Motivating Your Unmotivated Salespeople

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, May 14, 2008 @ 22:05 PM

When your compensation and incentive programs aren't getting the job done, it's time to look beyond the traditional motivational programs and get creative. There are a number of other ways to motivate salespeople and I'll discuss three of them here.  I'd love to have you comment with your personal favorites.

1) Nothing is more motivational than when a salesperson closes a sale - not any sale - a first sale, their biggest sale, their most challenging sale, their fastest sale, their slump breaking sale, their "I beat the competition" sale, or even their contest winning sale.  Immediately following that success, is when your salespeople are most likely to have another success.  Their confidence is at an all time high, their courage is strong too, and as a result, they'll take the greatest risks within 24 hours of that success.  By risks I mean that these are the times when they are most likely to do the things they have the greatest difficulty doing.

2) A surprising motivator is anger.  Getting your salespeople just pissed off enough to ratchet it up as much as it takes to get the job done, but not so pissed off that they walk out on you.  This method is a little more difficult than example number one, but in many cases, salespeople won't do the things they haven't been able to do until they get angry.

3) I have discussed fear as a motivator before. When your salespeople are afraid of losing their job, losing a residual commission, losing part of their territory, losing a client or losing your respect, they will often perform in a more inspired manner.

What have you tried to motivate your salespeople?  Leave your comments below.

(c) Copyright 2008 Dave Kurlan

Topics: Motivation

Subscribe via Email

View All 1,800 Articles

About Dave

Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for eight consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

Email Dave

View Dave Kurlan's LinkedIn profile View Dave Kurlan's profile


Receive new articles via email
 to the Blog on your Kindle 



Most Recent Articles


Vendor Neutral Certified 100 SalesTech Vendor Objective Management Group

Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame Inductee


Leaading Sales Consultants 2018

9 Consecutive Years!

Top Sales Awards 2018 - Article/Post -  Silver

9 Consecutive Years!

Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2015 -  Bronze - Thought Leader

2016 Top Sales & Marketing Podcast - Gold

2016 Top Sales & Marketing Webinar - Gold

Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2015 - Bronze - eBook/White Paper

Dave Kurlan Top 50 Sales Influencer 2015

Sales Pro Insider Blog

Top 50 most innovative sales bloggers



Hubspot Top 25 Blogs


Free Tools

Sales Process Grader

Sales Candidate Assessment Free Trial

Sales Ghost Calculator

Sales Force Grader

Sales Hiring Mistake Calculator

FREE Recruiting Process Grader