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On Sales Motivation

by Jacques Werth
Jacques Werth is co-author of
Re-Invents the Selling Process
which reviewers have called a "new paradigm of sales."


We recently had a party at our house. At the party was my oldest son Russ, who's a very successful carpentry contractor. Also, nephew Jimmie, who's a subscription salesperson for a large circulation sales newsletter. As if it's not bad enough that there's a competitor in our family, Jimmie's never read my book.

So Jimmie was telling Russ that his newsletter provides a lot of motivational stuff for salespeople.

Russ: "What do they need that for?"

Jimmie: "So they'll feel enthusiastic and up to getting out there and doing a good job."

Russ: "I wake up in the morning every day knowing that I'll get out there and do a good job. That's what I get paid for.

Jimmie: "Yeah. But, if you were motivated maybe you'd do a much better job.

Russ: "Not likely. I'm already one of the highest priced carpentry contractors in the Delaware Valley, because my work is so good. Why can't salespeople do that without motivation?"

Jimmie: "I don't know.

Russ: "Let's ask my dad."

Dad: "Russ, when you go out and do your jobs you use the finest tools available. Suppose you had to use a wedge of cheese to hammer nails. Then, you'd probably need a lot of motivation to go out and do a good job every day. The sales methods that salespeople are taught to use are about as effective as hammering nails with a wedge of cheese. The reactions they get from their prospects and customers are often rejection and scorn. That can be discouraging and depressing. That's why salespeople regularly need external motivational support.

The only other professions that use motivational training to any large extent are law enforcement and the military. What do you think they have in common with selling?"

Jimmie: "Maybe I will read your book."

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