Accelerating Business Growth

Thursday, July 13, 2006

“Discovering the inside track on how motivation really works!”

There’s been a great deal written regarding the subject of motivation – so today I wanted to give you the inside track on how it really works.

You and I both know you can’t motivate anyone – sometimes we have enough trouble motivating ourselves.

We’ve all been there on that cold winters morning, sticking that toe out of bed only to find the heating has broken or… the alarm clock has gone off and you proceed to hit the snooze button for the next half hour – why – because…

“Motivation is a personal choice – people do things for their own reasons not your reasons!”

You can’t motivate someone to do something they don’t want to do.

All we can do as effective communicators is understand what are the motivational triggers we can press in order for somebody to become…self-motivated. After all it’s all about the WIFM factor – what’s in it for me?

In order to ‘demonstrate’ my thoughts and how it works I’ve created a model called the WHY Triangle. You can imagine a picture of a triangle in your mind - The WHY being at the base – the WHAT on the left side and the HOW on the right.

Feedback from clients and my personal experiences tell me we tend to spend most of our time in the WHAT and the HOW. Here’s a couple of examples of this idea in action in the commercial world.

Example 1…

You’re working with your sales team and running a series of one on one sessions at the start of the year – perhaps to go through the sales targets - (in the why triangle model) the what…and most of the time that’s where the discussion stops – in some instances we might move on and explore some ideas on how they can do it – however most of the time it stops at the what.

A key thought for you…

How much time do you spend in the why? – The why being the foundation the platform the base of the entire process.

Now who’s great at asking why questions – children of course. Go and tidy your room – Why? Go and put your jacket on as we are going to the supermarket – why? Children are so intuitive – always asking the why questions – why this why that.

I believe one of the challenges when we get into adult life – is life conditions us to stop asking the why questions of ourselves why we do what we do and of others. We loose that child like instinct. Perhaps now is the time to get that back by asking more why questions.

Back to the example…

What if at the start of the process when coaching with the sales person we started with what are your personal goals for the year?

What is it you want to achieve?

Why do you want to achieve it?

How can I help you achieve those goals?

What financially do you want to earn?

Why do you want to earn it?

Now we start to understand the why from the individuals prospective. I think one of the keys for creating a motivational atmosphere or environment for our people is to understand clearly their personal goals and how work can be one of the vehicles in order to help them deliver those goals.

The moment we help create the bridge in their mind - the link between their personal goals and business goals - then self-motivation kicks in.

One of my client was so excited by this idea he went and sat down on a one to one base with all his people to understand what they wanted to achieve and why and how through working with him he could help them do just that.

One of the team wanted to earn a £10,000 bonus in order to go take his wife and two children to Disney world. Here’s the important part, it’s not the money that is the critical factor – it’s what that money allows them to do in their lives.

Once the manager knew the why he then could talk about the what and most importantly the how - what high performing weeks need to look like in order to get to Disney world.

He then bought a mini Mickey Mouse and positioned it on the corner of the guy’s desk. When he was doing well and on his game he would go over and point to the Mickey Mouse and say well done – you’re another week closer to Mickey and Disney world. When he was not performing he would go over and point to Mickey and say our activity needs to improve if your going to get to Disney world and then proceed to run a coaching session with him on what needed to happen (the what and the how).

The Mickey Mouse became the anchor – the hook – the motivational trigger

Example 2…

You’ve been out with your PARTNER over the weekend and happened to call in at a new housing development and you’ve fallen in love with your dream house.

On Monday morning you call your bank manager excited and bubbling with enthusiasm – and proceed to tell him the story and ask him for a mortgage (the what).

The normal scenario…

The manager then launches into his usual scripted patter about fixed rate and variable rate mortgages and interest only or repayment (the How).

However when he starts with the WHY the conversation takes on a whole new meaning at a far deeper level in the communication process

“Tell me what the mortgage is for?”

“Well I was out with my PARTNER at the weekend and we called into a new housing development and we’ve found our dream house”.

“Tell me what’s great about the house?”

“Well our children are getting bigger and need somewhere to play and our current house is on a main road and we’re worried about them playing on the street”. Motivational trigger 1

“Anything else?”

“I’ve always wanted a conservatory and this new house has one on the back”.

“Fantastic I bet you can’t wait to sit in your conservatory reading your paper whilst your kids are laughing and playing in the garden”. Motivational trigger 2

"Anything else?"

"well I’m working from home much more and this new house has its own study". Motivational trigger number 3

You can see how you can build the picture for the customer – engaging with them at a deeper level than ever before in the communication process – really understanding the why from their prospective – knowing you have the triggers to press every time you need into ignite their self motivation.

Now a couple of key points…

1. It’s not the money which is the important part it’s what that money will allow the customer to do – recognising we’re all in the business of benefits. (this is a subject we’ll be talking about in more detail on a future business accelerator ezine)

2. The key is engaging with the clients at an emotional level in the communication process – not just a logical level.

Emotion V Logic…

Back to the picture of the triangle in your mind. Imagine adding a horizontal line two thirds of the way up your triangle with the word logic above the line and… the word emotion below the line.

In all buying decisions emotion is far more important than logic.

In fact it is my firm view that all decisions are made emotionally... not logically.
And if someone believes that they are making a logical decision it is only that they have far more emotion about that logic.

Therefore it is essential, when we are selling, that we appeal to the emotions of the buyer.

I like to think of it as a pendulum swinging from side to side.

Logic one side and emotion on the other.

And when explaining a particular point to use both facts and figures - the logic, and then tell a story or paint a picture using emotion.

Sometimes you can use the process in reverse... tell a story and then explain the logic or facts and figures.

“It’s the emotion that creates the motion - moving the client to action!”

So what are the Actions you can take away from this session?

Perhaps it’s to ask yourself the question;

Do you really know the WHY for your customers and prospects and are you appealing to both the logical and emotional sides of their brain in all of your communications?

For all future interactions with customers whether on the telephone or face to face - as part of your planning make sure you ask yourself these focused questions…

1. What is the WHY for my customer?
2. What are we talking about doing?
3. How is it going to work?
4. How do I appeal to the logical left-brain in my communication?
5. How do I appeal to the right brain emotion knowing this is the REAL catalyst for action?

And personally – find out the ‘why’ for the key people in your life – knowing someone’s WHY and helping them get there creates relationships that last a lifetime.


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