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I have to deliver sales motivation sessions to over 100 very unenthusiastic and de-motivated car sales people. I have delivered this course before but this group of delegates are extremely down. Any ideas, help or advice on how to get the most out of the day and pick all these people up abit would be extremely appreciated.



6 Responses

  1. What’s the problem?
    Hi Dave

    I guess the sales folks are down because sales are difficult at the moment, but it would be worth getting some feedback from them beforehand on what any other issues are out there – such as management culture, unattainable targets, etc etc.

    If you have some idea of what is really bugging them, then you could tailor your programme to address some of these issues.

    Motivating sales teams in these difficult times is a real challenge, you will need to accentuate the positives as much as possible and see if you can get them to share the good stuff, not just ‘water cooler chat’ about the bad things.

    Good luck! Hope you get some more ideas for activities and games.


  2. …followed by a team build?
    I agree with Carolyn about finding out the key issues prior to the course, and spending some time discussing them in a solution focused way. I would also ask if there is anything specific they’d like to cover, i.e. introductions, dealing with objections and running an activity to get them to brainstorm these, or a role play where they fire an objection at someone and the other person has to respond positively, validating and turning the objection round.

    I would also run an activity where they think about some of the best sales they’ve had within the last few months, or year – why it was the best, what was the feedback from the customer and /or line Manager – and get a summary of how we feel when we’re doing well, then use that info to ask, how do we use this knowledge to motivate us when we’re feeling down, or having a bad day?

    Any sort of short team build could work – where they have to use communications skills to get a task complete or i have used an exercise where they have to build something which has improved morale and team relationships too, and i’ve used it to identify the types of questions they’ve asked which obtained the most information – and how can we relay this to our customer visits etc.

    I hope this helps,

    Alison Darrington
    Darrington Training

  3. Car sellers motivation

    I think Carolyn makes a big point about uncovering why these folk are switched off at the moment.

    Is it their own organisation contributing to the doom? Is the general feeling of tough times to blame? Car scrappage policy not helping? Joe Public now being a more selective buyer? Who knows? But unless you see the world from their viewing point you have as much chance of motivating them as you have of pushing water uphill. Give them a good listening-to and let them vent in a constructive way. Then you can try to turn the negatives into positives with some good facilitation on your part. Get them to add workable ideas to their own feeling of being down. Changing behaviour won’t be easy but you need to be more creative and innovative in your approach.

    Could have them collaborate  on a marketing exercise to use their expertise and have a bit of fun. Get them to build a strategy on marketing and selling the good old communism inspired, pressed cardboard manufactured Trabant in today’s climate with all its Health & Safety limitations. If they can flog Trabants then they can flog anything from Beach Buggies to Bentleys! 


    Best of luck


  4. Why are they turned off?

    That would be my first question!  Are there any clues from groups discussions, employee surveys, feedback, line managers, key people in the groups (both formal and informal) as to why the sales force are so demotivated?  After all, sales people are the people who are supposed to be the most self-motivating and positive of all employee groups! 

    People tend to be demotivated when they feel that the organisation is not listening to them and not responding to their needs.  Honesty and clarity of message (whatever that message is) from the company will be really appreciated and will help people to understand what’s really happening and therefore to begin deciding how they will deal with the reality, individually, which is where the only real motivation can come from.  I don’t believe you can train for motivation, only create an environment where people can motivate themselves. 

    Only after you have done that can then you focus on training for techniques and team-building. 


  5. Taking control

    The motor industry has taken a battering in the current economic climate. If this is true of your company then it’s not surprising some of them may be downbeat, particularly when their commissions are hard hit. Unfortunately tough markets also draw attention to skills deficits which may not be noticeable when times are good. This can lead to sales people laying the blame on the market and feeling there’s nothing they can do.

    However, I’ve come across a lot of very motivated sales teams recently. They are the teams that recognise the market is tough and are prepared to do something different to better understand their propsects’ needs and outsmart their competitors. People are buying – it’s a matter of profiling different buyer behaviours in a downturn and developing proactive sales and marketing plans to address these.

    Rather than focusing directly on motivation, it may be worth focusing on practical tactics for winning more business by doing things differently, for instance, profiling customer types and how their needs and expectations have changed in the current climate, ensuring that activities are focused on the things that will bring a return, developing sales plans that put control with the salesperson and coming up with ideas of how the company can create more interest or footfall etc.

    Helping salespeople to take back control for their own performance, as well as addressing the issues other contributors have raised, should at least inject some proactivity back into the team – and when proactivity brings sales results morale should start to improve. Good luck!  

  6. Thank you

    Thanks to all of your advice and ideas, i have spent the last week or so taking after your advice Carolyn visiting them and getting a feel for what the issues really are and it is, as i/we expected, the market is in a slump and no one is buying cars.

    I will be using the "give them a good listening to" method as suggested by Ray and guide the day in a positive constructive way to enable them to feel better that they have vented frustrations and hopefully re-align their goals moving forward being alot more pro-active about generating their own sales.

    The courses start Monday 28th and now i have over 100 staff across the next 2 weeks to "pick up". Going to be a long 2 weeks!!

    Thanks again you have all been extremely helpful and I have taken on board everything you have all said.

    Kind regards


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