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The Power of Motivation: A Few Words from Zig Ziglar

Many in our industry were deeply moved by the passing of a true motivational leader, Zig Ziglar, this past November. I thought I’d honor Zig, with a few thoughts on the power of motivation and how it can ‘power up’ your marketing efforts by reaching the very core of existence of our sales teams.

Zig Ziglar made quite a name for himself (and a pretty good living) with motivational techniques that fill the bookshelves of some of the most successful people I know. Everyone has a favorite ‘Zig’ quote or saying. Mine is Ziglar’s response to the statement: ‘Zig, motivation doesn’t last!’ to which Zig would reply: “Bathing doesn’t either. That’s why I recommend it daily.”

No matter how much you spend on advertising, you will never achieve your greatest potential and return on investment until you find a way to motivate and inspire the individuals in your organization to maximize their own potential. You and I know the sky is the limit. But until every one of our associates believes that in their heart (or at least most of them) we will never get to where we want to be. I’ve personally witnessed and participated in success stories where dealerships doubled, tripled, quadrupled sales when the people in the organization began believing in themselves. If we sold 600 vehicles in 2012, why should our goal be 700 in 2013? Why can’t we sell 1200 in 2013? 1800 in 2014? Why must we measure our success based on the market, the competition, the product, the economy? Give or take, 15 million new vehicles will be sold this year. 35 million used vehicles will be sold. Virtually every person we know is a potential customer. Everyone drives a car. Every neighbor. Every relative. Every friend. What will make the difference in our organization? The personal motivation, inspiration and belief system of our team. Not just salespeople and sales managers but every single person on our payroll. While we struggle with media breakouts, traditional and digital, creative strategies, themes, campaigns, slogans, balloons and flyers, there is no investment as potentially influential in our sales, revenue, EBITDA, than the investment in strategies to maximize personal motivational of our team members to be the very best they can be. And that’s where people like Zig Ziglar come in.

A great little book (one of so many) by Zig Ziglar is ‘Inspiration 365 Days a Year’ published by Simple Truths, a leader in inspirational gifts.(”) Here is a book for every manager and salesperson’s desk that offers an inspirational thought for every day of the year. For instance, on a double spread photograph of a magnificent snow scene in the mountains of the Northwest is a quote by Jesse Stoner Zemel: “A vision is a clearly–articulated, results-oriented picture of a future you intend to create. It is a dream with direction.” All of the inspirational thoughts are not attributed to Zig, but rather a compilation of his own, and his favorites from others. Zig shares quotes from Calvin Coolidge, Mike Ditka, Mother Teresa and others. For July 9th, it’s one of Zig’s own: “When you clearly understand that success is a process, not an event, you are encouraged to follow the right process to create the success you are capable of having.”

The founder of Simple Truths, Mac Anderson, has quite a stable of motivational/inspirational books, CDs and DVDs available at the Simple Truths website at very reasonable prices with various volume price breaks that make them attractive gifts/rewards for your sales team members and management.

Mac Anderson offers other books such as his compilation of ‘Motivational Quotes’ by thought leaders like Winston Churchill, Henry Ford, Walt Disney and Napoleon Hill: “Cherish your dreams, as they are the children of your soul. The blueprints of your ultimate achievements.”

Over the past 20 years I’ve bought hundreds of the ‘Simple Truths’ publications for distribution at sales and management meetings and from the positive feedback, I’ve generated quite a few sales for this company because of the quality and usefulness of their publications and their customer service. I highly recommend them as a source for words of encouragement, motivation and inspiration.

Consider sampling some of these publications and emailing motivational quotes to your team on a daily basis. Every employee in your organization has an email, either on the company domain or a personal email. For over a decade some of the most successful dealers I know have been sharing daily motivational thoughts and encouraging employees to contribute other quotes and feedback.

Motivation is not a substitution for sales training, but rather an integral and important aspect of every sales/leadership training process. But more importantly, it’s critical for the ownership and management to understand the power of personal motivation as part of the company’s core values.

And remember, as Zig once said, “Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.”

And Zig, one day I hope to SEE YOU AT THE TOP!

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