This week, Joe Ryder talks to us about the best motivational method to separate the good salespeople from the great.

“The best way to motivate salespeople to succeed is to constantly tell them, ‘No, you can’t.’

Imagine your 5-year-old self being told by a parent that you can’t have a lollipop. The want and yearning for that lollipop becomes one of the strongest urges you’ve ever felt in your short lived life. I believe that urge, that yearning for something so badly, leaves a lasting impression on your spirit and remains within you. It’s this urge that makes up highly competitive people.

Now, let’s bring the situation back to your workplace. Standing in front of you is your team of smart, driven individuals. You’ve trained them well enough to be able to recite their hit points and combat objections when necessary; they know the product that they’re selling, and know how to go about answering any and all questions that are thrown at them. Together, and individually, they’ve become good salespeople equipped to survive the madness that ensues in Midtown, Manhattan. But, who will be the ones to not only survive, but also thrive? What separates the good salespeople from the great?

All great salespeople love a challenge.

In my 15 years of management experience, one thing that has always stood out is that all successful salespeople tend to do their best when they’re told, ‘No, you can’t.’ Whether it concerns a meeting they want to make or a deal they want to close, telling them ‘No’ always fires them up enough to finally achieve their end goal.

Now, I don’t believe that you can teach someone to be competitive, but I do believe that you can tap into someone’s competitive spirit. Similar to all managerial positions, the first thing you need to do to find a ‘great’ salesperson is to be able to identify the differences of each of your salespeople; some need a pat on the back, while others need a push in the back. More often than not, the salespeople that need a push will be the ones who are most successful. Tell these salespeople, ‘No, you can’t,’ and they will have a chance to be great.”

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