The paperclips didn't need a sales pitch. Neither do your clients.


Employee Motivation

by Admin 1. March 2012 18:11
I often get questions about motivating employees. My overall belief is, "you can’t motivate anyone to do anything, just give them an opportunity to motive themselves". That being said what do you do to give them an opportunity to motivate themselves?

As a business owner, you don't want employees who are only motivated to perform well so they can "win a prize". You want employees who are motivated to perform well every day, no matter what carrot you're dangling in front of them.

What you really need is a team of employees who are emotionally invested in your company. A feeling of ownership. To cultivate that, you need family support. No amount of job awards can out-influence the home front. You can offer praise and gifts left and right, but you won't see much improvement in your employees performance if she goes home to a partner who says, "How much longer are you going to work there if you’re not happy?"

Please don’t mis-understand, I'm not suggesting that your employees need to have a love affair at work. It's just that the men and women your employees go home to at night that have the power to motivate (or de-motivate) far better and faster than you could.

Here's the key to winning over an employee's family: Start from day one. The first thing your newly hired staff member will likely hear from a significant other when he gets home is, "How was your first day?" If he spent it mostly filling out a three-foot stack of forms, ordering his own business cards and eating lunch alone, he might rightfully answer: "Lousy." His better half will quickly get down on your company, too, and hardly encourage the top-notch performance you want to see.

There's a full-proof way to get employees, and their loved ones at home, excited about working for your company from day one. First, really make them feel welcome. We want to be liked and accepted. Start a new employee program at your company. Have all employees (depending on the size of your organization) make a point through out that first day to stop and say hello to the new employee and welcome them. I also really like the idea of a sign at the front door that says, “Welcome Jane Smith We are glad you are here”. Additionally a welcome cake at lunch for all to stop by and enjoy is a great idea as well.

So, what happens if your new recruit comes home with a great story about his amazing first day? His better half will realize the opportunity he has—she'll become the ultimate motivator, rather than detractor.

Keep in mind, there are many definitions of family. Your new employee may be single (or soon to be). It's your mission to find out who makes up his or her support system and give accordingly. Perhaps it's a gift card for a night out with pals or a matinee with mom.

When your employees hear daily words of encouragement from their closest confidantes like, "I can't believe how lucky you are to be working for that guy!" their motivation rises to levels you've never tapped before. It's worked for me in all of my companies. And even if you can't afford more than a home-baked cake or thank-you card, giving your new employees a best first day ever is the key to keeping them motivated for years to come.

There are so many statistics about how much better and more productive your employees are when they feel good about working for you. We spend lots of money to recruit, and hire a new team member. Lets not forget their value after they are hired.

Greta Schulz is president of Schulz Business SELLutions in West Palm Beach, FL. She is the author of "To Sell is Not to Sell" and a columnist for business journals around the country. Greta does corporate training for Fortune 1000 companies and she has an on-line training course for entrepreneurs.

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Business Planning that Helps Generate Sales

by GSchulz 15. March 2011 22:46

Businesses are failing daily — not because business owners didn’t start a viable business or because of a weak economy — but because of a lack of planning. That’s right — PLANNING! I’m talking about the kind of planning that it takes to generate sales.

Many a business owner has started out with talent and an idea about bringing a product or service to the marketplace. Along with the skill related to the product or service there is the initial plan to finance (usually under-finance) advertising, direct mail and/or public relations along with a spreadsheet of projected sales for growing the business. Then there is the task of either hiring a sales force or having the owner(s) wear the sales hat. Either one can be the formula for short-term death without a “Working Sales Plan”.

A great quote I heard is from the book The E Myth. This means the entrepreneurial myth. Here’s what happens. Someone says, “I really love to cook and I am going to open a catering company”. Then that person has “an entrepreneurial seizure” and think because uncle Joe always compliments her pies and all of her friends ask for her recipes that she’s got the makings of a business. Wrong! remember that your product or service is merely the venue you use to make money in your business. Working on your business is the most important thing you can do, not working in it. What does that mean? Stop cooking and start marketing and planning how the pies are going to get sold!

Here are some basics that you need to be able to answer before you open those doors.

Profile. What should your customers look like? If you already have an existing business, then what are the character traits that make up your current customers? To identify your customer base, you want to recognize things like type of business, industry, size of business, potential buying power, number of employees and the like.

Categorize. Breaking your customer base into somewhere between 2 and 4 categories can help to eliminate putting all of your eggs in one basket. These categories can be based upon size of business, amount of business conducted with your company, type of business, etc. The idea is to develop a modular plan for each category of business.

Establish a mix of categories that matches up to your spreadsheet projections. It is not unusual for a business owner to start a business with a customer already in place. Often the business is totally dependent upon this initial customer; and the bigger and better this customer is, the easier it is to be busy and get comfortable with the instant success of a new business. The message here is to build a strong foundation of customers so that no single customer keeps you in business nor puts you out of business.

Map out your plan. Since most people are dominantly visual, it is advisable to develop a visual road map so that you can see where you have to go and where you are along the way at any point. This method helps you to identify if you are spending your time in the wrong places.

Be willing to DREAM. What would it be like if you could move time ahead by one year and look back upon the previous year? You can. In fact, if I asked you to pretend that 365 days had already expired and you had just completed a very successful year in your business, could you tell me what made that year successful? Now you have the beginnings of your next year’s “Working Sales Plan”. The more detail you can identify, the stronger you can make your plan. I have many a client that I ask what is going to make them different? how will they be successful? I worry when the answer is, “because we’re the best” or “we have great customer service”. My answer is,”and…?” Who cares if you have the greatest widget ever made? Is McDonalds the best hamburger?

Above you have the five elements of building a “Working Sales Plan”. The two most important elements necessary to make the plan a success are Commitment and Desire. Desire means the hunger to really want to be successful. Not, “oh that would be nice” or “I hope” but a burning desire to make it happen. The second is to be committed to do whatever it takes to get there, WHATEVER IT TAKES!! I will talk about these elements next month.

So you don’t have a plan? and how’s that working for you?

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