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


Motivated Employees?

by Admin 9. November 2011 20:23


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 fool-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—and 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 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 when your employees feel good about working for you, the better and more productive employees they are. We spend lots of money to recruit, and hire a new team member. Lets not forget their value after they are hired.


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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”)\

Have more questions about the best way to train your sales team? Looking for a training program to help increase your sales? Need a keynote sales speaker for your next business event or conference? Contact our sales consulting company to help! Click here to share this post.

Is Your Sales manager up to Par?

by Admin 20. June 2011 19:45

I am often confronted with CEOs who have sales managers that often performing under par. Why? Well when I ask a CEO why they decided to put  “Steve” in that position the answer is almost always something like this; “Steve was by far our best sales person. He works hard, he bonded with clients right away and he could close sales. He seemed a natural”. Really? A natural?


The criteria for a great salesperson is almost completely different then that of a star leader. I say leader because anyone can manage since you manage things. A leader leads people.

 A sales person, at least a good one, in my opinion, has some traits that are throughout almost all of the superstars I have met over the years.


1) Ego. Yep. They sometimes drive us crazy but they have a super ego. They want to be number one and will do whatever it takes to get there. Their decisions are centered around what is going to benefit them first, the company second.


2) They aren’t your best “Team Players”. Not that they won’t help others and be a part of a team, but they see doing a team project or team goal as just a hindrance to get to their own.


3) They are typically workaholics. They tie who they are closely to what they do. They look the part with the fancy clothes and cars, they try to impress and love all of the toys that money can buy.


A great sales leader is quite different.


1)       Their ego is tied directly to the success of others. When going in the field with a sales person, the sales leader sits back and listens. They don’t jump in to try to “close the deal”. They let what would naturally happen without them there occur. They do this because they understand the importance of the teaching opportunity to create good and consistent repeatable habits later, not the instant “rush” of closing the sale. It isn’t about going in and closing an account for the salesperson, it is about using a process to assess the skills that the sales person needs and help them self-realize what they did well and what they should work on for the next time.


2)       They enjoy the satisfaction of training and motivating. Telling a sales person, or anyone, is an example of ego. Asking their thoughts on the meeting and using it as a teaching opportunity is leadership.



3)       Sales leaders have a strong work ethic but also understand how to work smart as opposed to just hard. They

       delegate well and create a culture of autonomy as opposed to dictatorship.

There are other things that are important when deciding on a sales leader including consistent processes for everyone to follow when it comes to the sale and recruiting being an on-going behavior, even when you think you have a full sales team.


I posed this question on the linkdin group “MY Sales Community” to get some sales professionals opinions. Here are some



“Training should happen before that person actually takes over the responsibilities of that position. Ideally, that person should be recognized as a potential sales manager before the need arises and groomed for that position over time. Good supervisors know that talent should be recognized early and developed for the security and continuity of good customer service. If someone leaves abruptly, for any reason, the company doesn't miss a beat”-D. Brown North Carolina



“Being a former High-Tech recruiter that specifically placed Sales Management in Pre-IPO, Venture Capital and Angel Investor backed companies in Silicon Valley, I would like to comment: In my experience, founders and executives always asked for an excellent bag-carrying Sales Manager from a competitor to build, lead and motivate their respective new sales forces. In most cases, these "Sales Superstars" were excellent in the early stages of these company's growth - they had to be the first sales person - but as they added staff, they became overwhelmed with the day-to-day management responsibilities, and were not experienced enough in management to make up for their weaknesses. They had never trained or hired a sales force (they would hire their "friends" from their previous companies to compensate for their lack of recruiting skills), were not able to convey or transfer their skills to their staff, or manage these people because that's not what their skill set happened to be. They were great Salespeople, not great managers. They could manage their accounts or geography, but that's totally different than managing people. So, as the companies tried to get bigger, the VP/Director became a liability, and eventually, was either demoted to a Regional or Major Account’s position, or in worst case, terminated, and a seasoned Sales Management veteran was brought in to lead the sales team. So, in closing, a great salesperson does not automatically guarantee a great Sales Manager. Exception: If that person were groomed for that position, given management skills over time, evaluated as to those skills, then it's always best to create from within the organization. –B. Goldfarb, Florida 


Remember your best sales person is your best salesperson. Period. Stop trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

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