I am a business speaker, talking on subjects like disruption, how to market your business in this age of social media, customer service at retail in this time of online shopping etc. However, when I tell people I am a speaker, they always say ”A motivational speaker?” I respond with No, I am strictly business but I hope I can motivate while educating”. Maybe I don’t look bright enough to be a business speaker. But then I have done over 1980 business presentations. Kari Klevjer a newsletter reader, planted this seed with her email…
Today it seems lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride are attributes. The capitalist dream of being able to make money in exchange for doing as little as possible is now a fervent passion. One that rarely makes the list but has been responsible for decades of self-delusion and misplaced optimism has been the pernicious rise of the motivational speaker. To walk in the footsteps of one of these charlatans is to take a trip down the boulevard of broken dreams. These snake-oil salesmen have been elevated into high priests.
There are so many people selling “niche” solutions that the word niche itself has now become obsolete. I feel that the motivational speaking sector and business leader industry should be much more stringently regulated. We simply can’t have these sharp-suited hucksters running around willy nilly, telling people that if they get up at 5am, drink a Kale smoothie every morning and chant “I am great” that they’ll succeed beyond their wildest dreams and be buying their own Lamborghini and yacht in no time.
I learned a long time ago that easy, get rich schemes or a magic bullet for success do not work. Most motivational material has lots of clichés but little or no substance. If there was a silver bullet in making money in business, or winning at craps or at the horse races we would not have to charge fees to tell people about it. We would just do it.
The entire motivational speaker business is a fraud of the highest order. Perhaps you can inspire as a speaker, but unless the person finds their own reason why they are doing what they are doing every day, you are pushing ..it up hill. Anyone who brands themselves as a motivational speaker is peddling fiction. You can probably get a few people to up their game, and perhaps all of them to step their activity rate for a day or two, but you will not secure lasting performance improvement with this approach.
Sales training doesn’t work either. Perhaps a small percentage of the salespeople will take on board what you teach them to improve their performance because they have both desire and commitment. The other 90% passionately want to make more money but are not passionate or committed enough to get off their arse and change and do whatever is required to be more effective and efficient.
Most poor sales achievement isn’t about technical skill gaps; its about the conceptual gap between knowing what to do and being willing to do it. Salespeople who aren’t performing to their full potential are usually being poorly led and mismanaged. An hour or two in a room with a charismatic speaker isn’t going to fix them. They’ll probably have a few laughs but getting them to close more business, ask for and get higher prices, close more predictably, secure appointments with decision makers, ring fence accounts to protect them from the competition, etc. will not happen unless you put some real thought and effort into training your people systematically and well.
All of us have 4 major internal competitors:
- fear (too scared)
- apathy (can’t be bothered)
- ignorance (don’t know)
- ego (think they know better or are entitled)
I routinely hear from clients that I have helped them turn their lives around and turn their businesses into thriving enterprises. This is not achieved with motivating clichés and exciting hype language, it is achieved by knowledge and education.
Why don’t you ever see Hippos hiding in trees?Because they are really bloody good at it