Daniel Tardy: License To Sell

What keeps you going?

Posted in Business, Selling by elephanthunters on February 12, 2010

The January-February issue of Outside Magazine has a great article on ‘Fun Raising’ (raising money for charity by virtue of training for a marathon, triathlon or other group event).  The cause-fitness movement has really taken off over the past decade as more and more pavement pounders have been recruited in the name of supporting a good cause.

What motivates people to do this?

Excerpt from the article:

In 2008, a study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine [demonstrates that] motivation increases the more an individual meets three criteria: autonomy (you call the shots); competence (you measurably improve at what you’re doing); and, perhaps most important, “relatedness” (you have a purpose and connect with something larger than yourself).

Motivation principles are universal

As I read the article and learned more about the principles that motivate average people to go out and accomplish something extraordinary, I couldn’t help but analyze the same data through the lens of a business owner or sales professional.

I submit that the same principles which bring anyone to a point of ‘voluntary physical torture’ are at work among business leaders and salespeople all over the planet.  Here’s how I translate them:

  1. Autonomy: Calling the shots.  If I work harder than the the guy running the company across town or the sales person in the next cubicle, I expect to be compensated more.  I want to control my own destiny.  I want the books I read, events I attend and late hours worked to impact my future; I want them to matter.
  2. Competence: If I didn’t do better this month over last month, I’m frustrated.  I am my biggest critic.  I set goals that push me to a higher standard than I had for myself last year, and if I don’t hit them I feel like I didn’t grow personally as much as I should have.
  3. Relatedness: Everyone wants to be connected to something bigger than themselves.  We want to sell products that offer more value than we charge for them.  I sleep better at night knowing my customers are better off because I took the time to sell them my product.  The bottom line is we need people.  Our customers, our team, our vendors…none of it can happen without them.  The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Do you have what it takes?

Can you identify these motivational elements in your life?  If you employee people are you fostering an environment where their vote counts and they feel a sense of progress and connectivity?

Take out just one of these pillars and the opportunity will be short lived by champion players.  The vacuum left in their place will soon be filled by a buzzard.

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