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SELLutions

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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How to Land Your Dream Job

by Admin 13. February 2012 13:56
I recently had the opportunity to be a guest on a radio show. I was caught a little off guard when I was asked, while on the air, how to use “selling skills” to get a job. I hesitated, since that really isn’t what I do. Since the radio host was familiar with my program, he felt there was a lot of synergy. After I did the show, I got to thinking about the idea he brought up, and how getting a job really is so similar to sales... And life.

Here are five steps to help you land the job of your dreams:

§  Network. Use the contacts that you have as extra eyes. Let them know what you are looking for. Be specific and get out there.

§  Set up one-on-one meetings with people that you know. Get coffee, a drink, etc. Help people understand what you are looking for, and give examples of the type of organizations and specific job descriptions. Again, make sure you are specific. People can’t think for you, even though you think they can.

§  When applying for a job, you must do something unique. Today, there are just too many people looking for the same job you are applying for. So, how do you rise above the rest? Sending a resume is so last century. I would suggest that you try to be different. One way is to send your information (resume, if you must) in a unique way. For example, I was once applying for a job with Procter & Gamble. I was in college (about 100 years ago,) and the career center had the interviews set up, but P&G booked up quickly. So, I called ahead and found out who was coming to do the interviews. I silk-screened my resume onto a T-shirt, rolled it up and slid it into a Colgate toothpaste box, and mailed it to the sales director, signature required. I got the interview.

§  When you are set up to be interviewed, do lots of research in advance. Spend time researching the company and interviewer. Create questions about the organization’s vision, what customers/clients say about them and what competitors say about them. Ask the interviewer about their experience with the company, what they like best about the organization, their job, etc. This gives lots of good insight to how the employees feel, and shows you have a real interest in them, too.

§  Follow up. There are several ways to do this. I think e-mail is fine, but does that really differentiate you? Here’s an idea: A talking e-mail. You can talk into a video e-mail message and really make an impression. Try www.talkinemail.com. I love it and have been using it a ton.

Remember, the best time to look for a job is when you already have one. If you are in a situation where you are out of work, your job is to look for a job eight hours a day, five days a week!

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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How to Land Your Dream Job

by Admin 13. February 2012 13:53

I recently had the opportunity to be a guest on a radio show. I was caught a little off guard when I was asked, while on the air, how to use “selling skills” to get a job. I hesitated, since that really isn’t what I do. Since the radio host was familiar with my program, he felt there was a lot of synergy. After I did the show, I got to thinking about the idea he brought up, and how getting a job really is so similar to sales … and life.

Here are five steps to help you land the job of your dreams:

§  Network. Use the contacts that you have as extra eyes. Let them know what you are looking for. Be specific and get out there.

§  Set up one-on-one meetings with people that you know. Get coffee, a drink, etc. Help people understand what you are looking for, and give examples of the type of organizations and specific job descriptions. Again, make sure you are specific. People can’t think for you, even though you think they can.

§  When applying for a job, you must do something unique. Today, there are just too many people looking for the same job you are applying for. So, how do you rise above the rest? Sending a resume is so last century. I would suggest that you try to be different. One way is to send your information (resume, if you must) in a unique way. For example, I was once applying for a job with Procter & Gamble. I was in college (about 100 years ago), and the career center had the interviews set up, but P&G booked up quickly. So, I called ahead and found out who was coming to do the interviews. I silk-screened my resume onto a T-shirt, rolled it up and slid it into a Colgate toothpaste box, and mailed it to the sales director, signature required. I got the interview.

§  When you are set up to be interviewed, do lots of research in advance. Spend time researching the company and interviewer. Create questions about the organization’s vision, what customers/clients say about them and what competitors say about them. Ask the interviewer about their experience with the company, what they like best about the organization, their job, etc. This gives lots of good insight to how the employees feel, and shows you have a real interest in them, too.

§  Follow up. There are several ways to do this. I think e-mail is fine, but does that really differentiate you? Here’s an idea: a talking e-mail. You can talk into a video e-mail message and really make an impression. Try www.talkinemail.com. I love it and have been using it a ton.

Remember, the best time to look for a job is when you already have one. If you are in a situation where you are out of work, your job is to look for a job eight hours a day, five days a week!


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Sales Assessments: To Test or Not to Test

by GSchulz 4. September 2011 18:16

When hiring, employers must make sure that the application and assessment process meets defensible standards. With the excessive use (and often misuse) of internet- based “quick, easy and free” personality tests offered as hiring tools, violations of rules set forth by the Department of Labor are becoming more frequent. Though the Department of Labor document citing the guidelines is considered unexciting and often tedious reading, it should be considered required reading for any employer or manager in charge of hiring or promotion decisions. Adhering to the guidelines as best as possible could keep employers out of harm’s way when it comes to legal battles.

The Department of Labor offers 13 different guidelines that employers should follow when deciding on an “assessment initiative”. They are as follows:

  1. Use assessments and assessment tools in the manner in which they are indicated or advised (follow the directions!). When employers misuse an assessment tool or program, they could potentially face legal issues in the future.
  2. Use the “whole- person approach” when testing. Remember, no test is perfect! Use an assessment test, or maybe even a combination of tests, that will give you as much information as possible about behaviors most important to your business.
  3. Use tests that are unbiased and fair to all groups. Even tests that inadvertently discriminate may keep employers from gaining a qualified and diverse work group and may kindle, you guessed it, more legal battles.
  4. Use tests that are reliable. Make sure that the questions offered on the test are not tricky and that they seek specific responses.
  5. Make sure that the assessments being used are valid for the specific purpose intended. This may be considered one of the most important criterions in the selection process. Validity is simply the specific assessment’s ability to measure the target characteristic at a level that can be useful to the employer.
  6. Assessment tests must be appropriate and applicable for the target population of desired employees (a.k.a., tests must be specific to your trade). For example, you would never give a person applying for a job at a burger joint an assessment designed specifically to assess dental hygienists.
  7. Instructions and all other documentation must be completely comprehensive and easy for applicants to understand.
  8. If the assessment test requires proctoring and/or administering, make sure that the people performing these actions are properly trained and qualified to do so. Some instruments require an extensive certification process to administer, proctor, and score tests.
  9. Provide consistent standard and uniform testing conditions in order to obtain more consistent results. The key is keeping test takers from being distracted to assure the integrity of the test results.
  10. Provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. Remember: no group should ever be disadvantaged by the test or the conditions under which the test is taken.
  11. Strong test security is important if the test results are going to be useful. Tests and their scoring should never be assessable to the general public.
  12. Test results must be maintained in a confidential manner. Most effective are tests taken over the internet requiring a username and password.
  13.  Accurate interpretation of results is tremendously necessary. Nothing is worse than bad interpretation of good data. Don’t let that happen to you!

Though these guidelines might sound dull and restricting, the Department of Labor does support the use sound testing and assessment strategy, and actually acknowledges the difficulty employers now have of “attracting, developing and retaining the best employees.” They go on to say that a well built and solid assessment strategy can “maximize chances for getting the right fit between jobs and employees.” (DOL publication, “Testing and Assessment: An Employers Guide to Good Practices”)\



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The Secret to Hiring a Sales Powerhouse

by GSchulz 20. April 2011 22:52

The secret to hiring a sales powerhouses hi is to radically reengineer your hiring process, which concludes with a powerful 20 minute interview.

Step 1. Define the ideal candidate. Describe your selling environment which identifies the perfect salesperson. For example: “Our ideal candidate has successfully cold called CEOs, presidents and owners of medium size companies and can close sales for conceptual services prospects will help their business but is not a necessity. Our ideal candidate is successful at finding budgets when there are none, and can close for $50,000 long term contracts in two calls or less. The candidate must have had prior earnings of at least $80,000 per year. Be very specific. Not about what you sell, that’s secondary, about the environment that you sell in.

Step 2. Search. Write compelling advertising copy which describes the ideal candidate so they read and say, “That’s me”, while differentiating your organization from any other. Look outside of your industry so you don’t get stuck with industry re-treads with below average selling skills. If they are leaving their organization, there is usually a reason. Plus, someone from the outside can ask the question, “why can?t we do that” and someone inside has a pre-conceived notion of why.

Step 3. Qualify: In a five minute telephone screen, read your pre-determined key criteria and ask the candidate to prove they can meet them.

Step 4. Test: Use a proven test to separate those that will sell from those that can sell.

Step 5. Conduct the interview. DO NOT tell them all about your company and why they would enjoy it. Make them sell to you why you should hire them.

To separate the “real candidate” from their “interview face”, you must run the interview dramatically different from most employment interviews. In 20 minutes you must get the candidate to reveal how they would act in a tough selling situation. How?

You have to act like the toughest prospect they’ll encounter. Yes, you need to be tough. Like the toughest experience you’ve ever had in front of a prospect.

Begin the interview without the normal pleasantries. You are not there to make them comfortable, you are there to test there abilities. Start with, “Are you my two o?clock?” “Go in the conference room, I’ll be there in 10 minutes.” Make them wait. Don’t smile. Don’t be nice. After 10 minutes, walk in, then say, “We’ve only got 20 minutes for this interview to cover an hour of information. Ready?”.

This is the first test. You want someone who’ll push back to get control. At the very least you want someone who’ll try to break the ice and bond with you. If they roll over and act like a compliant puppy dog, (by answering,”yes” or “sure”) you know they’ll wimp out in front of tough prospects. Ask “prove it to me kinds of questions”. “We’re looking for a strong closer who can handle themselves well in front of presidents and CEOs. Prove to me that’s you.

Keep the pressure on. Look for signs of discomfort or emotional involvement, such as rapid eye movement, giggling, staring at the ceiling or out the window, movement in the chair and changes in voice pitch or volume.

Here’s a strong move to determine if they’ll really make cold calls. “If we get beyond this interview to the next step, (remember to keep the pressure on!), you?ll be required to find $250,000 in new business. Once you?ve identified whom to call, how would you get appointments?”

The answer you are looking for is some form of cold calling AND referrals. In a new position they will need to cold call. If they say that it’s the only way they know how to start in a new position, you know they will. If they cave in and start talking about research, letter campaigns and marketing… you know you don’t have a hunter in front of you.

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