If you have a business, motivating your employees is most likely a major concern. If it’s not you probably won’t have the business for very long. But the more you know about motivational strategies, the more you realize how difficult it is to motivate well. After all, if each of your employees has a different strategy, it’s hard to come up with a representation that will fill all their needs. If you simply run your own strategy, you are going to motivate only the people who are like you. You could give the most cogent and well thought out motivational lecture in the world, and unless it addressed the specific strategies of different people, it wouldn’t do any good.
What can you do about it? Well, understanding strategy should give you two clear ideas. First, very motivational technique aimed at a group should have something for everyone – something visual, something auditory and something kinesthetic. You should how them things, you should let them hear things, and you should give them feelings. And you should be able to vary your voice and intonations so you hook all three types.
Second, there’s no substitute for working with people as individuals. You can provide the broad cues to a group that will give everyone something to work with. To tap into the full strategies different people use, it would be ideal to elicit individual strategies.
What we’ve looked at so far is the basic formula for eliciting anyone’s strategy. To be able to use it effectively, you need to get more details about each step of the strategy. You need to add the sub-modalities to the basic pattern.
For example, if a person’s buying strategy begins with something visual, what is it that catches his eye? Bright colors or Great size? Does he go bonkers at the sight of certain patterns or wild, splashy designs? If he’s auditory, is he attracted to sexy voices or to powerful ones? Does he like loud clatter and rumbles or a finely tuned, efficient hum. Knowing someone’s main modality is a great start. To be precise, to really punch the right buttons, you need to know more.
Understanding strategy is absolutely essential to success in sales. There are some sales people who understand it instinctively. When they meet a potential client, they immediately develop rapport and elicit his decision making strategies. They might begin, “I noticed you’re using our competitor’s copy machine. I’m curious”. What was the first thing that caused you to want to buy that machine? Was it something you saw or read about it or did someone tell you about it? Or was it the way you felt about the salesman or product itself? These questions may seem a little strange, but a salesman who has established rapport will say, “I’m curious because I really want to fill your needs”. The answers to such questions can well provide the salesman with invaluable information about how to present his product in the most effective way.
Clients have very specific buying strategies. I’m no different from anyone else when I shop. There are many ways to do thing wrong – to try to sell me that I don’t want in a way I don’t want to hear. There aren’t as many ways to get it right. So to be effective, a salesman must take his clients back to a time when they bought something they loved. He has to find out what caused them to decide to buy it. What were the key ingredients and sub-modalities? A salesman who learns how to elicit strategies will be learning his customer’s exact needs. He will then be empowered to truly satisfy those needs and create a long standing customer. When you elicit someone’s strategy, you can learn in moments what might otherwise take days or weeks to learn.
What about limiting strategies – like over eating? I used to weigh 268 pounds. How did I balloon to such a size? Easy, I developed a bingeing or overeating strategy. And it was running me. I found out what my strategy was by thinking about times when I wasn’t hungry and yet become ravenous only moments later.