What is Motivation?

What is Motivation?

Motivation has been described as the desire to fulfil a need. Achievement motivation is a persons  individual motivation to strike for success which enables the person to persist even when they  meet obstacles or even failure.  

This is such a valuable quality in a customer service sales person. Imagine it’s the last 10 minutes  before the retail store closes and the team needs one more sale to hit their daily target. The sales  person sees the customer giving off an approach signal (they look like they need help) and then  considers that they have a 50/50 chance of failure so they say to themselves “no thanks” and  start to tidy the stock in the store. 

Two Aspects of Personality

The sales persons behaviour is driven by the motive to avoid failure. However the next sales  person who sees the same situation thanks that this is a way where they have a chance to  succeed. The think “I have chance to help the team reach its target, so they then approach the  customer. They are driven by the motive to achieve success. This we call Achievement Motivation,  it comes down to two aspects of personality. 

  • The motivation to succeed  
  • High level of performance 
  • Values feedback 
  • Attributes success to effort 


  • The motivation to avoid failure  
  • Preoccupied about failure 
  • Perform worse when evaluated by others 
  • Attribute performance to outside factors, luck etc

The Key to Success

The key to the success of any retail store is the manager and team members who engage with the  customers on the shop floor. There is no doubt that the manager and the sales team who are  driven by the motive to achieve success will find away to achieve success.