Learn to be unconditional, supportive and specific with the praise you give your salespeople to reinforce best-practices in order to build a strong bench of champions.
When it comes to acknowledging your people, be as specific and measurable as you can be with your praise. Reinforce a behavior, activity, change, mindset, or technique that you notice which made a profound impact on the employee’s success and the results they’ve achieved. By acknowledging a specific behavior, the person knows what to reinforce and do the next time they tackle that task. In essence, you are reinforcing best-practices while they’re doing it.
Ironically, the very thing which has been proven time and time again to have the greatest impact on people’s motivation, trust, commitment, loyalty and work ethic is what people want most, even more than money. That is, recognition, acknowledgement, being part of something, being included, having a purpose; even more responsibility around something they value and feel is important to the company and to themselves. There’s no reason to be stingy with our acknowledgment.
Unfortunately, managers often have their binoculars backwards. They spend most of their time magnifying or focusing on fixing things or looking for what’s wrong, at the greater cost of minimizing or failing to recognize and reinforce what’s right and what is going well. And if that’s the case, then how do your people know when they’re doing a good job? When they DON’T hear from you?
Here’s an example of specific, authentic and positive praise that reinforces the best practices and behavior that any sales manager wants to see in their team.
“You really demonstrated your ability to effectively follow up with Mary Johnson the last sale you made. Your persistence, the way you specifically approached the conversation with Mrs. Johnson and the steps you took when honoring your selling system, turned that volatile prospect into a happy customer. This is certainly an accomplishment to feel proud of.”