Catch Them Doing Something Right

There are many debates about which the most effective style of management is and which achieves the best results. We have all heard the ‘carrot and the stick’ analogy time and time again. It’s fair to say that one style of management does not fit all and it’s all about learning how to adapt to the individual member of your team to gain the best possible results.

One of the best lessons I learnt in management is what motivates me, does not necessarily motivate my team.  My job as a successful manager is to understand what motivates the individuals within my team and remind them of those key drivers every day. Many sales people are financially motivated and they say, “I simply want to earn lots of money.” In my experience the more specific the better, it becomes much more motivational. You would hardly go into the gym and say I’d like to become a beef cake. I remember in 2005 when I decided it was time to propose, my first task was to enquire about an engagement ring and off with the mother-in-law I went. At £2,000 I thought this was going to take me forever, as I was only able to put away around £20 a month. So I set myself goals and broke it down specifically. At the time I was selling software and had a very transparent commission structure. So I gave myself six months to save for a ring, so I needed to save £333 a month to achieve my goal. This was £83.25 per week and I worked out an average order value for commission was £45 per deal, so I required two extra deals a week to hit my goal. My conversion rate at that time was 1 in 2.5 meetings turned into business, so I needed to attend a further five meetings per week. As I monitored and measured my figures very closely I was aware that I needed to make 68 calls to get hold of 5 decision makers a day and I converted 1 in 2 to a meeting. So I needed to make an additional 28 calls a day, to get hold of an additional 2 decision makers, which would enable me to get that extra 1 meeting. By being this specific every day I knew clearly what was required and I wouldn’t leave the office until I had made my desired call rate. I am pleased to say I achieved this goal in four months and she said “YES”.

I always recommend Managers tell their sales team to establish what you are looking to achieve and break it into digestible chunks, no matter how big the goal seems. If your goals are tangible, such as a new car, I have seen many of my clients have a print out of their exact car, colour and model they desire placed in front of them on their desk. Their visual reminder everyday keeps up their motivation and is a daily reminder of why they are working. So when it’s gets to 17:28 and normally they’ll be thinking what are they having for dinner or who are they meeting in the pub, their mind can remain focused on their goal. It can drive them to make those extra calls that are needed to achieve their end result.

As a sales and management trainer I have been fortunate to work with over a thousand managers in a variety of different businesses and industries. I have seen some incredible managers who inspire their team on a daily basis to continually strive to outperform themselves and I have seen the ‘David Brent’ type of manager, without the humour. One thing I see far too often is the Manager continually pointing out to their sales team’s things that they are doing wrong; even though they label it as constructive feedback, as opposed to criticism, it still can lead to a demotivated and frustrated sales team. What I always recommend to sales managers is ‘catch them doing something right’. Even if it’s the smallest thing, it always have a more positive and beneficial effect on the individual. One example of this is if you hear your sales person make a sales call that you feel was awful, try and highlight one positive from the call i.e. you asked great questions on that call or that was a great opening gambit.  If the same mistakes keeps happening with the individual then it must be delivered in a positive manner, such as “I heard that call by the way and your opening was excellent, a great benefit statement. I would recommend asking a few more open questions as you will definitely get the prospect sharing more information and it demonstrates that you are interested in them; keep up the good work as you make more calls than everyone in the team, which is admirable.

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