Motivation for the right reasons is essential. For the purposes of this blog, I give you the story of a man who lived in the house next to mine for more than a decade. He recently moved north to enjoy his retirement years. Overall, he was a pretty good neighbor, but one of the last things he said prior to his departure was so unexpected and caught me so off guard, it took me a while to process his statement.
“I truly feel sorry for you people who have to get up and go to work every day,” he proclaimed to me and my family as we said our goodbyes.
At first, I wasn’t entirely sure what to make of this somewhat obtuse remark, but as I considered it some more a thought occurred to me. How sad must it have been for my ex-neighbor to “put in his time” working his final years doing a job he must have truly despised? (He was a college professor, just in case you are curious what he did for a living.)
Where is Your Motivation Focused?
This brings me to my point. How many of your salespeople (and employees in general) do you suppose are like my now ex-neighbor, just putting in their time because, well … because they have no other choice.
Consider the sales force at your store. What motivates them … money? That’s not necessarily good. Money should be an incentive only! Why do I say that? You don’t want a salesperson who is only looking out for himself/herself, rather than the customer or the sales team as a whole. Everyone certainly works to make money, but when someone can’t find any other reason to show up every day they’ll end up much like my ex-neighbor – just putting in the time; no motivation to do anything above and beyond what they must, unless the allure of additional dollars is involved.
Conversely, if what motivates your sales force is a satisfied customer, pride in their jobs and a sense of accomplishment, you’ll have some great people working for you … and the compensation issue will take care of itself. Further, in many cases you’ll see a direct correlation between how hard a salesperson works and how much they make.
When all is said and done, the goal is to have a workforce that can thrive within company parameters and help the business grow. When you have that, great things happen; the salespeople make money, the dealer makes money, the customers are well taken care of, and everyone benefits from a better dealership.
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