to motivate prestige driven sales people because you uncover their tower of strength while as much as you can, minimizing their individual weaknesses.

Talents are inherent, genetically encoded patterns of thoughts and behavior. In essence, these are what we call “nature”. Talents are things that they do “naturally”; they didn’t really have to work at them. Things that came to them naturally

Skills learned abilities that can be passes on from person to person through instruction. Like product knowledge or industry experience is a skill, passed from one person to the next. Learning to use and EXCEL spreadsheet is something that can be learn from another person. To excel in a particular task, let’s say you have a sales person that is extremely talented at building rapport, this is a talent that they have. You can harness it and turn into something that makes them more money by and bringing it out and highlighting it. Maybe they aren’t so good at the administrative side of things, no sales person is really, so you would minimize it and mitigate it as much as you possibly can so that you can highlight the things that they are good at, get them the self esteem boost that they are looking for and this will in turn have a carry over effect to other areas of their job responsibilities.

A sales manager can draw out more talents from their sales reps but they just can’t be installed there in the first place.

Each of your sales reps have areas of talents which push your sales people to be better at the things they are good at and minimize the things that aren’t so good at.

As a base understanding of how to motivate this group, look at them and ask yourself, “what are they good at?” Observe them. What are they really good at? What do they excel at? Find out what that one thing is. Maybe it is making small talk. Maybe it is asking introductory type questions. Maybe it is making people feel at ease. Maybe it is their sense of humor. Look for this in your observations and then build upon it. And then minimize their weaknesses. Making them feel good, feel important and then in turn that will have a carry over effect into their sales performance.

Couple of things that you can do is to ask them a set of questions.

This will be available in the transcript of the show on

Some of the questions might include:

What are you best at in sales?
What do you feel that you are best at?
What do you have a supreme talent for?
What do you like to do the most?
If you could have one thing, what one thing would that be?
That would give you an idea of what they are motivated about.
If you had $10,000 to spend, how would you spend it?

This isn’t necessarily going to give you a talent, but it will give you tendencies as to what they are interested in.

Chances are that in which they have interested is what they are talented at.

I once had a sales rep that was really good at cooking. And he never really harnessed this talent. I said, “Why don’t you talk about his more?”, because he really was an incredible cook. People are interested in this.
This is a common way to build rapport. He started doing this and he starting getting into places that he hadn’t gotten into before.

The point is this, that talent and interest got him in and really did improve his overall sales performance. And I would highly encourage you to do the same as a sales manager by observation and by utilizing these types of questions.

To review, the ways to motivate sales people who are driven by a need to feel important:

• They depend heavily on the feedback of others, primarily you as their sales manager
• They often times are misperceived as a feeling
• They suffer from poor self esteem, so be cognizant of that
• Failure in one area might lead to failure in multiple areas
• They tend to be perfectionists
• Be careful using criticism with this group
• Use talents and skills to boost their self esteem
• Draw out more of their talents and highlight them to use as a leverage point

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