In 1948, on the streets of Massachusetts, it was a bad time to be a rat.
A guy named 'Skinner' was collecting up the fluffy, long tailed creatures, putting them in his "Skinner box" and electrocuting them.
No, he was not a psychopath.
In fact he was one of the most influential behavioural psychologists of the day.
Burrhus Frederic Skinner, from Harvard uni, was studying punishment and reward.
During his (ethically shocking) experiments, he found that his rats would keep doing a behaviour if they were rewarded with food, and stop doing a behaviour if they were electrocuted.
"Good rat, have some food" (positive reinforcement, rat keeps doing behaviour)
"Bad rat, have 100 volts" (negative reinforcement/punishment = rat stops doing behaviour)
The key conclusion to this fur-singing study was this: It is possible to motivate behavioural change in two ways.
Fear and reward.
The volts or the food.
The stick or the carrot.
The disciplinary or the bonus.
When you look at your sales goal, how do you feel?
Excited and motivated to achieve it?
Or like you're in a Skinner box with 1000 volts up your backside?
We, like animals, are driven by fear and reward.
Fear can be a powerful driver and many people live their lives are driven by fear. Yes, it can create results, but results are often short term and lead to anxiety, stress and lost relationships. Not surprisingly, fear does not create a top performing mindset.
Reward, however, drives success in a positive way. It motivates and inspires. When you have a goal; something you want badly enough, you will move mountains to make it happen.
Although we know that rewarding ourselves will drive and maintain our success, how often do we actually do it? Are you currently working towards a reward that really inspires you?
In sales we are extremely fortunate that we have the capacity to earn money if we hit our sales goal. However money as a reward is not so exciting in itself. Digits in a bank account give a thrill for a while but soon get absorbed by mortgages, bills and other boring stuff.
It's not how big your balance is, it's what you do with it that counts.
To create motivation for your sales goal, you need to create a really compelling link between the money you will earn and your own epic reward.
An epic reward is a big reward that you really, really want. It is not 'paying off my student loan' or 'having a night out' it is something that overflows you with excitement, that will motivate you to keep going, when the going gets tough.
Create an epic reward:
In order to create a motivating reward, read through the questions below and write down the epic reward you will give yourself when you achieve your sales goal:
What have I wanted to do, but never done?
What have I wanted to be, but never become?
What have I always wanted to have, but never let myself buy?
What could I give, that'd make someone so happy they'd cry?
Now print off a picture of your epic reward and put it somewhere you will see it every day. The fridge. The office wall. Your wallet.
Don't wait for someone else to motivate you. Don't inject yourself with daily shots of fear. Instead take control of your own motivation and strive towards something that will make you truly excited.
How can I motivate my team by helping them create an epic reward?
Got a sales team? Want some ready made training material to use in your next team meeting?
2. Print off the ready made worksheets to use in your next team meeting
3. Follow the examples and coach your team to create their own epic reward
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Blog written by Jen Wagstaff, CreativeMind Sales Training
"Now, where's my taser?..."