Have you ever presented your latest sales incentive to the team and observed that half of them were really enthusiastic and yet others seem completely unmoved?
Or given someone great feedback when the person receiving the praise seemed totally underwhelmed by it all?
Don’t be surprised...
It’s just that we’re all different. Me, you – and every single member of your team.
They might be doing the same job, the same daily tasks, the same objectives. However, they will be very different to each other on the inside. They have all had a very separate journey on the way to landing in your team. Their upbringing, the friends they made, their teachers and all of the experiences they’ve had have helped mould them in to who they are today.
So what are the things that you need to identify?
1. Are they motivated towards something that they want or away from something they don’t want?
2. Do they like feedback...or not?
3. Do they like to work to a process or do they like the freedom to change stuff?
4. Are they happier with routine or do they like variety and change?
5. So what do you do with the information once you have it?
Motivated towards goals or away from danger?
For those in your team that are motivated towards something they want, keep giving them more to go for. Set them challenges to develop their skills and increase their sales. They will be driven by the feel-good factor of achieving.
For those that are motivated away from what they don’t want, get them associated in to the consequences of not doing or achieving something. They’ll want to move away from that ‘danger’ as quick as possible!
Internally or externally referenced?
If they love and need feedback, these members of your team are ‘externally referenced’. They need outside validation of their performance. Keep giving them feedback. They will feel valued and appreciated.
For those that don’t want or need it, don’t give it, or keep it to a minimum – they are ‘internally referenced’. Best to ask them how they think they are doing.
Preferring options or procedures?
For those that love a process and following a procedure, make sure you give them the order and sequence in which things should be done. This will make them happy and sure they’re doing the right thing.
Others (options orientated) should be given an objective and the boundaries to operate within - together with the freedom to move anywhere within them. They will feel less constrained and have a greater sense of freedom to make things happen.
Loving the sameness - or difference?
If they like variety and change you'll need to present new challenges to them in their role every few months or they will get bored - and maybe leave.
Others don't want change - they want things to stay just as they are. Keep changes to their role to a minimum!
Knowing what their preferences are will give you massive clues in how to motivate, inspire and develop them.
How are you imposing on them?
Remember, you will have your very own preferences and it’s likely that you’ll be using these when you interact with your team. This is fine when your team have similar preferences to you. How about the ones that are least like you? This is when you’ll be having little effect.
Forget your own preferences when managing a team and focus on tailoring your communication to match their preferences. This may take a little effort at first but will become easier the more you do it.
You’ll be so glad you did...and so will your team.
By Leigh Ashton, author of iSell, a speaker, trainer and coach. She works with sales teams, business owners, directors and managers to identify and eliminate psychological barriers within sales teams and the reasons or excuses used to rationalise their lack of consistently great sales.
PS: If you haven’t already, check out my report “The 7 Biggest Mistakes your team could be making that cost you sales”.