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
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
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
So, do your sales contests pass the test?
1. Increased Camaraderie and Teamwork?
2. Enhanced Culture designed to Attract and Retain winning
3. Increased sales and profits?
4. No cost/expense (self-fund concept) recognition/rewards
5. Injecting fun into competiveness?