Merriam Webster’s online dictionary defines motivation as, a force or influence that causes someone to do something.

The ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle basically brought the idea of motivation down to being either the pursuit of pleasure or the avoidance of pain.

When you think about either of those definitions it is easy to understand why motivation is only temporary.

In the case of Webster’s definition, a force must be applied that causes someone to do something.  In the vacuum of space – that would be enough because Newton’s first law of motion comes into play.  Once the force causes the object to move, the object would continue to move at the same speed and in the same direction.

However, for the time being we sell – or lead sales people here on earth.

The net result of Webster’s definition would be that as soon as the force is no longer applied – the someone would stop doing something.

Thus, this type can be effective – but it is only temporary.

Now let’s take a look at Aristotle’s thoughts on motivation.  Although his version is somewhat hedonistic, you can certainly see the pursuit of pleasure or the avoidance of pain in how corporations and sales leaders attempt to motivate their sales teams into achieving company goals.  It is the typical “carrot versus the stick” mindset.  If you hit the target, you receive the reward.  If you miss the target, you receive employment consequences.

However, we human beings are tricky at times.  When we learn that we can “live without” the pleasure, or “live with” the pain – this type of motivation loses its power.  You can see that in a child as they grow up.  Once a child learns that the consequences of disobeying their parents are tolerable, if that parent has not already successfully taught their child the reasons for their boundaries – that parent will find the child pushing the limits more and more.

Thus, this hedonistic version of motivation can also work – but it is only temporary as well.

The reason that these predominant methods of motivation only work for a short period of time is that they are external motivators.  They may motivate you into a positive course of action – but they are still external motivators.

In sales – hearing the prospect say “no” is also an external motivator.  But that motivator tends to move you in a negative direction.  And in the grand balance of the equation, your negative external motivators in sales will outweigh your positive external motivators.[lightbox link=”” thumb=”” width=”200″ align=”right” title=”internal external” frame=”true” icon=”image” caption=””]

You must counterbalance your negative external motivators.

You do so by creating Fusion Points ®. 

More about that tomorrow.

QUESTION:  Do you think you already have your internal motivators?  If so, what are they?