Three simple yet powerful words.
As The National Sales Manager for All Star Incentive Marketing, it’s my job to help drive top-line sales via a MOTIVATED sales force. The “Motivation Equation” is a tough one to figure out. As recent work points out in, “What Motivates Me” by Adrian Gostick & Chester Elton, motivation is highly unique to each person. Many experts agree that motivating work needs to:
- Have purpose
- Carry a sense of accomplishment
- Allow the person to act autonomously.
I agree with these assessments and have always focused on the third point. Not only do I try to provide an environment for team members to have freedom in making decisions, I also empower them to make decisions which are in the best interests of our clients.
A couple of weeks ago I was rewarded for my actions when I was blind copied on communications from a client. The client was launching a new phase of their Safety Incentives Program and was planning on announcing the enhancements at their monthly Town Hall meeting. The majority of the audience are drivers who need to be on the road bright and early. The meetings were scheduled for 7:00 AM and two members of our team were scheduled to be on hand to assist with the exciting announcement.
Late the evening before, the client apologized in advance for the scheduling change but the meeting was now pushed up to 4:00 AM. Because of this sudden change the client did not expect us be on hand for the announcement. They simply wanted to catch someone before they headed out to the facility in the morning.
Two weeks after the event our client wanted to recognize the outstanding commitment made by two members of my team. To illustrate the point they forwarded me email communications that took place before the event. As I looked at the time stamp I noticed the email announcing the schedule change had been sent at 11:00 PM. The reply message was sent at 11:01 PM with those three powerful words, “We’ll Be There,” nothing more.
No mention of this ever came from my sales representatives. They simply did what I empowered them to do, act in the best interest of the client.
Much has been debated between intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation. Here is a classic situation of how two individuals had an intrinsic desire to do what was best for our client. For their outstanding efforts I decided to reward them with extrinsic rewards which were presented in front of their peer group. After the presentation I was told by one member, “I wasn’t going to make a big deal of this, but I’m glad you did!”