one-big-thing-225What drives people to succeed? What motivates them to do more and do it more effectively? You may have put a lot of time, energy, and money into getting more from the people you have…compensation adjustments, awards, bonuses for new business, and such. Yet the one simple action that will grow your team’s sales may have been skipped.

That one action is… praise and appreciation. Cue the moans… That’s it? First, that’s technically two things, isn’t it? Praise and recognition don’t have enough sex appeal – no technology, no dashboards, and no smart phones.

Yet it’s shown over and over again in research just how important it is for people to feel they are appreciated. They need to know they are important, not just for what they do, but for who they are, and how what they do matters.

More managers than I can count don’t believe the impact praise and appreciate have and secondly aren’t comfortable making this “payment” for a variety of reasons. They think:

  • Sales people work for money, they don’t need praise.
  • I don’t have time.
  • There isn’t much to praise them for, they could do a lot of things so much better!
  • If I compliment too much and then need to discipline, I won’t have a case.
  • It’s too touchy feely.

Here’s the deal…you want PEOPLE to do their best, right? You want them to go above and beyond and consistently take the actions needed to sell more, right?

Then they need to do know what they do right, what is most appreciated, and that someone is paying attention to them and what they do.

The tough part of this one simple action is to show praise and appreciation in a way that works for each person. Ongoing coaching and time with your people to find out what praise and appreciation currency they need is key to their success.

So what can you do? Here are some starter ideas:

  1. One-on-one time with you or another leader they respect.
  2. A handwritten note.
  3. A verbal message that has specifics of what is appreciated.
  4. Group recognition.
  5. Really listen to their ideas…and implement those that are solid.
  6. Find little “treats” that are special to them. One of our team members loves Butterfingers…whenever I see a Butterfinger (whether it is a skull at Halloween or a Butterfinger brownie at a bakery, I pick it up for him).
  7. An opportunity that shows you trust their judgment and abilities to do more.
  8. Let them “run” a sales meeting with a plan approved by you in advance of course.
  9. A flex schedule or unexpected time off.
  10. Invest in their personal development – training for sales skills, or something else that is important.

These are all simple actions you have complete control over. You don’t need a big budget, a committee, or a lot of time. What you need is a genuine care for the people on your team.

When your people know you really care and appreciate them, they will work hard to accomplish the objectives that matter. Put as much thought about how to personally show appreciation to your team as you do thinking about how to set up the processes or new software…and then consistently praise.

What do you think? What are some of the ways you have been appreciated? Or ways you have shown people on your team that they really matter?

Want to know if your people are motivated? And whether they are intrinsically or extrinsically driven? Our salesforce analysis will give you those answers. Learn more here.

4 Success Drivers You Need to Know...and Grow


How do you strengthen this "Will" among your sales associates? How does the lack of drive impact your daily life? I discussed this and so much more on a recent virtual training event you can access below. It's valuable information for any business leader who needs to maximize performance of their people to grow their company.

Click here to access the replay.