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20 09, 2011

None Of Us Want To Come In Second Place

By |2017-03-03T12:07:08-05:00September 20th, 2011|Categories: beliefs, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on None Of Us Want To Come In Second Place

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Nobody wants to be second best!It seems that   General Motors Co. wants to tie their union-represented workers  pay to their work performance. This will be a major shift in how generations of  how  auto workers have been compensated.

We are trying  to give hourly workers the same metrics as salaried workers,” GM Vice Chairman Stephen Girsky said Tuesday at the Detroit auto show. “There is a big pay-for-performance element going through the company and there is going to be more of it.”GM wants more flexible pay levels for workers as a way to encourage better performance and avoid locking the company into handing out big raises when the company isn’t performing well, company executives say.

If they change the system they will be able to measure their employees success immediately. I believe they will also build more productive employees.

Does this work ?

The Federal Government tries it on and deals with the conflicts, http://bit.ly/ns3JI3

You can use pay or other incentives to increase output, http://bit.ly/oAuwN5

Incentives can be customized for employees, http://bit.ly/nT1F1l

Linking employees pay to output does more than affect the bottom line of a business, it affects how an employee feels about his performance. Getting a pay check at the end of the week has more meaning when you actually see what you produce. Imagine how farmers feel when their seeds actually produce fruit?

Conceptually one and one make two but if you actually put two  penny’s in a child’s hand, it brings it to reality. Many children are taught at a young age that if they take out the garbage they will receive an allowance, this is linking pay to performance. When I realized the value of money I was enthralled with taking out the garbage and kept asking if there was something else I could do to get paid. I couldn’t wait until I was 14 to start baby sitting. As I “earned from doing” I realized that producing had value and I was capable of producing. I bet that many of you had the same experience. It was all good!

Why don’t more retail stores adopt the policy of performance based pay? I often hear   there will be more competition and  the customer will suffer–why would a salesperson wait on a customer if they weren’t being paid?  I would say it’s part of their job! It’s not easy devising a commission based sales structure but it has a big pay off for the store and the salesperson.

Having had both commissioned and non-commissioned jobs I vote for commission.

I am presently working for SodaStream as a brand ambassador. The product is super, I love doing the presentations and although I am asked to sell at least two machines, I’m not paid for performance. At first I worked very hard to sell the machines and then I realized it really didn’t matter. I decided I needed an incentive so I asked if I could put an affiliate link on my site for  customers. If someone clicks on my link they receive a $10.00 coupon and I receive a few cents. Does it make a difference? It does to me; I know what I do makes a difference, to me and my company and it’s fun. I like being part of the success of a company.

I think salespeople pay more attention to their jobs and their company if they were paid for what they produce. I realize I’m really part of my company’s success.

Selling (and money) is about an exchange. An exchange of value for value. The mere act of selling is a service and can provide value to a potential customer even if the customer doesn’t buy. But, if the customer doesn’t buy, the company goes out of business.

If you want to stay in business my suggestion is you find a way to compensate your employees for actually getting the product in the hands of your customers. By compensating them for what they sell they can actually see that what they do makes a difference to their company.

I didn’t realize that The Home Depot gives quotas to sales people and Lowe’s Companies pay commission in some departments. These are stores that started out by not paying commission and later turned to commission.

More than anything commission builds self-esteem and gives people experience with taking risks. Success is built on risk; why not help your employees learn the principles of success while building your business?

Remember, most of us prefer to be first. There are more kids on Halloween who want to be dressed as Batman than Robin.

I love this quote from Tom J. Watson of IBM:

“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.”

Lisbeth Calandrino is an award winning trainer, author, and blogger. She is  author of the book, Red Hot Customer Service, 35 ways to heat up your business and ignite your sales. In her book Lisbeth outlines the steps for building a successful business with customer service techniques. Lisbeth has been providing custom marketing and sales programs for the past 20 years.


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30 11, 2009

How Important is an “Extra Nice” Salesperson?

By |2017-03-03T12:07:15-05:00November 30th, 2009|Categories: Blog, Customer Service|Tags: , , |Comments Off on How Important is an “Extra Nice” Salesperson?

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Customer-service I had the good fortune to meet a smart consumer while out on a carpet inspection recently. For this story she will remain “smart consumer” — or SC.

By the way, this is a consumer with a problem.

The consumer had worked in high-end retail for many years and was in charge of training her salespeople, so for her, customer service was a no brainer. “Just give the customer what they want, period, and be nice to them,” says Ms Smart Consumer.

Apparently five independently owned retail stores didn’t quite get it, so Ms. SC purchased from Home Depot.

Here is a summarization of our conversation:

The customer had a preference for Stainmaster. The product came highly recommended so she went looking for the brand.  Her research showed that everyone had the brand.

Before shopping she went went online to update her carpet knowledge. Having purchased carpet several times before, she knew what to expect of the process.

She asked her friends in the neighborhood where to buy carpet. The Home Depot got good ratings, as did one of the Shop-at-Homes. For some reason, SC eliminated the shop-at-home.

Since SC was new to the neighborhood, she wanted to look around and decided to search a 40 mile radius. According to research this is very typical female shopping behavior—the journey is as important as the final destination. It’s all part of the experience.

Ms SC’s three top priorities were

  1. Customer service
  2. Price
  3. Quality

She wanted nice carpet, but was frugal with her money. She didn’t choose “designer shops” because fashion wasn’t really an issue. She knows she has good taste so why waste time. (After being in her house, I would vouch for this.)

A trip to the nearest Home Depot came up first. Why? Because of their size, Ms SC felt that they would be reliable and dependable. This is an interesting association with the size of the store. Her experience with the Depot and the associates in the carpet department were friendly. If they were not able to answer a question they knew where to get the answer. Basically they were friendly and she liked them. She also found the installation special very appealing.

Next stop, the independent retailers.

I told you that Ms SC had been in charge of training in her last employment. What does she consider most important? Making the customer feel important, acknowledging their presence and making them feel smart. Her experience at the independent store? Not that good. Employees didn’t get out of their chairs to acknowledge her, they asked very few questions and most pointed to the carpet department and said call me if you need anything. She also remarked one of the stores also didn’t smell that good. SC mentioned the smell to her husband but this didn’t seem like a reason not to consider this store.

Bottom line, she wanted someone to talk to her, ask about her project and make her feel important.

Her evaluation: the prices were all similar and everyone had Stainmaster carpet. Where did she buy? 
The Home Depot, because everyone was nice and she liked the installation special. All of the pricing was the same or similar.

Okay, so this is one customer’s experience but it points up some very big issues.
You don’t always have to be super smart, but you do have to be super nice.
Customers want to feel special, if you make them feel special; you have a good possibility of making the sale.

Being reliable and dependable are two important traits. I’m pretty sure that the other stores were also both reliable and dependable but maybe it wasn’t obvious — no customer testimonials or data on customers’ experiences were available.

Customers will travel; in this case, since the customer was new to the area, she was interested in learning more about her area of the country.

How about some blogs? Blogs that welcome new residents to the neighborhood, provide warrantee information, stats on complaints, biographies of the salespeople and more, so that by the time the customer gets to the store the customers feel like they know the salesperson.

This of course is one customer’s experience, a customer with a problem. It does sound like being nice pays off.

In your experience as a customer, all things being equal, how important is an “extra nice salesperson?”

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