Three Ways to Motivate Improved Sales Behavior

Many business executives conclude: culture trumps strategy. At a minimum, culture is a strong multiplier of business strategy.Here are three ways to improve sales culture:

  1. The Theory of the Hero 
  2. The Great Souled Person 
  3. The Theory of Emotional Intoxication 

1The Theory of the Hero

The salesperson is battling a society-wide pejorative image of all salespeople – as Willy Loman, the slimy loser in Death of a Salesman.What makes this worse is many, if not most, salespeople see their business development work through this prism.

With the society stereotype and the negative self-image of the profession, most salespeople won’t sustain the business development effort.They will avoid the behavior, or burn out.

By contrast, if salespeople see themselves as heroes, this self-image can sustain them for a lifetime of business development.

Joseph Campbell studies hero myths in hundreds of cultures over thousands of years.Campbell discovered these consistent themes in hero myths:

  1. We become a hero when we leave the village – when we face uncertainty. Salespeople constantly face uncertainty. Further, to develop new accounts the salesperson must typically oscillate from social selling (I want you to be my friend) to business selling (I want to earn the right to profitable customers).
  2. The hero usually meets an ally who offers him/her powerful tools or weapons. Companies support their sales team members by developing powerful selling tools and a powerful standard sales call.

We need to create an environment to support and celebrate the heroic salesperson.

Mini Case History: With a current client, a 25-year veteran salesperson has twice thanked me – after seminars – for my theory of the salesperson as hero. He loves hearing this. He is embracing the program and behaving in radically, more effective different ways.

The Salesperson as the Great Souled Person2

In the Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle presented the “great souled person” as the epitome of human accomplishment – to be so respected by everyone you command their serious attention when you speak.

A proper selling system promotes the great souled person, by earning the right to this recognition. Sales teams embrace the system, as they want to be respected. It’s a fundamental human need.

Some selling systems have contempt for the prospect. This leads ultimately to salesperson self-contempt. No salesperson can be nourished on a diet of self-contempt. But a diet of mutual respect will fuel a salesperson’s soul for a life time.

I have had many salespeople tell me their favorite part of their selling program is the PIK, the payment in kind – because the prospect is showing respect.

Theory of Emotional Intoxication

Nietzsche hinted at the method in Twilight of the Idols: The essential thing about intoxication is the feeling of increased power and plentitude.”

3Emotional intoxication has this revolutionary quality – as both means and ends. As an end it can be the ultimate, positive psychological state. As a means it provides the fuel to be self-renewing and generates creative output in productive work (including selling), as well as art.

In effect, emotional intoxication makes possible perpetual selling success.

What if there was a selling system which included all three motivational schemas? There is such a system – Urgency Based Selling®.

On Nov. 7 Andy will be holding a chamber -sponsored seminar entitled, ” Jumpstart

Q4 sales – what can you do to increase sales now?” The seminar is open to chamber members and the general public. Visit