We did a Google search of KIZER & BENDER this afternoon and came across an article we wrote for a sales magazine a number of years ago. It's still good advice for motivating your people!
Top Sales Performers Motivate Others to Excel
1. Proceed with caution. If you plan to hold up one of your team members as a star performer, make sure that the title is deserved. You might think this person is wonderful, but the sales figures have to back you up. It’s easy to think people are great if they remind you of yourself – they think like you, act like you and sell like you. That’s dangerous because it can tilt your judgment about people. If you base superstar status simply upon your own perception you’re heading for trouble, because your other salespeople will know the truth. The superstar – and you – will lose the team’s respect.
2. Use a team approach. Use your top performers’ strategies and techniques to help the others in your organization. Star performers become team leaders, sharing their strategies with a few other team leaders. Each team leader trains a group of salespeople in the star performers’ methods. Now, instead of just one person “dictating” success methods, you have a number of team leaders. Reps who don’t like working with your stars can still benefit from the star performers’ strategies. It’s simply easier to hear them from someone else.
3. Avoid presenting awards in a way that demoralizes non-winners. A popular “motivational” technique in the 80s and 90s suggested that corporations host a dinner meeting where top performers were treated to steak and lobster and expensive champagne. Lesser performers sat at another table and were served beans and franks. The not-so-subtle lesson: If you want to sit with the winners, you’ve got to be a winner. Otherwise, you are a loser.
After a presenter suggested this at a meeting, the company’s vice president of sales told us that he once worked for a company that held one of these dinners. “The whole thing backfired. Those of us at the ‘bean table’ were so demoralized I don’t think the company ever recovered. I wasn’t the top performer that year, but I wasn’t a slouch either. I began looking for a new job the very next day. I didn’t want to work for a company that treated its people that way.”
4. Presenting awards the right way motivates everyone. To do it right, don’t limit recognition to just the superstars. For example, at one awards banquet each winner was called to the stage individually and given an award by the CEO and other company personnel. The first award winner was a woman. When the CEO finished speaking, a video lit up the screen. It was the award winner’s husband: “I am so proud of you and what you’ve accomplished. I don’t know how you do it, but you do it all and you do it well…” The video also included clips from her children, her co-workers and her boss. The same type of presentation honored each of the year’s award winners.
Afterwards, the winners’ families joined them on stage. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. One attendee, a non-winner, said that this ceremony motivated him more than any other he had ever attended, including the times he had won an award: “The company could ask any one of us to do anything after that meeting and we’d do it, because we knew how strongly the company believed in us.”
Want more team building tips? Click here to read "A Miracle in Retail: How a Hockey Coach Can Teach You All You Need To Know About Building A Great Team!" http://www.kizerandbender.com/pdf/MiracleRetail.pdf