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SMART IDEAS #30: The most powerful motivator?

Weekly inspiration for the staffing industry

ISSUE #30  |  May 11, 2023

New this Week:

• The most powerful motivator?

• Need some sales motivation?

SMART IDEA #30: The most powerful motivator?

Make more calls!

Has this become the universal message of the staffing industry in 2024?

I know, times are tough. Sales are harder to come by. And to win in sales, you have to work harder.

But the battle cry to “make more calls” doesn’t make me want to make more calls.

It makes me want to hide under my bed.

Now, I am not a salesperson. Or a recruiter. 

And truth be told, I don’t like making any calls…even to the pizza guy.

But that got me thinking…what motivates people to do hard things?

The most powerful motivator?

When we design compensation plans, we often think money is the motivator.

The more we put into variable comp, the harder people will work.

But that rarely happens.

How about giving people a sense of ownership? 

Maybe ownership of a team, profit sharing, or even equity in a company? Does that create motivation?


But more often, nope.

What about holding people accountable for hitting their KPIs?

Does that motivate?

Hell no! Who wants to be held accountable?

Most of us spend our days beating ourselves up for not doing enough. We don’t need help from others!

So, what does motivate people?

If you Google “the most powerful motivator,” you’ll find an article from Psychology Today that states that FEAR is the most powerful motivator.

We will do A LOT to avoid things we fear.

Fear is primal. Fear triggers an immediate response.

And as a marketer, I know that fear is a fantastic attention grabber and conversation starter. It’s an essential tool we use when writing copy.

But when it comes to managing people, fear stinks.

Who wants to spend every day being afraid? Or work for a company where fear rules?

Fear is great for short-term motivation. But for more lasting motivation, we need a different emotion.

So, what’s better than fear?

Three or four years ago, I recall a speaker on a podcast saying that excitement is the most powerful motivator.

When we feel excited, we are inspired to take action. We literally can’t sit still.

So, how do you get people to feel excited…about making more calls?

You don’t.

You get people excited about what matters to them.

What is the outcome of making more calls?

You make more sales.

You make more money.

You can afford that upcoming vacation. The new house. Or to put your kids through college.

For leaders, the implication is clear. Get to know your people and what matters to them. Help them to connect the dots—show them how every action they take is getting them one step closer to what they really want. 

And continually reinforce the excitement that comes from focusing on what you really want in life.

How to create motivation for yourself.

Start by making a list of things that really matter to you. Make a list of the life experiences you want. People you want to spend time with. Places you want to visit. Things you want to do.

Then put a date on those goals. 

Next, ask yourself, what do I need to do to achieve each goal by the date I want to achieve it?

Write down your goals. Write down the things you need to do.

And read your list EVERY DAY.

As you read, focus on how it will feel to achieve each goal. The sense of joy, satisfaction, and happiness that will come from realizing your dreams.

This simple act of reflection can provide you with a sense of excitement each and every day.

It will give you more focus. And a deeper sense of purpose.

When you can visualize what you want…and the path to getting it, you will feel that sense of excitement. 

And you’ll gain the motivation to do what it takes to succeed.

Even if it means making more calls!

Need some sales motivation?

Get a free lead-generation roadmap 
for your company! 

Our team will review your goals, evaluate your current sales and marketing, and put together a plan for your business.

Request Your Lead Gen Roadmap


Haley Marketing | PO Box 410 | Williamsville, NY 14231-0410 | 716-631-8981

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