Industry Magazine Get JACK'D Magazine Spring 2017 | Page 7

“ALL IN ALL, RECOGNIZING SUCCESSFUL SALESPEOPLE MAY BE THE SINGLE MOST CRITICAL WAY TO BOOST SALES RESULTS.” I suggested to my two partners that we designate the spot closest to the front door to the top-producing sales performer. At first, they wholeheartedly agreed. When I mentioned that we put a Mercedes in the spot for the winner, they declared the idea as “too expensive”. No, I said. I planned to use one of their cars. That didn’t go over well either. I asked what the monthly lease payment was and found it to be $950. I said let’s round it off to $1,000 and throw in a winner shirt. The winner would keep the shirt but the car would be up for grabs the next month. We guessed it would result in forty additional deals per month, where we made profits of $1,500 per deal. That’s a $60,000 return on a $1,000 investment. We agreed it was a deal worth making. Here were some of the key components: a) A single winner each month; b) The contest standings were posted daily each month for all to see and raise the competitiveness; c) An awards ceremony each month with the prior month winner handing over the keys to the new winner. The car was in the background for a photo, and each month an article with the photo was sent to the press saying that we gave a Mercedes away to our top sales performer; d) Continuing reinforcement for all on the team as each month the contest began again; and e) The bonus result was the traveling car became a recruiting tool as friends of each winner inquired how could they get such a job. Here’s another, called “Caribbean Cruise”. In this company, there were 2,600 salespeople. Historically, the top few percent of performers would win a group trip for two for a week to somewhere exotic. The shortcoming was that each year, most of the winners were the same from the year before. After analyzing the cost and a companion increase in annual sales levels per salesperson, we announced that the ultimate result desired by the company was that all 2,600 would win a cruise for two for the week. All a salesperson had to do was meet/beat the stated sales production. I felt it would be awesome to have to take over a full cruise ship (or two) if all had won. Let’s review some of the key components: a) The math was critical, such that the sales production of each winner in effect paid for the cost of the cruise…and then some; b) Here we had an annual award, keeping more in the game over an extended period of time; c) All can win, not just “top producers” winning and everyone else bailing out and the contest being a de-motivator; d) Tracking and posting of standings was done monthly and sent to the salespersons’ homes (to apply spousal pressure to get out and sell); e) The recognition ceremony was held on the ship, where all couples were invited, sharing in the pride (and where next year’s trip would be announced to once again begin that spousal pressure to be sure to win it again); and f) Continuous reinforcement that each performer still had an op portunity to win. The next example we called “Steak & Beans”. We would hold this contest from time to time on a surprise basis, often to stimulate selling a new product or going after products with a higher margin or for other reasons. We divided the sales performers into several teams for competitive purposes, and the contest would run for a couple months. The winning team would enjoy a night out together at a fine SPRING 2017 restaurant and sit on one side of the table. Tablecloths, fine china, wine, and steak or lobster would be theirs. On the opposite side of the table would sit the last place team. Newspaper instead of tablecloth, paper plates, plastic cutlery, a dollop of beans, and beer was theirs. The chef would come out with toque on and serve the beans from the pot. For the next month, banners at the office would hang above each team: The Dream Team and The Bean Team. We were never sure how hard people fought to be first, but we knew all fought to not be last. Great fun. Let’s review some of the key components: a) The math was easy, as a small increase in sales more than covered the investment of the evening; b) Flexible timing, as the contest could be held anytime for any purpose; c) Team concept was reinforced, with folks helping each other get better and sharing best practices; d) Tracking and standings posted regularly; e) The ceremony was the dinner event; f) Continuing reinforcement to the extent that this contest was regularly requested by the salespeople to be run again. Here’s another called “The Lottery”. This contest would run for a designated period, let’s say a business quarter. For each sale made or dollars of sales made, salespeople would win tickets with their names on them to be included in a lottery at the end of the quarter. More sales equaled more chances to win. Three prizes in total. Third prize might be a $200 gift certificate. Second prize, a three-day cruise for two. First prize, a one-week trip for two to Hawaii. At the end of the quarter, the lottery picks would be drawn from a barrel. Third prize was picked first. If a person’s name was drawn and the person took the prize, third prize was settled. If the person passed, the person’s name was dropped back into the barrel. Top producers would pass on winning third prize, but salespeople with not many entries would take the money and run. Concerning second prize, if a top producer was drawn again, it became a serious debate. If the top producer passed, the group would howl and there were cheers knowing that anyone other than the individual who passed on the cruise would win. Total fun and great competitiveness. Let’s review some of the key components: a) The math was calculated and prizes determined so that the contest would self- fund; b) Flexible timing; c) Tracking and posting of standings of entries in the lottery; d) Individual competition; e) Ceremony with all in attendance and plenty of “smack talk”. Once again, fun and rewarding. So, do your sales contests pass the test? 1. Increased Camaraderie and Teamwork? 2. Enhanced Culture designed to Attract and Retain winning sales performers? 3. Increased sales and profits? 4. No cost/expense (self-fund concept) recognition/rewards programs? 5. Injecting fun into competiveness? 7