When I was a kid, I used to watch a cartoon called G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. It was a show about the Joes versus Cobra. Good versus evil.
The Joes were the good guys. They did everything right! No matter the situation they were in, they always treated everyone equally and with respect. Cobra on the other hand were the bad guys led by Cobra Commander. One thing always stood out to me (besides Cobra failing to conquer the world in every episode)…Cobra Commander always talked down to his team. Destro, Zartan and the Baroness never received the proper recognition and respect that they deserved for their loyalty and devotion, and eventually all 3 of them would betray Cobra Commander (only to later rejoin the team because of various circumstances). Which brings me to the topic of this blog, don’t act like Cobra Commander! Use these simple tips to keep and retain your sales team.
• Treat your sales team with respect Never talk down to them or make them feel inferior in any way.
• Let them know that you appreciate their hard work This doesn’t have to cost you anything. A simple phone call or an individual email (don’t bulk mail your sales team unless you want to lose some of the meaning) letting them know that you appreciate their hard work goes a long way towards maintaining a happy sales team.
• Financial awards & recognition Let’s be honest…a person is in sales to earn money. Whenever we have competitions at work, the reward is usually a $20 gas card or $50 gift card. It’s not much, but I want it! If you dangle the carrot in front of someone, they usually will do whatever they can to get it. If not, you need to find other ways to motivate your team. For higher earning sales reps, maybe offer a trip to Vegas (airfare and hotels are cheap to Vegas these days).
• Instill a sense of pride in working for you Let them know how much they contribute to the success of the company. This will hopefully result in more sales.
• Listen to them Many people leave their jobs because they feel they’re not listened to. Listen to their feedback, ideas and etc. Let them know you have listened and have taken the appropriate actions.
This isn’t rocket science and I’m not reinventing the wheel, but hopefully for some of you, this serves as an eye opener. Respect your employees and contractors.
At the end of every G.I. Joe episode was a public service announcement such as don’t skate on thin ice, don’t take drugs and don’t talk to strangers. This blog is kind of like my public service announcement. If you want to keep your sales team, show them that you respect them and appreciate their hard work. “Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.”